End of an Era Looms as 2011 Race Season Winds Down at Central Missouri Speedway!

Central Missouri SpeedwayBy Sam Stoecklin
CMS Announcer/PR
August 16, 2011

(Warrensburg, MO) – The end of an era in dirt racing will arrive at the conclusion of the 2011 race season when Central Missouri Speedway owners and promoters Earl and Susan Walls retire from the track they’ve called home for the last 18 years. Last week, the Walls met with part of their staff to announce they were not returning in 2012. The word was then passed on to remaining staff members and the loyal group of weekly racers who made their way to the track for competition last Saturday night. Although Walls had talked about closing the track earlier this year after disagreeing with a tax assessment, the reality sat in when the news broke at the driver’s meeting that the 2011 season would indeed be the Walls’ final year at the track.

Walls stated, “I know I’ll miss it, it will be terrible. The additional money out of property tax can’t make up for the loss of a good neighbor and jobs. If you don’t stand up and say or back up what you believe in, then that is wrong too. We tried to make sense of the assessment but losing two to five-thousand dollars every week for years now and then still having our taxes raised anyway does not make sense. We tried to be a good neighbor and did so without seeking publicity. I’m no different than anyone else but when the assessor says, ‘an increase in taxes for a man like me shouldn’t make any difference,’ I believe his statement also does not make sense. I should be treated just like everyone else. The county takes advantage of those still in business and their belief is that ‘a guy like me’ can afford it, but why should I have to, I don’t ask for special treatment. Just because you can pay, I guess their assumption is that you should have to.

Walls stated the last few years had been difficult with a downed economy with few fans in the stands and drivers in the pits as well as a lawsuit, which has been looming over the Walls’ head since 2007. He went on to say that he hopes to take a real vacation with his wife and enjoy some down time after the season ends and down the road. He is proud of what the track has brought to the dirt-track community over the years. As a successful businessman in two local Kansas City area businesses, Walls believes that if you surround yourself with a strong staff then you will find success. He wants to leave this business with dignity and believes that CMS has helped to raise the bar for racing in general.

As a former driver, he was frustrated with long delays while waiting for the next race to come onto the track…at CMS the show moves quickly and time waits for no one. He remembers when he would pull for hours to get to a track only to find out the purse had been cut or there was no purse…in 18 years, Walls has never failed to pay a purse nor has he ever cut a purse. In fact, the purse is paid out in cash each week and is 100 percent guaranteed. Another thing that frustrated him was showing up at a track and finding empty pit stalls after travelling a long way. When he asked if it was okay to park in one of the empty spots, he was told no, that is “so and so’s” pit stall; however, when he asked if the missing driver was coming to race that night, the answer was also no…there have never been reserved pit stalls at CMS. In addition, Walls recounted the times he would show up to the track only to be told he had to buy fuel, parts, and tires from the track’s chosen dealer. At CMS each week, tires, parts, and fuel are on sale but drivers are not forced to buy anything from anyone at anytime. Lastly, when Walls took over the track it was known as a fighting track. After he instilled a negative conduct point system that penalized drivers and sometimes their crews for misbehaving, problems soon became the exceptions and now drivers and families attend the races and sit in the grandstands knowing they are not going to be involved in someone else’s matters or even violence.

Despite rumors making their way around the race community and elsewhere, the track is not closing until the last checkered flag falls on the 2011 season on Saturday, October 1 for the Hog Roast Modified Nationals when the Walls will host one final race night followed by a post-race Hog Roast party. Several race nights remain at the track as the Walls bring an end of an era down the home stretch with the best drivers, fans, and staff any track promoters could ask for. After that, the staff and top performing drivers will have one more chance to celebrate together at the annual Central Auto Racing Boosters banquet in early December where the Walls will ensure the season’s top drivers in the final point standings are awarded with payouts and awards for their loyalty and participation at the track during the 2011 race season.

