Monday, May 7, 2012

1973 - Fairmont Race Track to Be Open for Season

Fairmont, Minn. (May 7, 1973) – Fairmont’s Martin County Fairgrounds Speedway, one of Minnesota’s best auto racing facilities, will be operated in 1973 by a group formed by a prominent area businessman. The move apparently saves the track from inactivity this year.

The half mile clay-surfaced track, one of the area’s only sources of live sports entertainment, will be operated by PACE (Professional Auto Competition Enterprises), a corporation headed by Neil J. Larson of Blue Earth. Larson is president of L and M Motors, Chevrolet-Olds-Buick agency in that city.

After largely unsuccessful promotional efforts in 1972, Martin County fair board members had agreed the track would not reopen in 1973 under the same management.

The Larson group learned of this, and approached the board with a plan for operation of the track. After several meetings during the winter, the proposal was accepted.

In this announcement of the new track management, Larson said, “Fairmont is too good a track to be closed, and we need good live action entertainment in our area. The track has better grandstands than any speedway in the state except the state fair (the Fairmont stands came from Minneapolis’ Metropolitan Stadium, where they were the original expansion seating for Vikings football games).”

“We have made a detailed study of past operations,” Larson added, “and arranged for professional consultation in our planning. We think we have the answers that will make Fairmont the southern Minnesota headquarters for top racing action.”

One answer, says Larson, is to offer prize money equal to any in the state, to insure the entry of large fields of cars. In addition, admission prices will actually be lowered. “We want to make Fairmont Speedway a place for families to spend an entertaining Saturday evening at reasonable cost - no more than they would spend for a first-run movie,” Larson said.

The new management’s plans call for the track to operate Saturday evenings starting in mid May, and to feature the popular late model stock cars, along with a hobby stock racing class designed to encourage new entrants in the sport.

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