Montana Raceway Park, the home of the Montana 200 Super Late Model race, has closed permanently according to an announcement by the track on Tuesday.
“Through 30 years of racing as a cornerstone facility in the northwest there has been a lot of ups and downs,” the announcement reads. “Today is the day where we announce that Montana Raceway Park will be closed permanently. This is not an easy decision like any decision where we know there will be heavy hearts but for the past few years there has been constant vandalism, declining fan bases and support. The COVID-19 crisis which has forced us to close our doors for the season will have an unsurvivable economic impact forcing our hand.”
While the track no longer has a Facebook page, a photo circulating on Facebook shows work is already underway to deconstruct the facility, including breaking up the racing surface near the start/finish line.
Montana Raceway Park cancelled its 2020 season in March during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. At that time, it had not released a 2020 schedule.
The venue’s marquee event was the Montana 200 for Super Late Models. The event had taken on considerable prestige for Super Late Model competitors in the Northwest.
Lance Wade won the first Montana 200 in 1991, the same year the track opened. Gary Lewis holds the record for most Montana 200 victories, with all four of his triumphs coming in consecutive years between 2007 and 2010.
Owen Riddle had positioned himself to challenge Lewis for a spot in the Montana 200 record books after winning the event last year. Riddle’s 2019 victory gave him three Montana 500 wins in the past five years.
The venue was also known as one of the most scenic venues in short track racing. Views of the Flathead Valley and the Rocky Mountains provided a picturesque backdrop for short track racing at the facility.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Scott Rasmussen Facebook