Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

[friday]

April 11, 2014

Kokomo Speedway opens tonight

Grand Prix the 'Super Bowl of midgets'

After a long winter, area race fans are itching to get out to the tracks.

“They just want to hear motors running,” said Brett Bowman who announces races at Kokomo Speedway.

Well wait no longer, race fans.

Kokomo Speedway opens tonight with the Kokomo Grand Prix. The POWRi midget cars will square off with the USAC midgets, something that doesn’t happen very often.

“It’s kind of like the Super Bowl of midgets,” Bowman said.

There have already been 42 pre-entries, and Bowman expects even more by race day. Anyone who owns a midget car will probably be there, he said.

Bowman said the speedway was supposed to host the Grand Prix for the first time last year, but record rains forced the owners to cancel it. So excitement for this year’s event has been building for a long time.

“Everyone’s been talking about this one for three months,” he said Thursday afternoon. “I’d be surprised if there aren’t RVs parked out there already.”

The track can accommodate about 4,200 fans comfortably. Bowman said he expects about that many people to be out there this weekend. With it being a national series, it will likely draw a huge crowd, he said.

The new owners, who have been at the helm of the speedway for about a decade now, have breathed new life into the place, he said.

“The thing was all but dead a decade ago,” Bowman said. “Now it’s the place to be. It’s a big deal.”

It once had a reputation as the place for people to go and get drunk on a Sunday night, but not anymore, Bowman said. The owners made it more family friendly. People now come for the races, not the drinking, he said. That’s because the owners also improved the track and races.

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