Revving their engines

A dirt track race car sits out in front of the sign to Atomic Motor Raceway in Atomic City. Last weekend was the season opener at the track after a two-year hiatus of racing at the track.
Jason Enes
Staff Writer

For die hard race drivers East Idaho has very few options for drivers to rev their engines.
Noise Park in Idaho Falls offer dirt track racing and Pocatello Speedway give asphalt racers a place to get their racing juices flowing.
Two years ago the Atomic Motor Raceway in Atomic City gave Eastern Idaho two dirt track options.
But in 2014 AMR shut down leaving local racers with one less option to go racing.
That all changed earlier this year when Teton Valley residents Vickie O’Haro and her husband Blake Lyle bought the track and after a bit of elbow great and upgrades the track opened up its 2016 season last weekend.
“My husband Blake is a racer,” O’Haro said. “We used to travel to Salmon and Idaho Falls to race, but Salmon closed too. So we wanted to give local racers another option to race and that’s why we bought the track.”
“It’s our wish to make racing strong in Southeastern Idaho again,” O’Haro added. “We have done a lot of upgrades and are familiar with the Arco area since I have lived out there in the past and I met Blake at Atomic City, so there is some history here for us. We are excited for the season.”
AMR is a 1/3 of mile clay dirt track and is located 28 miles west of Blackfoot off of Highway 26.
“If people want to race they will make the trip,” O’Haro said of the half hour drive out of Blackfoot. “We live in the Teton Valley so we are used to traveling long ways to get to races.”
Lyle sold his business in Driggs to buy the track and since taking ownership the couple has made some significant upgrades that will improve the fan and driver experience.
“We have added caution lights and a new public address system,” O’Haro said. “We have tried to make things as comfortable as possible for the racers and the fans and give a first class experience.”
The local racing scene is made up of 20-25 racers on a weekly basis, and racers from Utah and Jackson make the drive into the area to race according to O’Haro. But where racing is growing is with the female racers.
“There are a lot of girls involved in racing,” O’Haro said. “Most people know what racing is, but don’t know much about it until they experience it, then they are hooked.”
The couple is hoping for an increase in entrants as the season’s five weekends continue.
“Coming out to the track is affordable family fun,” O’Haro said. “There are not many activities around were you can take a family out and spend less than a $100. But if a family comes out to the track they can have a good time, some cotton candy and be home at a reasonable time. That’s something that a lot of places can’t offer.”
Every race night will feature five classes of racing beginning with the go karts. The Minis, limited and street modified’s, sports modified and modified’s will be on the docket.
Gates each racing weekend open at 3 p.m. and racing begins at 7 p.m.
Ticket prices are $10 for adults, and $5 for kids ages 7-12, children six and under and seniors are free.
All active duty and veteran military service members are free, while every Friday night is ladies night with admission being just $5.
“People can come out for the night and sit in the bleachers or they can camp,” O”Haro said. “There is a park out in front of the track for campers and the racers can stay at the track if they would like. We want the track to be a very family friendly atmosphere.
The next racing weekend is July 8th and 9th.