Fast start to MRP season

Print Article

Giles Thornton, general manager at Montana Raceway Park, at the track on Friday. (Casey Kreider/Daily Inter Lake)

Montana Raceway Park general manager Giles Thornton said the “car count was good” for last weekend’s season opener and he expects those numbers to steadily improve as the weather heats up along with the action on the high-banked, quarter-mile asphalt oval north of Kalispell.

Week 2 is tonight with bandoleros, hornets and hobby stocks on the track. Gates open at 6 p.m. with racing at 7.

Legends and super late models have the weekend off.

Thornton said there will be “racing” or track action every weekend through Sept. 7th.

Super late models from Canada and the Pacific Northwest make their season debut on June 8th with the Can-Am 125. A big event for that class is the following month with the 29th annual Montana 200. There will be a test and tune day on July 18th with qualifying the following night and the 200 lap finale on the 20th. Drivers compete for a purse of more than $50,000. First place is worth $15,000.

Thornton said two former champions have already signed-up for the 200 — 2018 winner Jeremy Doss of Upper Lake, California, and 2017 winner Owen Riddle of Naches, Washington.

But it’s not just about racing at MRP.

Monster Trucks invade the raceway for two nights of thrills June 28th-29th.

“A big hit,” Thornton said of the trucks.

“The shows we hold up here appeal to a lot of families around the Valley.”

And he said family is the key word for all events.

It’s Mud Bog time July 6th with the Mud Bog Championships on Aug. 3rd.

The Tuff Truck competition is Aug. 10th.

“We have a lot of special events,” Thornton said. “That brings some added flavor to the Valley.”

But the main attention is racing.

Thornton took over his current position midway through the 2016 season. Assistant manager and promoter Tom Allabaugh has been with Thornton for much of the ride.

Thornton, who is 21, started racing at MRP in 2005 in bandoleros. His first full season in that class was 2006.

He moved up to legends full time in 2009 and made the successful jump to super late models in 2013.

“This place has a lot of memories,” he said.

“Racing goes through my blood.”

And that passion has helped make his transition from the track to the front office be a smooth one.

“I had time to prepare (for this),” Thornton said.

“When you surround yourself with good people, it makes the job 100 percent easier.

“I was raised with a business mentality,” he continued.

“Racing helped provide me with the understanding of what goes on in a racer’s head.”

As a result ...

“I get along with all the racers on the track,” he said.

Print Article

Read More Local Sports

Haslam to serve as FCS ADA President

June 17, 2019 at 6:53 pm | Daily Inter Lake CLEVELAND – The Division I Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association (FCS ADA) has selected Kent Haslam, director of athletics at the University of Montana, to serve as Pres...


Read More

Lakers down Billings Royals

June 17, 2019 at 4:08 pm | Daily Inter Lake Claim two of three games in series The Daily Inter Lake Randy Stultz was 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI as the Kalispell Lakers dumped the visiting Billings Royals 5-2 in Sunday’s American Le...


Read More

(No heading)

June 16, 2019 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake ...


Read More

Lakers AA drop 1st game of DH to Billings Royals AA

June 15, 2019 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake The Kalispell Lakers AA scored nine runs in the fourth inning and led 13-8 after six in the second game of a doubleheader against the Billings Royals AA at Griffin Field late Saturday evening. A f...


Read More

Contact Us

(406) 755-7000
727 East Idaho
Kalispell, MT 59901

©2019 Daily Inter Lake Terms of Use Privacy Policy