Baer Field Speedway, located in Fort Wayne, Indiana has announced on their website that all shows for the July 4th weekend have been cancelled. This includes their demolition derby scheduled for Friday, July 4th and their stock car program on Saturday, July 5th.
As of 4:00pm EDT Wednesday, the Baer Field Facebook page is no longer functioning and the track’s event schedule on its website redirects to an error page.
Speed51.com reached out to Bob Koorsen, Baer Field Speedway Public Relations Director/Announcer, and was told that a full release about the future of the track will be coming out later.
Trackside Racing first reported that the track is closed for the season. Speed51.com spoke to Nick Smith, operator of the website, who told 51 that he has “very reliable sources” that work for or are connected to Baer Field.
Speed51.com’s message to Koorsen for a response to the report has gone unreturned as of print time.
Baer Field Speedway opened in 1963. Weekly racing divisions include Late Models, Modifieds, Street Stocks, Mini Stocks and Front Wheel Drives. Rain washed out the track’s most recent event, which was scheduled for June 28. The last race held there featured the $10,000-to-win Outlaw Super Late Model 100 won by Jeff Ganus on June 21.
Update: Track Promoter Jon Raney spoke to Blake Sebring at the News-Sentinel this afternoon. Raney did confirm that he is canceling the rest of the 2014 season and ending his association with the track leaving the future of Baer Field Speedway uncertain.
“I don’t want to go through this any more,” Raney told the News-Sentinel. “The main problem is the decline of attendance for the grandstands and a lot of that is due to the racers tearing down the place on social media. I build up the facilities, and the racers don’t reciprocate it to me. It’s just a negative weight for me.”
He also sited losing money to weather along with driver discontent over new rules that Raney was forced to implement because of insurance policies. He also received threatening phone calls at his trucking business and can’t afford to jeopardize that because of the racetrack.
“I’ve been thinking about it for the last month,” he said. “I was trying to think of all kinds of different ways to make it work. Last year was fun, but this year has been really hard. I really hate doing this. I was a racer at heart. The worst thing is it’s like a slap to the face because you are putting your heart and soul out there working for people who don’t appreciate it.”
(Full article is available at: http://www.news-sentinel.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140702/SPORTS/140709893)
Baer Field Speedway photo