By Jeff Pederson
Pedal Down Promotions
Eastern Wisconsin Stock Cars has reached an agreement with the Outagamie County Fair Association to promote a Sunday night racing program at the renamed Outagamie Speedway in Seymour, Wisconsin, during the 2017 season.
Despite exhaustive efforts to put together firm plans for the 2017 racing season, both entities found themselves facing an uncertain future.
After 12 years of staging a Friday night racing program at the Manitowoc Speedway, the track property was sold following the 2016 racing season, leaving the 68-year-old racing organization without a home track.
The former Seymour Raceway Park ran a shortened schedule in 2016 and had been in search of a promoter to make the 2017 season a reality.
“We were originally contacted by the Outagamie County Fair Association and due to the distance from most of the EWSC members, we were hesitant at first,” EWSC President Todd Humphrey said. “After further discussions, we determined that we could put together a race program utilizing people that were already in place in Seymour.”
While EWSC had pursued other possibilities for racing this season, none had come to fruition.
“The EWSC Board had considered the race track at the fairgrounds in Chilton and we had also talked with Bob Schneider at Gravity Park near Chilton as well,” Humphrey said. “Those possibilities did not advance out of the discussion stage for 2017.”
The weekly Sunday night racing program will feature familiar divisions at Seymour track, including IMCA-sanctioned modifieds, sport mods, stock cars, and sport fours, along with street stocks.
The 2017 season is set to begin Sunday, May 28 and continue through Sunday, Sept. 3.
“We are planning on running 14 nights in 2017,” Humphrey said. “We will not be running during the Outagamie County Fair July 25-30. We may also consider having a sprint car show and a late model show and possibly an end-of-season special, which may be the September 3rd show. We are still working on final schedule.”
Pit gates open at 4 p.m. with the grandstand opening at 5 p.m. and racing set to begin at 6 p.m.
Grandstand admission will be $10 for adults, $8 for seniors 55 and over, $5 for students 13-16 and free with children 12 and under.
Humphrey says the EWSC is looking forward to the opportunity to continue its long history of successful race promotion at a new facility.
“We are very excited to provide racing in the Seymour area,” Humphrey said. “This is currently a one-year deal with the option to renew an extended contract should 2017 prove to be profitable.
“We did have some reservations with the travel distance for most of our board members and those that choose to travel with us, since most of them are based in the Sheboygan area,” he said. “However, we have been invigorated by everyone that has expressed their willingness to assist us on a weekly basis.”
Eastern Wisconsin Stock Cars, Inc. was established after the 1959 race season and began sanctioning races in May 1960 at the Sheboygan County Fairgrounds in Plymouth. Starting in 1961, EWSC promoted races on Wednesday nights at the Calumet County Fairgrounds in Chilton. In 1966, the club began making weekly appearances at the 141 Speedway in Francis Creek, first racing on Thursday nights and switching to Wednesday nights after discontinuing weekly shows in Chilton in 1974. EWSC members voted to end the club’s partnership with 141 Speedway in 1981.
In addition to Plymouth, Chilton, and 141 Speedway, the club has sanctioned races at Beaver Dam, Slinger and Fond du Lac. In 2005, EWSC started promoting weekly racing at the Manitowoc County Expo grounds. In 2016, EWSC promoted races under the title of Manitowoc Speedway, running weekly shows featuring seven divisions of regular competition, including 360 Sprint cars, Late Models, Modifieds, Grand Nationals, Sport Mods, Sport Fours, and Thunder Trucks. EWSC also hosted two IRA Bumper to Bumper sprint car shows and the Street Stocks visited the track on three occasions in 2016.
Additional information on the 2017 EWSC racing season at the Outagamie Speedway will be available at www.outagamiespeedway.com, via Facebook at Outagamie Speedway and on Twitter @outagamiespdwy.