Page 2 of 2 Previous

Continued: Fans, drivers say they'll miss Raceway Park, cling to hope of relocation

  • Article by: SETH ROWE , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Last update: August 14, 2013 - 9:51 AM

“It’s a place where you can bring your family and not worry about what’s going to go on there,” the elder Wolff said.

During an Aug. 4 race, he ended up placing first after exchanging leads more than once with runner-up Jacob Goede of Carver.

“Most places, we wouldn’t be talking to each other,” Wolff said. “But he and I had a beer together and talked. That’s what I like about Raceway Park. You’re fierce competitors on the track, but you’re friends when you get out of your car.”

His mother, Richfield resident Ellen Wolff, said the track’s closure is difficult for her family and other longtime patrons, who call her “Mama Wolff.”

“When I first heard it, I couldn’t stop crying because I think that it’s like losing a family member,” she said. “I know we’ll still be in contact with everybody, but it was hard to take.”

Minneapolis resident Cathi Nelson, who has been visiting Raceway Park for about 30 years, said she has had a lifelong obsession with the sport.

“I really wish there were some way they could save it, but with the economy the way it is I understand how businesspeople are,” Nelson said.

While Nelson said she appreciates the practicality of recycling plants, she said she would like Raceway Park to be able to keep operating at its home since the 1950s.

“I have dreams where if I were to win today’s lottery I’d own the track because I’d buy it,” Nelson said. “That’s the honest truth.”

Races are scheduled through Sunday, Sept. 1. For details, visit

Seth Rowe is a Twin Cities freelance writer.

  • related content

  • Brothers Dylan, 9, left, and Mason Raaen, 7, of New Prague cheered on the drivers during the “Pack the Stands” event at Raceway Park in Shakopee.

  • Fans watch the races during the "Pack the Stands" event at Raceway Park in Shakopee, Minn., on Sunday, August 4, 2013. ] (ANNA REED/STAR TRIBUNE) (cq)

  • The inside of one of the race cars had been modified to make its operation super-simple: Off, On and Start.

  • Pit crew members relaxed on the roof of a van. The scene was reminiscent of the rooftops at the Chicago Cubs’ Wrigley Field.

  • Jay Barta, right, of Burnsville and his father, Dennis Barta of Richfield, worked on their race car in the Raceway Park pit area.

  • Racers raised dust and headed to the track during the “Pack the Stands” event at Raceway Park in Shakopee on Aug. 4.

  • Left:  About 3,000 race fans came for “Pack the Stands” day.

  • Above:  Jessica Ziemiecki, 9, of Corcoran played with her toy cars while waiting for the real racing to begin.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters