Rick Simpson thinks Thunder Bay still feels the need for speed.
In fact, he’s banking on it.
Simpson has leased the quarter-mile Mosquito Speedway dirt track for a weekend next month, and he and his brother plan to bring racing back to the city for two days, starting Sept. 13.
“There hasn’t been racing here in over 11 years,” said Simpson, who plans to get behind the wheel and compete for a trophy.
The idea was hatched when Simpson’s nephew stopped by the track, which closed in 2003 after a nine-year run, and discussed the idea of a one-time event with oval’s owners.
Thunder Bay is a racing town, and while Simpson isn’t sure why it didn’t work out the last time, he’s convinced there’s enough interest from both drivers and fans to attempt a one-time event, with the idea of bringing it back on an annual basis should it prove successful.
“You go to the United States of America, to Superior, Wisc., you see thousands of people there in attendance that love racing and are from Thunder Bay. There are a lot of NASCAR fans here, dirt track fans and we love racing ourselves and we want to bring it back ourselves,” Simpson said.
Fans attending the Thunder Bay Dirt Track Invitational will have a number of different categories to keep them entertained all weekend long, Simpson added.
“We’re going to have Wissota Mid-west modified and Wissota Super Stocks. We’re also going to have outlaw street stocks and the local ice racers will also be there as well,” Simpson said.
He expects between 50 and 60 racers to take part, not bad considering the costs involved.
“It’s a very expensive sport to get into and there’s not a lot of money to be won when you do win,” Simpson said.
“Our thing is we’ll have a one-time deal here and try to make it $2,500 for a win for the Mid-West modified and the Super Stocks. That’s trying to bring out some people and get some cars going again.”
What does the future hold? Simpson isn’t sure.
“Let’s get this first year over with first and we’ll see how we make out. We’ve got a lot of donations from a lot of people helping things out. It’s really expensive to get this happening. Let’s see what happens after this year and we’ll see for next year,” Simpson said.
“We leased the track. It’s not our property, it’s the Harry’s … so we’ll have to obviously talk to the (Harry’s) before we move forward.”
Tickets are $20 for general admission and $30 for pit access.
Click here to report a typo or error
You must log in to add comments.
Create a new account
Remember me next time.