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Rain wipes out Dacotah Rumble at Brown County Speedway

The field breaks at the starting line as the green flag flies at the start of a Modified heat race at Brown County Speedway earlier this season. Rain wiped out a big weekend of racing at BCS. Photo by John Davis taken 6/25/2021

It was a frustrating weekend for everybody involved in the Dacotah Rumble scheduled for Brown County Speedway.

While it didn’t rain much, it rained enough to put a damper on the three-day show at the local oval.

It all began with Tuesday’s rain which took a toll on the track and helped lead to the cancelation of the opening night on Thursday.

“The track was a mess and we couldn’t get it in shape. We put hours and hours in,” said Terry Voeltz, Brown County Speedway official. “It would have been a disaster on Thursday night.”

It appeared Friday night might work, but then the area received more moisture.

“We just about did it and then it rained some more,” Voeltz said.

Then came Saturday morning’s rain which officially brought an end to something that never got started.

“Maybe we only get a quarter of an inch of rain or something, but we pour 100,000 gallons of water on the race track. A quarter inch of rain is way, way more penetrating than many truckloads of water,” Voeltz said. “That rain is miracle water. It just penetrates a lot more. It softens the track all up and it takes a long time to get it back in shape.”

Voeltz said it would have been mid-afternoon Saturday before officials could have gotten onto the track to attempt to get it ready, but that all of the areas surrounding the oval were a mess. Any type of racing would likely have torn up the track.

“A lot of thought goes into it and a lot of things besides just having that race,” Voeltz said. “We want to race as bad as anybody else, obviously. That’s why we’re out there. We don’t cancel it lightly.”

He said preparing a high-banked track is not an easy task. He attempted to work on the track Thursday night, but had his equipment slide down from the top of the racing surface only making matters worse.

“You just can’t keep it up there. You just tear it all up and then you have a heck of a mess,” he said. “I was chewing myself out for the rest of the night for doing it. When you get things like this, patience is by far the most important thing, and I didn’t have my patience Thursday night.”

Voeltz said even had the races been held on Saturday night, because the other nights were wiped out there would not have been the scheduled $10,000 win 66-lap Late Model feature due to the lost revenue.

“After losing one night, you can’t pay the big the money that you’re going to pay,” he said. “It’s financially impossible to do that on one night. It wouldn’t even have been close, because you just can’t do it.”

Voeltz was one of several workers who spent hours and hours throughout the week trying to do everything possible to get the shows in. It just wasn’t meant to be.

“It’s extremely disappointing. There’s three or four of us that probably put in 100 hours this past week getting ready for this thing. I mean apiece,” he said. “It’s not as though we didn’t try to have it. We wanted to have it.”

Of course, Voeltz also feels bad for all those who were impacted from the those who were competing to those were wanted to watch the races.

“It’s just one of those things. It’s bad for us, but I feel real bad for the fans and the drivers,” Voeltz said. “We got a lot of campers out there. They were all looking forward to it. It’s not an easy decision.”

Voeltz said it marked the first time the Rumble has been canceled in 14 attempts. Unfortunately, the show will not be rescheduled because all of the other tracks have specials lined up for the rest of the racing season.

Obviously, the rain was badly needed after a hot and dry start to the summer. It just came at an inopportune time for race fans.

“It’s a million-dollar rain. There’s no question about it,” Voeltz said. “We have to be happy for the rain, it’s just that it’s bad timing for races.”

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