A return to our normal way of life still seems miles away, but we are starting to see some sports-related slivers of light at the end of the tunnel. At the national level, entities such as the PGA Tour and NASCAR have already unveiled plans to restart their seasons, while the NBA, NHL and MLB continue to discuss what the best course of action is for their respective leagues.
Locally, auto racing has already been in the headlines.
Park Jefferson International Speedway in North Sioux City, SD, drew national attention at the end of April for being the one of the first facilities in the country to host a live sporting event in nearly two months.
.@ParkJeffersonSD just played host to one of the first live sporting events our country has seen in nearly 2 months.@ElsenMidcoSN caught up w/ promoter @TerryMccarl24 to find out how he's feeling about #OpenWheelNationals now that the dust has settled.#MidcoSN | @Speedshifttv pic.twitter.com/wHb9lbcUPE— Midco Sports Network (@MidcoSN) April 28, 2020
Other tracks are getting ready to follow suit in our region, with most tentatively slated to drop the green flag on their own seasons over the next few weeks.
|South Dakota||Season Opener|
|Black Hills Speedway (Rapid City)||May 3|
|Brown County Speedway (Aberdeen)||May 22|
|Casino Speedway (Watertown)||May 10|
|I-90 Speedway (Hartford)||May 16|
|Miller Central Speedway (Miller)||May 9|
|Park Jefferson (North Sioux City)||May 8|
|Raceway Park (North Sioux City)||April 26|
|Wagner Speedway (Wagner)||June 12|
|North Dakota||Season Opener|
|Dacotah Speedway (Mandan)||May 15|
|Devils Lake Speedway (Crary)||May 9|
|Jamestown Speedway (Jamestown)||May 16|
|Red River Valley Speedway (West Fargo)||May 22|
|River Cities Speedway (Grand Forks)||May 22|
|Jackson Motorplex (Jackson)||May 15-16|
|Murray County Speedway (Slayton)||May 15|
|Norman County Raceway||May 28|
|Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville)||May 30|
|Rapid Speedway (Rock Rapids)||May 15|
Again, most of these dates are subject to change and depend largely on the fluid guidelines that are being set by the governors of the individual states.
As far as fans are concerned, some tracks are planning to allow fans to attend the races but will be requiring masks.
Jackson Motorplex, on the other hand, will be following the Open Wheel Nationals/Park Jefferson method for their season opener on May 15-16. The Great Lakes Shootout, which is pending final approval from Minnesota Gov.Tim Walz, will be pay-per-view only event available exclusively on Speed Shift TV.
The Return of Midco Motorsports
While there was definitely some uncertainty over the past couple of months, we have now confidently began planning for our eighth season of Midco Motorsports.
The response to this show has been tremendous and seems to get better every year. I can tell you that we sincerely appreciate the support of the entire racing community. Your passion for this sport always shines brightly, which makes the efforts of our staff extremely rewarding.
Not a lot has changed in terms of what you will see. There will be feature stories, sit down interviews and, of course, lots of highlights from a number of tracks around the region.
I will continue my run as host for the show, but there will be significant contributions from a number of my MidcoSN teammates as well.
A couple of individuals that deserve specific attention are Brian Shawn and Levi VanderWeide.
Shawn has been heavily involved with the program for the past few years and will continue to be very visible in 2020. A couple of his biggest assignments will include play-by-play duties for our televised event at River Cities Speedway on June 19, as well as his in-depth coverage of the 60th Annual Knoxville Nationals in August.
Meanwhile, VanderWeide is taking on the new role as the show’s producer this summer, after spending the last couple seasons helping in a number of other ways. He’ll be balancing his new responsibilities with his own racing endeavors as the driver of the Midco Motorsports No. 8 hobby stock which will be making regular appearances at tracks in both Iowa and South Dakota.
Together, we look forward to another summer of bringing you the most extensive coverage of local racing in the region. Be sure to check us out Wednesday nights at 6:30 p.m., beginning with our season premiere on June 10.