Northwoods Adventure: Bemidji Speedway Dirt Track Racing
“It’s my favorite pastime, I go all over,” spectator Sonny Bock said.
“Sometimes the crashes, depending on how big, but as long as no one gets hurt,” said spectator Brianna Berg.
“I like coming here, watching my cousin race all the time; I love the loud cars, I’m planning on doing it,” said Drew Hazelton, a spectator at the Bemidji Speedway.
Every Sunday night at the Bemidji Speedway, over 60 drivers gear up to race. According to the National Speedway Directory, there have been over 700 dirt oval tracks in operation in the United States. The Bemidji Speedway has been open since the 1960s, and people have always been coming to the race.
“We really try to keep everything family-oriented and so like I said, we have a lot of families that come out to the race track every weekend. We’re just really proud of that,” said Tonja Stranger, Bemidji Speedway Track Owner.
The rainy weather earlier had set back the race two hours, but that didn’t stop over 500 spectators from coming to the Bemidji Speedway to watch their favorite racers race.
“We had about a 30-minute downpour we were just going to try and push it. This is really a big event for us. Like I said, we’re going to push it and get it in. We usually last for two and a half to three hours on a regular Sunday, but we’re going to try and push this in tonight because we got the best of the best,” Stranger said.
The Advantage RV Modified Tour came to Bemidji Speedway with drivers from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Canada. Stranger says the tour has the best modified drivers in the tri-state area.
Tim Jackson, a racer competing against drivers from the RV Advantage Modified Tour, says he enjoys racing with them. “They’re the best in the area. It seems like kind of the better guys you race against, the better you have to do for yourself.”
For some racers, they enjoy the comradery of the sport, the sound of the engine, and thrill of fast car racing.
“I don’t know, it’s a fun sport,” said Jeremy Nelson, driver 4 for the Advantage RV Modified Tour. “Once you’re in it, you’re stuck with it. You can’t really get out of it. It’s a lot of fun and the best drivers are definitely in dirt racing.”
“This is their passion, this is their sport, this is the only thing that they do all summer long,” Stranger said.