Chris Murphy, Published April 17 2014
County-approved permit prohibits motocross races, allows fewer snocross racing days at Buffalo River Race Park
Addressing the concerns of neighbors near the race track, the Clay County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved Nathe’s new permit application this week.
Nathe said the new permit is easier to understand.
Confusion arose in March after Nathe sponsored a snocross event on a Friday when his permit stated snocross events were only allowed on Saturday and Sunday. Neighbors complained, and Nathe faced potential criminal charges.
“Our permits from the last 15 years have been really confusing,” Nathe said. “Now, it’s totally cleaned up. We know what hours we can run, what hours we can’t run. We know our days. The neighbors know the days, so they can keep track. It’ll just make things way easier for all of us.”
The new permit prohibits motorcycle and motocross events. Nathe had announced March 2 that the motocross track on the north side of Highway 10 would be torn down as soon as snow melts. Although he was prepared for it, losing motocross wasn’t easy for Nathe.
“It’s a passion of mine, so it was very hard to give up on, but in the world of business, you have to come to an agreement,” he said. “The motocross was causing the neighbors the most issues, so that was kind of the agreement we had to settle on. We’re actively looking for a new place to put motocross.”
All automobiles and other four-wheel vehicles racing at Buffalo River will be required to be equipped with functional mufflers or use some other method of noise suppression while operating.
The automobile/four-wheel season will run April 1 to Oct. 31 with 21 Sunday events, seven Saturday events and nine floating days throughout the season. Snocross season will run from Nov. 1 to March 31 with 12 floating days throughout the season. Hours of operations for both seasons will be 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
“I gained car days. I lost motocross days and some snocross days, but I still have more than enough snocross to put on our big televised national races, and we picked up quite a few car races,” Nathe said. “With this new schedule, we got some really cool things we can run during the week now.”
Despite the bumpy road, Nathe is optimistic for the upcoming season, mainly because there was a switch in sanctioning bodies.
“It’s basically equivalent of North Dakota State going from D-II to D-I,” Nathe said. “We really stepped up and went with a national sanctioning body with our car racing in the (International Motor Contest Association), so we could get cars from all over the country instead of just locally.”
The season opener for the Buffalo River Race Park is May 11.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548