Rico Abrue Shares Link - Hopes for Best
Sterling Heights, MI (Wednesday, May 20,2020) - During the 2019-2020 off-season, Butler Motor Speedway in Quincy, Michigan was suddenly met with a difficult task when a major portion of the front stretch wall came crumbling down, bringing with it catch fencing, speaker systems, and track lighting. While officials with the speedway were in the process of rebuilding the wall, the current COVID-19 pandemic struck the world, bringing essentially everything to a screeching halt. On May 3rd the speedway posted photos of the progress, the wall was all but finished and plans were in place to have fencing, lights and speakers installed in time for an open practice session the weekend of Memorial Day - then the rains came.
A track that is known for holding water, the 3/8ths mile high banked oval has seen its fair share of delays, postponements and cancellations thanks to Mother Nature, but none quite like it faces today. On Sunday, May 17th, another round of heavy rain moved through lower Michigan, bringing with it rainfall totals over two inches in some parts of the State. At Butler Motor Speedway, the heavy rain paired up with an apparent failed drainage system lead to a complete washout of the newly placed wall and the walkway above it.
With the Stay at Home order still in effect until May 28th across the state of Michigan, the timeline for racers to return to the speedway remains uncertain, which means any potential income for the track is also unknown. Recognizing the potential need for financial assistance, Jenny Bevard, the wife of 2006 Butler Motor Speedway Sprint Car Champion Corey Bevard, launched a fundraising campaign on the popular GoFundMe platform. The description in the campaign stated a simple mission and purpose for raising the money, “to help fund rebuilding the wall and for track upkeep while racing is on hold due to Covid 19”.
As of Tuesday night, the campaign had raised over $4,000 of the $7,500 goal and has seen 46 donations and nearly 3,000 shares. One of those shares and possible anonymous donations belongs to 2014 USAC National Midget Series Champion Rico Abreu, who shared the link to his Rico Abreu Racing Facebook page. Abreu said in his post, “This year hasn't been easy and we hate to see dirt tracks struggle. Hopefully Butler Motor Speedway can get things turned around”.
When asked about the situation, Corey Bevard talked about the work that promoters Bob and Karen Garrett have done to the track and how this set-back could be disastrous without the community's help.
“I’m telling you, [Bob] would give his shirt off his back for his worst enemy,” said Bevard. “Bob and Karen have spent every dime they had back into rebuilding the wall the first time, putting up the new fence, redoing the east end bathrooms and fixing the pits so they would stop flooding. With the COVID-19 [pandemic], Bob's other businesses being slow because of that and not being able to open [the track] there was just not enough money to [rebuild] it again,” Bevard exclaimed.
There is currently no timeline from officials at Butler Motor Speedway for on track activity, or for rebuilding the wall. Prior to the set-backs, Butler featured one of the most aggressive schedules in recent memory, including multiple stops by the Great Lakes Super Sprints and a first ever appearance by the Summer Nationals UMP Hell Tour. For more information on the GoFundMe, or to donate, click here.
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Story by - Zach Hiser, Motor City Racing Promotions