Motor Sports Wrap Up: Spring of uncertainty subsides to successful summer

Published: Sep. 7, 2020 at 6:54 PM AKDT
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As the COVID-19 pandemic began affecting everyday life throughout the spring, motor racing organizers in Alaska began to question whether they would be able to host a summer season. As the months continued and mandates were lifted, racetracks were prepped, not knowing if one, none or several events would be held.

Now in September, many of the racing organizations in Interior, Alaska can look back and say they were able to host several successful events.

Interior Racing Association

A driver and fan favorite got the green light for a summer season, with the Interior Racing Association hosting events at the Deltana Fairgrounds. Their summer began on June 27 with a series of Dirt Drags and MudX races. IRA was able to implement new classes this year, involving more youth riders. Spectators near and far got to enjoy three races out in Delta, concluding August 8.

“I think it meant a lot to all of us,” IRA Board Member Brooke Seegar said earlier this summer. “It is something that we look forward to in the summer and it is something we know a lot of the people in the area look forward to, so the fact that we were still able to do it meant a lot. It’s definitely something that our community has pulled together from people all over; Palmer, Anchorage, Fairbanks, North Pole and Delta, everybody came together over the summer and it’s been great.” she added.

North Pole Speedway

The North Pole Speedway got their season going on June 20, with a variety of vehicles ripping through the earth in Mud Bog Races. Often spotted at these events, big block trucks, side-by-sides, ATVs and children taking on the strip of mud to see who can escape. The asphalt oval track at the North Pole Speedway never saw any rubber burned, as there were not enough vehicles to compete. However, they did see three mud bog races, concluding on August 22.

“Great turn outs, it was nice to see so many people getting out doing stuff with their families,” Randy Renkert previously said of their events. “I think we are all outdoors people around here, it is great to get outdoors and sling a little mud around and have some fun.”

Fairbanks Motorcycle Racing Lions

The Fairbanks Motorcycle Racing Lions were one of the first motor sports to get up and running this year. City races were held frequently throughout the summer, with state races featuring the best riders from across the state taking place at the Polar Roller Racetrack as well. From the youth, to the novice, to the experts, hundreds of participants spent the summer trying to climb the top of the standings, wrapping up at the end of August.

“The turnout was great,” said President of the Fairbanks Motorcycle Racing Lions Craig Hill at a July race. This was really nice, because at the beginning of the year, with all of the COVID mandates and stuff, we weren’t sure if we were going to be able to ride.”

Mitchell Raceway

The Mitchell Raceway was one of the most consistent organizations, with races nearly every single weekend throughout the summer. The season began on June 12th, featuring promotional nights like Breast Cancer Awareness, Military Appreciation and Can Food Night. Several classes were offered, including sprint cars, dollar stock and modified vehicles, all concluding last weekend.

“It has been a great season,” said Greater Fairbanks Racing Association President Monte Pearson the final weekend of the season. “More and more cars keep showing up, which is excellent. Fairbanks is awesome. They’ve embraced us hugely this year and we have been consistently getting 300 to 500 fans every Friday night coming out and it is amazing.”

Copyright 2020 KTVF. All rights reserved.

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