Racing returns to Cortez

Entertaining racing and a family atmosphere will highlight opening weekend at Fairgrounds Speedway

Local racer Tony Hill takes the checkered flag to win a race at the Montezuma Speedway last summer. The race season starts back up this weekend. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Local racer Tony Hill takes the checkered flag to win a race at the Montezuma Speedway last summer. The race season starts back up this weekend.

Nothing announces the arrival of summer quite like the roar of engines, the smell of exhaust and the site of race cars circling the track at Fairgrounds Speedway.

Set to kick off another exciting season of racing, the classic dirt track located east of Cortez is set to host races on April 25 and April 26.

As always, a full slate of cars, including sport mods, hobby stocks, stock cars, sport mods and modifieds, will compete in the International Motor Contest Association (IMCA) event.

Local racing legends including Brody Spangler, Aaron Spangler, Tony Hill, and others will be on hand for what promises to be an exciting season-opening event.

“(Local racers) have been around (Fairgrounds Speedway) ever since was built,” said race promoter Regan Tafoya. “When you pull into Cortez, you expect to see them here. They are almost part of this race track.”

While fans attending this season’s races can expect the same high quality action, top-notch food and family friendly atmosphere, a few new additions could make this season one of the most entertaining to date.

One such change will be the addition of a sale after every Sport Mod race that will offer spectators an opportunity to purchase any car that participated in the race for $1,500.

In addition, the track hopes to host a 200-lap endurance race open to rear wheel drive vehicles with a moderate safety modifications.

“The race wouldn’t stop unless the track was blocked or someone flipped on their lid,” said Tafoya. “It would be a real cheap deal. I’m excited.”

A demolition derby is also in the works for this season, as is a Jim Henry Memorial Race, which would likely take place over Fourth of July weekend.

“(The Jim Henry Memorial Race) used to be part of Fairgrounds Speedway history,” said Tafoya. “(Henry) had a lot to do with building and developing the race track. We would like to honor him one final time.”

As always, tickets for this season will be reasonably priced at 10 dollars for adults, five dollars for children under the age of 13 and free admission for children under the age of six.

“Our main goal with this racetrack is to make it a family-friendly environment,” explained Tafoya.

In light of that fact, be sure to stop by Fairgrounds Speedway this weekend for what will undoubtedly be two nights of high quality racing.