Although race season is still a few months away, there's already some changes coming to the Estevan Motor Speedway next year. They held a general meeting Monday night to discuss two major tweaks to the financial side of things, and the physical racing side.
"The purse for the A Modifieds are going up this year, fairly significantly in certain parts of the top 20," says Speedway President Byron Fichter. "At the top end, we went up a few hundreds bucks so we're at $900 to win."
The drivers finishing in the top 20 of any A Modifieds race will receive the following prize pay out:
1st - $900
2nd - $600
3rd - $450
4th - $400
5th - $350
6th - $300
7th - $275
8th - $250
9th - $225
10th - 15th - $200
16th to 24th - $175
"That's our main event, our main attraction, and we feel like we need to be proactive to try to grow that class."
The increase in prize payouts should attract more drivers from further away to give racing fans bigger and better races.
"We have a comity set aside and their sole purpose is to try to grow the classes of race cars, so one thing we've implemented is a few years back is the Slingshots," Fichter adds that the raceway has already received positive feedback from the racing community for the increases to the pay in their main attraction. "We're also doing a bit of a proactive outreach to drivers in other parts of Saskatchewan and the United States to try to find out why they don't race here and try to encourage them to race here."
Speaking of the Slingshots and the future of racing in Estevan, there's going to be a change to how the young racers will take to the dirt this coming season.
"The Slingshots are moving to the big track this year, they're going to be filled into the program with the other classes."
There's a number of different reasons that the young racers will be moving up towards the big track next season, starting with the fact that the class has just gotten too many racers for the size of the small track in the centre of the raceway.
"When we put them on the big track, the kids can use the lighting system we have in place, the score keeping can kind of crossover now, and it just eliminates a few logistical problems."
Fichter went on to say that the Slingshots have not only become a great way to train the next generation of racers, but have also become apart of the show and the reasons fans show up to race day, and moving them up to the big track solidifies that.
"I think it gives them the respect they deserve and we can treat them with more of that respect, they're part of the show now. I think when you have that in the middle, it disengages the fans to a certain extent and we want to put a little more focus on them."
Race season is scheduled to start May 4th in the afternoon rather than the evening, weather permitting of course.