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Paducah International Raceway set to open for 2014 season (Read 1241 times)
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Paducah International Raceway set to open for 2014 season
03/20/14 at 12:56am
MARCH 19, 2014

Paducah International Raceway set to open for 2014 season

PADUCAH, Ky. – Paducah Motorsports, Inc., announced today an agreement with the Mason family to lease Paducah International Raceway for the 2014 season. Paducah International Raceway will continue to host weekly racing each Friday night. Plans are being finalized for opening night on April 18 with the first major event on the schedule the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series race on May 3.

“I’m pleased the Mason family has come to an agreement to operate Paducah International Raceway this season,’’ said PIR co-owner Bob Sargent. “Paducah is a hotbed of racing, and PIR is an outstanding facility. The Masons have plenty of new ideas. I’m looking forward to a great transition with such quality people.’’

Paducah International Raceway was built in 1972 and continued a facility upgrade over the decades.

In November of 2005, NASCAR stars Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Ken Schrader along with Sargent purchased PIR. This was Dale Jr.’s first venture into owning a racetrack. Schrader also owns I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Mo., with Ray Marler. Sargent has been involved in promoting state fair races in Illinois, both at Springfield and DuQuoin.  He has worked with NASCAR, ARCA, World of Outlaws, and was co-owner of UMP with Schrader.

Three-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart joined the trio of co-owners as a partner in September of 2006. Stewart also owns Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. Sargent, Schrader, Stewart and Kenny Wallace jointly own Macon Speedway, just south of Decatur, Ill. During current ownership, PIR built a short track on the infield and luxury suites on the front straight, along with other improvements.

Following construction in 1972, PIR was operated by different business partners until 1975, when it was purchased by Charles Harrison. He gained experience through earlier involvement with Reidland (Ky.) Speedway for eight years.

In 1978, a new concrete retaining wall was built at the facility. The next season, PIR added  concrete bleachers to push seating to 5,000. In 1980, the original concession stand and judges tower were destroyed by fire. A new, modern scoring tower and concession stand were completed in 1981. Ron Fisher purchased the track from the Harrison. He ran the track for several years before the Tindal family purchased PIR in 2001.
PIR is the home USA World 50. The USA World 50 was known as the world’s richest 50-lap race. Jerry Inman won the inaugural USA World 50 in 1978. He followed it up with another win in 1979. Tom Helfrich went to victory lane in 1980 before Larry Moore took the win in 1981, followed by Russ Petro and Phil Gregory in the next two seasons. Other winners include (NASCAR Busch veteran) Jeff Purvis and (UMP Super Late Model National Champion) Terry English.
PIR is considered the premier dirt track speedway in Western Kentucky for its fast three-eighths mile track, extensive grandstands and luxury suites. PIR will continue to run weekly racing with UMP divisions such as modifieds, pro late models, stock cars, 4-cylinder warriors. The track has also hosted high school warriors.
Plans are also being finalized for a driver information meeting on Sunday, March 30. Practice is scheduled for April 11 and 12.
For more information on events at Paducah International Raceway, call 270-898-7469 or visit www.paducahracing.com. Information is also found at www.facebook.com/paducahracing and on Twitter @paducahracing. The track is also available through email at paducahracing@att.net.
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