KANSAS CITY, Kan. — In its long history, Lakeside Speedway in Wyandotte County has seen its share of flooding, both in 1993, 2011.
But the track has never had to cancel an entire summer season of Friday night races, and owner Pete Howey doesn’t plan on ending that streak this year.
“I have promised everybody at least one race here, so I have to fulfill that,” Howey said.
Mother Nature hasn’t made it easy for Howey to keep his word. The track has been overrun by floodwaters not once but twice this spring. See footage of the extensive flooding in the video player above.
Howey and his team scrambled to rebuild after a levee failed on the nearby Missouri River in late March.
“We were actually nine days from opening,” Howey said. “Then the water came back.”
The flooding returned in late May, washing away many of the renovations Howey oversaw after the March floods.
Even so, Howey is determined to keep the local summer tradition, dating back to the 1950’s, alive.
“I would be completely happy with mid to late July,” Howey said. “My goal is to get a half a dozen races of the traditional season.”
Howey said he feels an obligation to sustain one of the oldest local sports venues in the metro.
“We are the oldest sporting venue in this town at 65 years old,” Howe said. “Lamar Hunt brought the Chiefs in 1961 and the Royals were an expansion team in 1969. You take collegiate sports out of it, we’re the oldest one in town.”
Race fans and supporters have been offering assistance on a Go Fund Me account set up for Lakeside Speedway.