Major racing event comes back to Fountain City area

Published: Sep. 1, 2023 at 9:36 PM CDT
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BUFFALO COUNTY, Wis. (WEAU) - A massive racing event makes a stop in Buffalo County after being rained out on its May date.

The World of Outlaws dirt racing event was held for one night only in the Fountain City area to kick off Labor Day weekend.

The typical three-day event is anything but.

“It’s the biggest dirt series we have in the entire country for late model racing. And they came to little Fountain City, WI,” said Tyrone Lingenfelter, co-owner of Mississippi Thunder Speedway. “I think we’ll have a really good chance to have anywhere between 2,000 to 3,000, possibly to 4,000 people total.”

He said getting the event together is quite the task.

“A lot of planning that goes into this. A lot of people that make this thing happen. And without each and every one of them, we couldn’t do this,” said Lingenfelter.

Jake Timm is one of the racers. He was putting the finishing touches on his late model car, thinking about his previous go-around on the dirt.

“I actually led the entire race, until the last corner. I got into a lap car and cost ourselves the win. So, a little bit of redemption. You know, wins don’t come easy that’s for sure,” said Timm.

It is his fourth year competing in late model car races, and he has been racing for about 11 years in general. The generations long spirit of driving started with his grandfather.

“He raced, my dad raced. I was born and raised to do this. It’s in my blood. It’s what I do, I don’t even know what life would be like without racing,” said Timm.

Steve Francis said the event is held around the country, even attracting fans as far as New Zealand.

He is the series director for the World of Outlaws Case Late Models Series Director. He said the event is held around the country and he figured the Mississippi Thunder Speedway was a good spot to hold the national event.

“Plus, this facility is a beautiful place to come and race,” said Francis.

The fans appear to have a positive impact to the small communities in the area.

“They’re staying here and in Winona. They’re buying food, they’re going to the grocery store, they’re going out. They’re pumping a lot of money into the local economy,” said Francis.

Lingenfelter is a proud Winona man, just across the river in Minnesota. He is happy the event made its way to the area for the communities along the Mississippi River to enjoy as well.

“Because of this series, it brings so much exposure, every one knows about us and fans travel from all over,” said Lingenfelter. “They come ad take in the bluffs and the Mississippi River and it’s awesome. Because this area deserves to have a great event like this.”

The event is expected to come back for its fourth year in May of 2024 as a full three day event.