Race fans, start your engines

Sometimes, to build up a fan base, you've got to break things down.

Port Angeles Speedway's Eve of Destruction on June 26, a night featuring a rollover contest, crash-to-pass race, car "tossing," boat and school bus race and more, is just one of more than 30 nights of jam-packed racing action at the quarter-mile track.

General manager Bert Johnson said it's all about giving the locals something to enjoy.

"It (the night of destruction) is pretty popular at quite a few other tracks," Johnson said, overlooking drivers taking spins around the concrete Saturday afternoon. "We're going to try that."

That, and a whole lot of other promotions: The speedway once again is tailoring its evenings to draw Olympic Peninsula race fans with a number of special promotions, from special rates for moms and dads on Mother's and Father's Day weekends to firework shows, food drive specials and even more destruction with demolition derbies on May 15 and Aug. 28.

Back are a couple of specials for women and children: On May 29, any unescorted woman 18 or older gets in free on Unhappy Housewife Night while on June 12, a Scout of any variety (boy, girl, cub, etc.) who comes in uniform gets in free.

As for the action on the track, the speedway offers its usual variety of 11 classes - hornets, junior hornets, crash-to-pass cars and crash-to-pass trucks, modifieds, midgets, queen bees, street drags, stock cars, hobby stocks and street stocks - plus semi-regular action from midgets, drift cars, quads and more.

For the first time in four years, the bigg riggs race class is back at the speedway, this year settling for an Oct. 2 exhibition.

After tinkering with the schedule for much of the spring, Johnson has the speedway's 2010 dates set. On Saturday, he sat back and watched driver after driver burn rubber around the track at Play Day, the speedway's semi-formal season prep day.

Perhaps it was the good weather, or the hope of another good season at the track, that had more cars and drivers out than Johnson ever had seen for a Play Day.

Last season the speedway did well when the Hood Canal bridge was closed for most of May, but the track suffered in later months, Johnson said.

He said that the modest upturn in the economy could bring out more big crowds this season to the quarter-mile track.

"For $10, it's hard to beat," Johnson said.

The Port Angeles Speedway opens for the public this Saturday (March 27) with a standard fare of racing: stock cars, hobby stocks, hornets, junior hornets and queen bees.

Reach Michael Dashiell at

Port Angeles speedway race nights

When: Saturday evenings (some Fridays and Sundays), March 27-Oct. 16

Times: Gates open at 4 p.m.; cars time-in at 5 p.m.; races begin at 6:30 p.m.

Where: 255678 Highway 101, between Sequim and Port Angeles near Washington State Patrol office

Tickets: Adults, $10; seniors (60+), active military with ID and students with ID, $8; youths (6-12), $6; children under 6, free; Family pass (two adults, up to three children), $30. Special events - Add $2 for individuals, family passes are $35. Premium tickets are $15 for all except children 3-12 are $10, young than 3 are free. Season passes - Adults, $250; seniors, military and students with ID, $200; Children 6-12, $175.

P.A. Speedway

special races/


April 17 - Faster Pastor race

April 24 - Couch Potato Night

May 1 - Port Hadlock Port Townsend night ($2 off for residents)

May 8 - Moms get in for $5

May 15 - Cancer Awareness Night, demo derby, youths under 12 get in free

May 22 - Tickets $2 off with two cans of food

May 29 - Unhappy Housewife Night (see story)

June 12 - Scout Night (see story)

June 19 - Dads get in for $5

June 26 - Eve of Destruction (boat race, school bus race, roll over contest), Media Race Night

July 3 -- Fireworks show

July 23 - Monster Trucks, Tuff Trucks

July 24 - Monster Trucks

Aug. 7 - Harley Night, lawn mower races

Aug. 14 - Race of Past Champions

Sept. 11 - Students with ID get in free

Oct. 16 - Final Survivor Race, Great Pumpkin Race (final races of season)

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