Deer Creek Speedway set for 20th Anniversary season
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March 18, 2015  |  by Todd Narveson

SPRING VALLEY, Minn.—Rochester businessman Tom Ferguson had an idea to build a racetrack somewhere in Southeast Minnesota. After a search for a spot to build one on, Ferguson started the building process late in 1995 that would become the Deer Creek Speedway on the former 5-J’s campground site.

The first program ran on May 11, 1996, and the winners that night included Jeff Brauer in the Pure Stocks, Darin Toot won the Sportsman division, Dave Tradup topped the Super Stocks and Troy Hale was the first Modified feature winner.

Ferguson ran the facility in 1996 and 1997 before he sold it to Mike and Cindy Schubert with SMS Promotions. The Schuberts would install the wall, remove the pond and move the pit area during their tenure. They would run the speedway through the 2001 season and then sold the facility to the Queensland family of Grand Meadow, Minn.

Under the direction of the Queenslands, the first V.I.P. suite building was built in 2002. The USMTS Featherlite Fall Jamboree was moved to Deer Creek in 2002. They were awarded the WISSOTA Track of the Year in 2004. In 2005 the second V.I.P. building was constructed on the turn 4 side of the track. Deer Creek was also bestowed the honor of hosting the legendary NAPA Gopher 50 Late Model race in 2005.

The 1/5-mile Button Buck Speedway was added to the infield in 2008 for the Slingshot program. In Button Buck’s inaugural season it was given the Slingshot Track of the Year. That same year the Queenslands were awarded Regional Promoter of the Year by Racing Promotion Monthly (RPM). The World of Outlaws Late Model Series presented the Queenslands with their Promoter of the Year Award for the Gopher 50 race. More awards came in 2010 with another Regional Promoter of the Year title and also the Auto Racing Promoter of the Year (ARPY) Award by RPM.

More improvements and additions to the facility took hold in 2012. The Party Deck was built next to the officials building and the Pepsi Fan Zone sits high above turn one. Both areas give fans a unique perspective of the races and the facility in general.

MORE FACTS ABOUT DEER CREEK...

Did you know the track once had a big pond in the infield? It was in the turn two side of the speedway until it was removed in 1999. Several drivers had the misfortune of entering the pond while it was there.

The track also did not have an outside wall when it opened. The track operated for three years until SMS Promotions put a retaining wall around the speedway for safety purposes. The front stretch barrier remained a guardrail until 2003 when it was updated after Jimmy Davis split the guardrail in 2002.

The pit area for the race cars actually was located off turns three and four until 1999. It was kind of neat to watch the haulers weave their way through the campgrounds to the pit gate which was located next to the big shed back there.

The speedway has not only hosted stock car races. It has also held combine demolition derbies, concerts, rodeos and automobile demolition derbies.

Another statistic that is a bit mind-boggling is that during any given event the Deer Creek Speedway becomes the second largest city in Mower County.

DEER CREEK SPEEDWAY BY THE NUMBERS...

426—That is how many racing programs have been run at the facility since it opened.

393—Number of different feature winners in the track’s history. The top five stack up like this: Bob Timm (51), Mike Sorensen (50), Mark Teske (48), Brandon Davis (44) and Jeff Brauer (42).

172—The most cars that filled the pits for a weekly show on April 8, 2006.

85—The number of United States Modified Touring Series events held at the facility. That is the most of any track the USMTS travels to. Kelly Shryock was the first winner on May 25, 2002.

73—The number of times Mother Nature has halted racing at Deer Creek.

60—That is approximately how many acres the Deer Creek Speedway and campground rest on.

57—Is the number of different point champions at the speedway. Jason Cummins leads the way with six titles.

41—Feature wins that Jim Chisholm was collected and leads the way with on the 1/5-mile Button Buck Speedway.

37—In those 85-USMTS programs there have been 37-different winners. Kelly Shryock and Jason Hughes are tied with the most wins at 10 per driver.

36—That is how many V.I.P. decks that race fans enjoy the racing action from.

28—Is the number of different divisions/sanctioning bodies that have raced one time or another during the tracks history.

24—The first two shows hit the track in 2012 followed by three cancellations. A bizarre run of weather then followed and 24-straight programs ran off without a rainout to end the season. That set a record for most consecutive programs in one season.

19—In 2008 a 1/5-mile track was built on the infield. As of 2014, the Truck Country Slingshot program on the Button Buck Speedway has produced 19-drivers that have moved up to race on the big track.

12—Most feature wins by one driver in a season set by Bob Timm in 2003 winning five in a Modified and seven in a Late Model.

11—Most feature wins in a division for a season. Jim Gustafson (2002), Travis Krause (2003) and Danny Hanson (2010). All three just happen to be WISSOTA Street Stock racers.

10—It will be remembered as the year of the weathered out shows. The 2014 season set a record for cancelled races with 10-of them not able to go.

8—It was accomplished twice, once with the WISSOTA Super Stocks in 2007 and in the USRA Modifieds in 2006. The season would start off with eight different feature winners before someone got their second win.

7—Longest win streak is a tie between Jim Gustafson and Travis Krause. Gustafson drove his Street Stock to the streak from June 1 to July 6 in 2002 while Krause tied the feat from May 24 to July 5, 2003.

2—Shows that were halted due to crashes. The first was on July 31, 2004 after the tragic accident that took the life of Dwarf Car driver Jim Dahle. The other was the crash during the USMTS show on May 28, 2005 that injured several drivers. That wreck got regional and national attention and was featured in Speedway Illustrated Magazine.

2—Is the least amount of rainouts in one season, they came in 1999, 2001 and 2003.

The 20th Anniversary season will kick off on Saturday, March 28, with the annual car show at Clements Chevrolet in Rochester, Minn. With Mother Nature’s approval, the racing will commence on Saturday, April 4. For complete information on the upcoming 2015 season go to www.deercreekspeedway.com, like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and check out their videos at their YouTube channel.



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