Former Huset’s Speedway’s Days Are Numbered
The clock is winding down on the existence of a very beloved and famous auto racing facility. The plan to disassemble and completely remove Badlands Motor Speedway is nearing action, as current owner Chuck Brennan stated it would happen at the end of 2018 if no new owner was found.
With just a couple days remaining, the search for a buyer continues. Most race fans by now have lost hope that the track will be saved. I for one, feel like I'm losing a longtime friend.
Formerly Huset's Speedway, the racing history began at the track way back in 1954. the facility was known as one of the premier tracks in the nation for sprint car racing.
I personally have a very close tie to the history of racing that the track holds. My first time visiting the track was the Summer of 1968. There was an immediate effect that I experienced from being at Huset's Speedway.
As a young boy, I was already enjoying attending races at a track in another town. But after one night at Huset's, I was a full-fledged race fan for life. The impact was awesome.
At that first visit at the age of six, I knew this was where I wanted to go. I would spend many years there as a fan. The desire to seek involvement professionally continually grew.
I eventually became the track announcer from 1995 thru 2015. After 21 seasons in that role, I feel qualified in making some statements on what I think the impact of removing the track will have.
From an economic standpoint, business owners will miss out on a lot of revenue from thousands of people that would be attending racing events You look at what one single event of any kind can do to fuel a local economy, well the racetrack ran events every week during Summer.
The big impact I see is also a major blow to racing in general all around us. Think of the thousands of people that became race fans by going to Huset's Speedway.
The results of that are vast. Because they became racing fans, they started following NASCAR perhaps. Or became a race car driver or sponsored a driver with their business. Look how many Sioux Falls drivers became famous names in racing.
Doug Wolfgang, for example, became known worldwide. Top World of Outlaws driver Donny Schatz got his start learning how to drive a sprint car at Huset's. And the list goes on.
All of this would end after the track is gone. It will be the end of an era and an institution of the community.