2019 Season Preview: Sheyenne Speedway Aims to Reach a Whole New Level


Sheyenne Speedway in Lisbon, N.D., is entering its second season under the direction of co-promoters Benjie Froemke and Hunter Carter, and the 1/4-mile dirt oval is looking to continue to carve out a niche as a place to be for race fans on Sunday nights.

“Looking back on the 2018 season we have a lot to be proud of. We took an old gem dirt track and breathed new life into it and people responded more than we could have ever expected,” Froemke said. “Our team understands this is our time to take the Sheyenne Speedway to a whole new level in all areas — fan experience, driver experience and volunteer experience. We are living the ‘good old days’ RIGHT NOW and we continue to keep it that way moving forward.

“We don’t have the best of everything but we do make the best of everything we have and people seem to appreciate and support that,” Froemke added. “We are thankful for the fans, drivers, businesses and communities  see the hard work and efforts going into the speedway and people want to get involved.”

An all-volunteer run track, Sheyenne is one of the few Sunday night tracks left in weekly racing as Buffalo River Race Park in Glyndon has moved to Saturdays. New dirt was added last fall, hoping to provide more side-by-side racing.

“I’m looking forward to working with the new dirt surface we put down following the race season in 2018,” Carter said. “We take a lot of pride in creating a smooth racy surface for the drivers and fans to enjoy. Creating a race surface that not only produces excellent racing but also reduces  wear and tear on race cars in the ultimate goal for short and long term success.”

The regular race classes at Sheyenne will include the Wissota Midwest Modifieds, Wissota Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks and four-cylinder Mini Stocks. IMCA Modifieds and INEX Legend Cars will also make several appearances at the speedway this year.

The Wissota Midwest Modifieds are the sanctioning body’s most populous and competitive class. There is a strong core of local drivers in that division.

Perhaps the most competitive class at Sheyenne is the Wissota Street Stocks with a good core of local talent. Lisbon driver Jonny Carter was third in the national points a year ago, while Horace driver Royce Jawaski (12th) and Nome driver Kasey Ussatis (14th, Wissota Rookie of the Year) finished in the top 15 in the Wissota Street national points.

One note about the Hobby Stocks — the track will be testing a used 5.3L V8 GM engine with three select cars, one being a house car. Those three select cars will not be running for points. The goal is to keep the hobby stock class affordable (engines in particular) and the track will make adjustments based on the feedback it receives on the LS engine.

The Mini Stocks features several drivers under the age of 18 and more growth is expected to continue in the class. Another tidbit about the Mini Stocks: there will be a Rental Mini Stock that will be available for anyone to drive. Details on availability and pricing coming soon.

IMCA Modifieds will run on May 19 and 27, June 23 and 30, Aug. 11, Sept. 2 and Sept. 8, which is the season-finale Battle at the Boneyard. INEX Legends will be at the track on June 2, 16 and 30, Aug. 4, Sept. 2 and 8.

New Events for 2019 includes the Dakota Dream, which will provide increased purses for the four regular weekly classes on June 9; Speedfest, which will also be the Wissota AFCO Race of Champions and INEX Legends National Qualifier Night on Aug 4. There will also be a Top Gun themed night for fans on June 23, a night when the IMCA Modifieds will be in town.

The NLRA Late Models will return on Aug. 18. That was a popular event in 2017 but unfortunately the show was rained out in 2018.

The popular Memorial Day celebration will take place again, and on June 30, a Fireworks show is set as the track celebrates its 46th anniversary. There will also be two Kids Nights where the drivers will have the chance to meet the drivers and ride in cars. The Fair Night will feature the King of the Hill competition on Aug. 22 which promises to be a unique event.

The track’s season opener is May 19.

Sheyenne Speedway
Regular Weekly Classes: Wissota Midwest Modified, Wissota Street Stock, Hobby Stock and Mini Stock
2019 Schedule
May 19 – Season Opener plus IMCA Mods
May 27 – Memorial Day Special plus IMCA Mods
June 2 – Kids Night plus INEX Legends
June 9 – Dakota Dream, increased purse for regular classes
June 16 – North Dakota Legend Cars Tour plus Fathers Day
June 23 – Top Gun Night plus IMCA Mods
June 30 – Fireworks show plus IMCA Mods and INEX Legends
Aug. 4 – Speedfest, plus INEX Legends
Aug. 11 – Kids Night Plus IMCA Mods
Aug. 18 – NLRA Late Models
Aug. 22 – Ransom County Fair, King of the Hill
Sept. 2 – Track Championships, plus IMCA Mods and INEX Legends
Sept. 8 – Battle at the Boneyard, plus IMCA Mods and INEX Legends.

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