Editor's note: Jerry Mackey of Cedar Rapids has been around dirt track racing his entire life. Growing up in Eastern Iowa and following his idol, Charlie Moffitt of Stanwood on the dirt tracks like Hawkeye Downs, Tunis Speedway in Waterloo and many others, Mackey began announcing races in the early 1980s and has had the distinct pleasure of working for some of the best promoters in the business, like the late Al Frieden and the current owner promoter of Simmons Promotions, Keith Simmons of Farley. Mackey will be handling the microphone in 2013 at the Farley Speedway and the West Liberty Raceway.
By Jerry Mackey, community contributor
Keith Simmons and his SPI promotions dirt track racing group are revved up and ready for another exciting season of stock car racing at the three SPI promoted dirt tracks in Eastern Iowa.
Simmons will be entering his 13th season at the helm of the promotions group that conducts racing events at the Farley Speedway, Dubuque County Fairgrounds Speedway and the West Liberty Raceway.
The 2013 season will see its first green flag on April 5 with the Dubuque County Fairgrounds hosting to the Deery Brothers Summer Series. Many of the Midwest’s best IMCA Late Model drivers will travel to Dubuque to battle it out on the high banks of the 3/8-mile clay track.
Jeff Aikey of Cedar Falls has his sights on defending his 2012 Deery Brothers Summer Series Championship.
The weekly racing season at the Dubuque speedway, located on the West edge of Dubuque just off Highway 20, begins April 20.
In addition to weekly racing at Dubuque, there are six special events, including a May 26 race featuring the IMCA Late Models in the first Tri-Track Challenge. Each SPI track will host two Tri-Trek Challenge events with the overall champion being crowned during the Liberty 100 at the West Liberty Raceway in October.
The Deery Brothers Summer Series will return to Dubuque on July 14 and season championships are Aug. 25. The season closes with the second Tri-Track Challenge event Sept. 1.
The West Liberty Raceway, located on the Muscatine County Fairgrounds, hosts Saturday night racing, starting April 27 with the Sperry Engines Spring Championships.
The Deery Brothers Summer Series actually opens the very fast 1/2-mile dirt track on April 13. The series returns July 9.
West Liberty’s first edition of the Tri-Track Challenge will be July 27. On Aug. 6, Brian Brirkhofer of Muscatine will challenge all comers as he defends his Open Shootout Championship of 2012. Some of the best open Late Model drivers in the Midwest will be gunning for the $10,000 first-place prize.
Season Champions at West Liberty are Aug. 31 and the final event of the 2013 season will feature the final Tri-Track Challenge during the annual Liberty 100, Oct. 4-5.
Friday night racing at Farley Speedway, which features a “car load” admission of $20, begins April 26. although the Deery Brothers Summer Series kicks action off April 20.
Located on the south side of Highway 20 on Olde Farley Road in Farley, the track feature a fast 1/2-mile dirt track and a 3/8-mile dirt track set inside the big track. Both tracks will be utilized again 2013.
The first Tri-Tack Challenge event is June 28, part of the annual Legends Night at the races. The inaugural “After Market Nationals” will feature the racing in the open wheeled IMCA Type Modifieds and the IMCA Type Sport Mods, July 3-4. This event will boast a prize money purse unheard of for these type of cars, with the Modifieds battling for a $10,000 first-place check and the Sport Mods challenging for $5,000.
The second leg of the Tri-Track Challenge in Aug. 2 and the season championships are Aug. 30.
The single biggest racing event for full bodied cars in Eastern Iowa each year is the Yankee Dirt Track Classic and the 36th running of this event is Sept. 11-14, highlighted by the $7,500-to-win 75 lap IMCA Deery Brothers Summer Series Late Model main event.
The final full program is the third annual “Little Guy Nationals,” Oct. 12.