Michael and Jerri Hoover made a myriad of improvements to Tri-State Speedway. Now, Jake and Kelsey Davis look to finish the vision the Hoovers had for the Pocola, Oklahoma, dirt oval.
The Hoovers take pride in having Tri-State Speedway appear in the “Tony Stewart’s All-American Racing” game, host a $10,000-to-win USMTS tour event and hold a Steel Horse Rally flat-track motorcycle race. Furthermore, under their leadership, they’ve grown the track’s marquee event, The Spooker, to more than 400 cars. The Hoovers were working with the Davis family in building a restaurant and stage on the site of the track.
“I had all these million-dollar projects I wanted to complete,” Michael Hoover said. “I found that Jake loves the speedway just as much as I do. We started talking and we agreed on a fair price [for the track], where he could make money and make all the improvements I had planned.”
Jake Davis has a deep connection to the track.
“My father, Sonny, leased the track and eventually bought it,” Jake Davis said. “Mom and Dad worked there. So, I grew up out there. I bought it to take it to the top. The Hoovers put together a great show, and everything runs like a top. They gave us a good foundation to build upon.”
Davis felt his background should benefit him.
“Being in the construction business, it is easier for me to accomplish everything on the list [that the Hoovers had for the track],” Davis said. “Plans are in place and renderings are being worked on. The drawings will be out soon. We’ll focus on the biggest things. The restaurant is underway, suites are at the top of the list.”
The Davis family will officially take over Tri-State Speedway on Sunday, October 1, after the track holds its final points-paying night. Kelsey Davis will serve as the facilities manager. Jake Davis said he intends to hire a promoter.
“I don’t claim to be a promoter,” said Davis. “I’ve got ideas, but we have to have all the resources in place so that a promoter can secure sponsorships, races, and concerts. We may use the facility to make money in the off-season, but we’ll have racing at least 20 weekends a year. At the end of the day, Tri-State Speedway will always be 100% a racetrack.”
Jake Davis added that the Hoovers have left him with a good foundation for success. He believes he can take the track to the next level.
“When I traveled [in racing], I saw a lot of really nice facilities,” Davis said. “But I realized I have a great racetrack 10 minutes from home. It’s one of the top spots in the country. Now, we will make it a premiere spot featuring some big shows.”
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.