The Estevan Motor Speedway (EMS) is going to have a busy year in 2014, as they have 15 events on this year's schedule, and they will be crowning a track champion in a fourth division: the Wissota late models.
The first program of the year will be on Saturday, May 3, with a special 3 p.m. start time. Late models will be on the program, along with the EMS's three IMCA divisions: the hobby stocks, stock cars and modifieds.
“Last year we had our season opener in the afternoon, and it seemed to draw quite a large crowd,” said EMS marketing and promotions manager Tracy Lewis-Miller. “People like that. With the weather the way it is in the spring … that's why we're going to do the afternoon race. Temperatures should be warmer.”
Regular programs will be on May 17 and 31, June 28, July 5 and 19, and August 9 and 22.
The May 17 event will be a Rider Pride night. Not only will EMS regular and Saskatchewan Roughrider offensive lineman Brendon LaBatte be racing, but some of Labatte's Rider teammates will be in his pit crew.
The August 22 program will be the track championship night.
The Wissota Late Models will race four more times after the season opener, while the three IMCA classes will be on the program each night.
“With late models in general, we know the crowds really like them,” said Lewis-Miller. “It's a chance to introduce some new drivers to our track, and hopefully get some return drivers.”
Several local drivers, including Tyson Turnbull, Tyler Wagner and Jim Harris, will be racing late models this year.
The track will also offer several special events this year. The Northern Super Truck Racing Drivers will be competing each night during a double-header on June 13 and 14. The Dakota Classic Modified Tour will be in Estevan on Monday, July 7.
“This is the silver anniversary of the mod tour, so it will be great,” said Lewis-Miller. “We're expecting nearly 100 cars.”
The Blaine Brothers Late Model Tour will visit on Monday, July 28.
The annual Eve of Destruction, which has attracted thousands of people each year, will be Friday, September 12. A non-points program, with $5,000 available between the three IMCA classes, takes place September 20. The year-end Enduro is slated for September 21.
Lewis-Miller said a few alterations have been made to the EMS' venue for this season. The front two rows of the main grandstand will be more wheelchair accessible. A fence has been constructed around the beer garden area.
And additional parking stalls have been created at the north end of the pit area – a move that Lewis-Miller said was needed after the late model class was added.
There will also be a track clean-up on Saturday, April 26. Volunteers will be removing debris from the track area, and some preparation work will take place.