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Auto racing: New promoters step forward for Worthington racing

WORTHINGTON -- The Nobles County Speedway will be back for another year of racing in 2017, and with a new set of promoters aiming to put more customers in the seats.

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Tim Middagh/Daily Globe New promoters at the Nobles County Speedway, Adam Ecker (left) and Glen Van Eck, stand in the winners circle.

WORTHINGTON -- The Nobles County Speedway will be back for another year of racing in 2017, and with a new set of promoters aiming to put more customers in the seats.

Glen Van Eck, of Woodstock, and Adam Ecker, of Comfrey, are combining their efforts at the Worthington track for a racing schedule that tentatively plans a May 20 practice night followed by a season opener on May 27. Action will continue through the summer with the season championship slated for Sept. 2. On Aug. 24, a USMTS show should attract some of the bigger names across the region of racing.

Van Eck and Ecker, noting that the track would likely have closed for 2017 had someone not stepped forward, say their main interest in promoting the Speedway is to keep it going.

“We want to get people back in the grandstand,” said Van Eck. “I guess last year, from what I heard, it kind of fell off later in the season.”

Van Eck promoted racing in Slayton for several years through 2015. He was the head promoter for two years and an assistant a couple of years before that. A farmer, he has never gotten behind the wheel of a race car, but he’s been involved in racing ever since his parents took him to kart races as a child.

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Ecker has been driving in races since he was a 15-year-old, in venues such as Slayton, Redwood Falls and Arlington. He suffered a serious finger injury last year, which cut short his racing season. His relationship with Van Eck was cemented during their time together on the Murray County Racing Association board.

The two partners plan to reshape the Worthington track, to fill in some holes and to create more consistent banking. They say they’re not expecting to make much money on the venture, and that’s not the goal.

The goal is to keep racing going in Worthington.

“The facility itself probably needs a little facelift,” Van Eck said. But with funds low at the moment, there are no plans as yet for an extensive project.

The new promoters will work with the track in Rock Rapids, Iowa, to create incentives for drivers to run on both tracks. Van Eck and Ecker also say there is a lot of interest from Sioux Falls, S.D., drivers to come to Worthington, since there are few other options for racers west of town.

“It’s a good location as far as I’m concerned,” Ecker said of the Worthington track.

The Aug. 24 USMTS (United States Modified Touring Series) offers a big purse. Iron Man, stock cars and Iron Man B-Mods will be featured.

On regular occasions, USRA Hobby Stock, USRA B-Mods, USRA stock car and possibly a Sportsman class will be available for local customers.

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Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at dwolter@dglobe.com.
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