Belle-Clair Speedway reaches agreement with promoter

News-DemocratJanuary 13, 2014 

The promoter at Belle-Clair Speedway has reached an agreement to promote races at the track for the next three years.

Don Hoener, who has been the track's promoter for the past three seasons, said the track's attorneys are reviewing the new deal. The two sides had been negotiating off and on since the past contract had expired last June.

Hoener, who had worked at the track as an officiator since 1983 with Allied Auto Racing Association before being named the promoter three years ago, said he is pleased to finally reach an agreement.

"We're definitely going to be there for a while," Hoener said. "With a three-year deal, I don't have to renegotiate every year now. One year at a time doesn't do it anymore."

Belle-Clair Fairgrounds General Manger Allen Wandling declined to comment Monday.

Negotiations between the two sides have been going back and forth since last year. As the past racing season was winding down, negotiations had reached an impasse.

In December 2010, Hoener agreed to take over the stock car racing operations there and leased the racing and promotions rights for the 2011 season, with options for the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

Belleville resident and race fan Jack Schrand said he is relieved to see the new agreement. He said he had been worried that his son John, who has raced the Belleville dirt track for the past eight years, would have to look for another venue next season. Schrand called other race fans Monday after he heard that Hoener had agreed to a new contract.

"I just passed it on to a lot of people that we knew that we have grown to know as friends that are fans of Belle-Clair," Schrand said. "And everybody was really happy about it."

Hoener said the first race for the upcoming seasoned is scheduled for the night of March 14. He said the track will host 30 to 35 races through the end of September.

"We're hard at work and trying to field the days with good shows for the fans," he said. "Hopefully, we will have them put together and release more dates in the near future."

Contact reporter Will Buss at wbuss@bnd.com or 239-2526.

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