Independence Day race and celebration rained out

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
HENDRY COUNTY — Dark, ominous skies brewed overhead at the Hendry County Motorsports Park on Saturday, July 4.

HENDRY COUNTY — Hendry County Motorsports Park was the only big venue in the area that was promoting a family-friendly Fourth of July event, complete with race cars, bounce houses, food, refreshments and a spectacular firework show. Unfortunately, Mother Nature did not cooperate with the track owner’s plans, and the track became flooded with rain, ending the Independence Day celebration before the pyrotechnics could begin.

Racers and fans all praised the event, saying it was well-organized and a great time, for as long as the weather held out.

A comment from John Wilson said, “Not sure what the total car count was at Hendry but it was slammed. Stands were packed as well.”

“Ken Kinney, and the staff at Hendry Motorsports Park, did a great job last night, trying to race. The rain won last night, but we got to have a round of hot laps,” Brian Sikes explained. “It stormed a few minutes later.”

Kinney responded to his racers and event attendees by posting on Facebook: “I’m trying to put the words together, but I’m finding it difficult. I have so many people to thank and will through many posts, but have to admit that tonight makes the top three of most disappointing nights as a track owner. I saw so many people having a good time, and honestly stayed in the shadows, working, as to not take anything away from the moments.”

He continued: “We will make up each part of the event and will release the dates for each class today after reviewing class schedules. The fun and interaction that I saw being had was priceless, and I’m very sorry that Mother Nature did not let us finish last night.”

He made a series of announcements on Monday, July 6. In the first Facebook post he wrote, “The first announcement of the day is the most obvious: September 12th, the make-up race for what will be the most prestigious top gun sprint cars will be held at Hendry County Motorsports Park. I will post the current purse almost immediately to allow all who have sponsored the race see what you have done. We were actually still receiving sponsorship when the second rain came in and ended the night. All wrist bands will be honored for both the pits and grandstands for this night. Also, your bands can be used at any other event being held at Hendry County Motorsports Park for the remainder of the 2020 racing season. Fireworks will also be set off this night. The other classes makeup dates will be announced after I have a chance to review other track schedules.”

“You put together a spectacular program and the next time will be just as fabulous! The dirt awaits!” Lisa Carta commented.

“Maybe it was for the best. We was having fun no matter what but with the COVID-19 numbers we didn’t give the kids free range as we would have normally. The numbers may be down by then!” wrote Paige Tyree, who also attended the event.

In a second announcement, Kinney explained, “The second announcement of the day is that the 4.6 class will run there special race as well on September 12th at Hendry County Motorsports Park. This race has already been sponsored by Terry Woods, Michele Woods and Paul Vieira the track trooper. Right before it started raining for the second time, Charlie Barnes stepped up and added $200 to the 4.6 purse as well. Hopefully this is an off weekend at Citrus Speedway for the Ford 4.6 class so Neil Herne and others can make their way down to battle on the Everglades clay,” Kinney wrote.

He reminded everyone, “Again save your arm bands from last night as they will be honored for this event. I will post the current purse later today and if you would like to sponsor this awesome class let me know. A huge thankyou goes out again to charlie Barnes for his support of the 4.6 fords at hendry county motorsports park.”

Kinney then made one more announcement, “Ok the third announcement of the day for hendry county motorsports park is that the makeup race for the Florida late models portion of last nights show will be September 19th for the Johnny doan plumbing $3,000 to win series race. The arm bands from last night for both the grandstands and pits are good for this event. We will also shoot off fireworks this night. This event will be epic as well and again a huge thankyou goes out to Johnny doan and Jimmy Waldrop for making this race the highest paying Florida late model race in Florida for the 2020 racing season.”

Fans and racers all rallied in support of Ken Kinney and the event. Many saying they would return for the next event, “not matter what Mother Nature brings!”

For more information on the upcoming events, visit the Hendry County Motorsports Park website: hendryracing.com.

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