BRANDON, S.D. (KELO) — As the last of the snow disappears, spring is finally in full swing and the racing season is about to switch into high gear.
After hosting the Snocross National less than two months ago, Huset’s Speedway is two weeks away from the start of the dirt-track racing season.
“We’re ready. A lot of the race fans we’ve talked to, and race teams, are ready,” Huset’s Speedway GM Doug Johnson said.
Huset’s General Manager Doug Johnson says the talent level will be second to none with an increase in prize money playing a major role in attracting drivers.
“Everything costs more right now, fuel costs more, tires cost more, so these guys want to be able to try and recoup some of that,” Johnson said.
The biggest payday in World of Outlaws history awaits this June at the Huset’s High Bank Nationals.
“There’s a lot of talk all around the country about that race, paying $250,000 to win,” Johnson said.
Johnson says Huset’s is working with the Brandon Valley Area Chamber of Commerce to put on an event that will benefit the entire community.
“We’re trying to find more things for the average race fans to do while they’re in town that week, just trying to give them more opportunities and make this a big event,” Johnson said.
In late July, the Silver Dollar Nationals takes center stage.
“Bringing in the Lucas Oil Late Model series for three days and then we’ve got a big stock car race on Wednesday night, along with our Tri-State Late Models. Fans can see a lot of different cars racing that week,” Johnson said.
The classes include 305 Sprint Cars, which is where you’ll find 18-year-old Gracyn Masur, who’s at home at Huset’s Speedway.
“Any other track I go to feels a little bit weird because I’ve grown up here, the first time I raced was here,” 305 Sprint Car driver Gracyn Masur said.
Speaking of classes, Masur is currently a senior at Brandon Valley High School.
“I get all my school work done in school. I’m a productive student in class, so when 6:00 rolls around, like tonight, it’s race car night, so I make time for the things that I need to do and get my car all built up and ready to go,” Masur said.
And she plans to drive with more tenacity.
“Didn’t push myself as much as I would have liked to because I was worried about other people and other drivers on the track, but now that I have more confidence in myself and we took some lap time last year at the end of the race season,” Masur said. “And so I hope to just kind of grow more confidence, step on the throttle a lot more and see what we can do,” Masur added.
Masur will go to college at Grand Canyon University this fall, but plans to race a full season… and for years to come.
“I have a huge passion for it, my heart is it and I’m going to go until I can’t,” Masur said.
As Masur is turning laps at Huset’s, fans may be on the lookout for upgrades.
“I think the biggest difference fans are going to see is the addition to the fourth level of the suite tower up top,” Johnson said.
A tornado last Memorial Day weekend took the roof off the suites, allowing Huset’s to add a rooftop patio and move the announcers upstairs.
The track’s next big project will be adding more camping spots.
“We’re sold out right now for our High Bank and our Silver Dollar Nationals, so we need more camping,” Johnson said.
A project made possible by Huset’s owner Tod Quiring.
“He’s very proactive and always thinking ahead, so he’s got some land that he’s purchased adjacent to the track,” Johnson said.
The expansion doesn’t end with camping.
“I think you’ll probably see an addition going up on the hill up on the north side. I think we’re looking at moving a race shop and some offices up there here yet this summer,” Johnson said.
And the possibilities are seemingly endless.
“With Tod being in charge of the ownership of this place, you never know what could happen,” Johnson said.
Huset’s Speedway opens its season on Mother’s Day, and closes the calendar Labor Day weekend.