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RRA board makes numerous changes

Speedway changes Here is a look at the new people in charge of the Roughrider Racing Associtation. President: Dale Burwick Board members: Dwight Burwick, Rusty Corneliusen, Ryan Hugelen, Amanda Kessel, Don Kuntz, Bill Miller, Diane Paul, Dennis U...

Speedway changes

Here is a look at the new people in charge of the Roughrider Racing Associtation.

President: Dale Burwick

Board members: Dwight Burwick, Rusty Corneliusen, Ryan Hugelen, Amanda Kessel, Don Kuntz, Bill Miller, Diane Paul, Dennis Ulmer.

Promoter: Ken Decker.

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An entirely new crew will be running the show at the Southwest Speedway next summer.

The president and each Roughrider Racing Association board member have left the posts that many held for nearly a decade and have been replaced with a new president, an entirely new board, and a new Speedway promoter.

"They felt it was time to pull their reigns in and let somebody else have it," new RRA president Dale Burwick said.

Burwick, who was a longtime pit man prior to racing IMCA Modifieds last season, replaces Rod Maule.

Ken Decker, who has been involved in auto racing at the Speedway since 1972, was named the track's new promoter on Thursday. Because of the new position, Decker was forced to give up his spot on the board of directors.

There are nine new board members. The association is searching for another to fill Decker's vacated spot.

"I do have some ideas about what we can do to improve the spectator area and money for the racers," said Decker, a 66-year-old sales consultant at Sax Motor Co. in Dickinson.

Decker replaces Bob Steier, who had been the promoter the past 10 years.

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When the board was reorganized, Steier was asked if he wanted to return to the position. He declined citing personal reasons and an increasingly busy home life.

"I've got a lot going on," Steier said. "It was getting very time consuming. People don't realize what it takes to put the show on out there."

Decker said he hopes to emphasize his efforts on spectators and attracting more families and children to the races while also promoting the Speedway around the state.

"I just want to get the hype back up and have the state buzzing about how great of a race track Dickinson has," Decker said.

Burwick said the board hopes to take some stress off the promoter position, as well as several others, by distributing different responsibilities to board members and volunteers.

As promoter, Steier was a fundraiser, a maintenance man and an official. The plan is to divvy up those responsibilities.

"Unlike the past board, we have given out portfolios, split up the duty a little bit more, and I think that'll ease the pressure so it's not all on one or two people," Burwick said. "At least that's how we hope that's the way it's going to work."

That could be tough on race day, however, as Burwick and five of the new board members are also racers.

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"That's going to be a tough thing," Burwick said. "... But I think we can make it work."

Several changes are expected to be in place at the Speedway by the time the 2008 season begins.

There will be a new concession area and a new restroom area. Burwick said the board has yet to discuss other detailed issues including crowd control and track drainage issues, not to mention the extended schedule.

"We've got our hands full," Burwick said.

Burwick said the board has also put together a tentative schedule and hopes to hold 13 to 15 races at the track next summer. There were nine races last summer. One was cancelled due to weather.

"I think that would make people real happy," Burwick said. "... Between the spectators and definitely the drivers, that's one thing they we're hungry for is more races out there."

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