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Published March 10 2010

Forum editorial: Speedway agreement good news

It looks like the roar of race car engines will be heard this summer at the Red River Valley Speedway near West Fargo. An agreement between racing enthusiast Danny Schatz and the Red River Valley Fair Board will all but guarantee a four-decade-old racing tradition will continue.

That’s great news, not only for dedicated auto racing fans and drivers, but also for the fair board and the community as a whole. Racing at the speedway has been a summertime fixture for 42 years. It’s an important element in the sports life of the region. Its economic impact on the community is significant.

For a time it appeared lines had been drawn that no one in the speedway dispute was willing to cross. The racing fraternity was incensed that an investment offer from Schatz was initially turned down by the board and fair Manager Bryan Schulz. But as with any complex negotiation, it wasn’t that simple.

To their credit, Schulz, Schatz and the board continued to talk. As Schulz told The Forum, the board never said racing was out, but rather insisted another racing season had to be accomplished on a sound financial footing. Schulz was unfairly criticized for being a good steward of the fair’s finances.

For his part, Schatz stepped up with an investment proposal that initially seemed to be the key to rescuing the speedway. It took more negotiations to come up with an agreement that appears to be satisfactory to all, especially regarding the sticking point of the number of racing days. That issue was resolved, and the agreement was finalized.

Negotiations took time, but the result suggests the time was well spent. Congratulations to Schulz, Schatz and fair board members for coming together for the good of auto racing at the speedway.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum

management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.