Becker resigns as promoter at Hawkeye Downs

Speedway in search of new race promoter, still will have races in 2014

Published: March 17 2014 | 10:22 pm - Updated: 1 April 2014 | 9:46 am in The Inside Track by Jeremiah Davis,

CEDAR RAPIDS -- Hawkeye Downs Speedway is in search of a new race promoter after Mike Becker, who'd held the position since 2010, resigned his position effective immediately on Monday.

Becker had been a fixture in racing in the Cedar Rapids area for decades, and said he gave every effort to make Hawkeye Downs the racing destination it once was. Going forward, he's not sure what his future plans are, but still has a passion for racing.

"I'm no longer a part of it," Becker said Tuesday morning. "I'm going to miss being part of Hawkeye Downs."

Hawkeye Downs Fair Board President Bob Bruce confirmed the news Monday night, saying Becker tendered his resignation to Speedway general manager Roy Nowers.

"He submitted his resignation to our general manager this morning," Bruce said. "I'm not sure why he did so, and I wouldn't speculate as to why.

"(But) we want to thank Mike for all his hard work, and we wish him well in the future."

Bruce had only positive things to say about Becker and his time at Hawkeye Downs.

"Mike was great," Bruce said. "Mike built a rapport with all of the drivers we had. It was no secret that when he came in, we had -- for lack of a better word -- morale was pretty low among the drivers. Mike did a great job  restoring confidence among the drivers, and we're absolutely thrilled to have had him for the time we did."

Bruce said he and the fair board started the process of finding a replacement for Becker right away on Monday. Being so early in the process, he didn't have any leads as to who that might be.

"We don't have a successor to name right now," Bruce said. "We're going to take sort of a tag team approach to getting ready for the race season."

Bruce was adamant that there will be a full race season this year, and the schedule for the 2014 Hawkeye Downs season was released on Sunday. With all the rumors that swirl around a situation like this, Bruce wanted fans and racers to know Hawkeye Downs was committed to racing this year.

"There will be a full race season," Bruce said. "I know there are a lot of rumors out there. We will have all of our divisions -- all the usual cars will be out there.

"We're excited about the future of racing at Hawkeye Downs, and we don't plan on going anywhere."

Despite the setback in plans for 2014, Bruce said the fair board is still excited about what's to come. He said there are things in the preliminary stages that are being planned at the Speedway, not just including racing.

"We're very excited about the upcoming season," Bruce said. "We're adding some new things to the program beyond racing that we think will add a lot of entertainment value this year."

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