McKarns Will Keep Friday Nights Alive At Madison

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The off-season for Gregg McKarns continues to keep him busy. Recently, he was introduced as the owner of the ARCA Midwest Tour. Today, he completed a purchase agreement to become the new owner of Madison International Speedway in Oregon, Wisconsin. 

“This will fulfill one of my lifelong goals of owning and operating a weekly racetrack,” McKarns said. “I’m grateful to Terry 

Kunes for allowing me this opportunity.” Kunes purchased “Wisconsin’s Fastest Half-Mile Oval” in 2003 and has operated the track for the past 11 years. One thing that McKarns plans to do right away is keeping the “Friday Night Tradition.” 

 “This track has a great history and part of that history is that the weekly racing program is on Friday night,” McKarns explained. “Race fans are familiar with that night and now we will do everything we can to have more fans make Madison their place to go on Friday nights during the spring and summer.” 

As far as weekly divisions, McKarns indicated that his top weekly division will follow Big 8 Late Model rules with monthly Super Late Model events. He also plans on a Sportsman division and will announce other additional divisions at a later date. 

For McKarns, becoming the new owner of Madison International Speedway has a special personal meaning. 

Lowell Dalsoren Photo

Lowell Dalsoren Photo

 “My parents, John and Sue McKarns, ran Madison back in 1980-81 when it was known at Capital Super Speedway. I was just an infant back then, but recall looking through the memories of great ARTGO events and other specials the track hosted as I was growing up. Now, my wife, Angie and I, will now have an incredible opportunity to add more to the great history of this place.” 

 Sam Bartus built the half-mile oval in 1969 and he ran the facility until selling the track to Fred Nielsen in 1980. Bob and Tony Zider took over the ownership reigns in 1983. They made improvements like the concrete grandstands and the backstretch scoreboard. In 1987, Craig Henmen bought the track and turned it into a dirt oval renaming it “Impact Speedway.” The track shuttered in 1989 until Wayne Erickson purchased the facility in 1992 and re-opened it with the current name of the track. The Fillner family bought the track in 1996 and ran it until 2002. Kunes took over the facility in 2003. 

 Past champions include a who’s who in auto racing including: Dick Trickle, Joe Shear, Rich Bickle Jr, Matt Kenseth, Robbie Reiser, Travis Kvapil, Conrad Morgan, Scott