ENID, Okla. — Longtime driver and current operator of Enid Speedway, Kip Hughes, cannot recall a stretch of bad weather misfortune as such that has seen all but two races rained out this season.
"I have been around this place for 35 years and have never seen a season this bad," Hughes said Thursday. "Usually we had two rainouts a year and that's when we were running every weekend. Now that we have a limited schedule, it's been rough."
Hughes hopes that luck changes at least long enough for the racetrack to put on a rescheduled (from July 3) racing and fireworks show Saturday night. He also hopes race fans in Enid haven't forgotten about racing at Enid Speedway this season.
"It's almost like people are used to getting rained out," Hughes said. "It's hard to get that excitement back. Hopefully we can knock that vibe off and get positive vibes going so we can get a show in."
Saturday's show will feature racing in four divisions as the Sooner Late Model Series takes to the track in addition to sport mods, pure stocks and modified classes. Racing is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.
Hughes said the plan for Saturday is to run the heat races — which should finish when it starts getting dark — followed by fireworks and then the featured races.
In addition to his duties at Enid Speedway, Hughes also has been busy racing. He currently leads the Sooner Late Model Series points standings after picking up his fourth win recently at Dodge City Raceway.
"We still travel around at least 30 shows a year," Hughes said. "I'm always a driver first."
Operating Enid Speedway while maintaining a full schedule as a driver can be challenging, but Hughes says he enjoys it and has plenty of help.
Hughes' partner Mark Brill handles the race day duties. Performing prep work during race week is a family affair.
"I have my 85-year-old grandpa out there rolling with his tractor and brush hog," Hughes said. "My uncle helps me every night. My wife (Heidi) is working on stuff, my aunt is working on stuff, may dad is working on stuff. It's kind of a big family deal."
Hughes said the family aspect is what he enjoys "more than anything." Much like he sees Enid Speedway as offering a fun, entertaining night for families.
Admission for Saturday's racing and fireworks show is $15 for adults and $12 for seniors, military and students age 12-15. Kids under 12 are free. Pit passes are available for $30. Gates open at 4 p.m.
Enid Speedway is located at the Garfield County Fairgrounds at 111 W. Purdue at 4th.