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Speedway ready for season opener on May 5

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The Estevan Motor Speedway will have another packed schedule in 2012, and most of this year's races will be on weekends.

The season opener will be on Saturday, May 5. It will be the first of nine race programs over the next three-and-a-half months, culminating with the season championship on August 25 for the track's three IMCA classes: the modifieds, stock cars and hobby stocks. Seven events will be regular programs; two will be special events.

The McComb Automotive Fast 40 will take place on Saturday, May 26. It will feature a $3,000 payout to the winner.

“We've invited all the drivers who participated last year,” said track marketing manager Tracy Lewis-Miller. “Jay Noteboom has said he will come. A couple other guys have said they are coming.”

The Dakota Classic Modified Tour will make its annual visit on Tuesday, July 10. The mod tour is typically one of the top-drawing events of the year for the speedway.

A few other special events are in the works, but haven't been confirmed and can't be announced.

The late models, which are another top draw each year, won't be coming in 2012.

"They have a full schedule, and they have decided not to travel," said Lewis-Miller.

This year marks a return to weekend racing. Last year the majority of the races were held on Wednesday nights. Lewis-Miller said the decision to race mostly on weekends was a great one.

The speedway is also making a greater emphasis on two elements: family and technology. They have started a new Kids Club, which provides children with such benefits as a bag, food discounts, treats, and the opportunity to participate in intermission games.

"We're trying to really focus on the family and the children and bringing everybody out for a fun night," said Lewis-Miller.  

Their annual Kids Night will be June 29. There'll be an inflatable playground that night, as well as at the season opener on May 5 and the championship night on August 25.

Live results will be streamed on the track's website this year. They have automated a lot of their services, including lap counting and the pit gate.

“We have a new leaderboard this year,” said Lewis-Miller. “We're going to have mobile line-ups … that the drivers can get on their smartphones, so that they don't have to go to the white board, and it cuts down on the traffic in the pits.”

The track's VIP booths are finished, and will be in use this year, she said. Use of the booths was auctioned off during last year's awards banquet.

Lewis-Miller said the season opener is being billed as a "Pack the Track in Pink" night in an effort to combat bullying. Rider Pride Night will be Rider Pride Night. May 26 will be an opportunity for Relay for Life teams to fundraise. And the August 10 program will be a mascot night.

The season-ending Enduro race will be on Sunday, September 23.

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