Weather makes for slow start to racing season


For The Tribune

March winds and April showers are supposed to bring forth May flowers.

Track promoter Jim Price is skeptical of this folklore.

This May has trended towards rain, forcing him to cancel racing activities yet again at Brownstown Speedway this past weekend.

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“It’s always been said that if it rains on Easter, it’ll rain the next seven Sundays, but for some reason the rain keeps coming on Saturday for us,” Price joked. “Its tough. The bills keep coming in and we are on our third consecutive rain-out.

“Racers and fans alike have been forced to travel away from the county and take their dollars out of state just to go racing, we would like to keep that here in the county.”

Above average rainfall and below average temperatures throughout the Midwest have forced many tracks in surrounding states to cancel or postpone events.

Two weeks ago, Peoria Speedway was completely submerged as heavy rains moved through the area, forcing officials to regroup and rebuild at the Illinois facility.

Those same storms rolled through Indiana, cancelling events at nearly every track in the area.

Price, in his fourth year of promoting, is hopeful that the “lion” that has plagued the Spring racing season will make its exit soon and make way for the “lamb” so he can finally get the Saturday night tradition of Brownstown Speedway back on track.

So far, seven of the 10 scheduled events have fell victim to Mother Nature.

Opening Night was cancelled on March 11, followed by the March 17 the MARS DIRTcar Series event.

The 20th annual Indiana Icebreaker, which was scheduled for March 18 was postponed until September 22nd, preluding the tracks marquee event: the 38th annual Jackson 100.

The ninth annual “No Way Out 40” succumbed to rain halfway through the night, forcing track officials to postpone the feature event until Saturday June 24 .

Luck did fall Price’s way during the first part of April, allowing him to get three consecutive events finished in their entirety.

“We’ve had above average car and fan counts when we do actually get to race, so that is a good thing,” Price said.

The Ultimate Battle of the Bluegrass Late Model Series made their first appearance of the season on April 1.

Tanner English took home the feature win with the series. Seymour’s Tyler Cain took home his first win at Brownstown with the Indiana Pro Late Model Series.

Devin Gilpin, Jamey Wilson, and Zachary Stalker also took their entries to victory lane.

Jared Bailey picked up his first career Late Model feature win the following week during the “Saturday Night Racing” dubbed event.

Gilpin, Wilson, Derek Clegg, and Andy Bradley also visited victory lane.

April 15 was “Fan Appreciation Night” at the speedway and the weather cooperated to the delight of the large crowd that was on hand for the popular event.

The three-week dry spell was later dampened by three more rain-outs, most recently Saturday night’s “Scott Patman Memorial” for the Super Stock division.

“We have some good events coming up that I’m excited about and hopeful that we can get things going in the right direction,” Price said.

Brownstown’s next event will be on May 20, as they host the “P3 Graphix Spring Mod Shootout” which pays $1,500 to the winner.

Indiana Pro Late Models, Super Stocks, Pure Stocks, and MMSA Mini Sprints also are on the program for the evening.

The MARS DIRTcar Series will make another attempt to compete on May 27 on “Grad Night” at the speedway.

Indiana Pro Late Models, Modifieds, Super Stocks, and Pure Stocks will serve as support classes for the event.

For the first time ever, Brownstown will host a Monster Truck event on June 10.

“We’ve received a lot of positive feedback for this event,” said Price. “We will have trucks here crushing cars and giving free rides, so we are hopeful the kids attending really enjoy it.”

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