Days are getting longer and warmer with the official start of summer just one week away. That also means the marquee summer races are closing in, such as the Summer Showdown at Evergreen Speedway (WA) on June 29-30.
Doug Hobbs, president of Evergreen Speedway, is beaming with excitement as the 8th Annual Summer Showdown draws nearer on the calendar – thanks in part to the lovely weather in the area surrounding the Monroe, Washington facility.
“It’s more exciting by the day, because we’re looking at 75 to 80 degree weather,” Hobbs told Speed51. “For us, in the Seattle market, that’s outstanding.”
The event has grown in stature over the past seven runnings, all part of the track’s revival under Hobbs since acquiring the venue in 2011.
“We took over the speedway in 2011,” said Hobbs. “It was pretty much on life support at the end of a bad trail of economy. The infrastructure was all gone, cars were gone, sponsors were gone, fans were gone.
“It’s been trying to rebuild the history here at Evergreen Speedway,” added Hobbs. “This is our 65th anniversary season, so we’re really proud to bring back another marquee event and add to everything that’s been in the history of Evergreen. It’s very rewarding to see not only drivers from the West Coast, but a sprinkling of drivers from other states and drivers coming from multiple provinces of Canada.”
Last season’s Summer Showdown featured a starting lineup of 41 cars. Hobbs expects a similar car count for this year’s race.
“Right now we have a lot that say they’re coming, or maybe they’re coming,” explained Hobbs. “We are confirmed at 40, more than a couple of weeks out.”
The race takes place on Evergreen’s daunting 5/8-mile oval, a high-speed track saved for the venue’s biggest races.
“It’s a high intensity and amount of competition,” said Hobbs. “This is the best of the best. A lot of the drivers that race on our big track, it’s a different animal than running on a quarter-mile, a 3/8-mile, even a half-mile. Our oversized 5/8-mile track is big, it’s fast and it’s not very forgiving when you get above 130 miles per hour. It hurts.
“Our weekly track is the 3/8-mile,” adde Hobbs. “We only run the big track three times a year, for marquee events, including the NASCAR K&N Series. Super Late Models run three times a year on the big track. It is definitely a challenge, but the drivers love it.”
Along with the on-track excitement, there will be plenty of activities around the track leading up to the Summer Showdown to entertain teams and fans alike.
“We have a lot of fanfare,” said Hobbs. “We have a whole Speedweek of activity. Fun things for fans to do, as well as drivers and teams. Golf outings, karting outings, wine tours. Free barbecue for the drivers, a big reception dinner Friday night. We make a real event out of it that week and take care of all the teams and make them want to come back year after year.”
For more information about the 2019 Summer Showdown, visit www.evergreenspeedway.com.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credi: Speed51.com photo