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Kerry Collins, Published December 13 2009

Red River Valley Speedway opts to shorten track after all

On second thought, Danny Schatz is going to make a bunch of changes at Red River Valley Speedway.

Schatz announced on Saturday that he was going to shorten the track from a half-mile to a three-eighths mile oval before next season – meaning a bunch of work is on tap over the next few months.

“The reason we were going to shorten it initially was to make the racing more competitive, but we didn’t know if we could do it,” Schatz said. “What we heard at the promoters meetings reconfirmed the idea.

“I realized that we needed to shorten it, and we’re going to do it before next season.”

Schatz took over control of the West Fargo track via a lease agreement with the Red River Valley Fair Board a few weeks ago.

Shortening the track was in Schatz’s original plan when he took over control of the track, but then he backed off because of costs. Now he’s moving forward with it again.

“We think we can get it done, and I feel like it’s something we should do,” Schatz said. “It shouldn’t be a problem. It’s moving dirt around, and we’ll get it done.”

Along with the shortening of the track, Schatz will move the parking to the east side of the track. Parking is currently situated north of the facility.

“That will make the main pit on the east of the grandstand, and that will make it better for the drivers and easier for the fans,” Schatz said.

Other changes will be dropping the Mod Fours class, leaving RRVS with just five classes each night – Late Models, Modifieds, Midwest Modifieds, Super Stocks and Street Stocks.

However, Schatz did leave the option open to running specials for classes that aren’t run with the weekly shows.

“We went to five classes instead of six, and that’s because we want full classes,” Schatz said. “We’ll bring in special events, but we want to have the car counts in each class to make it more enjoyable for the fans.”

Ivan Sailer will be the track’s promoter. Sailer used to run the race track in his hometown of Bismarck and is well known throughout the Legends racing circuit.

“He’s going to be responsible for everything,” Schatz said. “He’s got a lot of experience in racing, and his main focus here is to make our program work with the fans.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kerry Collins at (701) 241-5548