Stewart's visit to Fargo drawing plenty of interest
WEST FARGO -- Things have gotten off to a pretty good start for the Red River Valley Speedway under Danny Schatz. With Tony Stewart Night a week away, the West Fargo track is facing a problem - too many cars want to race there. "We've gotten bomb...
WEST FARGO -- Things have gotten off to a pretty good start for the Red River Valley Speedway under Danny Schatz.
With Tony Stewart Night a week away, the West Fargo track is facing a problem - too many cars want to race there.
"We've gotten bombarded on this deal," said Ivan Sailer, promoter for Valley Racing Group. "We thought we were going to have a few extra cars, but nothing super crazy. Then the phone started ringing."
On June 23, NASCAR star Tony Stewart will be racing at RRVS, and the response has been huge -- from thousands of tickets being sold to an increased number of cars interested in driving that night.
The boost in cars has caused the track to split things into two shows, moving the Street Stocks, Super Stocks and Legends classes to June 24.
"We hated to change this thing around, and it was an unexpected problem," Sailer said. "But it's a good problem. We have too many people that want to race here."
The track has averaged more than 100 cars per night at each of the three weekly races it has run this season.
However, Sailer said there are anywhere from 150 to 175 cars that have shown interest in the show on Tony Stewart Night.
"We expected more interest as the date got closer, because a lot of racers don't know where they're going to be from week to week -- if something breaks down or what have you," Sailer said. "About a week ago, the phone was ringing and ringing, and we were looking at gaining between 15 and 20 cars per class.
"We are happy that everybody wants to be a part of this, but we had to make sure we didn't ruin what could be our biggest night of the year. Is this the right decision? I don't know."
The main concern was with time. Having that many cars could drag the show late into the night, something that fans aren't wild about -- particularly in the middle of the week.
For the Thursday, June 24 show, the RRVS has knocked down the price of the entrance fee to $5, and upped the payouts for the top three places in each class.
"We had to make a decision," Sailer said. "We bumped their pay up and cut the price to get in for 5 bucks.
"Was it the right decision? We'll know more on that following Friday, I guess."
Collins is a sports reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.