By Doug Halberstadt
A name very familiar to Rockford racing fans has been making some news the last few weeks. Gregg McKarns, the former general manager of Rockford Speedway, was recently introduced as the owner of the ARCA Midwest Tour. And if that wasn’t enough, McKarns also purchased the Madison International Speedway. The half-mile asphalt oval is in Oregon, Wisconsin.
The track holds a special place in McKarns’ memory bank. His parents, John and Sue McKarns, ran the track back in the early 1980s when it was known as Capital Super Speedway. The younger McKarns was an infant then, but recalls going through photos and articles that brought back memories of ARTGO racing and other special events the track hosted while he was growing up. He stated, “Now, my wife Angie and I will now have an incredible opportunity to add more to the great history of this place.”
As the new owner, McKarns plans on keeping one thing the same. The track is known for Friday night racing. McKarns intends to maintain the “Friday Night Tradition.”
“This track has a great history, and part of that history is that the weekly racing program is on Friday night,” McKarns explained. “Race fans are familiar with that night, and now we will do everything we can to have more fans make Madison their place to go on Friday nights during the spring and summer.”
As far as weekly divisions, McKarns indicated that his top weekly division will follow Big 8 Late Model rules with monthly Super Late Model events. He also plans on a Sportsman division and will announce other additional divisions at a later date.
Over the years, several drivers who call the Rockford Speedway home on Saturday nights have also competed at the Oregon track on Fridays. Past competitors include Rich Bickle, Travis Kvapil, Joe Shear, Dick Trickle, Bobby Wilberg and Steve Carlson, to name a few.
More about MIS will be available on their new website, www.misracing.com. The website is under construction and is scheduled to go online at 9 a.m. today (Wednesday, Feb. 4).
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
Posted Feb. 3, 2015