Poplar Bluff Racetrack Reacts to Mt. Vernon Accident
By: Holly Brantley
POPLAR BLUFF, MO --After the two deaths at the Mt. Vernon Raceway, operators at other Heartland tracks are concerned about what kind of mark the crash will leave on their sport. But, they say they know fans stick together, and stay revved up for racing.
At the Poplar Bluff, Speedway, track officials and drivers agree what happened at Mt. Vernon was a terrible tragedy.
"It's sad," says veteran driver Darrell Ham. "And kind of unusual...it hardly ever happens."
Track Official, Scott Miller says, "We want them to know our hearts go out to them and the entire racing community. "
Miller says the Poplar Bluff Speedway wants their drivers and fans to know that operators are doing everything in their power to keep them safe.
Track officials meet with the drivers before the races every Saturday night to discuss safety on and off the track.
"We tell them to beware of people in the stands, walking through the exits, and ask them to maybe slow the cars down while they are in the pits." Miller says.
Emergency workers are also on hand at every race. According to Miller, that includes an ambulance and more.
"Sometimes the local Air Evac helicopter is here if they aren't busy."
The Poplar Bluff Speedway is only two years old. Miller says the track was built with safety in mind. That includes a concrete wall that's nearly 4 feet tall and 10 inches thick. There is also a fence surrounding the track.
Both Miller and Ham say drivers and spectators are aware an element of danger exits when you come to a race, or get behind the wheel of one of the cars.
"Every race fan knows that there's a chance you could get hurt, or lose your life," says Ham.
But, they also stress a sense of family in the racing community. Miller is confident folks will keep coming out to the track.
"At every track folks look forward to coming together on Saturday nights. "
"The cars are build to be safe, it's fun, and it's a family sport." says Ham.
The Poplar Bluff Speedway is hosting three days of racing August 26th, 27th, and 28th. The event is called the Modified Summer Sixty.
Operators expect thousands to make it out to the track.