Rocky Mountain Raceway closing after 22 Years

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Rocky Mountain Raceway is closing its doors after 22 years of excitement and great competition. All parts of the raceway will be closed at the end of this season. (Abigail Keenan)

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Rocky Mountain Raceways in West Valley is wrapping up its final season after 22 years in operation.

The racing facility was acquired by Young Automotive Group — a neighboring car dealership — in October 2010. Since then, Young Automotive has leased the land to the raceway. The 89-acre property will be converted to extra warehouse space for Young Automotive starting February or March of next year.

The raceway is selling everything they own on their property to simplify the transition. They have already received several bids for items such as concession stands and bleachers.

Young Automotive has also supplied a severance package and a team of 12 full-time and 250 part-time employees to help with the transition. Most of the team will be hired by Young Automotive in their dealership department after the transition.

“I am very appreciative of the Young Automotive Group because if they really wouldn’t have stepped in we wouldn’t have had the quality of racing we’ve had over the last 22 years,” General Manager Mike Eames said.

Events at Rocky Mountain Raceways include races on the 1/4 mile drag strip that lays back to back with the 3/8th oval arena. There is also a motocross track that holds races on the weekends.

“There aren’t many other racetracks in the country that have a set up like ours that enables the audience to switch back and forth between races,” Eames said.

Eames and his team are very proud of the facility’s accomplishments and hopeful for the last few events of the season which includes the Night of Fire and Horsepower Heaven.

The Night of Fire, held on September 15, is one of the more anticipated events of the season. It will take place on a drag strip lined with fireworks, jet engines, and dragsters. The dragsters will race with fireworks at their sides, adding even more excitement to an already exhilarating race.

When asking Eames what event he is most excited about, he said, “all of them.”

After taking a few laps around the facility, it’s easy to notice the run-down bleachers and tracks. The drag strip has layers of burnt rubber ingrained in its starting line, giving it a gummy texture. Old Honda Accords with extreme paint jobs are stacked all over the property, awaiting the next event.

“It’s really sad because I have been coming here since I was really little, I have practically grown up here,” Rocky Mountain Raceway fan Cinnamon Wayman said.

The Raceway has many local fans who have been attended races for years. Bob Smith is a long-time race fan and has attended events on the property even before the raceway’s opening.

“It is very sad that it is ending. I have been coming here since 1981 to watch races,” Smith said.

Though the long-running raceway will close on October 1, it’ll go out with a bang. The last few weeks will be packed with events utilizing the drag strip, oval, and motocross tracks. Tickets can be purchased at http://rmrracing.com, SmithTix or at the venue.

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