Rain again throws wrench in Dixie plans
by Emily Horos
ehoros@cherokeetribune.com
August 14, 2013 12:33 AM | 802 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
It only took a light rain shower to suspend Saturday night’s racing at Dixie Speedway, leaving hope that the third time would be the charm for the United Sprint Car Series.

Dixie spokeswoman Mia Swims-Green said a light shower fell around 4 p.m., but track officials were still able to get the dirt course ready for racing by 7 p.m. Hot laps were run, as were a couple heats, before the rain fell for a second time.

It was the second time that rain forced the USCS to be postponed, with the new date set for Aug. 24. Dixie was originally been scheduled to host the sprint series in early July, but that event was postponed due to a threat of rain that never happened.

“It wasn’t heavy rain. It was just enough to make the track unable to iron out,” Swims-Green said. “It was very disappointing. The USCS sprint car director and his staff were very disappointed, as we were. It was the second time around to have these guys in town. We were all just hanging our shoulders. Maybe the third time is the charm.”

It was the sixth time this season that races at Dixie had been canceled due to rain. In all but one of those instances, the races were canceled after the program had begun.

“We have really battled the weather this year,” Swims-Green said. “(On Saturday), we actually thought that the rain was going to miss us. We had a brief shower right before the gates opened, and the sun came out. We thought we were home-free.”

Dixie’s fans must have felt the same way because Swims-Green said they came out in great numbers right before racing was to begin.

“It was unbelievable,” she said. “They all came at one time. I think they were waiting to see if the shower would pass. All of a sudden, the lines to the ticket windows were out into the parking lot. We were able to get everyone in before hot laps started, but it just wasn’t meant to be.”

With so many cancellations this season, revenue at the Woodstock dirt track is down. Not only that, but when special shows, such as the USCS, are postponed, the track must invest more money in marketing.

“There is just added cost for advertising and marketing the show again,” Swims-Green said. “Posters and ads, but today, with all the social media outlets, that can help get the word out fast. That really helps.”

Ticket stubs from Saturday’s rained-out races will be honored Aug. 24 when the program is made up. Fans who did not purchase tickets may do so on the night of the event.

“It will be a complete re-do,” Swims-Green said. “Because it was a $17 (race), those tickets will be honored on Aug. 24. We did move the championship bike races to (this Saturday), because we know that is mostly our local crowd, and it will be a $10 ticket price for that.”
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