Throughout high school, I spent my summer Friday nights selling 50/50 tickets at the races in Grand Forks. I did this for 6 years. Summer wasn’t summer unless we spent it at the race track.
Working the races granted me access to learn a lot about them. For instance, I learned the whole Canadian National Anthem because some of the drivers were from Canada… “O CANADA! Our home and native land! True patriot love in all thy sons command…”
All from memory. You’re welcome. (Yes, I doubled checked to make sure I was right. I was.)
Racing has returned to The Red River Valley Speedway! Since the 2012 season, there had been no races at the speedway, but it is back now and ready to go this summer! The race track started having races as early as 1967. In 2010, it was converted from a ½ mile dirt track to a ⅜ mile dirt track. The track has hosted the likes of racing heroes including NASCAR’s Tony Stewart, Steve Kinser, Sammy Swindel, and local favorite, sprint car driver Donny Schatz.
To avoid looking like a first-timer at the races, here are some tips I learned along the way:
1. It is a dirt track so be prepared to get dirty. I can remember running my fingers through my hair and dirt falling out. If this would be a problem, wear a hat.
2. SUNGLASSES will save you! With all that dirt and dust flying, it’ll have to go somewhere. Hopefully not your eyes.
3. Earplugs. I hate it when my ears ring at night after a loud concert or being at a bar. No one will look at you funny. I recommend them. 100%.
4. Sweatshirt. Just because it’s 85° when you get to the track, doesn’t mean it’ll stay that way. When the cars are driving around, the breeze gets pretty chilly. Sweatshirt.
Race nights at Red River Valley Speedway are as follows:
- Sunday, JULY 17
NOSA Sprint Cars Presented by The Red River Valley Fair Association, Buffalo Wild Wings (plus: NLRA Late Models)
- Friday, JULY 22
Presented by M&J Auto Parts, All Finish Concrete
- Friday, AUGUST 12
Presented by Steffes Auctioneers, North Dakota Corn Growers Association
- Friday, AUGUST 19
Presented by Sanders Metal Products
- Friday, AUGUST 26
Presented by Gateway Chevrolet, O’Kelly’s, Biltmore Hotel & Suites
The Red River Valley Speedway does a great job updating their website, so check it out if you have questions or would like more information. Get out and enjoy the races! They’re fun, they’re family friendly (but also have a beer garden), and they’re a great way to spend a Friday night!
In addition to Red River Valley Speedway, there are a couple other tracks in the Fargo-Moorhead area that have auto races on a nearly weekly basis:
Buffalo River Race Park
Races nearly weekly (mostly Sundays) through September 18, 2016
Top End Dragways
Races nearly weekly (mostly Saturdays) through October 16, 2016