I haven't been going to State Park Speedway for to many years, but I had been going long enought to know that the track was in trouble....serious trouble.
When I first started going to the track about 10 years ago or so, there were about 4 classes with each at least having 10 cars each. That may not sound to bad to most, however when there biggest class was Super Stocks ,which is a 2nd teir class for many of the big tracks around Wisconsin, it doesn't bring in much of a crowd.
With fewer people in the seats meant far less revenue for the track and the condition of the track along with the consession stands and restrooms it clearly showed. The track had grass growing in the cracks, a lot like the abandoned North Wilksboro Speedway. The restrooms man they werew bad, when taking a pee you had to go in a troth which was kinda like a rain gutter that drained your stuff to the middle, which made the bathrooms stink and very unpleasent.
Eventually it got to the point were there were maybe 4 or 5 cars per class, so who pretty much won the heat races in their class was going to end up in victory lane in the feature. While might be good for a betting man, it wasn't very good at all for the racing fan.
Fan attendance along with poor car count pretty much made the track all but close down having about 4 to 5 races the entire season and they even lost their flagship race the Larry Detjens Memorial race to Golden Sands one year and Slinger the next. To boot even when they did have races they still couldn't draw in competitors or fans to show up during their event.
Then last November rolled around, when all seems lost for the speedway, Ron Wimmer and his son, current Nationwide Series driver, Scott Wimmer purchased the track which gave the track and maybe, just maybe a future.
Well it did just that! I just got back from watching the 2010 Flip Merwin Memorial at that track and all I have to say is I am impressed. This 1/4 mile track was always set up for good racing and when you now have 15-20 cars per class make it to events this year it shows. Not to mention that they have expanded the schedule from a4 to 5 races to about every other Thursday. On other big improvement was the bathrooms, new bar area, and the grass on the track is gone! When I went to park at tonights event I had to park about 1/4 mile away from the track because the parking lot and side streats where full of cars of spectators who wittnessed tonights race.
So if you can get to Wausaus on Thursday nights and love to watch some great local track racing be sure to stop by State Park Speedway this 2010 racing season! Oh and by the way the Larry Detjens Memorial is back home to where it all started and will be held there July 29th.