Hayden Speedway ready for racing | CraigDailyPress.com

Hayden Speedway ready for racing

Ben Bulkeley

Hayden Speedway 2009 race schedule

URSS Sprint Cars: May 30

Street Stock Showdown: June 13

Dwarf Cars: June 27

Super Street show: July 11

Regular show: July 25

URSS Sprint show: August 1

Regular show: August 15

URSS Sprint cars: September 5

19th Harvest Cup: September 19

With the rumble of powerful engines and the cheer of the crowd, racing returns May 30 to Northwest Colorado. And Floyd Gutierrez, club president for the Hayden Speedway, is ready for the rumble when the drivers hit the dirt for the first time this year.

“Most drivers can’t wait to start,” he said. “Some would race year round if they could.”

The Hayden Speedway will welcome back drivers this month to the quarter-mile long dirt track for the 33rd year.

The season will start with the first of three United Rebel Sprint Series races and continue through mid-September.

Part of the excitement comes from seeing new drivers race around the track, Gutierrez said.

“I think it does add to the excitement,” Gutierrez said. “I think last year’s track champions have some competition this year. Several guys have built new cars. It ought to be pretty exciting.”

Last year, a pair of 14-year-old drivers, Isadora Hitz and Matthew Montague, impressed spectators with their racing skills.

Fans will have a chance to see their favorite drivers return.

“I don’t think anybody has dropped out for this year,” Gutierrez said. “Just about everybody is coming back.”

Gutierrez, who has been involved with the track for more than 30 years, said he has seen a lot of changes.

“It’s all improved – the track itself has been improved, it’s a lot faster and it was made bigger,” he said. “The cars are a lot faster now, too.”

For Gutierrez, the excitement comes after the races.

“I like to see who the track champions are,” he said.

Last year, track champions included Mickey O’Connor in the sport stock class, Troy Kurth in the super street class, Jim Frazier in the street stock class, Chance Harms in the modified class, and Floyd Gutierrez’s son, Ernie, in the limited late model class.

The drivers come from all over the Western Slope, Gutierrez said. Drivers from Maybell, Grand Junction, Rangely, Hot Sulphur Springs and local drivers from Craig and Steamboat Springs all compete on the dirt. Gutierrez said he wants more drivers from Grand Junction to make the drive to Hayden to race.

“I’m hoping they will come over,” he said. “And I know they will bring race fans with them.”

One change Gutierrez would like to see this summer is the amount of interaction between fans and drivers.

“We want to see more fans come down to the pits after the races and meet the drivers,” he said. “We had a lot of that last year, and I know the drivers really enjoyed it.

“It’s a chance to give out autographs – not just for the kids, but for the race fans, as well.”

Races begin at 7 p.m. at the track, 37900 County Road 53. The cost $8 is for adults. The cost for children this season was not yet known.

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