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Fate of Sturgis race in hands of voters on Tuesday

Tim Lester
AMA Pro Racing.

Organizers for a street race in downtown Sturgis are making a final pitch to the community ahead of a vote on whether the race should happen.

The event is scheduled to take place during the annual motorcycle rally and be broadcast on national television.

Some Sturgis residents want the public to weigh in on a five-year contract between the city and AMA Pro Racing.

The Sturgis City Council approved the contract in February. However, some are concerned the race will affect business during the rally.

Gene Crouch, chief executive officer of AMA Pro Racing, said if the race is approved, the company will set up the race in the early hours of Sunday morning.

“We’ll, of course, respect the church hours in the morning and keep all engines quiet until at least noon. And then we’ll get rolling with the race. We’ll provide about 6 hours of entertainment. Planning to wrap up around 6 pm and then the streets will reopen within the hour," Crouch said. "Then, we’ll have everything torn down and be on to the next city by the next morning.”

Crouch said the race could be a key event that attracts rally goers and tourists toward the tail end of the 10-day extravaganza.

The event this year is scheduled to take place on the last Sunday of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, August 11.

Crouch said the race taps into the national trend of street racing across the country and will be televised on a national Fox broadcast.

“This is on what we call 'Big Fox,'" Crouch said. "Channel three, here, in the Rapid City area. This is the first time that American Flat Track will ever be on broadcast. Similarly, I would imagine it’s probably the first time the city of Sturgis would have an hour-long infomercial about the city of Sturgis on Big Fox.”

Sturgis residents will weigh in on the race this Tuesday.

Lee Strubinger is SDPB’s Rapid City-based news and political reporter. A former reporter for Fort Lupton Press (CO) and Colorado Public Radio, Lee holds a master’s in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.
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