Racing notebook: New ownership teaming with track operators is perfect match for Adams County Speedway


The crowd at Adams County Speedway should expect great things in the years to come with new owner Jeff DeLonjay teaming with track promoters Jim and Tammy Lieurance. | Addi Zanger photo

QUINCY — On paper, this appears to be a marriage made in dirt-track heaven.

The union of new Adams County Speedway owner Jeff DeLonjay and track operators Jim and Tammy Lieurance should be an alliance that will benefit local fans and drivers alike for years to come.

First of all, hats off to Jim and Tammy for helping resurrect the track after most — myself included — thought there was no way we would see the semi-banked Bullring ever open again following the 2020 closure tied to the pandemic and the 2021 shuttering when the operators at the time skipped town.

What’s that about it always being darkest before the dawn? Baby, it was dark.

But the Lieurances stepped forward, leasing the track from Pault Holtschlag, who has partially or solely owned the 28.5-acre property for more than a decade. Together they put a plan in motion to reopen the facility in the spring of 2022. Together, they were able to restore the roar on Sunday nights at 8000 Broadway.

Fast forward to present day and enter DeLonjay, a Quincy businessman who has two sons who are weekly drivers at the speedway and who is a man who has a long history at the track as a fan, driver and car owner.

“I just want to make sure that track is going to be there (for future generations),”

DeLonjay said last week.

DeLonjay was formally introduced to the crowd last Sunday and received a rousing ovation, and deservedly so.

The Lieurances also received an ovation, also deservedly so. The fans understood their sacrifices in recent years to keep the iconic site operating.

Now it appears the best of two worlds will do more than merely work to keep the gates open. We could be headed into a memorable period at the track, which first opened in 1975.

The Lieurances’ forte is on the business side, and they will have more time to be able to seek more corporate backing, further solidify the track financially and concentrate on building car counts.

Admittedly, DeLonjay wants no part of that end of the business. He’s a hands-on type of guy who likes to have those hands in the proverbial dirt and strengthening the site from a physical standpoint. DeLonjay is working with current groundskeeper Steve Grotz, who has turned the racing surface at the speedway into what is arguably the finest in the Tri-State area, and that should be another perfect match.

And before we exit this topic, let’s also not forget about Holtschlag, who is undoubtedly the hero behind the curtain.

On more than one instance, Holtschlag could have sold the property to a party who had ideas of turning those Broadway acres into something other than a race track. But he was patient, trying to do what was best for the community.

“I just wanted to see racing continue,” Holtschlag said.

So he watched and waited, hoping for that perfect storm, that perfect combination of individuals who could make it all work.

I think what we have now is that perfect combination Holtschlag so dearly wanted.

Busy schedule at the Bullring

The speedway will be hosting race events three times in an eight-day span, beginning Sunday.

All six weekly classes return Sunday night for the second half of points racing season, followed by what should be a huge July 3 special on Wednesday with the fourth annual Chad McCoy Memorial races. Points racing then returns July 7.

The Chad McCoy event drew more than 120 cars to the pits in 2023. The accent will again be on the modifieds, who will be racing for a $4,545 first-place check, $2,045 for second and $1,045 for third.

All the other classes will also have increased paydays for the extravaganza, including $1,045 to win for the crate late models. Sport mods will be running for top money of $845, stocks for $645, 4-Cylinders for $445 and Crown Vics for $150.

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