COMMUNITY: Simmons' tracks ready to roar

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March 29, 2014 | 4:01 am

Editor’s note: Jerry Mackey of Cedar Rapids has been around dirt track racing his entire life. Mackey began announcing races in the early 1980s and is handling the microphone at Farley Speedway and West Liberty Raceway this summer.

By Jerry Mackey, community contributor

Keith Simmons, owner operator of Simmons Promotions Inc., is promising to spice things up with his 2014 auto racing schedule.

Simmons owns and operates the Farley Speedway, located just off U.S. Highway 20, and holds contracts and conducts races at the West Liberty Raceway, located on the Muscatine County Fairgrounds. Sunday night racing is hosted by SPI at the Dubuque County Fairgrounds Speedway.

The Farley Speedway is one of only four dirt tracks in the state privately owned. The Farley Speedway operates predominantly on Friday nights.

The 2014 season, the 14th Simmons has been in the race promotion business, will consist of 65 events at the three Eastern Iowa dirt tracks.

“Our schedule is packed with many of our fans favorite events and will include a few new events this year, plus a few changes have been made to spice up some of our well established events,” Simmons said.

SPI will host the popular Deery Brothers Summer Series, featuring the IMCA Late Models with eight feature events being contested at the SPI tracks. The high powered open Late Models will be in action twice in 2014 with each event paying $10,000 to the winner. The Tri-Track Late Model challenge will hit each track twice in 2014.

The Palace Ballroom, located on the grounds of the Farley Speedway, will host the 2014 preseason car show on March 29. Many of the SPI competitors will have their new race cars on display and the drivers will be on hand to greet the fans. Doors open at 10 a.m.

The Farley Speedway opens April 18 with the Deery Brothers Summer Series and IMCA Modifieds. Weekly Friday night racing starts May 16.

One of the new events at Farley will be an appearance by the UMP Summernationals Tour, featuring the traveling stars of the open Late Model circuit, on June 17. A $10,000 check will go to the winner. On June 27, the annual “Legends Night” will feature the Tri-Track Challenge for the IMCA Late Models. The second annual “Aftermarket Nationals” — featuring the IMCA Modifieds and Sport Modifieds — will be held July 2-3 and will pay the IMCA Modified champion $10,000. The Tri-Track Challenge will return Aug.

The 37th running of the biggest racing event in Eastern Iowa — the “Yankee Dirt Track Classic” — will be Sept. 10-14. The main event will be the 100-lap Deery Brothers Summer Series and will pay $10,000 to win.

The West Liberty Raceway kicks off with the Deery Brothers Summer Series on April 12. The Modified Extravaganza is on tap April 19. The Tri-Track Challenge events are July 8 and July 26. The annual Coors Light SPI Open Late Model Shootout is Aug. 5. The Midwest’s best traveling Open Late Model drivers will be gunning for the $10,000 winner’s share. The Liberty 100, featuring the Deery Brothers Summer Series, will bring the season to a close Oct, 304,

The Dubuque Speedway gets started on May 18 with weekly racing. The Tri-Track Challenges will be held July 13 and Aug. 31. The Dubuque County Fair will host two nights of racing on July 22 (the Dubuque Classic) and July 27 (weekly racing). Season Championships are Aug. 31. 

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