Workers from Roseburg Race Promotions began construction Monday on the new dirt racetrack at the Douglas County Speedway.
In August, the Douglas County Fair board awarded a new contract to Roseburg Race Promotions, which ousted the track’s previous promoters; the Pacific Racing Association.
As construction begins, workers are confident the dirt racing will bring new fans to the race track.
“(Auto racing) is a lot more exciting to my mind on dirt,” said Brad McMaster, who works for Roseburg Race Promotions.
McMaster drove an excavator Monday to flatten out the soil being dumped along the race track.
“We’re going to try and bring the thrill back to the people,” he said.
McMaster said he remembered the track being asphalt his whole life, and while he admits that it’s a matter of opinion for a lot of people, he feels there are more cars to draw from when it comes to a dirt track.
Patrick Sparks, who was working on the construction, hopes the response from the community will be positive.
“This means the world, honestly,” Sparks said as trucks continued depositing dirt along the track. “Don’t have to travel out of town to race, us and a lot of others.”
McMaster estimates the new dirt will cover the track by the end of the week.
Roseburg Race Promotions is a new company. The corporation was registered with the Oregon Secretary of State’s office on July 20 of this year, less than a month before being awarded the contract to take over the speedway.
The Pacific Racing Association’s contract with the fairgrounds was due to expire at the end of October, following the PRA’s “Track-n-Treat” race scheduled for Oct. 29. But the fairgrounds issued a letter to the association citing a specific section of the contract between PRA and the fairgrounds that allowed for revocation.
“This notice is to inform you that the Fairgrounds is exercising its right to revoke the Agreement to Use Fairgrounds Premises pursuant to Section 21, ‘Revocation,’ which provides:
“Both parties acknowledge and expressly agree that this Agreement grants User the privilege of using the Premises and that this Agreement is revocable at the sole discretion of the Fairgrounds management,” wrote Douglas County Fairgrounds Director Dan Hults.
The revocation of the agreement between the PRA and fairgrounds went into effect Saturday, although the fairgrounds gave the PRA until Nov. 15 to remove any of its owned property from the grandstand and racetrack areas.
“We’ve moved everything out except for the refrigerators and freezers,” PRA spokesperson Martie Cox said. “We didn’t expect it this soon. We hoped (the revocation of the contract) wouldn’t happen, but it was kind of expected through conversations and rumor mills.”