HARTFORD, S.D. (KELO) — I-90 Speedway crowned its champions last Saturday, closing a successful season in the face of a pandemic.
I-90 Speedway completed just five events last summer due to wet conditions. This season, the dirt track hosted more than three times that many races.
“Compared to last year, Mother Nature was real good to us. We missed the first couple races, but after that it was a green light all year, we never had a rain out all season, and that’s really unheard of, so we went from one extreme to the next,” I-90 Speedway owner Lyle Howey said.
The car count was also off the charts from the beginning of the season to the end.
“We set a record, 138 cars, early in the season, and we ended the season with 123 cars. That’s really unheard of for this area,” Howey said.
“With everyone else not really racing around us, and we’re the only ones racing, which makes a better driver out of all of us here, because you get to race with more people. It makes it a lot more fun instead of racing with five or six guys,” IMCA Racesaver 305 driver Micah Slendy said.
Howey expects those numbers to continue to climb.
“Racing has a lot of energy right now. I know guys building new cars, so I look for the numbers to go up next year,” Howey said.
The increase in drivers not only resulted in better competition, but also more fans.
“It’s always a packed house and a lot of fans out here, and that’s great to see that everyone comes out to support still, which is what we need at our local tracks to keep these places going,” Slendy said.
Howey also sees the return of Huset’s Speedway as a positive, attracting more drivers.
“Just like if you like golfing or fishing, if you can do it two or three times a week, that’s way better than once,” Howey said.
The season is over at I-90 Speedway, but the racing continues this Friday and Saturday at Huset’s Speedway, with the Power Series Nationals.