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Family carries on Goliad racing tradition (Video)

April 25, 2013 at 1:02 a.m.
Updated April 27, 2013 at 11:28 p.m.

Douglas Wright drives his classic dwarf car on the straight away before a turn during a race at Shady Oaks Speedway in Goliad. The circular track is one-third mile and made of clay.

IF YOU GO

Shady Oaks Speedway

2185 Farm-to-Market 622

NEXT RACE: May 11

WHAT: Street Stock Shootout; spectator seating opens: 5 p.m.

WHEN: 7 p.m.

COST: Adults, $10; seniors 55 and older, $8; children 6 to 12: $5; children under 5: free

Source: Shady Oaks Speedway website

On Saturday nights, the roar of engines disrupts the serenity of a once peaceful grove of oak trees along a secluded farm road in Goliad.

Drivers and their sometimes pint-sized pit crews check engines and fuel gas tanks, readying themselves for a chance at glory, or at the very least, the thrill of the race.

An Avid NASCAR fan and former volunteer at the track, Rosemary Stacy, 65, with her husband and youngest son, purchased Shady Oaks Speedway on a whim two years ago.

"We just kept hearing 'we just want a place to race on Saturday night,'" Stacy said of the family's decision to keep stock car racing alive in Goliad.

The track originally opened in 1986 before closing 10 years later. New owners would then run it for a year or two and close it again until it reopened the latest time in 2009. The Stacy family took over ownership at the end of the 2011 season.

Stock car races run every other Saturday from March to October, alternating weeks with the Texana Raceway Park in Edna, where many of the drivers also race.

"It's really freaky that within 25 minutes of Victoria, you've got two tracks," Stacy said.

Although she cites beautiful property and a friendship with the drivers as motivation for purchasing the one-third mile clay track, Stacy also has goals of becoming a real asset to the community.

"It's nice entertainment in an area where there's not a lot of entertainment," she said.

To this point, she has plans to expand the types of family friendly activities that the track provides for Goliad County.

A tractor pull is already scheduled for July 7 at the speedway, along with school supply drives on race nights later that month. Stacy said she even has "secret" plans in the works to schedule an open-air wrestling match at the track.

Despite a desire to expand entertainment available in Goliad, the opportunity to watch racing is what drives Stacy to continue putting the the long days needed to keep the 27-year-old tradition alive at Shady Oaks Speedway.

"I just like it when there's good, clean, side-by-side racing," she said.

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