From Huset’s Speedway
Hartford, SD (4-21-11) – Three race tracks with already strong Sprint Car traditions will sanction the division again with IMCA.
Winged classes will run for IMCA points on Saturdays at I-90 Speedway in Hartford, S.D., and Sundays at Huset’s Speedway in Sioux Falls, S.D. Non-winged cars are on Friday programs at Rapid Speedway in Rock Rapids, Iowa, this season.
Cars will be legal to compete at each facility with the addition or removal of the wings. Existing engine rules will be in place at each track this season, with the same cost effective motor to be developed and phased in at all IMCA Sprint Car venues over the next five seasons.
IMCA is in the process of putting together a national point fund for the division and will resume recognizing a national Sprint champion. Promoters at the three newly sanctioned facilities are finalizing a rules package that will allow drivers to compete at each with minimal changes to their cars.
“We’re pretty excited about it, with three tracks going to the same rules. It’s pretty darn nice,” said Bill Mellenberndt, co-promoter at Rapid and partner with Jeff Davis in the Heartland Racing Association. “We are trying to get everybody on the same page and I think everyone will benefit.”
“Drivers will get insurance and national and local track funds,” he continued. “And all three tracks will pick up cars. That’s important because with the economy, local drivers can’t afford to travel.”
I-90 promoter Lyle Howey III said his track got between 20-30 Sprint Cars a night last season. Maintaining those numbers, while sparking interest in the class with younger drivers, helped him make the decision to sanction.
He met with IMCA Division Director Bob Allen, then with Mellenberndt and Huset’s promoter Steve Rubin to discuss how the three tracks could better work together.
“Bob and I talked about what could happen to this class. I’m concerned about its future and that’s why I decided to sanction,” said Howey, who was a four-time track champion during his own IMCA Sprint Car career and finished third in the 2008 main event at the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals. “We need to do everything we can to keep this class less expensive and more fun.”
Affordability and reliability of the engine to be phased in have already been proven at Sioux Falls and Rubin is also confident it will boost car counts.
“There are so many talented drivers in the country who have never gotten a break because of the cost factor,” he said. “This is going to be huge, a lot bigger than a lot of people think.”
“One of the greatest things about this project is that everybody believes in it,” Rubin added. “This is something that needs to be done. Drivers want to go fast and have fun, and this engine is something they can be competitive with.”
First point nights for IMCA Sprints are April 23 at I-90, May 6 at Rapid and May 8 at Huset’s.
The point season at Rapid concludes Aug. 26. Season championship night at I-90 is Sept. 10. Huset’s winds up the season on Sept. 11.
IMCA sanctioned Sprint Cars at Huset’s from 1991-1997, at the former Red Devil Speedway in Hartford from 1993-1996 and at Rapid Speedway from 1995-1997.
IMCA also sanctions Sprint Cars at tracks in Minnesota, Kansas and Nebraska.