SAUBLE BEACH, ON – In a major piece of pre-season news, Sauble Speedway has been purchased from Jason Thom by a joint venture between Paul Gresel and Mark Dilley. The transition takes place immediately.
Gresel owns and operates the nearby Sauble Falls Tent & Trailer Park, while Dilley is a veteran NASCAR Pinty’s Series racer who has been involved as an owner, promoter and/or race director at the former Barrie Speedway and Sunset Speedway.
Rumours of a possible sale of the quarter-mile paved oval located west of Owen Sound, ON swirled throughout the racing community late in 2016 but never materialized. Everything seemed to be status quo heading into 2017 as the track had a presence at the Motorama Custom Car & Motorsports Expo, in March.
But in recent weeks, there were rumblings that the facility might not open this season, although no formal announcement had been made.
According to Dilley, today’s news means that the track will open and host its regular Saturday night program as well as the various touring series that were scheduled to appear this season.
The ‘tentative’ schedule on Sauble Speedway’s website has the facility opening on June 17 for a show featuring Figure 8s and Demolition Derbies. The regular Saturday night oval programs are slated to commence on June 24.
Most promoters start working on their programs for the following season as they wind down in the fall. Needless to say, Dilley and Gresel have their work cut out for them as they attempt to get up to speed and ready to open in just over one month.
“We both know that this is no easy task and with everything coming together already into the 2017 season our goal is to basically save what we can for 2017 race season,” said Dilley. “There is no magic wand in terms of having everything perfect in June. We’re going to need a lot of help and support. We’ll make as many upgrades as we can this season with the goal of making a big, fresh impression in 2018.”
And while it’s still very early in the planning stage, Dilley plans to build a “big, new, family friendly weekend” at Sauble Beach, as he’s helped to create in the past. Watch for details on a possible “Battle at the Beach” in the future.
A drivers’ meeting will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 28 at the Sauble Community Centre. Everyone with an interest in the speedway should attend so that plans can be discussed and made based on maximum input.