AZTEC, N.M. – Six hundred-plus days of waiting to race ended for drivers and fans at Aztec Speedway on June 11.
After hosting its final IMCA races on Aug. 10 and last event of the season in September of 2019, the New Mexico speedplant was shuttered by the Covid-19 pandemic and its accompanying health and social guidelines for all of 2020.
Hoping to get the green flag from the governor’s office, promoter Mike Tenski and his crew started getting the 3/8-mile clay oval race ready this May. After receiving the go-ahead from Santa Fe, they put quick final touches on the track surface, bleachers, restrooms and concession stands over nine days leading up to the re-opening weekend.
“While we were getting ready, we held our breath hoping everything would go right. Afterwards, there was a big sigh of relief. Everything went well,” Tenski reported. “Things went off without a hitch. We were happy.”
Jason Josselyn and Jeremy Bradley were IMCA Sunoco Stock Car winners. Joey Klemish won Friday and Saturday features for Karl Kustoms Northern SportMods and Waylon Hale swept the weekend’s Mach-1 Sport Compact main events.
“The response from drivers and fans was pure positive. I don’t think I’ve had a race before where the response was 100 percent positive like that,” said Tenski. “The track was good and the racing was good, three-wide all the way around.”
And while many other employers have struggled to retain or find new workers, that wasn’t the case at Aztec.
“We’re glad to be back open. All our employees came back. All our volunteers came back, too,” Tenski said. “That’s die-hard racing.”
IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks join the Stocks, Northern SportMods and Sport Compacts on June 25 and 26 cards at Aztec.
All four IMCA divisions run July 9 and 10, July 30 and 31, Aug. 20 and 21, and Sept. 3 and 4.