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Eric Peterson, Published August 06 2010

RRV Speedway's operations manager walks away

Valley Racing Group – which operates the Red River Valley Speedway – has a new track operations manager.

Ivan Sailer decided to leave the group last week, calling the move a mutual decision between him and Danny Schatz, who heads the Valley Racing Group.

“It just didn’t work out,” said Sailer, who runs his own business in Bismarck. “You have that when you have new companies that start up. …. We made an agreement that when this thing got to a point where it affected our friendship we would split.

“It was a great adventure to be part of the Valley Racing Group deal. It was nothing bad.”

The Schatz-led group took over the West Fargo dirt track in March and made extensive changes, including transforming the half-mile oval into a three-eighths-mile configuration.

“We just parted company,” Schatz said. “Ivan is a great guy. He loves racing. Things just didn’t work out.”

Schatz said Chris Bruce has been appointed the new operations manager at the track.

Before Schatz reached an agreement with the Red River Valley Fair Board in March, it looked like there would be no racing at the RRVS this summer.

In his first year, Schatz and his group have been able to lure NASCAR series racers Tony Stewart, Kenny Schrader and Kenny Wallace to RRVS.

Schatz said he has been satisfied with the way the first year has gone to this point.

“We’re not dissatisfied,” Schatz said. “We are about where we had hoped to be. I don’t know if I have any dissatisfaction and I’m not bragging about anything.”

Schatz said making the speedway better will be an ongoing process.

“We’re trying to structure this thing so we can break even on a weekly program rather than to have a couple of good events and pour everything we acquire in our big promotional events out,” Schatz said. “We aren’t trying to make money on that race track.

“We wouldn’t mind getting a little bit of our cost of fixing it back and that might take us many years to do. Like I said, the weekly events, we want to make even.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blogs can be found at www.areavoices.com