Lincoln Park Speedway ready for new season

Monday, April 3, 2006

With the spring season upon us, things are going to be a little noisier in Putnamville.

The Lincoln Park Speedway conducted a small gathering at the Greencastle Wal-Mart on Saturday to let the public know that the spring season has arrived.

"This was mainly to get people out to meet the drivers and let them know that Lincoln Park Speedway is around," Roger Hughes, the track announcer and head of marketing said. "The is our 2006 Putnam Preview and we wanted to get some fans out here to see some of the cars and to hand out some schedules for the season."

Saturday's weather was a little cooler than expected, but that didn't keep the drivers or the fans away from the Wal-Mart parking lot.

"I think that this is good for the sponsors and it let people know about the racers and the race track," Lisa Leonard, who's the wife of Kurt Leonard one the races at Lincoln Park, said when asked what she thought of the event.

With the new season starting in two weeks, people will notice a few changes in at LPS. Hughes said this year the track is going to do something different this year, something it has never done before.

"We will have something a little special every race night for the fans," he said. "It takes money to get people out and into the seats and you have to have gimmicks every now and then, and that is why we are doing these special things."

One of the gimmicks that Hughes would like to do this year is get a school bus from each school and have them race each other.

"That would be something different and the kids could sell tickets for the event and help raise money for what ever they needed and they could go and paint the buses too. Maybe we would get a student or a coach to race the bus," Hughes said.

The school bus idea is just one of the ideas that Hughes has to get the community involved with the speedway this year. He also wants to make the race-park more family friendly.

"Excluding the die-hard race fan, it takes more to get people into the seat. People like to be entertained," Hughes said. "That's why were are going have salutes to Greencastle, Brazil and Cloverdale nights where people from that area get admitted at a discounted price."

Hughes also mentioned the track has increased the number of bus races this year and for the first time will conduct a demolition derby.

Hughes also mentioned that he would like to be able to get the mayors and town councils member's from the surrounding towns involved along with nonprofit groups and any younger age group that needs help promoting something.

Along with getting the community involved with the race track, Hughes will be getting the drivers involved with the community. Through out the season there will different autograph stations set up before the race by the gates, so fans can meet the drivers and get some autographs before practice.

When fans go out and watch the races this season, they will notice few things different at track this season.

"We hauled 500 tri-axle loads of dirt into the track and spread it out between turns one and turn and we also paved all the roads inside the track," Hughes said.

Hughes, who used to promote for the rack back in the '70s is now the announcer for the speedway and does the promotions on the side.

"We're really trying to get the track back to the way it was several years ago and it is the best 10 dollar deal in town.

The track opens Saturday with an open practice session, while the season will officially start April 15 with the Super Stock Sprint 30 featuring Modify's, Bombers and Modify Lites.

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