“The race cars can’t drive on ice,” Dixie spokeswoman Mia Green said, “and that is what that dirt track turns into after five to 10 minutes in the rain.”
Green said that, in other parts of the country, rain might not end a night at the track, but it does every time with Dixie’s red-clay racing surface.
An unexpected burst of rain in the middle of Saturday’s program forced the postponement of several races, including the Bill Ingram Memorial.
“The rain came out of nowhere,” Green said. “Someone said that rain was in the area, and we pulled up the radar on our phones, and there was no rain even showing. We were shocked.”
Green said that if the rain happens before the track’s dirt is packed down, the show can usually go on as scheduled. That wasn’t the case Saturday, when the rain began falling midway through the program.
Green said people often ask why they don’t try to get the track ready for racing after a downpour, but the explanation is simple.
“When it’s packed and ready to go, it literally turns into a sheet of ice,” she said. “It’s strange. If the rain happens before, when the track is still tacky and muddy, they can just keep riding with it with the trucks and packing it in and delay the start of the race for at least an hour. If it rains after they have already started, it’s a complete sheet of ice after five minutes.
“People who have been around racing in this area for a while understand.”
It’s the third time this season that at least part of the program has been rained out at Dixie. Green recalled having as few as one rainout in previous seasons, while it’s been much more common for races to be washed out in other years.
“We’ve had seasons before where almost half the shows rain out,” she said, “so it really just depends on the year.”
All of the races that weren’t completed will be made up this weekend. The race program now includes two races from the Crate Models, Super Late Models and Cruisers, as well as the regularly scheduled Econo Bomber, Super Bomber, Pony Stock and Limited Late Model races.
Because of the additional races, there will be an earlier start time Saturday. The pit gates will open at 4 p.m. and the track will be packed at 6 p.m.
Fans who were in attendance last Saturday can present a ticket stub from that night and purchase a general admission ticket for $7. With a stub from trackside admission, trackside passes are available for $15.
“If we can’t honor the full ticket stub, we always give our fans a discount, for the ones that were there, to come back,” Green said. “They get to see the whole show, and then the additional double feature.”
For fans not in attendance last Saturday, tickets will be $15 for adults in the grandstands, $6 for ages 9-17 and free for children 8 and under. Tailgate passes are $20 per person, while pit passes are $25.