SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. – USA Raceway in Tucson, Ariz., will re-open in February after nearly two years of inactivity.
The catalyst in the unexpected return to racing was another track located 250 miles away.
Arizona Speedway promoter and the creator of the IMCA Arizona Modified Tour, Jonah Trussel, wanted a fourth track to be part of the series in February. The prior two years Cocopah Speedway, just south of Yuma, Ariz., was part of the tour. However, the Indian Tribal Council that runs the track shut it down last August, stating that any further announcements would not come until early 2019.
That put the Tour in a bind as waiting until early 2019 was not an option for a series that starts in early February. Trussel communicated with the Council about still having the Tour events in Yuma, Ariz., as originally planned, but an agreement was not reached.
Nearly two months ago, Trussel approached officials from USA Raceway about taking on the Tour dates. USA Raceway has not hosted a race since early 2017 after two attempts by different promoters at reopening the track were short lived. After weeks of negotiations, an agreement has been reached and Trussel now has a long term deal to promote events at the dirt oval.
For 2019 a limited schedule is planned, starting with a practice night and then two race nights for the IMCA Arizona Modified Tour on Feb. 14-16. Already set is a World Of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series event on April 5, with three or four other race nights expected to be added. Trussel is considering a two-day event in November that could close the season.
Tucson fans will again have two short tracks in their city as just more than 10 miles from USA Raceway is the three-eighths-mile paved oval Tucson Speedway, located at the fairgrounds. The paved track has posted a 21-event schedule for next year, leaving plenty of open weekends for the dirt oval to race.