Opening night Saturday at new look Shelby County Speedway

HARLAN, Iowa (June 2, 2022) – First reviews are in and drivers turning laps during an open practice session raved about new-look Shelby County Speedway.

The historic dirt oval at Harlan was reconfigured this spring from a big 4/10’s to what promoter Doug Batz described as “a momentum third.” Banking was increased around the track, which remains some 80 feet wide. 

“We had 40-plus cars here for practice on a Sunday and everybody really seemed to like the track,” Batz reported. “We had some people who normally don’t race with us unless it was a special say they’re going to race with us weekly because they like smaller tracks.”

Performance Grading of Harlan, a company long associated with racing in general and Shelby County Speedway in particular, did the dirt work. 

“We had people here all the time watching them work on the track starting in April,” said Batz. “They started thinking the track wasn’t as small as they thought it would be. Now, nobody is complaining about the size.”

New lighting was installed in both sets of turns and down the backstretch, and the scales and tech area were moved to the outside of turns three and four. In addition, all of an expanded pit area will be north and west of the track.

Shelby County Speedway, like so many venues in the Midwest, got its start as a horse racing track.

A different type of horsepower took its place and six sanctioned divisions, the Friesen Performance IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sunoco Late Models, IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks, Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMods and Mach-1 IMCA Sport Compacts, will be on Speedway Motors Weekly Racing programs beginning this Saturday, June 4.

Newly-sanctioned Nebraska Modified Lites also make two visits to Harlan in 2022.