Racing returns to Carbon County
By Thorn Compton
RAWLINS — For the first time in three years, the roar of engines and sound of cheering could be heard at Ripple Ridge Raceway as the Carbon County Racing Association started its summer schedule Sunday.
Drivers from all over Wyoming and Colorado met at the WYO 71 race track in order to compete for prizes and pride while the Rawlins crowd cheered them on.
President of the Carbon County Racing Association Kaleb Willis said he was thrilled to bring racing back to his hometown.
“It feels awesome to be able to bring this track back to what it used to be,” Willis said over the sound of cars tuning up for their races.
All types of cars were present for the races — from super stocks to mod 4s to slingshot cars — everyone was ready to get out and show their stuff.
In the first race of the day, Josh Schweitzer from northern Colorado raced his orange and white number 117 super stock against two mod 4s and narrowly escaped with the first victory at Ripple Ridge in over three years.
“Last time I was up here was six years ago,” Schweitzer said. “I was building a fence about five miles down the road on 71 and I drove by the track and thought ‘one day I’d like to run there.’ We saw the post on Facebook and we thought we’d come up and support the track.”
In the slingshot race, siblings Brandy and Jacoby Little ran their small go-kart like cars against each other at surprisingly fast speeds.
Brandy won the race and came very close to lapping her brother on her final lap.
“If I would have had one more lap I would have had him,” Brandy said about possibly lapping her brother. “He’s only beat me once and it was this year last weekend.“
Jacoby said the track was a little bumpy up top so he couldn’t build the speed he wanted, but he was happy to not get lapped by his big sister.
There was a race planned for earlier in the season, but the May 22 event was rained out.
Sunday’s race also almost didn’t take place due to a malfunction with the water truck. Since Ripple Ridge is a dirt track, a water truck is necessary to keep the track in proper condition.
“The water truck broke down on us two days before, but now we’ve got it fixed and we’ve got water on the track,” Willis said. “The truck breaking down was kind of my fault, and we are just going to leave it at that.”
All of the participants at Sunday’s races were from out of town, and Willis said he was happy to see people come out and support the track.
“Everybody out here today is from out of town, I didn’t have any locals this week,” Willis said. “It’s great to see people who want to come out here and help get the track going again.”
Next up at Ripple Ridge is a SCGGR Special Mod 4’s race on July 10 and the next all classes race will be August 7.