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Youth racing program has taken off at speedway

Children under 14 years, both boys and girls, are going to tracks across the country as racing gains in popularity. Track owners realize that these kids are the future of racing and are providing more opportunities for youngsters to get on the track at an early age and Pahrump is no different.

“I started this program when we first started here in Pahrump, but back then there wasn’t enough interest to keep it going,” Chad Broadhead, owner of the Pahrump Valley Speedway said. “Now we are increasing the amount of kids each year by 10 new drivers.”

He said since the program started he has tripled the number of drivers. The program grew so much he said he had to hire a manager to handle the program, Dusty Parks.

“I am not surprised we have been so successful,” Broadhead said of the Mini Dwarf program. “Last year we made the track bigger. I just knew we had a lot of racers with kids interested in racing. We have so many kids in the program that we may have to switch nights and just have the kids on their own night. I really couldn’t ask for a better deal.”

The Mini Dwarf program at the Pahrump Valley Speedway is in its third year.

The youth programs have already paid off, according to Broadhead, with new drivers already graduating into new classes at the track.

“We have a couple of kids that have demonstrated at 12 that they can race on the bigger track,” the owner said. “Which means we are lowering the track age to 12-years-old. As long as the racers have demonstrated they can handle the bigger track; they will be allowed to continue racing on the bigger track.”

The track has 10 races scheduled for the 2017 season from Feb. 11 until Sept. 23. In this program, racers from 5-13 race their cars on a smaller infield track at the speedway. The cars are also smaller and slower.

The cars have Honda Gx200 or Gx160 motors that are six-horsepower engines that limit the speed. The carts can go up to about 25 miles per hour, according to Broadhead.

Broadhead did make a major change to the program, and that is this year there will be no points championship for the Mini Dwarf program like there has been for the past two years.

“We had too many problems with the points for the kids and it has not been the kids that we had problems with,” he said. “The problems have been with the parents fighting us over the points. The kids have been great, after the races they would all high-five each other and in general were great sports. The kids have a great time and I never saw any bad sports among them. It was so awesome to watch.”

Broadhead added, “The kids were a great example and in some cases better examples than some adults.”

Racing at the track for the kids costs $15 per racer, which is cheaper than the $45 fee for adults.

For more info on the Mini Dwarfs, contact Chad Broadhead at 702-328-8101.

Adult racing

According to Broadhead, there are no major changes to the class rules. In addition to racing, Broadhead said the track is pursuing other forms of entertainment.

“We are still pursuing getting monster trucks out here and other ideas,” he said. “I would like to do some concerts out here, like getting the Blue Man Group out here and other concerts. Maybe even a drive-in theater.

He also will consider letting some people rent the track.

The new Pahrump Valley Speedway season starts in three weeks on Feb. 11. The 10-month season will feature seven classes, and one class for kids, Mini-Dwarfs.

The champions from the 2016 season are as follows: Beau Gott (32), the Modified champion with 570 points; Matt Belcher (8), the Superstock champion with 470 points; Rusty Layne (7), the Mini Stock champion with 853 points; Mark Daub (88), the Coupe champion with 923 points; Derek Rosse (40x), the Dwarf champion with 411 points; Ken Harrington (71), the Bomber champion with 662 points; and Anthony Broadhead (11), the Hobby Stock champion with 787 points.

Note: First Saturday of the month will be Mini Dwarf racing until Sept. 23, which is the last race.

Race schedule

Feb. 11, 3 p.m.; Feb. 25, 3 p.m.; March 11, 7 p.m.; March 25, 7 p.m.; April 8, 7 p.m.; April 22, 7 p.m.; May 6, 7 p.m., May 20, 7 p.m.; June 3, 7 p.m.; June 17, 7 p.m.; July 1, 7 p.m.; July 15, Sam Stringer Memorial, 7 p.m.; July 29, 7 p.m.; Aug. 12, 7 p.m.; Aug. 26, 7 p.m.; Sept. 9, 7 p.m.; Sept. 22, 7 p.m.; Sept. 23, 7 p.m.; Oct. 7, 7 p.m.; Oct. 21, 7 p.m.; Nov. 4, 3 p.m.; Nov. 18, 3 p.m.

Contact sports editor Vern Hee at vhee@pvtimes.com

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