Brad Whitfield, the promoter behind Cocopah Speedway in Somerton, Arizona, will now lease Central Arizona Raceway. Whitfield hopes to host the grand reopening of the Casa Grande dirt track in November.
Rumors have swirled around about the possible demise of Central Arizona Raceway. Whitfield sought to clear the air.
“I wanted everyone to know immediately that I had a lease on the facility,” Whitfield said. “I didn’t want racers selling race cars because of rumors on Facebook. Transparency is the key to success. Racing is alive and well in Arizona, and racers and race fans in Central Arizona are in for a treat.
That treat includes various upgrades.
“Facility improvement will include new wooden bleachers, a new sound system, and plenty of paint to complete the facelift,” said Whitfield. “We’ll work on the track surface — moving dirt, screening clay, and mixing in new clay with the existing surface to make a top-notch surface. We will rework the surface for multiple racing grooves, going to the 1990s configuration the track was famous for. It will have a lot higher banking where cars can race four-wide.”
Whitfield will continue operating Cocopah Speedway, too. He said he won’t lose sight of what made him successful.
“Being accessible to the racer is foremost,” Whitfield said. “A good promoter makes time for the fan and the racer. I plan to do my best to accomplish that. If you call me, I will get back to you as soon as possible.”
Both tracks will run Saturday nights, but on alternating weekends. The immediate plans for Central Arizona Raceway include two weekends in November and one weekend in December. The track then will operate from the third weekend in January to July 1. It pauses action in the middle of the summer and then resumes racing in September.
“I’m very excited,” said Whitfield. “The track has a great fan base and there are stellar car counts in the area. Add crossover from Cocopah Speedway, along with the new IMCA hobby stock class, and we will have full fields of cars immediately.”
This year marks the Outside Groove Director of Photography’s 51st year of covering auto racing. Adaskaveg got his start working for track photographer Lloyd Burnham at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway in 1970. Since then, he’s been a columnist, writer, and photographer, in racing and in mainstream media, for several outlets, including the Journal Inquirer, Boston Herald, Stock Car Racing, and Speedway Illustrated. Among Adaskaveg’s many awards are the 1992 Eastern Motorsport Press Association (EMPA) Ace Lane Photographer of the Year and the 2019 National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) George Cunningham Writer of the Year.