NORWAY - The economic slowdown doesn't appear to be causing any wrecks at the Norway Speedway.
"We feel it could be a very, very good year for us," said Gene Adcock, marketing director for the track. "I'm amazed. NASCAR is down big time. We only had two sponsors that said they couldn't renew, and one of those found us a replacement."
Beginning a week earlier than last season, the 2009 season goes green May 15 and features two more racing dates than a year ago.
"I think maybe people want to stick closer to home," Adcock said. "It's really expensive to go to big races. Our fans are in for a great season. Our goal this year is to make every race an event."
Adcock said participation also appears in line with last season. "We may have lost one or two cars, but that's it," he said.
One change to the schedule from 2008 is the Late Model Auto Value series. Last year there were three Auto Value races. This year there will be two, but the purse has increased.
Slated for May 29, and Aug. 7, the Auto Value 50 winners will receive a $2,000 payout instead of $1,000. Second place has been bumped to $750, and third now takes home $500.
The popular and innovative Driveline 100, featured last summer in Circle Track magazine, will run June 6. This year's list of drivers for the pay-per-lap event includes Ross Kenseth, son of NASCAR star Matt Kenseth. Legendary veteran Dick Trickle also is a possibility for the field.
Norway's 2009 schedule runs through Sept. 6, when the track will once again host the ASA Midwest Tour Labor Day 100. Local favorite Jamie Iverson of Hyde topped the field in last year's run.
Norway Speedway is located on the Dickinson County Fairgrounds.