It had been three years in the making but on Sunday, Oct. 22, the Lake of the Woods Speedway in Kenora hosted its first-ever event that involved a practice of race cars that may be racing there in 2018.
It happened in the nick of time as the last load of clay was put on the track just before 5 p.m. the day before.
A total of 400 people and 18 cars attended the open house practice, with the weather becoming sunny and beautiful for the afternoon’s event.
Despite a few rough spots on the track, the drivers have the feeling the track will be a fast one as the longer corners will help to maintain good speed throughout a race.
Some of the cars really pushed it to the limits throughout the afternoon.
The Lake of the Woods Speedway became an idea in October, 2014 where the search started to find a suitable location that was close to the city but met zoning requirements.
After several months of scouting out different spots, a deal was struck with Best Way Rentals at a piece of property located near the Weyerhaeuser Mill on Jones Road on Jan. 1, 2016.
That March, Moncrief Construction Ltd. came on board to help do the work on the site.
After clearing part of the site, the blasting of the rock knoll took place at the end of September, clearing the way to begin on the subsurface of the track.
Then in the fall, the Kenora Hospitality Alliance (a conglomerate of the area’s hotels) became a supporter of the official plan and survey.
During the winter, some work was done on-site to expand the pit area and level off the area to the north.
By the end of this past July, daily work started to occur at the track and clay started to be hauled on the weekend in mid-September.
After more than 300 loads of clay and levelling, the speedway itself was completed enough to have a test and tune-up.
More work will continue throughout the next year, however, as parking, drainage, and other work has to be completed.
However, with the track itself at 90 percent completion, people are excited about the future of Lake of the Woods Speedway.