Lakeside Speedway owner finally starting to see finish line, May opening after flooding

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Lakeside Speedway's 65th season has yet to begin, but the owner says he can finally start to see the finish line at his track in Wyandotte County.

Heavy flooding in March turned Lakeside Speedway into somewhat of a lake and stalled the season.

"I still have a lot of water in the infield," general manager Pete Howey said.

Since then, Howey and his team have been hard at work. Employees, friends, fans and even drivers have turned their wheels to help get things back on track.

"One of my guys, Darin Bennet, brought his loader out, helped load the parking lot, which ended up being eight 20-yard mulch trucks full of debris," Howey said.

Inside the bowl, Howey said pumping has been a challenge between blown hoses and lack of location to pump out the water.

"That's really the only place that will discharge the water away from any other parts of the property and put it into, back into a natural swell that will take it back towards the Missouri," Howey said.

What was once 8-10 feet underwater is now only 4 feet.

"It's a slow process, but we're about two thirds of the way where we need to be to be to work the track," he said.

Howey had to gut four of his seven structures including the pit building, which houses the officials' area, concession stands and bathrooms. All new plumbing and electrical was put in because everything was taken out.

"All the equipment down here -- flattop grill, deep frier, some steam tables, a long food warmer -- all lost,"

Howey noted the cost: "Oh, if it was all new about $8,000."

He said he has taken a huge financial hit but is keeping a positive attitude for the fans.

"It's sad, but again, you know, we're going to be rebuilt. We're going to have some knew items. We'll have some better accommodations," Howey said.

He's a firm believer in possibly being open by May 24 but said there will definitely be a race May 31. We'll just have to wait and see.

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