Enduro racing on tap Sept. 10 and into 2018
The Wadena County Ag Society has shifted gears and is moving ahead with an expanded Enduro car racing schedule. After entertaining an offer to turn the County Fairgrounds track into a four-cylinder race track the fairgrounds board opted at its Au...
The Wadena County Ag Society has shifted gears and is moving ahead with an expanded Enduro car racing schedule.
After entertaining an offer to turn the County Fairgrounds track into a four-cylinder race track the fairgrounds board opted at its August meeting to give Enduro racing another shot.
With Bryan Wegscheid behind the wheel, the Ag Society has already put on one August race and is gunning for another Sept. 10. The August race, which was the board's first since June when they operated one during the Wadena County Fair, saw Kyle Robins and Jonathan Robinson finishing 1-2, Steve Vogt and Josh Lawson tying for third and Orren Lien rounding out the Top Five.
The F4 tornado that ripped through the western half of Wadena in 2010 destroyed the old grandstand where a variety of sporting events had been held. In time, a new grandstand emerged from the rubble. Enduro racing, which had been popular in the days before the tornado, made a comeback after the fair in June that did not net a lot of money, but rekindled interest in the sport.
Racing Promoter Joel Novak approached the Ag Society earlier this year about a 26-week racing season for four-cylinder cars. While the Ag Society liked the idea, the timing for the Wadena County Board was not good. Novak pitched the idea to the County Board shortly after the Ag Society showed interest because its approval of a four-cylinder speedway was also needed. The County Board invited Novak to return to one of their meetings after the county fair was over, but July came and went without any movement. Novak had plans to meet with the Wadena County Board in August, but he shelved them after the fair board made plans to operate the track themselves.
"I've got nothing against Enduro racing; however, if it was up to me, I'd do it on a nice speedway track," Novak said. "We are ready to work with the Wadena County Ag Society (WCAS) whenever they want a speedway; however, I cannot be working with contractors, sponsors, advertisers, drivers and fans about something that might happen some day."
Wegscheid said the Ag Society was working with the same problem. Planning for the 2018 fair had to start going forward so Enduro racing became the best alternative.
According to Wegscheid, the Ag Society is planning one Enduro race a month in 2018 beginning in May. At the end of the season the top 10 lap leaders will hold a race-off.
Enduro racing is designed to test both the driver and the machine. They have to navigate around a track of mud and huge rubber tires. The object is not really to place ahead of the competition, it's to outlast it.
County Board Commissioner Chuck Horsager operates as a liaison to the Ag Society. His understanding of the plan is that the fair board will "do their own thing for a year."
"I am very much okay with the fair board's decision," Horsager said.
Horsager pointed out that Enduro races could net the fair board more than the $150 rent per race that Novak is offering.
Wegscheid, who is vice president of the Ag Society, said the fair board finally had to make a decision based on what was on the table.
"This is to help fund the fair and the Ag Society," Wegscheid said.
Both sides are open to further negotiations at another time. Novak, who operates with several other fair boards, is both amendable and upbeat.
"When the WCAS says, "We want a speedway, and you can open in April," we are ready to work with them," Novak said.