Posted at: 05/23/2013 12:48 AM
By: Laura Kennedy
Proctor, Minn. - At this time last year, race cars were roaring around the Proctor Speedway track. Last week, tractors were the only machines navigating the clay oval.
"Now, potentially we're looking at pushing things back at least a week," says Proctor Speedway President Spike McDougall.
The snow is finally gone, but Proctor Speedway President Spike McDougall says this long Winter left behind a soggy mess for race tracks.
"It is a problem, not just with us but with tracks down south who usually have two or three weeks of racing, they haven't even opened yet, a lot of them. It just presents a lot of challenges," says McDougall.
"It is in rough shape, but it's coming around nice," says former racer J.J. Thompson.
Thompson is donating his time to help get the Proctor track back to being race ready.
"We're going to try to clean it up and make it look a lot better plus get the water where it's supposed to be, there's just tons of water sitting there with no place to go," says Thompson.
It is a process and certainly not an easy one.
"It is a lot like working with play dough. You gotta get it wet, mix it up, and pack it back down again to get the contour right and get it all set for racing," says Thompson.
Thompson knows firsthand how important a well groomed track is for drivers.
"It is a lot of money to go around in a circle. Guys don't wanna break their equipment," says Thompson.
McDougall is hoping to open the season on May 26th and drivers aren't the only ones itching for the first races of 2013.
"There's a pretty dedicated group of fans who come year after year. The last names stay the same, but the first names always change, it seems as you go through the years," says McDougall.
Thompson may be one of the first in line.
"Love to come and watch. Me and my dad have a seasonal in turn-4 there. It is a lot of fun," says Thompson.