By JOHN SCHMIDT
Special to The Hays Daily News
The long wait for the 2014 race season at Thomas County Speedway is just about over as action resumes at 7 p.m. Sunday.
Similar to last season, several improvements have been made to the track, as well as the grandstands. Another change to get the fans excited about the season is the return of cruiser cars.
Several drivers were not a fan of the table-top added in turns three and four during the 2013 season. With the help of Bernie Meyer at Murfin Drilling and several others, the table-top has been removed. The wall was moved a few feet back, then the track was graded the rest of the way to the wall. That widened turns three and four by approximately 8 feet.
Also the wall was pointed down at an angle, so it will help push the cars back on the track instead of creating a ramp.
MD Auto Works of Colby also is sponsoring an extra $100 to the modified purse each race. That means an extra $50 for first place, $30 for second and $20 for third.
There also were several changes to make a better show for the fans. One of the biggest complaints from last season was how long it took to run the race.
Jeff Carney has found several new volunteers and moved some existing volunteers in the hopes of running a smoother show. The biggest change the fans will notice is the new and improved sound system. The announcer spent the offseason shopping for a new sound system. The track would like to thank BP Miller Farms, Donna Bennett with Waddell and Reed, NWK Tree Service, J&S trucking and Renee Rains Photography for contributing to the improvement.
The schedule features several special events this year. The cruisers will make their return to Colby on June 1, 15 and Aug. 10. Also, the URSS 305 sprint cars will make their return to the track June 29.On July 5 will be an enduro race. Enduro races are endurance races in which drivers see who can complete 200 laps the fastest or the most laps in two hours.
When the BST series returns July 20, it will be bringing NASCAR driver Ken Schrader to race against the best modified drivers northwest Kansas has to offer.
For a full schedule and a list of all the grandstand specials, visit thomascountyspeedway.com or go to their Facebook page. Also, anyone looking for rules on cruisers, econos or enduro cars can go to the website as well.