QUINCY — That smile on Dave Wietholder’s face was no accident.
“It’s been nice to see everyone again,” said Wietholder, one of the more than 30 drivers who had vehicles on display at the Adams County Speedway Car Show over the weekend at the Quincy Town Center.
“The last couple of years I was wondering about the future of the track,” Wietholder said.
He was not alone. The track, formerly known as Quincy Raceways, reopens in April after being closed for two years due in part to restrictions tied to the pandemic, coupled with overall mismanagement.
New track promoter Jimmy Lieurance, who operated Randolph County Speedway in Moberly (Mo.) in 2021, was on hand Saturday and Sunday to meet and greet fans and talk with drivers. The popular Lieurance had more than 40 years experience at the old Quincy Raceways before taking over the site last fall on a rent-to-own agreement with Paul Holtschlag, who has served as either full or part-owner of the 28.5-acre facility since 2011.
“I wish Jimmy (and his staff) a lot of luck,” said Wietholder, 48, whose five overall track titles rank sixth all-time in Quincy Raceways history. The old records of Quincy Raceways are being retired, accenting the start of a new era this year at 8000 Broadway. Quincy Raceways operated uninterrupted from 1975 through 2019.
“I was so excited when I found out Quincy would be racing again,” said another former track champ, “Clean Livin'” Joe Bliven, 49, who said he “so badly wanted his final season as a driver” to be at his home track. For the second straight year, Bliven will be driving a sport mod for car owner Bob Cowman. Bliven is hoping to repeat the 2011 Quincy championship he won on the .29-mile circuit. Bliven was Quincy’s first sport mod champion.
“This is probably my last year, and I am thrilled to be able to race that last year at the (Broadway) Bullring,” Bliven said.
Opening night at the track will be April 10. Starting time has been moved up to 5 p.m. early in the season, and will likely be moved back to 5:30 at some point early in the schedule. Hot laps are set for 4:30 p.m.
“We want to get people home at a decent time on Sunday nights,” Lieurance said.
Lieurance feels confident where will be a minimum of “12 to 14” cars in all classes early in the season, including the popular crate late models. Darin Weisinger Jr. will be one of those crate late model pilots. He’ll likely be the youngest at age 22, but already has four years of experience in that division.
“Our goal is always to win, but also to be a top-five car,” he said. Weisinger and his family, particularly dad Darin Sr. and mom Debbie, are part of the heart and soul of the track. The family has been involved well before Darin Jr. was even born.
“This is what our family does — we race,” Weisinger Jr. said. “And I couldn’t do it without my mom and dad.”
When Quincy failed to open in 2020, Weisinger Jr., like other local drivers, took their cars to nearby tracks at such sites as Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa, and 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa.
“It will be good to be able to race again in Quincy,” Weisinger Jr. said.
The cost of competing could be a major issue this spring, summer and fall. Gas prices currently plaguing the general public could be a problem for late model, modified, stock car and four-cylinder drivers, too. Race fuel is currently running about $13.33 a gallon, and much like the pain at the pump for the everyday driver, that price is not expected to go down anytime soon. How the rising fuel prices affect car and spectator turnout will likely not be known until sometime early this spring.
Adams County Speedway ticket prices will remain the same as they were when Quincy Raceways closed down in 2019. Admission prices will be $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $5 for kids. Those children under-5 will be admitted free. Season passes are also available for $250, a price that includes all special events at the track. There are currently 24 nights of racing scheduled at the speedway.
Among the nights to circle on this year’s schedule include:
- April 10, Opening night.
- May 22, Midwest Auto Racing Series (MARS).
- June 22, IMCA Summer Nationals Hell Tour.
- July 3, Open Wheel Madness.
- Aug. 21, Sprint Invaders.
- Aug. 28, Season championship races.
- Sept. 18, Chad McCoy Memorial
- Sept. 25, Sprint Invaders.
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