MEEKER, Okla. (December 7, 2016) – When State Fair Speedway in Oklahoma City closed in 2010 it created a void in the sport that rippled throughout the state. For many the speedway was like a second home. And nothing that has come along since then has replaced those memories.
Choctaw, Oklahoma native Cody Brewer and his dad Ken Brewer hope to change that.
The Brewer’s have purchased Brill’s Motor Speedway from Mark Brill and will re-open the Meeker, Oklahoma track in March under the name of Red Dirt Raceway.
The Brill family has worked hard over the last decade to provide racers with a place to race and the Brewers look forward to continuing that mission.
Cody Brewer remembers watching his dad, Ken, race at the storied fairgrounds track. Friday nights drew racers in large numbers and crowds of 8,000 plus.
Racing has not been the same since the fairgrounds closed and the Brewers want to bring back that level of excitement at Red Dirt Raceway.
“With the fairgrounds closing down there has just been a lack of racing,” Cody Brewer said of the past years. “With Tulsa (Speedway) shutdown and no racing in Oklahoma City there is just a vacuum here for racing.
“My dad raced for 30 years and I have raced for 15 and I have seen what I think works and what I don’t like. I feel like if somebody does not step up we just might lose racing.”
Brewer wants to see fans excited to attend races again.
“Racing the way I see it (today) is a promoter putting on a show and not building the fan base,” Brewer said of the current state of racing. “What we have now are track operators that pay for everything out of the back gate. That means they are not really putting on a show. They have to run 10 different classes and they don’t pay much. They don’t do much promoting.
“If me, my wife and dad don’t step we might lose this deal. I want to try and do my best to stop that from happening.”
First on the agenda is making fan friendly improvements to the facility.
“We have some immediate structure improvements we are working on,” Brewer said. “We are looking at the bleachers on the public side. We are going to do some dirt work and adjust the track a little bit. We are going to work on the pits and improve some of the drainage. We want to get a lot more usable pit area.
“We are going to add a tailgate section in turns one and two. It is a pretty high elevation there and we will have 20 spots where you can pull a motorhome in, pull up to the fence and bring your own grill in. We are going to shorten the track a little bit to move the track away from it.
“I think that will bring back a fun family atmosphere. We want to make it fan friendly where people will want to spend Friday night out there.”
Weekly racing will move from Saturday to Friday nights.
“We will run on Friday nights starting at 7:30 April, May and June,” Brewer said. “The first race will be March 31. There won’t be any races in July or August. We will take those months off.
We are doing that because attendance drops off in July and August because it is hot and tempers flare. It gives the guys a chance to rejuvenate then come back in the fall and hit it hard again. It will give racers a chance to have a family vacation before school starts back up.”
Brewer is not new to promoting as he put on a successful midget racing event last year in Nebraska.
“I also took on promoting a USAC National midget show last year in Fairbury, Nebraska called Tuesday night Thunder,” explained Brewer. “That went really well and we are trying to expand that.
“We will come back in September and October and run every Friday night to finish out the year. We will have around 22 or 23 races through the course of the year.”
Fewer classes will run on the weekly show which will be headlined by non-wing sprint cars.
“We will run a non-wing sprint car class,” said Brewer. “We are still locking down the rules, but it will be pretty much “run-what-you-brung”. It will have a 1,500 pound weight rule and an ASCS Hoosier medium right rear tire or the racesaver right rear. That will be about the only rules.
“With a tighter track it should make for good racing whether you have a WOW motor, 2-barrel or ASCS motor. The WAR series in Missouri has done that the last couple of years and has had real good luck with that.”
Brewer would also like to get USAC involved if possible.
“I have spoke with USAC about sanctioning the non-wing class and they are all ears on that,” he said. “That would be cool to have that in Oklahoma.
“We are going to run sport mods and stock cars based off of Mark (Brill’s) existing pure stock motor rules. We will run mini stocks some and 600cc micros. That is one of the reasons we are shortening the track.”
And like the old days there will be less classes running and racing will not be a late night affair.
“There won’t ever be more then four classes running.” he said. “They all won’t be running every night. The sprint car deal is what we are going to hang our hat on, but it will be the class we drop when we run some special stuff. We will do some fireworks specials and try to get the fans involved.
“We have three 305 dates, one OCRS date and will run the POWRi midgets once and Mark’s (Sooner Series) late models three times.”
If Brewer has his way Red Dirt Raceway will be the place to go for an exciting night of racing and family entertainment.
“It is going to be a very fast paced show,”Brewer said. “My biggest thing that bugs me is the number of classes and dragging the show out. The goal is to be done by ten o’clock. It will be a two and one half hour show.”
The 2017 schedule should be released next week.
To view the schedule and learn more about Red Dirt Raceway visit the track web site at www.RedDirtRaceway.com.
Red Dirt Raceway is also on twitter at @RedDirtRaceway and Facebook.