Here we go another season of the racing recap. Opening Night 2015 at I-35 Speedway was a huge success even after weather dictated a move from Saturday night to Sunday. Ninety six cars checked in to race on the 3/8 mile track. The track crew (Mike Johnson & Mike Knight) worked most of the day on Saturday to prepare the racing surface for the competitors. Due to moisture and cool temperatures from the mid-week rains, this was the earliest they could get on the track. The track was ultra-smooth and perfect for the horsepower pounding tire sliding of the 96 racecars.
The first feature event of the season was captured by the smooth driving 18 year old Allie Mulich in her number 90 E-Mod racing machine. Years ago I raced with her father and her uncle. Next race up was the last lap pass by Austin Johnson in his Grand National coming out of turn 2 and diving low to pull inside Hall of Famer Buz Kaster and take the win. Hobby stock driver Greg Gilbert from Osceola, Iowa took the opening night win in this nine car field of competitors. Greg’s front straight interview about I-35 Speedway was a highlight speech, he wanted the fans to know that he drives past another race track and comes to I-35 Speedway to race because of the great fans and the atmosphere. Truman Asher was king of the 27 B-Mods for opening night, while the stock car racing was fast and furious between the top 4 with Jeff Dixon taking the win over Thomas Roberts, Dean Wray, and John Boller. Finally some of the best A Modified drivers in the country took to the track with Matt Dodson taking the checkered over Terry Schultz and Dennis Elliott. Drivers were raving about how great the track was after the races.
Greg Gilbert’s testimony in his interview is because of the leadership from track owners Mike and Kyle Johnson. They work hard each week to ensure the track is smooth and fast, the facility is clean and mowed, the food is fresh and ready, and that a family atmosphere permeates the racing family in attendance. We all are tied to this sport because of our love for the sport. Of course they could not do it all themselves, it is a team from the officials, to the announcers, to the concession worker, to the ticket sellers, to the ticket takers, to the gate guard, to the funnel cake staff, to the Trackside Bar and Grill staff, to the Ambulance Staff, to the tow truck personnel, who make I-35 Speedway the great racing facility it has become. On You Tube this week the track was described as the Star of the North, what greater compliment can a track receive than unsolicited acknowledgement from a race fan.
From 100 racecars at practice day to the 95 racecars for the USMTS/USRA race, to the 96 cars for opening night to start the 2015 racing season, I-35 Speedway is off to a fantastic start. It has quickly become the track to be at if you want to see lots of racecars. For an opening night this was one of the smoothest in recent memory. Were there glitches, of course, but we will work hard to correct some of those and we want everyone to know, drivers, fans, pit crew members, and workers we value your presence and hope you always have a great time at the facility known for “Dirt Trackin at It’s Best”, I-35 Speedway.