This weekend at CMS is Midwest Coating and Boy Scout Night at the races. There are discounted admission tickets available for scouts and parents by contacting Susan Walls at 816 229-1338 for ticket information. Counting this weekend, the remaining schedule at CMS includes Saturday, August 27 (weekly racing); Saturday, September 3 ($1,500 to win B-mods); Sunday, September 4 ($3,000 to win A-mods); Saturday, September 10 (season championships); and the CMS Hog Roast Modified Nationals featuring a $3,500-to-win A-Modified race, a ULMA point’s race, street stocks, and b-modifieds. Drivers in the A-Modified division can save $35 on their Hog Roast Nationals entry by pre-registering for the event.

The annual Labor Day weekend of special events featuring a $1,500-to-win b-modified race and a $3,000-to-win modified race as well as the first-ever appearance of Grand National cars at the speedway is right around the corner. All information, including car classes, payouts, pre-registration forms, admission info, and start times may be found on the track’s official website at www.centralmissourispeedway.net.

When visiting Warrensburg, be sure to stop by Cliff Harris Warrensburg Ford and Warrensburg Chrysler at 330 East Young Street. Cliff Harris is this year’s official CMS track sponsor. Call the store at (888) 829-7859 or visit www.warrensburgford.dealerconnection.com. For same-day CMS race status and schedule updates call the Track Report line at (660) 747-2166. Join us on Monday evening at 5:30 at KOKO 1450 AM for the weekly KOKO track report program with CMS racing updates, results and driver interviews.

Business partners at Central Missouri Speedway include, Cliff Harris’ Warrensburg Ford/Warrensburg Chrysler, Waterloo Storage Products, KOKO AM 1450 Radio, 98.5 FM The Bar Radio, Bad Boy Mowers, Pepsi, Comfort Inn – Warrensburg Station, KMMO FM 102.9 Radio, LJS Graphics, RSC Equipment Rental, and Midwest Coating.

Tops in the standings heading into this weekend’s action:

1 94- Jacob Ebert, Oak Grove 1632
2 66- Ethan Isaacs, Bonner Springs, KS 1526
3 33j- Jason Billups, Holt 1442
4 6- Lucas Isaacs, Bonner Springs KS 1418
5 90nn- Steven Neal, Odessa 1248
6 38- Nic Bennett, Independence 1226
7 18j- Ross Olson, Richmond 1190
8 57- Bobby Raybourn, Odessa 1016
9 20- Trent Deadmon, Kansas City 936
10 99- Brad Smith, Belton 820

Street Stocks
1 65- Brian Ziegler, Bates City 1492
2 01- Michael Mullins, Kingsville 1432
3 74- Herb Dannar, Holden 1344
tie 29- Nate Barnes, Kearney 1334
5 09- Chad Eickleberry, Warrensburg 1274
6 15- T.J. Faulkenberry, Urich 1150
7 14F- Larry Ferris II, Kansas City, KS 1134
8 9d- Scott Dukes, Odessa 1086
9 67- Devin Irvin, Cleveland 812
10 25- Steven Littrell, Independence 804

ULMA Late Models
1 88- Jason Bodenhamer, Centerview 1500
2 7- Brett Wood, Warrensburg 1412
3 22- Kevin Coyne, Kingsville 1388
4 04c- Chad Clancy, Smithville 1350
5 12c- Steve Clancy, Odessa 1344
6 65- Jon Binning, Warrensburg 1328
7 42- Lane Ehlert, Foristell 1164
8 71- Trace Westling, Fulton 1134
9 1- Bob Test, Jefferson City 1074
10 20- Alan Westling, Fulton 986

1 90- Terry Schultz, Sedalia 1338
2 34a- Jason Bodenhamer, Centerview 1254
3 20- Jason Thompson, Concordia 1204
4 70- Aaron Marrant, Orrick 1006
5 1k- Tim Karrick, Basehor, KS 948
6 23- Steve Twenter, Sedalia 896
tie 24jr- James Eaton, Bates City 896
8 9i- Dave McVey, Greenwood 816
9 91- James Reid, Clinton 748
10 68- Dean Wille, Warrensburg 746