RACE: Heartland Park begins renovations

Largest Renovation in Heartland Park Topeka History Underway TOPEKA, Kan. (July 20, 2005) - The familiar sound of race engines was replaced by the rumble of diesel work horses as the largest and most expensive expansion in Heartland Park Topeka...

Largest Renovation in Heartland Park Topeka History Underway

TOPEKA, Kan. (July 20, 2005) - The familiar sound of race engines was replaced by the rumble of diesel work horses as the largest and most expensive expansion in Heartland Park Topeka history got underway Monday, July 18.

Workers from Koss Construction of Topeka, Kan. began removing portions of the road course and preparing the full 2.6-mile track for a new layer of asphalt. The process of milling, or removing the existing 17-year old asphalt, is expected to take nearly a month. At a depth of six inches, nearly 80,000 square-yards of the old racing surface will be removed, and an equal amount of new asphalt will take its place.

"The renovation of the road course at Heartland Park Topeka will be a major improvement for road racing competitors," said Raymond Irwin, Heartland Park Topeka owner. "The present course is badly deteriorated, and the new surface, along with subtle changes, will return Heartland Park to a world-class road racing facility."

In addition, Schmidtlein Excavating of Topeka, Kan. has started work on a new 22-acre paddock area to the south of existing paddock space, which will double the existing capacity for race teams and support vehicles. After grading and base work is complete, the south paddock will receive approximately 80,000 square-yards of asphalt at a depth of four inches.

The road course will not be the only track to receive a face-lift. The Heartland Park Topeka drag strip is actually concrete for the first 660 feet, with the rest of the quarter-mile and the shutdown area composed of asphalt which will be milled at a depth of seven inches, or approximately 22,500 square-yards. Following the milling process, new asphalt will be put down. The drag strip project begins July 25, and is scheduled to be finished in early August.

"After being renovated using technical assistance from the National Hot Rod Association and our professional engineering consultants, Heartland Park Topeka will have one of the fastest and safest drag race facilities in the United States," said Irwin. "The surface, grade, and asphalt mix are state-of-the-art and specific for drag facilities."

Several Topeka businesses are involved in the renovation project at Heartland Park. They include Koss Construction (asphalt removal and paving), Schmidtlein Excavating (grading and dirt work), Kleinfelder Inc. (geotechnical services), Professional Engineering Consultants (race course engineering and surveying), Schmidtlein Electric (electrical contracting), and Schwerdt Design Group (architecture).

"Heartland Park Topeka has received continuous support from the city of Topeka, Shawnee County, and the State of Kansas, so when it came time to renovate the facility it was vital that we incorporate local businesses and local employees for the renovation," said Irwin.

Other track improvements are already scheduled and will begin in the fall of 2005. They include the construction of more than 30 garages for race teams and their operations during race weekends, a new facility maintenance building, a 17,000 square-foot technical inspection building with showers and other spectator amenities, paddock public address and lighting updates, buildings for tire manufacturers to service race teams, and a new credentials/competitor access area.

These improvements are the foundation for Heartland Park Topeka to retain its existing events, including the NHRA Summer Nationals, as well as grow and foster new events, such as the SCCA National Championship Runoffs and Solo2 National Championships in the fall of 2006.

Heartland Park Topeka, a multi-purpose racing facility located in Topeka, Kan. annually hosts NHRA POWERade drag racing, Championship OFF-Road Racing (CORR), and the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) in addition to many other events throughout the race season.

-hpt-

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Series SCCA