Shawano Speedway to host open house

Racing set to kick off April 13, featuring Dirt Kings Late Model Tour
By: 
Kevin Passon
Editor-in-chief

Want to meet your favorite driver, get an up-close look at a stock car or learn more about racing in general?

Those opportunities and more will be offered at the Shawano Speedway Fan Fest, scheduled for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 6. The open house will be held at the Crawford Center; however, if Mother Nature is agreeable with some warm weather, cars may be on display at the fairgrounds along East Green Bay Street.

“It’s a chance for drivers to show off their new wraps, new colors and new sponsors,” said Bob Schmidt, one of the organizers. “We’ll have drivers from Shawano and all over.”

Several hundred people attended last year’s Fan Fest, and Schmidt expects a similar crowd this year, as long as the weather is good.

“It’s hard to say exactly how many people were there,” he said. “People come, people go. They’re not there the entire time.”

Again, if weather permits, drivers will conduct a practice session at the track following the Fan Fest and running until sunset.

During the season, there are five divisions racing each Saturday night at the Shawano County Fairgrounds.

“We usually pull in 100-110 cars each night from all around the state,” Schmidt said.

The 2024 race season is set to begin April 13 and will feature the Dirt Kings Late Model Tour.

Weather permitting, races are held on the half-mile oval every Saturday night through Aug. 31.

Several special events are planned, including Teacher Appreciation Night on May 18, Hall of Fame Night on June 8, Retro Night on July 20 amd a corn roast on Aug. 17.

Hot laps begin at 5:30 p.m., and all regular programs start at 6 p.m. The pit gate opens at 3 p.m., and the ticket office opens at 4 p.m.

Admission is $12 for those 17 and older, $6 for those 12-16 and free for those 11 and younger with a paid adult.

Pit passes are $30 for those 12 and older and $10 for those 11 and younger.

Half season and full season pit passes and grandstand passes are also available.

The track regularly features late models, IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Modifieds, IMCA stock cars and 4-cylinders.

A brief description of each class, according to the Shawano Speedway website, follows.

Mighty 4s: This class is made up of 4-cylinder front wheel drive cars. It’s designed as a fun, economical class for anyone who has the urge to run on the dirt.

Shawano IMCA Sport Modifieds: This division is an affordable open wheel division designed to help drivers get behind the wheel with minimum expense. Sport mods have a crate engine program. These cars are nationally sanctioned by IMCA and race on tracks throughout the U.S.

Shawano IMCA Modifieds: The IMCA Modified Division is nationally sanctioned. It is an open wheel class that competes throughout the state, producing large fields of cars in Shawano. The minimum wheelbase on these cars is 108 inches, and cars may not have wings or spoilers.

Shawano Late Models: These are full-bodied late model race cars. Rules have been crafted to allow cars from several sanctions to compete together at Shawano Speedway. These cars are the fastest division at the speedway.

Shawano IMCA Stock Car: The IMCA Stock Car Division is designed as an affordable division. These cars are nationally sanctioned by IMCA and race on tracks throughout the U.S. The division allows for minor modifications to the chassis and engines.

Visit www.shawanospeedway.net for more information.

kpasson@newmedia-wi.com