LAWTON, OK (TNN) - It’s one of the purest forms of auto racing. Boss Speedway held their first Friday night event of the season. As the dirt track racing season starts back up, everyone is anxious and ready to go after a long winter break.
But a lot of improvements were made at the short-track during the off season including the addition of a new concession stand to serve race fans and a new electronic scoring system. Electronic transponders are attached to each car, and as they come across the start/finish line they are recorded in the computer. This should eliminate any human error in the score-keeping of the race. Micro-Sprints have been added to the line-up this year; therefore, a 13-foot catch fence was added. In the event of a big crash, this will help keep cars on the track and out of the grandstand area. Additionally, new red clay was just put on the track this week to improve the racing surface.
"The adrenaline and excitement of racing is hard to replace," said Johnny Landers, owner and promoter of Boss Speedway.
Drivers and crew members put the final touches on their cars, scuffing tires, fueling engines and strapping on racing helmets.
“Lawton is a racing town,” said Landers. “It always has been. It always will be.”
In the pits of Boss Speedway, this tenth-of a mile dirt track in a pasture just outside of town, Friday evening’s races are about to begin.
“I had a sticker on my helmet back then that said go-kart racing, America’s best kept secret and it really is,” said Landers.
Maybe it’s the hum of air compressors and the smell of exhaust that draws fans to this type of no-frills racing.
“We have so much fun out here and that’s why we want everybody to come out here and try it,” said Landers. “Everybody needs to see what’s going on because if they see it, they’re going to want to be involved. It’s a lot of fun.”
Or maybe it’s the time families spend together.
“It’s a family sport, said Landers. “It’s what builds families together. They’re building memories out here.”
After all, racing roots run deep.
“It’s a multi-generational thing because they all run,” said Landers. “You see the child get in, then the dad and then the grandpa’s there. He’s even still running.”
Regardless, out here on racing’s outskirts, drivers drive and it really is that simple.
"It takes technique. It takes practice,” said Landers. “It takes concentration and focus. These kids show it every night here, every night-- lap after lap.”
Drivers as young as three are being introduced to the fundamentals of racing.
“These kids love it. You can’t get them to do anything else,” said Landers. “So, the people of Lawton need to come check these kids out because they are amazing. There’s not a kid out here that’s just not simply amazing to watch.”
It’s a night of fast cars and flying dirt that won’t empty your wallet. General admission is $10 and children 10 and under are free. Races are every Friday night beginning at 8:00 p.m.