By Anthony Leek - The 2012 season is quickly approaching at the Emo Speedway and plenty of work continues at the facility throughout the month of May. Just over a week ago, we started our work on the track surface with the sheep’s foot packing away for several days. Maintenance work on the grader was completed on Monday with a new tire on it, as well as being all greased up for the season. Water tanks are full and the water truck spent some time Monday night working the track in. Work continues on the new speaker system in the pits as well as other miscellaneous work.
I remember when I was much younger, hearing the sound of the grader starting up and heading to the track was the sure tale sign that the racing season was quickly approaching. I still get that sense of excitement and chills the first evening we start the machinery up. It’s the best thrill you can get before watching the first race of the season.
With only a couple weeks left until practice (May 12th), volunteers are making sure the facility is in tiptop shape for the upcoming year. Some of the bigger projects of the year will be starting up soon which includes the new pit washrooms and the new frontstretch lighting. Once the lighting is done, all wiring at the facility will now be underground. Four poles currently exist and will be replaced by one pole located halfway down the track on the outside. It will improve lines of sight for the fans and clean up the area more. Project completion will be around the first week of June. Pictures will be posted on the facebook fan page as it progresses.
Another exciting event to look forward to this season is the return of WISSOTA Super Stocks! While the date won’t be finalized until this weekend (it is tentative for July 14th), the class has always been exciting to watch at the Emo Speedway. With a full complement of WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds, WISSOTA Modifieds, and Street Stocks on top of the special event, it will be an evening not to miss! Drivers from all over the region including Manitoba, Ontario, and Minnesota will be attending in what may be the last time they will be attending.
The season opener is what I look forward to the most mainly because it is my birthday weekend! The month of May has so many great things going for it, especially when it comes to racing. Tracks are opening up all over the region and I regularly attend Grand Rapids Speedway and Bemidji Speedway on Thursdays and Sundays. With Emo on Saturdays, it’s three days of racing in only four days!
With a new digital camera I bought over the winter, there will be HD videos from the Emo Speedway as well as the other track I visit throughout the year. They will be posted to my youtube channel at www.youtube.com/cooleddown12 . On top of that, I am looking into doing some video interviews with local drivers.
All in all, 2012 is looking to be a great season. Whether you are a fan, sponsor, driver, volunteer, pit person, etc. there is always plenty of fun and entertainment to be had at your local short track!
Photo: 2011 WISSOTA Midwest Modified track champion Christopher Leek grades the track to continue preparations for the 2012 racing season.