KAUKAUNA, Wis. (WFRV) – Dan VanDaalwyk made a last-minute decision to open up his drag strip for a Saturday afternoon, hoping he would get a few local racers to come test their cars.
The registration was sold out within 19 hours.
Wisconsin International Raceway held a “test and tune” event for area drivers this weekend, giving 50 cars a chance to test the strip. The event was closed off to spectators, but even without a competition at hand, drivers were eager to get their cars on the pavement.
“I think it’s important, if nothing else, for these guys to blow off some steam and have some fun and get together with their friends,” said VanDaalwyk, the owner of the Raceway. “I think it’s honestly just pure joy. I haven’t seen a single face today that wasn’t grinning ear to ear, smiling, thumbs up, I mean everyone is just ecstatic to be here, and we’re not even racing.”
That doesn’t mean racing won’t be in the near future at WIR. The track is looking to set things up as soon as next weekend, but VanDaalwyk and others know it’s not sustainable without fans.
Whatever Raceway officials decide, Saturday was an important first step to getting back to roaring engines in Kaukauna.
“When everything got shut down, that was a pretty scary thing for everybody,” VanDaalwyk said. “Last-minute, we decided to open and a few other tracks in the state decided to do it also, which is great because we all need to get back open.”
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