FINAL FLAG: Raceway Park comes to complete stop after 50 years - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

FINAL FLAG: Raceway Park comes to complete stop after 50 years

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Photo by Jonathan Choe Photo by Jonathan Choe
SHAKOPEE, Minn. (KMSP) -

The checkered flag waved for the last time at Shakopee's Raceway Park on Sunday as the track held its last race to a crowd of fans who came to say goodbye to the popular family hangout.

The drivers hopped into their cars to compete for trophies and prize money as racing fans flocked to the speedway to take in the sights and sounds one more time.

"It's just overall bragging rights to be the last person to win the championship here," driver Brent Kane told FOX 9 News.

After 57 years of charging races, the quarter-mile of asphalt is was on its final leg. The speed-junkie's paradise that spent more than half a century fittingly located at 1 Checkered Flag Blvd in Shakopee has been sold by the owner.

"Attendance has been down, the cost of racing has gone up -- and I guess when you've been given that type of offer," Kevin Busse, the official commentator at the track, explained.

Busse has called a lot of races in his 18 years with Raceway Park, and he said the competition wasn't limited to full-time NASCAR hopefuls.

"I run a plumbing business during the week, but I'm a professional racecar driver on the weekends," Kane said.

The raceway also welcomed women as competitors as well.

"It's hard in the beginning," driver Julie Davis admitted. "You have to earn your respect with the guys."

For some of the drivers, racing is a family tradition that starts at an early age.

"You know what? They've been racing for four years. Not one of them has a scratch on 'em," Paul Kingery, a former racer himself, said.

Kingery was glad to watch his two boys zip along the track on the final day of racing.

"Actually, I have crashed before and it was pretty scary," Justin Kingery admitted, adding that he'll keep getting into the car because of his love of racing.

That love also brought a sold-out crowd of old and new racing fans for one final lap and cheer at Raceway Park, which was the first asphalt track in the Twin Cities. Ironically, it will now be the site of an asphalt recycling plant.

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