By Ray Hamill — Changes are in the air for the Redwoods Acres Raceway.
On Friday, it was announced that a group of local racers has come together to form Redwoods Acres Raceway LLC, a partnership that will promote and run the local track, effective immediately.
“Everything will be run businesslike and more organized,” said longtime local racer Jim Redd, who is a part of the new ownership group along with Joe Bonomini and Bill White. “And I think it’s going to be a good thing.”
The new partnership will be implementing several upgrades in time for the 2020 season, which gets under way on May 2, most notably the addition of a new state-of-the-art scoreboard.
The new scoreboard, which will measure six feet by 20, will keep fans updated in real time on all pertinent information, including laps, fast times and current top five racers.
It is expected to be installed in time for opening night.
And more importantly, the new owners will be reinvesting all revenue back into the iconic local raceway.
“We’re not going to take a penny out of it,” Redd said. “Every bit of it will go back into the fairgrounds.”
Including 50 percent of all revenue raised going towards track improvements.
Other improvements for 2020 include the addition of extra caution lights to make it safer for the drivers, as well as additional food vendors so fans won’t have to wait in line as long.
There will also now be a food vendor in the pit area, and the raceway website will keep fans updated on results in real time.
All decisions on the raceway will now be made by a six-person board, which includes the three members of the ownership group, instead of just one person.
The new LLC takes over control of the raceway from the fairgrounds, which ran things last season after taking over from longtime track promoter Blair Aiken when he departed two years ago.
There have been problems in the past with employees and drivers not getting paid in a timely fashion, something Redd stresses will not be a problem any more.
“We’re trying to make a statement right off the bat that things are going to be better,” Redd said.
Friday’s announcement comes on the same day as the raceway’s annual banquet, which will be held later in the day at Blue Lake Casino.
The 2020 season will feature 10 race nights, and Redd says he is hoping to add the Big Rig Series in 2021.