Last weekend I visited the Tucson Speedway, formally known as Tucson Raceway Park and linked up with Keith Ames and John Lashley, 2 members of the new track management as they bought some HUGE prints from me that I took at TRP back in 2006 to hang in the VIP lounge. The Rusty Wallace Racing Experience was there with a few cars and I got my first look at all the hard work poured into that place… WOW… I was blown away at how great everything looked. The Rusty Wallace Racing Experience was in town for their drivers instruction class and some ride alongs but it also gave a few of the local drivers and instructors a chance to give track management some direct feedback on the repairs they have made to the racing surface. Everyone was happy with how things felt and started to get some positive feedback that the new track management is serious about their intentions of reviving asphalt racing to the Tucson area.
The new Management that took over the lease at the Pima County Fairgrounds has been working their tails off getting the track repaired, safe and race ready for the season opener 6 April 2013. The name of the track has changed, going from Tucson Raceway Park to the newly branded Tucson Speedway. Track Management (S.T.A.R.T) and the governing board felt it was best to rename the venue and get a fresh start, too many bad feelings with the old name.
Work has begun on the facility itself as they have replaced all the boards on the bleachers that are over 20 years old, they are primed and painted ready for fans to enjoy themselves safely. They saw cut out all of the cracks on the racing surface, repaired the gapping cracks and holes and resealed the whole racing surface. Remodeling to the tower areas, the VIP area, the grandstands, the restrooms, the concession areas, beer well and the office area continues but just about wrapped up. Repairs and upgrades to the Tire and Fuel Barn, the Tech Shed and to the Back Gate Registration Office are ongoing as well.
3 Members of the Management team recently the RPM Promoters Workshop in Reno, Nevada where they learned as well as exchanged ideas with other promoters, met with vendors to discuss products and services for Tucson Speedway. One clear message that was heard is that the track had is not in the business to sell racing, but rather selling entertainment to the entire family. This message has now been reinforced in their thoughts and plans at the NEW Tucson Speedway. Another they learned was that racetracks have to attract the next generation of fans and racers. As the “baby boomers” that currently own, manage and operate race facilities fade away, very little is being done to recruit younger fans and racers. They have listened and are rethinking some of their marketing efforts and activities to attract new fans.
You’ll be seeing more of Butterfield Photography at the new Tucson Speedway as we have been asked to come out and shoot as often as we can. So Blog posts will be more and more frequent as I have images and information to share.
Here are some dates to mark on your calendar leading up to opening night…… SEE YOU THERE!
|Feb 23, 2013||Tech & Practice||All Classes|
|March 2, 2013||Tech & Practice||All Classes|
|March 9, 2013||Tech & Practice||All Classes|
|March 16, 2013||Tech & Practice||All Classes|
|March 23, 2013||Tech & Practice||All Classes|
|March 30, 2013||Tech & Practice||All Classes|
|April 5, 2013||Practice||All Classes|
|April 6, 2013||Racing||** Opening Night **|
Robert Butterfield, Butterfield Photography – Sierra Vista, Arizona