Busier than Beavers - Season Preparations are Continuing at Laird Raceway
After a two year stop to racing at Laird International Raceway due to covid, we are very busy doing maintenance and preparations for the start of our season on Saturday June 25. That Saturday we will hold our first Enduro (Endurance) Race.
Normally we try to get the season started at the beginning of June but this year we are being delayed a bit due to the enormous amount of maintenance work to be done. Track promoter Donnie Varcoe has hired a team of about 15 people to assist with the maintenance and preparation work at the track. For example, in any given spring the grandstands need some board replacement, usually about 100 per season. At a recent driver’s meeting Varcoe said, “This year we have about 420 boards to replace in the grandstands and about 100 have been done to date, the rest should be done by opening day. There was also a lot of brush and trees that had to be cleared from under the stands. We hauled away two big truckloads. Things are coming along.”
Well known to long time race fans at Laird, there are usually issues in the spring with water in the track infield. This year was slightly different. Most of the track was under water due to issues with beavers building dams. Seems the beavers continued work during covid, nobody told them to quarantine. Varcoe said, “Over the past few days we’ve had to break a dozen beaver dams in the creek that runs behind the backstretch.” The water levels are going down now and things should be dried up in a couple weeks.
Earlier in the year, there were also a couple of large problems that might have faced us this race season, specifically obtaining race tires, and race fuel. Both of those problems have been dealt with and we should have plenty of tires and fuel for our racers. In addition, Varcoe mentioned to drivers that we will be a bit more relaxed on tire rules this season, by allowing visiting drivers to run tires that they run at their home tracks.
Any stock car race track needs two things to be successful, good car/driver counts, and enough fans plunking their butts in the stands. The fans in the stands allow prize payouts to the drivers and teams that are racing, so essentially a higher number of fans bring the racers to the track. Similarly, the racers bring the fans. One without the other doesn’t work. Varcoe would like to see a good car count and a good quantity of fans on opening day and has committed to increasing payouts to drivers if it happens. Drivers, get your cars ready, and fans, mark your calendars.
In the recent driver’s meeting Varcoe said to those in attendance, “If any of you know of anybody that needs a hand getting their car ready, have them call for help. We’ll do whatever is needed to help. Just call us.” The phone number that drivers can call is Lakeway Truck, 705-759-5149. New drivers included! Laird also has a local race car shop and people that need a garage to work on their race cars are welcome. Just call!
Our opening day will be an Enduro race with a $4,000 payout to win. If you’ve ever wanted to race but haven’t had the opportunity, this could be it! Donnie said, “If you need a car, we have plenty at Lakeway. Cars can be picked up with a $500 deposit. Bring the car back to us when the race is over and we’ll refund the deposit.” Call Lakeway for details. 705-759-5149.
The exact format of the Enduro race has not been finalized yet. The number of laps and the track configuration are still being determined. The current thinking is that part of the asphalt track will have hay or tire bales to create a chicane into the infield on the front or back stretch (or both). Stay tuned for the details to be released prior to the race.
Submitted By: Tom Stephenson