Revamped raceway opens for season

Thursday, April 16, 2009
Reved up racer Democrat Photo Daniel Harris, of Wheaton, waits to do hot laps during the opening race at Butterfield's Twister Alley Raceway. His father looks out to the track and offers his son some last minute racing advice.

Twister Alley Raceway in Butterfield will host over two dozen action-packed go-kart races this summer. Several projects have been completed at the racing venue to improve track quality and spectator accommodations.

"We have improved every aspect of the facilties," said Robert Wolf, who is managing the raceway with his wife, Marci. "The track has been leveled up. We have added banking, and more clay has been added to the racing surface.

"We have improved the spectator area by adding new bleachers and updating the concession area," said Wolf.

The improved concession area offers spectators the usual raceway fare, including burgers and hotdogs. Authentic Mexican cuisine, ice cream and other treats are also served at Twister Alley.

Improvement projects, which also include the addition of an inspection area and a new flag stand, were completed in preparation for a very busy racing season. The raceway's 2009 schedule features 27 events.

Several 500cc wing karts opened the 2009 season during the raceway's first event on April 11, which attracted 57 entries. Similar races are scheduled to be held at Twister Alley Raceway each Saturday this summer.

"Spectators will enjoy music as they arrive at the raceway," said Wolf. "When the races get underway things move along swiftly. We have an announcer who tells the crowd what is going on just like at any other raceway.

"We start with the little kids, who can be as young as 5 years old," said Wolf. "This gives them an opportunity to get going and involved in racing and then move onto bigger and better races, like Jamie McMurray, who started out in kart racing."

The raceway's improved facilities seem to be attracting more racers to the Butterfield race track. According to Wolf, the 2009 events will feature 15 regular classes and generate around 50 racers each week.

"The racing surface draws racers," said Wolf. "It's a great track. The improved lighting gives the racers better visibility, and the spectators watching the race are able to see better now."

In addition to enjoying the improved track, some racers could profit from participating in events at Twister Alley Raceway. The top teen and adult racers receive cash prizes. Winners in the children's division will be awarded medals and free passes to participate in the raceway's next event.

"This is a very cost effective way to race," said Wolf. "You can buy a race-ready kart for less than what it costs to purchase an engine for a race car, plus the kart is smaller and requires less upkeep."

Spectators will also find Twister Alley Raceway events affordable. General admission for racing events is only $3 per person. Children who are 10 years of age or younger are admitted for free. Pit passes, which give spectators full access to the kart area, can be purchased for $10.

"In these tough economic times this is an inexpensive form of entertainment for families," said Wolf.

Twister Alley Raceway, which features a one-eighth mile track, is owned by Tony and Diana Cope, of Butterfield. In 2006, the Copes constructed the raceway with the support of several local individuals and businesses.

Twister Alley Raceway, which is located three-quarters of a mile east of George's off of Highway 37 in Butterfield, opens at 3 p.m. each Saturday. Races begin at 5 p.m. No races will be held on July 4.

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