First Sprint Car Race in four years draws in big crowd


POLSON, Mont. - Today was the first time in four years that a stock and sprint car race has been held at the Mission Valley Speedway in Polson Racers came from all over the country to participate.

Racers have been prepping their cars all afternoon just to make sure they're ready at the starting line.

Butch Duren has been racing for 50-years and still gets the butterflies.

"You can hardly eat sometimes, you get so nervous," said Butch Duren.

Duren travels all over the country to compete in sprint car races.

The car he drives has been in his family since 1962.

"Well, I started drag racing when I was a teenager. Followed the tar pits out and followed the racing around," explains Duren.

Now, 50 years later and he still loves the speed and adrenaline on the track.

"You're watching everybody and setting up for the next turn. You got your spot you picked out and you want to put the car there and sometimes someone cuts you off or fills your spot before you get there and you got to make an alteration real quick," said Duren.

Terry Pudwell is the Mission Valley Speedway manager. He took NBC Montana for a ride so we could experience what Duren is talking about first hand.

The sport can be dangerous with cars reaching up high over 100 miles per hour and everyone pushing to win.

"We want to be here for as long as we can possibly be and have a safe environment. We don't want to have a wreck one or an injury, any injuries at all," explained Terry Pudwell.

Anyone is welcome to race. You bring your car and you can race it. They put the cars against their suitable competitors.

"We want to bring young people in that can start there and move them up and teach them how to drive the cars, you know?" said Pudwell.

And as for Duren, he couldn't be more excited to get back behind the wheel on the course.

"It's just a real thrill to run and drive. Exciting!"expressed Duren.

Pudwell explained that he plans to have races going into late September. He is still trying to work out the schedule for the racers but he has a few coming up.