It was a sunny week that featured clear skies and multiple days the temperature exceeded 70 degrees. But on Friday night the rain rolled in, stuck around until Saturday morning, and caused the Cottage Grove Speedway to cancel races for the fifth weekend in a row.
“We were so excited because we’d already had four rainouts and we were ready to go. We’ve been working so hard down here and everything was all set, we thought for sure it was going to happen,” said Speedway general manager Heather Boyce. “But it just rained so hard and with all of the horrible weather we’ve had all winter, the ground is already so saturated that little bit of rain couldn’t soak in and go away. It just puddled up and made a mess.”
In addition to a wet track, the pit area that holds the various haulers remained too wet to be open which led to the dreaded cancellation on Saturday morning.
“It was definitely a somber morning around here. We did not want to have to cancel and the fans were so excited, the drivers were so excited,” said Boyce. “We were so sure we were going to get that one in.”
For Boyce, who is in her seventh year in various capacities at the track, it is setting up for the latest opening to a season since she has been on the scene. She remains optimistic that this upcoming weekend – after what appears to be a sun-filled week – will finally see the track come to life for the first time this year.
“I think it’s going to be probably one of the best openers we’ve had in a few years. We did have a phenomenal opener I think the first year I had leased the track. I had over 100 cars and the grandstand was packed and I kind of expect it to be the same way,” said Boyce. “And this weekend is looking good and it’s already a bigger special event show. So I think when you combine the fact that it’s going to open with that big show, we’re likely to have some pretty big turnouts.”
If all things go to plan, this weekend features races on Friday and Saturday night including 360 Springs, IMCA Modifieds, IMCA SportsMods and on Saturday night, Hornets.
“We’ve got a lot of guys coming to town driving -wise and there are still a lot of tracks that aren’t open yet and that will attract a lot of drivers from out of the area that we maybe don’t see on a weekly basis,” said Boyce. “And we love our local drivers but it’s always fun to see those guys you only get to see once or twice a year. We’re pumped.”