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RRVS drops green flag

Farmers aren't the only people revving their engines because of a relatively mild and dry spring.

Auto races officially were off and running Saturday's at Red River Valley Speedway's season opener in West Fargo.

Besides the earlier start - a full two weeks, in fact, compared with 2011 - there is another noticeable difference between 2012 and previous years: the race day, itself.

When local racing enthusiast Danny Schatz took control of RRVS in 2010, one of the first implemented changes was switching race night from Friday to Wednesday; theory being that varying the race nights between area tracks would allow fans and drivers to visit different venues on any given week.

That and given Fargo residents' attraction for the comfortably close lakes area of Minnesota - creating a precipitous population drop on weekends - Wednesdays were a surefire way to guarantee folks would be around to watch the thrills and spills a the track, not the cabin.

But after two years of Wednesday night races, it would seem the people have spoken, and now races will take place on Saturdays this summer.

Although the valley's next-largest track, River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, is on Fridays and shouldn't interfere, RRVS has to compete with other regional tracks with Saturday races, including Jamestown Speedway and Viking Speedway in Alexandria, Minn.

How everything shapes up will not be known until the last flag drops, but there are a lot of big nights planned to help increase interest.

For starters, the ever-popular World of Outlaws sprint races make a return Saturday, June 16.

And then just four days later, Tony Stewart returns for the third year in a row on his namesake night Wednesday, June 20. The NASCAR star will battle in the Late Models race.

Other big nights include the All Star Circuit of Champions Challenge on Aug. 15, and $4,000 to win USMTS Modified Tour on the season finale Aug. 25.

To purchase tickets or for additional information, visit