If my memory serves me correctly, it was New Year’s day of 1997 when I caught my first glimpse of a mound of dirt that would be known as Rocky Mountain Raceways. I remember a sense of excitement as my two brothers and I drove by on SR-201 and fixed our eyes upon it. (No, we didn’t wreck).
The year prior I had found myself spending most of my racing nights at the now defunct Suntana Raceway in Springville, Utah. Prior to that was Bonneville Raceway Park–which is now the site of RMR.
I had known that Mr. Spencer Young and his family had purchased the property. But what I did not know was how well the construction of this new facility would turn out.
Let me, however, take you back to 1992. That was the year my family and I had moved from Seattle, Washington to this place called Salt Lake City, Utah. Needless to say we knew nothing of Utah.
We had always gone to the races growing up. In fact, while living in Washington, we used to frequent Spanaway Speedway and South Sound Speedway.
So, when we moved here, I had no idea where we would spend our Saturday nights during the racing season. I mean, you have to remember that way back in 1992 the internet was non-existent. Unlike today we couldn’t just power-up our P.C. to find out what the racing scene was like in the Salt Lake Valley.
To make a long story short, my dad, myself, and younger brother were exploring the area when we happened to literally run-in to Bonneville. And that’s no joke. We we were driving down US-201 and BAM! there it was. (I can still remember John Force was running on the drag strip that night.)
From that moment on I was a regular at Bonneville Raceway Park. I used to count down the days and nights until I could plant myself on those old wooden grandstands for a great a night of racing.
Sadly that only lasted a few years, and I started making my way down south to Suntana Raceway. The thing about Suntana was it had that feel of many of the racetracks up in my native Washington state.
However, like Bonneville, that didn’t last long for me. The reason? Because of this new track called Rocky Mountain Raceways.
When I saw that heap of dirt, I knew there would be “gold in them there hills.” I just had that feeling that the culture of racing in Utah was about to change. And, boy, was that the truth.
From the moment I stepped foot on the grounds of RMR it felt like home. I couldn’t wait for that first season to begin. And what pure fun it was.
As I think back I have many memories of some the events that have taken place during this time. But, I will save that for a future write-up.
I can tell you this much, we are very blessed to have this state-of-the-art facility in our own backyards. What Spencer Young and his family have given us has been outstanding.
They gave each of us a place we could call our racing home.
Russ Sala Jr.