Sports and Outdoors

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Baer Field Speedway returns

From the Baer Field Speedway:   

This spring will see Baer Field Speedway kick off the 50th year of providing family entertainment and championship-level stock car racing to Fort Wayne and the surrounding areas. When the first green flag rises on the season, it will do so under new management as long-time Speedway promoter Tom Isch has retired, ending his 20-year reign over the facility. Stepping into his large shoes will be area businessman and racer Jon Raney.

For Raney, owner of Jonny on the Spot Delivery Service, the opportunity to step into the promoter’s role was more of a surprise, than a goal. “I grew up watching races and helping drivers run their cars at Baer Field and later started my own driving career there,” said Raney. “I’d largely been away from the Speedway for the last several years, but my son decided he wanted to race, so I built him a go-kart for Friday nights. As the season went on, I started having conversations with Tom Isch and he revealed to me that 2012 would be his final year. At that point, the wheels started turning. As a racer, you always play the game, ‘If I had the track, I’d do this and that.’ Well, now I do, so I guess I get the chance!”

To assist in the day-to-day operations, Raney retained longtime Speedway employee Bob Koorsen as Program Director. The Speedway has also hired a new sales and promotions staff to try and bring the historic facility more into the public eye.

One of the immediate priorities for the new management is to make the facility more fan and family-friendly. “Baer Field Speedway is a 50 years old she certainly shows her age in some places,” said Raney. “We’re invested in this for the long term, so fans can expect to see some immediate changes the next time they come through the turnstiles as we started on improvements, less than two weeks after we took over the property.”

Looking ahead to 2013 and the 50th anniversary, Raney had this to say, “I think the fans will be very pleased to see what we have in store for them! First, we plan to be much more active in the community. I believe that Baer Field Speedway has the best entertainment value for dollar of anything in Allen or any surrounding county and it’s our job to take that message to as many people as possible! We will continue to present a fast-paced, 2½ hour, exciting program every Saturday night from May through September and we will keep the admission prices low, in many cases, much lower than other ‘traditional’ entertainment venues, plus good food at family-friendly prices and FREE PARKING! We also plan to bring in some spectacular special events, some of which will be ‘first-evers’ in the 50 years of Baer Field, plus some old returning favorites. We will also continue to invest in the future of the sport, by hosting weekly go-kart races at both our paved and dirt karting tracks.”
The Speedway will kick off the 50th Anniversary season on Saturday, May 11, with the HOSS Outlaw Winged Sprints in the first of two appearances of the season. Other “special events” will include the 16th annual “Gold Cup” on Saturday, July 27; $20 car load nights on Saturday, May 27 and Saturday, June 29; the “50th Anniversary Night” with FOUR 50-lap features and $5 admission on Saturday, August 17; the first appearance in nearly a decade for the MSA Winged Supermodifieds on Saturday, July 6; the return of the ARCA/CRA Super Series on Sunday, September 15; and the return of the OUTLAW Super Late Models and the “Three Rivers Festival 100” on Wednesday, July 17…featuring a Speedway record $10,000 winner’s purse! Late Models, Modifieds, Street Stocks, Mini Stocks, and Front Wheel Drives will be a part of every Saturday night racing program.

For 2013, the Speedway will once again offer the popular “FAST PASS” season-ticket option. A “FAST PASS” is good for 20 adult grandstand admissions (or dirt go-kart pit passes) which may be used for ANY 2013 Baer Field Speedway event. The 2013 “FAST PASS” will be just $200 and represents a saving of nearly $200, if used just for 2013 special events. The “FAST PASS” is available only for a limited time and may be purchased online of through the Speedway office.

For rules, schedules, and information, check the Speedway website at or email:

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