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NEXT ON THE TRACK

New leadership at Sports Park Raceway prepares for 2021 season

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla: Doug McCollough competes during a Modified competition at Sports Park Raceway in Fort Dodge during a previous season.

Dirt-track racing has a rich history in Fort Dodge.

Jeff Frevert and Bryan Denekas hope to continue that tradition at Sports Park Raceway in 2021.

Frevert took over the facility as owner for the upcoming season. Denekas is the new promoter.

“We definitely want to keep racing growing and going strong in Fort Dodge,” Denekas said. “We’ll have a lot of different things going on for everyone that comes.”

The track will operate under the sanctioned Summit USRA banner. The track will run the same classes and weekly specials with Friday night races.

Hot laps will start at 7 p.m., with racing at 7:30.

Sports Park Raceway will also have a couple of special events on the slate. There will be a demolition derby, ATV and UTV races, among other unique festivities.

Sports Park Raceway will also offer a Praise Fest Christian Concert at the end of the season.

Denekas is a familiar name on the area racing scene. He served on the Hamilton County Fairboard that ran the Hamilton County Speedway, and has announced and worked on a track for the past 15 years.

Denekas also filled in as an announcer at Sports Park Raceway in 2020. He currently announces at Hamilton County Speedway on Saturday nights.

“We want to have a family-friendly environment,” Denekas said. “Jeff wants to do everything he can to make sure we keep this going.”

Frevert enjoys being in the trenches.

“I really love the facility,” Frevert said. “There are over 180 acres out here. It’s just a neat place.

“I get excited to come out here and work, whether it’s mowing, watering the track or taking care of other odds and ends. It just feels good to be out here.”

As far as race nights, Frevert wants to welcome everyone from the area to the track.

“We definitely want to make it all about families,” Frevert said. “It’s a great place to watch the races. A lot of tracks have the pits in the middle, but we don’t, so you can see everything. There is not a bad seat in the house.

“You can sit in the bleachers, or you can just grab a blanket and sit on the hill.”

To successfully run a dirt track, Frevert stressed that it takes the entire community to keep it going.

“We would like to stress that none of this is possible without local support,” Frevert said. “We’ve gotten some new sponsors and have over 60 paid billboards on the track. We always need more people to help out. You can buy a billboard for $600. It will be out in front of the crowd and on social media, and our announcers will list the sponsors seven or eight times a night.

“We definitely need local help. It takes a community.”

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