Last updated: July 30. 2014 6:58PM - 470 Views
By - jstrickland@civitasmedia.com

Submitted PhotoA line of 360 Wingled Sprint Cars sit in the pits at Double-X Speedway before a race this season.
Submitted PhotoA line of 360 Wingled Sprint Cars sit in the pits at Double-X Speedway before a race this season.
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The 25th season of Double-X Speedway in California under the control of the Wirst and Hohman families will come to a close Sunday night.

The usual 360 Winged Sprints, Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks will take the track along with the 600cc Winged Micro Sprints.

Carol and Kyle Wirst have owned the speedway for 12 years and Carol’s parents, Fred and Ruth Hohman, ran the facility for 13 years.

Carol said when Fred bought the track it was renamed Double-X because that was Fred’s race car number.

For 25 years, Double-X has been home to Sunday Night Thunder.

“I think that spins from my dad,” Carol said. “Back in the day there were a lot of race tracks around and we raced every Sunday in Marshall. That track closed and other tracks raced Friday and Saturday and dad said let’s just race on Sunday.”

Carol says she enjoys watching races at other area tracks and plans to attend races in different states in the future.

“One thing we’ve learned for sure is that Double-X Speedway has the most phenomenal fan base,” Carol said. “They are the most passionate fans around. People from all around will say they’ve never seen anything like this because of the fans.”

Carol said she’s able to improve Double-X by attending other races.

“We see what they do,” she said. “What works for them, what’s bad. We see things on a Sunday in the pits and we only look up in the crowd, but to sit in the crowd and see what people are grumbling about and see what people really like, it helps to put things in perspective.”

This past weekend Double-X hosted Battle of the Badges, which were law enforcement officers racing for the Ronald McDonald House.

“I think those are primarily the retired (Ford) Crown Victoria’s,” Carol said. “Some of them had lights on them. It was neat because the ones with the lights were kind of in the middle of the pack and it looked like a real car chase. The fans just absolutely loved it.”

Each of the 13 drivers raised a minimum of $250 to enter the race.

“They give it all to charity, which is unreal because of the money that goes into those cars,” Carol said. “There were three cars on one trailer from St. Louis.”

Other drivers were from the Missouri Highway Patrol, St. Charles County, Cole County, Holts Summit, Missouri Department of Corrections, Stover, Jasper County, Versailles, Miller County and Morgan County.

“This is our first time doing it, but we think it was a worthy event and we’re hoping to put it on the schedule from here on,” Carol said.

Double-X also puts on a tribute race for Jesse Hockett, a driver who died in an electrical accident while working on a race car trailer in 2010.

The Race For Riley, Race for a Reason-Autism Awareness and the Clyde Wood Memorial are also special events at the track.

Events like those attracted fans every week and Carol said the numbers were the best they’ve had for a while.

“Attendance was up, car counts were up,” she said. “It seems like maybe a good trend in dirt track racing if it continues.”

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