To describe how big the Wissota 100 will be this week at I-94 Speedway in Fergus Falls, track promoter Corey Eggen put it this way:
“The ‘Wissota 100’ is a city within a city,” Eggen said.
The biggest racing event to possibly ever hit western Minnesota kicks officially kicks off on Wednesday. The Wissota 100 has been months of work and planning by Eggen and track workers to plan the 33rd annual event which could draw 400 cars or more and several thousands of race fans. If you include the fans, drivers and pit crews fan counts could approach 7,000-8,000 people.
The includes dividing pit stalls into 16×90 slots; there are 500 of those, with a contingency plan to get to 700 truck and trailer size slots if needed. The Pit Zones are named Animal, Beverly Hills, Little Canada, Tijuana, Ponds and Southgate.
The parking lot and other open areas have been turned into 350 campsites for fans. The camp zones are named A, B, C and D. It will be a primitive pit and camping sites with no power meaning those who need power will have to supply their own generators. Golf carts will be available for rent as well at the Preferred Body Shop located east of the track.
That’s not to mention the another added things to deal with with large car counts and fan counts — more workers, food, beverages and adding things like porta-potties. That isn’t to mention the extra hours of track prep and facility prep that will take place.
“It’s a team effort to do what needs to be done,” Eggen said.
The event holds practice on Tuesday before kicking off four nights of racing on Wednesday. Racing on all four nights starts at 5 p.m.
On Wednesday a complete show of Wissota Street Stock, Wissota Super Stock, Wissota Late Model, Wissota Midwest Modified and Wissota Modified. There will be five qualifying features with the top eight from those representing compiling the inside row for the A feature to be held on Saturday night. The middle row top eight will qualify from Thursday;s show and the outside row of 8 will qualify on Friday. Last chance races will be held on Saturday with six cars qualifying from the feature from those.
Thursday night will be the Race of Champions in the Wissota Midwest Modified, Wissota Street Stocks and Wissota Super Stocks. Friday night will be the Race of Champions for the late models, modifieds and mod fours. If you haven’t seen the fields of the race of champions you should — some high quality cars will be in each. The ROC pays $2,000 to the Late Models ($100 to start), $1,600 to the Wissota Mods ($100 to start), $1,500 to the Wissota Super Stocks ($100 to start), $1,400 to the Wissota Midwest Modified ($100 to start), $1,300 to the Wissota Street Stocks ($75 to start) and $1,250 to the Wissota Mod 4s ($50 to start).
The Wissota Mod 4s will hold their qualifying heat races on Friday for Saturday’s A-main.
Another highlight on Saturday is the Parade of Champions which will take place before the A features.
There has been a lot of work to the facility in prep for an event of this magnitude, Eggen said. The turn two wall has been revamped, the catch fencing has been updated, and both light towers have been updated with new electrical panels.
The other added bonus is the economic impact for the city of Fergus Falls. Hotels are booked for the week and businesses like gas stations and restaurants will see a big boost. The estimated economic impact for Fergus Falls is $7 million, Eggen said. Businesses are planning on putting Welcome Wissota 100 Signs across town.