TOPEKA, Kan. – The green flag flies again this season at Heartland Park, with four IMCA sanctioned divisions running Sunday nights on the 3/8-mile dirt oval located on the south side of Topeka.
Now owned by Chris Payne, the facility will be promoted by brothers Larry and John Lowrey. Weekly race programs will feature Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods and IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks.
“We have a lot of drivers in all these divisions in the area,” Larry Lowrey said. “Our decision to sanction the Modifieds speaks for itself. They’re the class everyone wants to see and we’ve got a lot of the best Modified drivers around this area.”
Track officials are putting the finishing touches on the 2016 schedule at Heartland Park, which also includes events on the ¼-mile asphalt drag strip and 2.5-mile asphalt road course.
Tentative opening night on the dirt track is April 24. The IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing point season would continue into September.
The Lowreys had promoted Heartland Park in 2006.
“We had a lot of success operating this track. I’ve worked at Thunder Hill Speedway in Mayetta as announcer and run the website In The Pits. My brother and I have taken notes from all the tracks we’ve been to over the years,” said Lowrey. “We’ve been carrying that notebook around since 2001 and we’ve learned a lot from other promoters. We’ve compared IMCA’s rule package and affordability to outlaw tracks and we like their philosophy.”
A single event was held at the Heartland Park oval last season. Work to get the surface race-ready will start as soon as weather allows this spring.
“We will get the track into race shape. The surface is good now, but we’ll assess it again before deciding how much we have to do,” Lowrey explained. “We’re going to work at getting more drivers back into racing IMCA or coming back into the sport.”
“We have a goal to bring in the hard core fan and new race fans. You can go to other tracks that charge $12 for admission and a family of four has spent almost $50 just to get into the stands. Our adult admission is going to be $8,” he continued. “We want to bring in a whole new generation of race fan.”
Lowrey anticipates sharing drivers with another new northeast Kansas venue, Atchison County Raceway, as well as Thunder Hill.
Atchison County sanctions its Modifieds and Stock Cars with IMCA beginning this season. The Modifieds, Stocks, Hobbies and Northern SportMods return to Saturday shows at Mayetta.
Local points earned at all three tracks will apply in IMCA’s Jet Racing Central Region for Modifieds and in the EQ Cylinder Heads Northern Region for Stock Cars. ThunderHill and Heartland Park are both part of the Big Daddy Race Cars Northern Region for Hobby Stocks.