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Saturday, September 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports

Montana Couple Has Life On Track Literally

By Paul Delaney Correspondent

Whether Ray and Mary Jacoby stood among the pine trees on their land at Trout Creek, Mont., and heard a soft voice saying, “If you build it, they will come,” is not sure.

What is certain - with or without the encouragement of strange voices - is that the couple carved its own “Field of Dreams.” They call it Tuscor Speedway.

Named for the old Montana townsite along the Clark Fork River that lies buried under the water and silt from Noxon Reservoir, Tuscor Speedway is the newest of the region’s dirt stock car tracks. Each Saturday the quarter-mile oval hosts four classes of race cars: Fever Fours, Hobby Stocks, Street Stocks and Modifieds. Located off Montana Highway 200 at milepost 23.5, they race this Saturday beginning with time trials at 1 p.m. A special feature of this weekend’s racing program will be a Mechanic’s Race that allows the guys who normally wrench on the cars to drive them.

It was just a year ago that Tuscor Speedway had planned to open its inaugural season, but Mary Jacoby’s father died, forcing postponement of the majority of the season.

Jacoby’s father’s memory, and place in the track’s history, will be commemorated over the Fourth of July weekend with the “Andy Green Memorial Race,” featuring a special appearance by sprint cars. It was Jacoby’s inheritance from her dad, plus the sale of some California real estate, that provided money to build the track.

Constructing a race track in an area with few people to support it would be considered a foolish gamble by many, but interest has been building - quickly from racers, more slowly from fans.

The track has thrown its support behind programs like D.A.R.E., and Jacoby hopes the surrounding communities will do likewise toward the speedway. Building the race track hasn’t come without problems.

In the beginning, many residents of the quiet rural area were upset that a race track might spoil their quiet Saturday afternoons. Some of that displeasure disappeared when the economic reality of the track sunk in and area businessmen started filling their tills with the new customers the track attracted.

No match for Odessa’s Smith

Odessa’s Craig Smith returned from a weekend in Edmonton, Alberta, where he won a match race in his Goodwrench top-fuel dragster.

Smith wants to jump to full-time racing. “You really have to run hard (on the NHRA Winston Drag Racing circuit) and that means you start breaking parts,” Smith said. “We can’t afford that.”The schedule has Smith heading back to Montreal in three weeks to run a match-race against Shirley Muldowney.

Pit-stops

Spokane Raceway Park announced it will initiate a mini-truck class at the track, starting either June 24 or July 1. … A visit from the Washington Open Wheel cars highlight the weekend’s program at Stateline Speedway, starting Saturday night at 6. … Friday kicks off a two-day Stateline Street Stock event. Friday night’s racing begins with time trials at 6:30. … SRP will present high school drag racing Friday night and has both stock cars and bracket drag racing Saturday. … Colville’s Greg Ochs won last Saturday night’s feature race for the Northwest Modifieds at Kalispell, Mont., and Ed Hudson of Spokane won on Sunday at Ronan, Mont. The Modifieds return to Spokane and Stateline Speedway next Saturday night. … The Northwest Late Models take their turn at visiting Montana this weekend, running Saturday at Kalispell and Sunday at Ronan. Newman Lake’s Billy Swift still leads in points. … The Spokane Kart Racing Association holds its fourth points race of the season Sunday at the Spokane County ORV Park in Airway Heights.

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