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Get Ready for 2017 - Texana Raceway Park re-opening


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Texana Raceway Park is pleased to announce that the track will re-open for the 2017 race season. Mr. Tony Blankenship will be the track operator for 2017 and he is already working to assemble a solid team to accomplish the work for track prep, etc. in advance of each race and he is also assembling the staff for race nights. It is fully recognized that there is work to be done this fall/winter and that work started on Tuesday, November 1st. We are overwhelmed with the outpouring of support and interest in Texana Raceway Park re-opening in 2017 based on the number of people who have responded to Tony as he has directly contacted many about his idea of opening the track. We've also been overwhelmed with the number of people offering to volunteer in various ways to get the facility ready.

 

Several important items to cover in this post. First, we recognize that there are two important customer bases when running a race track. That of course is the race teams and the fans. We believe it is critically important to recognize both and craft race nights that are appealing to both the race teams and fans. We want Texana Raceway Park to be a venue that the fans / families and racers want to come to with some special things built in for kids and adults alike.

 

No one is expecting to get rich running the track, but we will continually strive to end up in the black so that we consistently keep the show going forward. We believe that is a reasonable goal by working as a team with staff, but also recognizing racers as part of the team that is so important to putting on a show. As a racer for many years, Tony's focus will be to create an environment where racers want to come race each event, where racers can have some fun, and where racers end the night knowing they were treated fair, even if things didn't go exactly how they wanted. We are working on finalizing the planned purse for normal race nights and that will be posted by end of November. It will be a competitive purse with other tracks in Texas and better in some instances.

 

Classes / Rules:

It will be our goal to wrap up the show as close as possible to 10:30 p.m. each night. Thus, we will run four specific classes. We will be running Pure Stocks, Street Stocks, Mod Lites / Dwarf Cars, and Limited Mods. We also believe that by focusing on these four classes, it will provide the potential for growth and provide exciting racing for the fans. The specific rules will be written up and posted by end of November, but it will be a very easy set of rules to understand with no surprises. Pure Stocks will be running the rules that those drivers were accustomed to in the 2016 season at Shady Oaks. We believe that rules should not be changed every year causing teams to spend more money or make changes. If something is not broke, don't break it. This will allow racers from the south Texas area to race without making changes when they compete at Texana Raceway Park. We do not feel that adopting Factory Stock rules would be a wise decision for 2017 as we get our feet on the ground. Street Stocks will run the rules that the class was accustomed to in 2016 at Shady Oaks with the 53% rear weight rule. However, we will eliminate the use of 10" wheels and strictly focus on the smaller tires (any 8 inch asphalt pull off, Hoosier g60, American Racer KK704, and 15KK704). Again, we do not feel that Nesmith rules are where we should focus on for Street Stocks as we get our feet planted for 2017. We need to minimize costs to racers and there were good car counts in the region with the current rules. For Mod Lites / Dwarf Cars, we will consult with local representatives with the intent of running the 2016 rules which the class was accustomed to as well. Finally, for Limited Mods, we will use the rules that drivers in our region are accustomed to which are basically IMCA rules with a coupe of exceptions for headers, no requirement for IMCA stamped tires, etc... In short, if you raced one of these classes in 2016, you will be ready for 2017 with the exception of using the smaller wheels and tires in Street Stocks if you ran the larger ones in 2016.

 

Schedule:

We will post the full season schedule by end of November. For starters, we plan to have a practice on February 18th, March 18th and opening night on March 25th. We will basically follow a week on / week off schedule if you want to begin planning, but will post all of this by end of November.

 

How will success be achieved:

Success for a dirt track in this day and time is challenging, but it can be accomplished! There are many, many components for a track to be successful, and we want to note a very few of those. First, the track must offer an atmosphere where the customers (race teams and fans) feel appreciated and valued. We will do our very best each and every night to create this atmosphere. Second, we believe that a few special twists have to be added for the fans and we have several things in mind. Third, a show needs to be efficiently ran with minimal down time. This will be a very heavy focus for Texana Raceway Park in 2017 and we want both the race teams and fans to feel that things move fast, were exciting and the fans couldn't catch their breath from all of the exciting and competitive racing. Fourth, a decent purse needs to be provided for each class and that is being worked on now. Fifth, sponsors in various ways help to make a track successful. We will have opportunities for sign sponsors. We have several already with Precision Welding, Koehne's Welding, Martin Race Cars and Graphics, Mickey's Auto Service, Baysport Marine, Dennis Auto Service / DAS Racing, Titan Homes,and Rock Motors. We will be looking for more this winter, so please pass the word. Additionally, Titan Homes has stepped up for naming rights to the Street Stocks this season and the class will be known as "The Titan Homes Street Stock Division". We would love to have sponsors earning naming rights for each class. Sixth, and very importantly this day and time is to recognize social media as a valuable tool for attracting many to the track, including those who have never been, but equally importantly recognizing the danger that social media can pose in killing a track. We all want the track to be successful and it will be critically important for race teams to recognize the appropriate channels to discuss concerns and issues by working directly with Tony Blankenship or his designated representative(s) when issues arise. It is our desire to treat everyone fair. When things don't turn out how someone anticipated, and then broadcasting your discontentment in social media with spiteful words, it is an element that can rapidly kill a track. There are articles across the nation which provide proof of this. There is no one who will be getting rich from this operation and the simple hope is to provide a noteworth place to race, a noteworthy place for fans and to be a recognized venue in the area. So, if you have an issue, please think twice before posting negativity and address your issues directly with Tony or his designated representative(s). We want all race teams to be ambassadors of the sport and to help spread the work of the positive things about dirt track racing. If you are please with our operation, post away!

