GRAND RAPIDS — Dondelinger Ford Grand Rapids Speedway is going big in 2020.
In addition to Sprint and WISSOTA Late Model competition on a faster race track, the 3/8-mile clay banked oval on Aug. 6 hosts semi-truck races.
“Bob Broking (president of Broking Transport) and (race driver) Butch Butcher will be racing,” said Ryan Aho, Dondelinger Ford Grand Rapids Speedway marketing director. “So that should be something to watch. It should be entertaining.”
Regular racing for the season begins at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, July 9.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, grandstand capacity will be limited to 675, said Aho.
Differing wristbands will be issued to spectators for each of the speedway's three seating sections, he said.
“We want to maintain social distancing,” said Aho. “And fan interaction with drivers in the pits will be on hold for now. COVID-19 is real for the drivers, the officials and the fans. Racing is one big family and regardless of our opinions, we want to be safe.”
Non-winged Northern Renegades Sprint cars, Modifieds, Midwest Modifieds, Super Stocks, Pure Stocks and Hornets, take the track July 9. Late Models will replace Sprint cars on July 16.
An Enduro is scheduled at 7 p.m., Friday, July 10.
Additional clay has been added to turns three and four, said Aho.
“Last year, turns three and four were re-shaped to make it better up high,” said Aho. “With the new clay added this year, it will be even faster.”
A World of Outlaws Late Model show scheduled for July 16 is canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“We had a lot of things lined up to make it special for the community,” said Aho. “So, if we couldn't do it the way we wanted, we have to put it on hold until next year.”
However, Aho predicts a great season.
“We're excited and we think the track is going to continue to grow,” said Aho. “Just from a drivers' perspective there was a lot of buzz about the Dondelinger Ford Grand Rapids Speedway last year. Drivers like Steve Laursen said “Wow, this is one of the best drivers' tracks around'.”