New Rockingham-Like Racetrack in the Works in Minnesota

By Jonathan Fjeld, TRE Chief Correspondent

1/15/2012

 
Minnesota has had a history of racing with tracks like Minnesota State Fairgrounds Raceway, Rex Speedway, Raceway Park at Shakopee, and Twin City Motor Speedway. The history of racing has produced many race fans across the state who enjoyed racing at the tracks and listening to races on the radio. It has since passed down from generation to generation. 

This has since inspired the idea of a track in Minnesota. "Jim Farnum has been involved with racing for many years and thought of developing a motorsports complex in Minnesota," said Elwyn Tinklenberg, PR director for the Minnesota Speedway Park project.

The idea has been looking to move forward for years and is making the step now. In the interview, Tinklenberg mentioned that most of this year [2012] will be taken up by getting things finalized to start an 18 month construction project later in the year.

The track is planned to be a 7/8 mile oval. Tinklenberg said in the interview that, "The idea came from support from the sanctioning body and racing fans along with track builders wanting to move away from 1.5 mile 'cookie cutter' tracks." Tinklenberg also stated it would give race fans "a better race  experience".

With Elko Speedway nearby, Tinklenberg was asked how it would effect the track, "We believe that it could be like how one business comes in, another one comes in, and there is competition which makes each business work harder to be better than the other." The track would grow interest for racing in Minnesota like with hockey when a hockey arena was built in state capital, St. Paul, for NHL. It later sparked interest for hockey.

Financial support for the track has been mentioned in an FAQ concerning the project on the Minnesota Speedway Park website. The support was stated to be "privately funded". The project is close to  make an announcement concerning funding for the track while they have a verbal commitment for funding for the track but nothing more was stated.

MSP's goal to get started on construction is expected to be late 2012 and open in the summer of 2014. Tinklenberg said the track may see its 1st major motorsports race within the 1st year of opening. More details will be released as time goes by and will be posted to TRE.