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Update: Estevan Motor Speedway calls off opening weekend races

The track’s 2022 season opener is slated for May 13 and 14 – one of several doubleheaders on the docket for this year.
Speedway 3
The Estevan Motor Speedway will open its season on May 13.

ESTEVAN - The Estevan Motor Speedway has been forced to call off its season-opening programs, which were scheduled for May 13 and 14.

“It is with extreme impatience that we must cancel the races this weekend. Mother Nature has been hammering us with one blow after another, as I’m sure our farmer friends know all too well,” the speedway said in a Facebook post Wednesday night.

“As it stands, the track is too wet, and tomorrow we are supposed to get another wave of showers. We apologize for the short notice, and stand with you in hoping the sun dries the track soon.”

The track asks people to watch for an upcoming practice day and another track clean-up day.

Weather has caused problems for the track already this season. It was supposed to have a spring endure on May 7, but that event was pushed back to May 21 due to weather challenges this spring. The endure race has since been cancelled due to a lack of registrations.

The speedway’s next scheduled program is June 3 and 4. A points night is on for June 17 – the only regular program of the season that isn’t a doubleheader. 

Further races are July 1 and 2, July 22 and 23, Aug. 12 and 13, and Aug. 26 and 27.

A fall race is slated for Sept. 10 and the year-end fall enduro is on for Sept. 17.

This marks the third straight year the speedway has leaned on doubleheaders for their schedule. 

“When we were making the schedule back in January, we just weren’t confident that the border was going to be open without restrictions, which hurts our U.S. car count,” said Pierson. “But we’ve had such good support from our Manitoba drivers and from other tracks in Saskatchewan and Alberta, that we thought it was best to stay with these doubleheaders, for the people that are travelling long distances.”

A couple of drivers out of Red Deer, Alta., have committed to race most of the season. Drivers from across Saskatchewan want to race here more regularly, Pierson said, and the schedule makes it easier for them to come here.

They hope to also see some American drivers now that border restrictions have eased.

“We have been notified that we are going to get a few of them here on a consistent basis, but we’re just not exactly sure how many are going to make it because of the vaccination status,” said Pierson.

Fans can look forward to each program boasting the IMCA modifieds, sport modifieds, stock cars and hobby stocks, along with the slingshots developmental class. The Manitoba contingent has provided a boost to modifieds and sport mods.

One of the highlights of the season, the late model program, is scheduled for Aug. 12 and 13. There will be a kids’ night, and Pierson noted last year’s kids’ night was the best they have ever had.

“We opened up the pits ahead of the race, and it just made you so excited to see the kids and families before the race, how well the drivers treated them, opened up to entertain them and show them around their cars and their haulers.”

It was probably Pierson’s favourite event of the summer.

The Dakota Classic Modified Tour does not appear on this year’s schedule, due to the uncertainty associated with the Canada-U.S. border.

There is also a monster trucks program for July 30 and 31 that Pierson believes will be huge for the community. He said there will be some “high-end” monster trucks and some supporting attractions.

Monster trucks last appeared in 2015. There will also be a ride truck in which people can pay and get a ride in a vehicle.

“I think we’re just really excited, for the first time in two years, is we don’t have [crowd] restrictions. We went through a year and a half of only being to have 150 people in the stands,” said Pierson.

During the past two years, people have realized what a strong form of entertainment can be found at the track.

Pierson noted the track has been approached by a couple of new people to Estevan, one being a videographer and another being a social media person, which he believes should result in improvements for the track’s promotional efforts.