The vote came as a result of a visit to the council from speedway
owner Norm Horn in July.
Horn addressed the council that evening,
saying he had been approached to do a two-day event in partnership
with the Spoon River Speedway at Canton. He said the first step for
considering the event would be for the council to give permission.
He also noted that even with their permission, he was at that time
undecided as to whether or not he would go forward.
In talking about this, he shared a brief overview of the
speedway's first attempt at hosting a motorcycle event, which
occurred on Mother's Day this year. That daylong event was scheduled
to take place in Lincoln when the Peoria Speedway was severely
damaged by flooding.
Horn said the May event had not been profitable for the Lincoln
track in the end because the number of entries in the race had
fallen dramatically over what he was told to expect. He said that
particular race was not one where they expected to draw a large
audience, so they were depending on entry fees to make a profit, and
that didn't happen.
In contrast, he said the proposed September races would be more
likely to bring spectators as well as participants, so the event
could end up being profitable. He said the experience in May was
what was now causing him to ponder whether or not to move forward
with another event. He also told the council that if he did go ahead
with it and it was not profitable, it would be the last time he
would consider motorcycle racing in Lincoln.
Horn told the council that if the races took place in Lincoln, he
felt there would be a good opportunity to put "heads in beds" in the
He told the council that the races that weekend would begin in
Canton on Friday night. He said that, speaking from experience, he
knows that once a race is over, it takes a while for folks to settle
down and get to the point where they can actually sleep. He noted
there are not all that many motels in the Canton area, so he would
hope people would use their winding-down time to pack up and come to
Lincoln to spend the night and be ready for the Saturday event.
[to top of second column]
During the discussion portion of the meeting, Jonie Tibbs said she
thought that having races in Lincoln offered great exposure of the
city to visitors, and she was in favor of continuing to support the
speedway in their efforts.
Kathy Horn also talked about the May event, saying she lived
close by and had not heard nearly as much noise with the motorcycles
as she hears with the cars.
Jeff Hoinacki asked if the track would need extra time for the
Horn said the curfew for Saturday is 11 p.m., and he does not
believe the races will go that long.
In addition to talking about the September races, Horn gave the
council an update on how many times the track had used curfew
This year the council agreed to a total of 90 minutes of
extensions for the track events, to be used in no more than
Horn said the speedway had used only 22 minutes of extensions
thus far. He noted that the time had been used mostly at the Summer
Nationals. He also told the council that the event was the largest
draw the racetrack had ever had. He said the grandstands were full
of spectators, and 107 cars competed.
Horn also told the council that he had asked for and they had
approved a total of nine Sunday rain dates, to be used as needed
when Friday night events were rained out. He said to date, the track
has had to use only two of those dates.
According to the Lincoln Speedway
motorcycle races will take place on Sept. 21. Gates will open at
3 p.m., with practice starting at 5 p.m. The races are scheduled to
begin at 7 p.m.
Classes will be Expert Singles, Pro Singles, 250 Amt., 450 Amt.,
450 Open Singles Amateur, Vet 30+, Open Vintage and Open Quad.
[By NILA SMITH]