Devils Lake Speedway eager to open 2022 season without weather interference

John B. Crane
Devils Lake Journal

CRARY  – Heather MacDonald has done it all at Devils Lake Speedway. 

Whether it be working the bar, scoring the races or promoting the events put on at the track, MacDonald has developed a knack for learning the ins and outs of putting on a racing season. 

“Every year is different,” MacDonald said. “Some years, you can have it all set out [and] put together in a matter of a couple [of] days, and some years, it can be a couple of weeks.” 

Weather in all forms has prevented Devils Lake Speedway from hitting the ground running to start the 2022 schedule.

Working around weather has also become a formality. Mother Nature’s interference has already canceled a handful of separate events at the track, spanning April 16-30.  

Although cancellations might be expected for this time of year, MacDonald says it provides a security blanket of sorts should the weather cooperate. 

“We always add those dates in April, because every once in a while, it seems every third year, the weather isn’t conducive to start, but some years, we have sunny and 70 [degree] weather in March and April, and it is really hard to add a race early in the season,” MacDonald said. “It’s easier to cancel, so when we put those on the schedule, it is kind of a 50-50 shot whether we will be racing or not, but it is just a way to kind of protect ourselves.” 

To MacDonald, April events (in the case of good weather, of course) provide an opportunity to drivers other tracks might not offer. 

“Sometimes, we get really lucky,” MacDonald said. “Some of the other tracks don’t tentatively open until Memorial Day, so it gives drivers the opportunity to do some traveling [and] come up to our facility. Otherwise, they don’t normally come up to our facility, and it is a good opportunity to come and run with our locals, shake their cars down, and get some experience under their belt before they come back up here for the special events.”

Even still, the weather has to cooperate. 

As the weather begins to clear, Devils Lake Speedway will shoot for an early to mid-May start.

As the track begins to dry up and events become more of a regularity, MacDonald believes event staff will be eager to get into gear with what should be an exciting 2022 campaign. 

“I think, at this point, everything is so up in the air,” MacDonald said. “I know our concessions staff is eager to get into the swing of things. I know our bar staff is eager to get into the swing of things. The outdoor positions are just kind of playing it by ear. Either they are coming, or they are not coming in at this point. I think once the weather officially turns around, it is not million-mile-an-hour winds and it’s a little warm...I think they’ll start to get back into the swing of it.” 

With a full slate of events this season, MacDonald is excited about what the track will have to offer this season. 

It all revolves back to when the weather hopefully turns for the better. 

“We have a lot of specials this year,” MacDonald said. “We have the Rebel Midwest Mod Tour and the Steffes Street Stock Tour, that is all going to be on one day this year. Last year, we had them as separate events, but both of those touring series are going to be run together, so that’ll be interesting.” 

Weather permitting, the track will shoot for a May 7 test-and-tune, followed by a potential season-opener on May 14. 

John Crane is a sports/general assignment reporter for the Devils Lake Journal. Feel free to contact John via work phone (701-922-1372), cell phone (701-230-4339), email (jcrane@gannett.com) or Twitter (@johncranesports) with any story ideas.