The fourth annual Great Lakes Border Battle is 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday at Gondik Law Speedway in Superior.
With other tracks still on hold due to coronavirus restrictions, the event will feature three full days of racing for the first time. Six classes will race, with Modifieds being the top draw, racing for $1,500 to win Thursday, $2,000 to win Friday and $2,500 to win Saturday.
They will be joined by Super Stocks ($1,000 to win each day), Midwest Modifieds ($1,000), Mod-Fours ($500), Pure Stocks ($250) and Hornets ($150). Due to a scheduling conflict, the powerful Late Models were scratched from the lineup, with Mod-Fours added to fill out the schedule.
According to track officials, the only times the Mod-Fours have been in Superior is 2001 and 2002.
“They’re like a small Modified, with a four-cylinder engine in it,” said speedway promoter Joe Stariha. “They’re open wheeled.”
Ticket prices for 16-and-over are $20 for Thursday and Friday and $25 for Saturday. Children 10-15 are $10 and under 10 are admitted free. Saturday’s racing will take a short break so fans can watch the nearby fireworks display.
Grand Rapids set to resume
Hibbing Raceway had its season opener this past Saturday while Grand Rapids Speedway is scheduled to open Thursday, July 9.
Minnesota outdoor entertainment is currently limited to 250 people due to efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus, but Ryan Aho, marketing director for the track, said it's 250 per area.
“We worked with the county, and we actually have three areas,” said Aho, a Chisholm native and former racer who lives in Poplar Grove, Ill., about 10 minutes from Rockford. “We have sections on each side and we have a section in the middle, and we have to have them partitioned.”
In order to comply with safety regulations, the track will have two concessions and separate bathrooms for each area.
Since Grand Rapids’ grandstands aren’t quite big enough, capacity will be 675, not 750. Aho, a 27-year racing veteran who hosts a weekly racing show on Facebook, said 675 is fine for most shows, but the World of Outlaws Late Model special had to be canceled.
“That event requires about 1,700 or 1,800 people just to break even, so that event just could not happen this year,” Aho said. “We have to maintain social distancing, and people can’t go from one area to the next. You won’t see people going down to the pits, or people in the pits going up to the stands. Once you’re in your area, you’re in your area.
“It’s a weird year, let’s just put it that way. There are so many things we wanted to do there that we can’t but we’re going to be able to get back to racing anyway.”