Races return to Luverne after 50-year absenceRacing action at Rock County Speedway every Saturday night
By: Amanda Walljasper, Worthington Daily Globe
LUVERNE — For the first time in more than 50 years, Luverne has a race track hosting weekly races.
The new promoters at Rock County Speedway are Tim Grave and his mother, Karen Grave, both of Sioux Falls, S.D.
“Last August we started talking to the fair board about taking the race track over and in February we finalized the agreement,” said Tim. “I was persistent.”
G & G Inc. came to an agreement with the Rock County Agricultural Society to bring racing back to Luverne. Racing each Saturday night at the speedway in Luverne are Bmodifieds, stock cars, hobby stocks, outlaw stock (also known as sportsman) and mini stocks (also known as hornets). Hot laps begin at 6 p.m., and racing starts at 7 p.m.
“We want to attract new drivers to the sport of racing,” said Grave. “There are enough racers out there for all of the local tracks.”
The Graves have been involved in racing for their entire lives. It has always been Tim’s dream to promote a race track.
“My dad was involved in racing all of his life,” said Tim Grave. “On June 21, 1988, my dad got killed at Huset’s Speedway in a racing accident.”
While such a tragedy may scare some away from racing, Tim and Karen carried on their love of the sport.
“Racing gets in your blood,” said Karen. “Accidents are still my biggest fear, but it is in my blood.”
In the fall of 1988, they went to work at Hartford Speedway. At just 11 years old, Tim stuffed programs, mowed the lawn at the track and picked up garbage.
“Gradually I moved up there. I was the track mascot and later the public relations director,” he said. “I worked there for about 20 years.”
Starting a race track in Luverne seemed like a good fit.
“Luverne is a family oriented, fast-growing, energetic community,” said Tim. “Luverne has that niche — that hometown feeling of ‘we’re going to support you.”’
Word is still getting out about the track in Luverne. According to Grave, there are still many people who do not know the track is operating on a weekly basis.
Tonight, Rock County Speedway added a race as a prelude to the Worthington Nationals. The race track will not have races Saturday.
“We are encouraging our drivers and fans to head to Nobles County Speedway to support the Worthington Nationals,” said Tim. “We will both be attending the Nationals. Worthington has a rich background in racing.”
A special IMCA Old Timers event is planned for Aug. 8-10 at Rock County Speedway. People who have vintage race cars made in 1970 or earlier can participate in the race.
“We have people coming from Minnesota, Colorado, Kansas, Iowa and Missouri so far,” said Grave.
On the Net: www.rockcountyspeedway.biz