Mandan News

Dacotah Speedway revved up for record-breaking year

The grandstands at Dacotah Speedway are still, while the audience waits for the races to begin.  (Submitted photo)

The grandstands at Dacotah Speedway are still, while the audience waits for the races to begin. (Submitted photo)

By Dustin White
Mandan News, editor

Last year the Dacotah Speedway in Mandan set records across the board, and organizers plan on doing it again this season, as they lead up to their 25th anniversary in 2015.

“Highly competitive, a little rough, but very fast,” is what Ward Meeker wrote in the Mandan News nearly 24 years ago in regards to the first Dacotah Speedway event. Over the years, that description has stuck.

Last season was no exception. With the highest average car count in the International Motor Contest Association, and third largest team demolition derby in the U.S., expectations are high.

“Many of the racers are building their cars up again and getting pumped for the season,” said Beau Simmons, track promoter for the Dacotah Speedway. To maintain this excitement, Dacotah Speedway will be hosting a pre-season drivers meeting on Feb. 15 at Midway Lanes in Mandan, starting at 10 a.m.

One of the driving forces behind the success is the strong economy of the community.

“I’ve had other promoters contact me and ask how we do what we do, and I have to say ‘I don’t know,'” said Simmons. “It really comes down to the economy, and the support of the community.”

There is also a love for the sport. During the premier event on June 8, 1990, the racers were welcomed by a nearly sold-out grandstand. And even though there was no money on the line for the racers, all scheduled classes, except for the Bombers, participated.

Through the years, that dedication has stuck. Volunteers continue to help with the hard work and fundraising needed for growth. In turn, Dacotah Speedway has been able to give back to the community that built it up.

This year will mark the sixth annual ‘Drive to Survive’ event with the Bismarck Cancer Foundation, which continues to grow along with Dacotah Speedway. Last year, $8420 was raised to fund patient support services, while the first event in 2009 raised $500.