New ownership at Upper Speedway in 2019
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December 6, 2018

After 14 years, Todd and Chuck Ihde will be passing the Upper Iowa Speedway legacy on to its new owner, Wayne Smith of Cresco, Iowa.

“It was time for some new blood,” said Chuck Ihde. “We would like to take a step back and spend more time doing other activities in the summer with our families and friends.”

The Ihdes took over the speed palace in 2004 and continued to create some of the best weekly racing competition in the state of Iowa.

The Ihdes were grateful for the amount of local support and sponsorships through the 14-year tenure.

“We can’t thank the local businesses in Northeast Iowa and Southeast Minnesota enough for the time, effort and sponsorships they contributed to Upper Iowa Speedway over the years,” Chuck Ihde added.

But the Ihdes were especially grateful for the fans and drivers that called the Upper Iowa Speedway their Saturday night home track.

“We had some of the best drivers in the region and the country competing here on weekly basis. They put on some really, really great shows for the fans and other spectators to enjoy.”

Smith, who owns the South Side Bar & Grill in Cresco, looks to continue to build on the Upper Iowa Speedway tradition in 2019. But his main goal is a smooth and successful transition and racing season.

“I would like to see a successful season with great weather, but also I don’t see any drastic changes forthcoming,” said Smith. “I would like to learn and see how everything works before implementing new ideas.”

As for the gritty details of the transition, the Ihdes will continue to help with the track prep to ensure an outstanding racing surface for the drivers during the 2019 campaign.

The Upper Iowa Speedway will continue to be a USRA-sanctioned race track in 2019 with five weekly classes including Holley USRA Stock Cars, Out-Pace USRA B-Mods and Cook Racing Supplies USRA Hobby Stocks, plus Mod-Lites and Hornets.

“We live in a great region for dirt track racing and there is always a great amount of support. I’m looking forward to next year,” Smith added.

Schedule and dates for the 2019 racing season at the Upper Iowa Speedway will be announced at a later date. The quarter-mile, semi-banked dirt oval is located at the Winneshiek County Fairgrounds in Decorah, Iowa.

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