Forestburg’s Area 53 Raceway was finally able to celebrate its grand opening earlier in September.
The grand-opening weekend took place Sept. 3-5, and featured three full days of racing, fireworks at the end of day on Sat, Sept. 3, and music by band Third Degree.
According to track organizer Corey Kozey, 64 competitors took part in racing on Sept 3, 74 on Sept. 4 and 50 on Sept. 5.
Also on the Saturday, a racers potluck supper was held.
“There was more food than one racing team could eat,” said Kozey, with a laugh.
Kozey said that there could have been more spectators for the three days of racing, however there was a fairly steady flow.
As a special treat, on the Sunday the track hosted “pit bike” races in various categories.
The pit bike races were an opportunity for competitors to race anything from golf carts to side-by-sides down the track. An added complication for some pit bike races races was a component of chaos.
While not generally allowed in racing, the pit bike races allowed for passengers. To increase the chaos, the driver would drive the vehicle to the starting line then, when the light turned green, everyone would jump out, run around it then pile back in before taking off down the track.
According to Kozey, one vehicle had an adult driver and six kids on it.
While the racing season is winding down at Area 53, there is still a little more to look forward to in the last gasps of summer.
The second-annual Steven Chapman Memorial weekend will take place on Sept. 17 and 18.
On Sept. 17, Mic’s concession will be hosting a pig roast, with all the sides, for $15 a plate in addition to the two days of racing.
There will be payouts all weekend long. The pay out for Super Pro and Pro will be $700 and two days of free racing. Sportsman competitors can win $500 plus two days of racing. Finally, junior dragsters can win $200 plus the racing days.
In addition to the cash prizes, there will be other prizes for racers, plus door prizes.
“It’s going to be a fun weekend,” said Kozey.
As of the time of writing, the final weekend of racing scheduled for the track will be Oct. 1 and 2, weather permitting.