Two sprint cars racing side by side on a dirt track.
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Business Briefs

April 13 is opening day at El Paso County Raceway

By Deb Risden

Spring has sprung and so has racing at the El Paso County Raceway in Calhan. The April 13 season opener is the first of 12 races that will accumulate to a championship at the close of the season in October. Opening day will feature ASCS elite outlaw sprint cars. On April 27, the feature will be western outlaw late models.

The season kicks off with World of Outlaw Champion Sammy Swindell hoping for a repeat performance. He will be racing against 20 or more sprint car drivers. Swindell is undefeated at El Paso County Raceway. He is a three-time World of Outlaw champion and six-time Chili Bowl champion. Swindell’s racing career has spanned more than 50 years. Joe Bellm, owner and president of BST Promotions, said, “Sammy Swindell is still racing and still winning.”

Two sprint cars racing side by side on a dirt track.
Sprint cars are high-powered, open-wheeled race cars. Veteran Driver Sammy Swindell (pictured here with car No. 1) will be at the April 13 El Paso County Raceway opening day.

Drivers from more than seven states are expected to race. “When we started at El Paso County Raceway, we had all local drivers,” Bellm said. “We have grown to include regional and now national drivers.”

A day at the races at El Paso County Raceway is a six-hour event. Hot laps start at 4 p.m., qualifying is at 5 p.m., heat races at 6 p.m. with main events to follow. The evening ends no later than 10 p.m.

Races are held the second and fourth Saturdays from April 13 through Oct. 12 at the El Paso County Fairgrounds at 366 10th Street in Calhan. One exception is during the El Paso County Fair in July when an alternative Monday is scheduled.

Although it’s all about the racing, there is live music, beer gardens, food trucks, bike races and activities for the kids. “We have changed the event so that there is something for everyone. We want grandpa and grandma, mom and dad and the kids to all have fun. We like to say we sell a good time to good people,” Bellm said.

Improvements have been made to the track since last season. Bellm said they have extended corners and added banking to assure fast racing action. “It’s a major facelift of the track itself.” Bellm said the attendance has been growing steadily over the years. He said they broke the record at the El Paso County Fairgrounds with attendance of over 6,700 for a one-day event, surpassing El Paso County Fair single-event attendance numbers.

A full schedule with details can be found on the website at Bellm advises purchasing tickets online to avoid long lines on event day. A $5 discount coupon for opening day is included in BST’s ad in this issue of The New Falcon Herald.

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