 

We will be reactivating the Texana Facebook page soon and we will replicate all general information announcements to Lonestar Speedzone and Facebook. We invite you to come to Texana Raceway Park in 2017. We will not have a lot of time in the next couple of months to constantly monitor Lonestar Speedzone or Facebook, so please be patient as we will review periodically and answer questions as we can.

 

Finally, thank you to Bruce Tesch for wanting to see the track re-opened and providing this opportunity to get it off the ground!!!!

 

Stay tuned and get 'em ready for 2017!

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awesome seems kinda of fitting I am watching Days of Thunder right now, LOL Very happy to know we'll have a track to race at without driving a long ways.

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Awesome job Mr Blankinship the Truck class got its start their at Texana is there anyway you could consider letting them run once a month. We are in the purestock class so it doesn't matter to me but at least consider it or maybe help them convert to street stock I know how it feels when they drop your class it happened to us in gokarts

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That's a good question Andy. The vast majority of the trucks in 2015 that ran at TRP were out of the DAS Racing stables. Most recently, there was one truck on a truck frame that raced at SOS in 2016 for the season, and one truck on a metric chassis that raced one race at SOS in 2016 near the end of the season. The truck on the metric chassis will be relatively easy to meet the TRP rules for 2017 with a few changes to it. The owner of the other truck on the truck frame that ran at SOS in 2016 has been intending to move into a car throughout this year. Beyond that, no other trucks ran this year in our area. We are talking with DAS Racing about the trucks that are parked as DAS has some ideas on doing some fun things with those at TRP this year, but not a specific class set up for them on the weekly schedule.

 

We will have the four classes that are working very well in the region and encourage everyone to come race in one of those four classes. We believe that focusing on these four classes will provide the potential for growth.

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Not sure what rules mod lites are running but you might take note that with current rules they cant even get decent car counts in houston. Yet dwarfs keep pretty good numbers alone at bg. My thoughts are well known but my mod lite cost as much as my modified so maybe that has something to do with it.

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Hey Shannon, we haven't talked about that series just yet. Want to first make sure we get a good platform established and make certain we are focusing heavily on the four classes that will run regularly. We are going to quickly talk with the scholarship decision-makers in relation to the Hudgeons Memorial Race as we definitely want to have that event in 2017 at TRP, where it all began.

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ASCS was always outstanding at TPS . Having said that it cost quite a bit to bring in those series.TRP might want to see how it goes before commiting to that. Who knows if they get the racers support and the support of we fans it could happen.For me if TRP had only one big event I would like it to be the Hudgeons Memorial.It is a great event.

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I think Tony and crew are going about it in a rational manner. 1st focus on getting things up and running with the most common and most raced classes. 2nd try and get the Hudgeons race set-up (always a big draw (fans and cars alike) mainly it supports a very worthy cause, aren't any better people than the Hudgeons family (on or off the track). ASCS and late models are awesome to watch, but you got to take baby steps, you could easily out spend yourself before you get started. Plant good seeds and it will grow.

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Exactly right. As much as I would love to see ASCS, STLMS, or even WoO events, there is a cost risk. Even USMTS can be a pricey option. I know the track would love to put on a "big show" but as Cooter said, could over spend from the beginning. Hudgeon's Memorial will draw, the others probably will but who knows the business side of that deal and they've already said a lot of work needs to happen just to get things ready. Focusing on the locals will set that base up and if crowds are good for a year or two then maybe they'll have money to spend on special event races beyond the Hudgeon's race. Hope TRP does well, we loved coming up when we could. Good luck Tony and crew. I know some of the STS E Mod drivers are interested but we shall see.

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