The Missouri State Fair will once again have racing this year as the ASCS Sprint Car Series will circle the track. Drivers got a chance to take practice laps on Monday, hitting the track in front of the State Fair Grandstand for the first time since 2012.
Fans were invited to the practice which was free of charge. Sedalia resident Joe Funk heard the roar of the engines and decided to check it out. He is happy to see racing back at the State Fair.
“For one thing, it brings a lot more people to Sedalia,” he said. “I like racing so I was glad to see them bring it back.”
Just getting to the practice laps required 100 hours of track prep since just before Fourth of July. Race organizer Gerry Olson said a lot of the work involved the dirt on the track as they had to “move it from the left to the right, for whatever reason it got shoved over to one side. We’re still a little bit short, but we’re close.”
Ten cars practiced on Monday on a track Olson called “as smooth as it’s ever been.”
“We didn’t want to overdo water so we did just what we had to do,” he said. “The drivers to a man were really impreessed with how nice it was.”
From now until the green flag flies on Aug. 23, organizers will sit down and figure out a game plan to keep it that way but Olson said they are close.
“We just need to fine-tune it,” he said. “We want to get more moisture into the surface and that’s achievable. We were on the side of caution (Monday).”
Olson said the work required to keep the track in racing shape to prepare for more events in the future will not be as great as it was to get it back into shape after three years of no racing.
“We’ve got all that behind us now,” he said. “Now it’s just refining what we have to make it better. We just have to move a little more dirt to get it where we want it.”
Eric Ingles can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @Eric_Ingles