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Chris Murphy, Published May 04 2013

Buffalo River Race Park tries to keep focus on family

Glyndon, Minn. - The Buffalo River Race Park is 59 years old and still running strong. With West Fargo’s Red River Valley Speedway shut down this summer, and possibly the future, there’s no reason to see the track in Glyndon slowing down any time soon.

Race Director Duane Peterson doesn’t know why the RRVS couldn’t hold up after hosting races since 1967, but he knows why the BRRP is still around.

“I don’t know their internals, so I’m not going to speculate,” said Peterson, who has worked at the BRRP for more than a decade. “Our races and our pit crews are guys that support us. We treat them like family. It comes down to treating people good and giving them a good show.”

It also helps to keep things cheap and to get people to bed on time.

“A lot of it is grassroots-type racing,” Peterson said. “You have your younger kids that come out and race the not-as-expensive classes such as pure stocks, hornets and legends. It’s just the pure fact that you don’t have a huge budget in order to come out here and race. They bring more spectators in their grandparents, their aunts, their uncles and their cousins.

“We also start right at

6 p.m. and we’re done by 9 or 9:15. We feel that is a key. We get everyone out of there by 9:15.”

Kevin Nathe has owned the BRRP for the last seven years. He, too, can’t pinpoint a reason for racing falling at the RRVS

“It wasn’t for lack of effort, I can tell you that much,” Nathe said. “They gave it everything they had. It must have been some internal stuff. I think one of the problems there was it was a lease deal, so it was a very difficult thing between the fair board and the promoter. I don’t have that. What I decide is what we decide. I don’t have to go to a board, so it makes it easier for us. We don’t run all of the same classes either. We’re more of a grassroots organization and that works for us.”

The BRRP doesn’t really foresee too large of an increase in attendance, but they are excited for the upcoming summer events, which start May 12.

“Time will only tell,” Peterson said. “I learned a couple years ago not to speculate because you prove yourself wrong. We are thinking our crowds will increase, but our car count will probably stay more consistent. We usually have 110 cars a Sunday and around 1,100 in attendance on a regular show night. We have a lot of cool things going on this summer.”

The biggest night for racing will be July 28 when the All Star Circuit of Champions comes to the BRRP.

“The All Star Sprints is a really big show,” Peterson said. “Donny Schatz and Dale Blaney will be there. It’s the highest level and the biggest show we’ve had.”

As for racing returning to West Fargo, it wouldn’t shock Nathe.

“Anything is possible,” Nathe said. “It’s a tough call. If the board doesn’t want racing or doesn’t want to go that route, it’ll be pretty tough. Everyone has to want racing. It’s an awesome facility. It’s probably one of the best in the Upper Midwest.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548