New promoter finds ‘hidden gem’ in 34 Raceway

WEST BURLINGTON, Iowa –Bradley Stevens will be in charge of weekly programs at a track he likens to “a hidden gem.”

Stevens has purchased 34 Raceway from Jeff and Amy Laue. IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods and newly-sanctioned Mach-1 Sport Compacts run Saturday nights at the Southeast Iowa speedplant.

The IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing point season begins April 7 and continues through Sept. 29 at the 3/8-mile dirt oval.

“This track ranks right up there with the best tracks in the Midwest. It’s a hidden gem – there are still people who don’t realize what we’ve got here,” said Stevens, whose purchase of the track began with a casual conversation with the Laues and was encouraged by significant other Jessi Mynatt. “We’re just going to tweak some things.”

“We’re going to do everything we can to get families to the track,” he emphasized. “We’re going to be real keen on prices with a family pack deal and we’ll run four classes every week and two others every other week. We won’t have an intermission unless we absolutely need one so we can run a smooth show and get everybody home at a decent time.”

Modifieds, Stock Cars, Northern SportMods and non-sanctioned 305 sprint cars are on weekly programs at 34. Sport Compacts and mod-lites will alternate Saturdays while a local truck class follows a limited schedule, usually in conjunction with special events.

34 has sanctioned the Modified and Stock Car divisions with IMCA since 2006, the Northern SportMods since 2011. Features paying $1,000 to win for each IMCA division will be scheduled, with the Modified race a qualifying event for the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot.

“It was important for me to sanction with an organization with a good set of rules that were right there in black and white,” Stevens said. “What really sold me on IMCA is that they are well-run and well-organized. Everyone there is very professional and that made the transition very easy for me.”

Stevens raced a go-kart before crewing for different Late Models drivers, the first of them being friend Brenton Slocum, and had promoted the annual special event held in Slocum’s memory since its inception.

He founded the Brent Slocum Foundation, which has awarded some $50,000 in scholarships to area high school graduates.

Touring IMCA Late Models are at West Burlington for the 50th time in Deery Brothers Summer Series history on July 3. Fireworks will follow the pre-holiday show.

“Deery Brothers has done so much for this series. It’s a fantastic series and it’s been around forever. Series like this don’t stick around if they’re not good,” Stevens said. “It means a lot to us that 34 Raceway has held more series races than any other track.”

34 will also partner with the Slocum Foundation in the Aug. 4 High 5 For Kids Night.

“Getting more kids interested in racing will help the sport grow,” explained Stevens. “We want them to be able to come over and meet the drivers, sit in John Oliver’s car, talk to Bill Roberts and have their picture taken with Dennis LaVeine.”

Fans will get their first look at 2018 rides during the indoor car show at Deery Brothers in West Burlington from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. on March 18. An open practice will be held March 24.

Modified points earned at 34 figure in IMCA’s Side Biter Chassis North Central Region, Stock Car points in the EQ Cylinder Heads Northern Region.