Nodak racing is returning to the North Dakota State Fair, and Nodak Race Club Vice President Lindsay Lawson is ecstatic about the new blood it could bring into the grandstand.
"That's the thing we're really excited about," Lawson said. "It will be in front of potentially 6,000 or 7,000 people, many who have not had a chance to see us race. We want to make sure we run a nice tight, timely event. It'll be good entertainment for two and a half hours."
IMCA stock cars and IMCA modifieds will run, starting at 7 p.m. on Monday, July 25. It will mark the first time regular racing has been a part of the State Fair since 1997.
"We're excited about that, putting our product in front of a full grandstand," Lawson said.
For fairgoers who buy a grandstand showpass, the races are included in the ticket price, which is $75 for standing, $85 for reserved and encompasses five concerts, Nodak racing and the enduro race.
Lawson said the previous layout of the stage made it difficult to have racing between concert dates as it took up the front straightaway, making it a hassle to transition from one night to another. That's not the case anymore.
"We got a new stage, and it's a permanent stage in the infield," Lawson said. "That allows us to have the track free."
Though State Fair racing is still more than three months away, Nodak's opening night at Nodak Speedway starts in less than a month. The first scheduled night of racing is May 8, which will be a regular points night with hobby stocks, IMCA stocks, legends and IMCA modifieds.
Lawson said he's eager to see what the first-night attendance brings, as many race fans went without their fix for most of last season because of the new grandstand that was put in.
"We finished on a real strong note last year," Lawson said. "Lots of enthusiasm ... we're gonna see probably as many, if not more, cars than in the past. People took a year off with the short season, and now there's lots of enthusiasm and excitement."
Lawson said the track won't take long to get ready for racing, though he did say there are a few things they're looking at for now.
"The plan is to get new clay," Lawson said, referring to the track surface. "There are some improvements we want to do. Some work on the guard rail, improvements with the lighting system ... we found some things last year we can improve on and do a better job on."