Letter to the Editor

Raceway beer

Monday, March 8, 2010

Dear Editor, and Concerned Citizens,

In response to comments regarding the recent decision of the Red Willow County Fair Board, City of McCook, McCook Speedway officials and Taste of Texas BBQ LLC to have available a beer garden during the McCook Speedway races, we offer the following:

Did you know that Taste of Texas graciously is returning 100 percent of all profits from beer sales to the McCook Speedway?

What does this do in return? It essentially provides additional entertainment for the fans because the promoter will be able to use a portion of that money towards higher purses for the drivers. Higher purses will make it more affordable for more drivers from around the Midwest and further states who are chasing after the IMCA championships to come to McCook.

Did you know that giving back 100 percent of the profits it is a huge charitable gesture made by James Arp and Taste of Texas BBQ LLC? Not only is he giving up his profits, he is willing to continue the responsibility of jeopardizing his liquor license.

Every day he opens his doors at the restaurant, he is taking on that risk. Why is he doing this? Because he loves racing, he wants to see the McCook Speedway succeed, and he wants to see other business profit.

Did you know that the McCook Speedway is not the first to have a public beer garden in McCook? The Kiplinger Arena has a beer garden when they host the Professional Bull Rider's; numerous trade shows that have an event in McCook also host beer gardens. Why should the Speedway be singled out?

Let us be quite clear: having a beer is not a prerequisite to having fun at the local race track or any public event. And, having a beer is not a prerequisite to getting drunk and disorderly. But having a beer and snacks can certainly be a responsible part of the atmosphere just like it is when you attend a major league baseball game, professional or college football game, a local trade show, attend an event at the Kiplinger Arena or even a family member's wedding.

While we understand that there might be those annoying few who tend to abuse any privilege, we are confident that Taste of Texas, the Red Willow County Sheriff's Office and McCook Speedway officials will work diligently to keep a close eye on things. Added security will be provided to help monitor beer sales and consumption.

Let's all do our part to ensure our fun at the McCook Speedway stays fun and exciting. If you drink, drink responsibly and respect others around you. If you don't drink, do not sit or go near the restricted area that will be sectioned off. In addition, the McCook Speedway will have additional trash receptacles in the restricted area where drinking will occur. They also have people in place to assure that the grandstands are cleaned the night after each race.

The focus of the McCook Speedway is not to promote alcohol. It is to promote a family-friendly environment, something that everybody can enjoy. It is unfair to make predetermined judgments on the sale of alcohol at the McCook Speedway since it is already going on at the fairgrounds and within the city during numerous events. Instead of being negative towards progress, be positive and support local attractions that bring additional revenue to our city and Southwest Nebraska.

We would appreciate it if the community would have consideration these 12 evenings out of the year.

Thank you.

Dennis McFarland

McCook Speedway


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  • Good enough for me! Let the races begin!

    -- Posted by Dudley Dawson on Mon, Mar 8, 2010, at 6:10 PM
  • Its amazing for over 10 years 4/5 race racer promoters tell us how popular local races are and now today its dependent on serving beers to continue racing period in McCook ?? Also on our taxpayer owned public property whick to my research is not being done on any other publicly owned race track in Nebraska or hardly anywhere in midwest only on privately owned tracks period. Comparing beer gardens for weddings and a annual bull sale is not even close for racers on 12 hot summer friday nights of races and whole different group of fans attending both metioned events. Why would anyone encourage huge party atmosphere of public drinking/intoxication on RedWillow taxpayer owned property period and any chance of just one death of a innocent person that any race night because of a drunk/race fan coming home from our taxpayer owned fairgrounds drunk and that was approved by Red Willow County commissioners and city council?? If that would happen who is going to pay for lawsuits/funeral costs...yes city and county property owners and taxpayers and i cant believe our countys insurance company would cover such liability in the first place or do they even know about it??Finally who is willing to risk it and try it period and knowing as we all do drinking and driving home do not mix. Tell racer supporters to Culberston or build their own private owned track/or are they willing to sign a personal responsiblity document that allows victims to recieve all race track supporters/Taste of Texas assets and given to any future victim families and take on the liability insurance personally themselves vs race promoter wanting us taxpayer to take it for him...

    -- Posted by Cornwhisperer on Tue, Mar 9, 2010, at 11:42 AM
  • Oh boy, don't you have a lot to learn about liquor laws and insurance liability. You also need to make a few phone calls to get your story straight about exactly how much alcohol is already being served up at the Fairgrounds. Stop stereotyping, stop being so negative and stop unjustly accusing others of something that hasn't and most likely will never happen. IT'S CALLED PERSONAL RESPONSBILITY, RESPECT FOR OTHERS and I hope that someday you might learn to have some. By the way, make sure no one sees you entering an establishment that serves alcohol...what message would you be sending?

    -- Posted by Rural Citizen on Tue, Mar 9, 2010, at 2:50 PM
  • jlake,

    How shamefully ignorant you are!

    You still don't get it. You are spreading a misconception that somehow this beer garden is going to make the racers drunk. That is just shameful ignorance. Your research is also lazy and WRONG!

    First of all, every single racer and crew that wants to drink beer at the track already does and has for years. All they do is load up the cooler and put it in that back of the truck or hauler. You'd know this if you had done any ACTUAL research.

    You don't even understand according to your post what else goes on at the fari grounds.

    I'm guessing that this alcohol issue is just a guise for you to attack the races period. It would make sense considering your research is so flawed and your reasoning is rediculous at best.

    The races bring a lot of money to McCook. You can argue whether it's popular or not. It is. Maybe you don't understand what it costs to put on a race. They basically have to pay the county back for every single expense right down to the electric bill for running the lights.

    Then you have to award the racers a prize to come here. They're already opperating at a huge loss. You don't race to make money...that's for sure.

    I'm sure you'd know all this if you had actually done some research. Ever been to Eagle Raceway by Lincoln? I didn't think so.

    I guess if you found out how often there is alcohol on your county fairgrounds you'd have a little egg on your face. That's why I'm guessing you're just going to ignore the FACTS and keep your blinders on.

    Let's tackle to generosity of Jame Arp. I wonder what it will cost him personally to do this. What a great gift to the races that he is donating all the proceed to the raceway. I know James loves racing and has supported them ever since he came to town. This move does not surprise me at all. That's a lot more than most people will dedicate to this community.

    Good letter here Dennis. I'm happy to see you back in the driver's seat at the race track. I can't wait til the engines start.

    Oh, by-the-way, I like a block away from the racetrack, and some nights that we're not there I can't even tell they're going....

    -- Posted by Justin76 on Wed, Mar 10, 2010, at 8:53 AM
  • Let's go racing!!!!!!!!!!! Kids have been buggin me to go and I can't wait!!!!! And the beer garden will be a good addition just like to the other events that you named in your letter.

    -- Posted by susanne_1989 on Wed, Mar 10, 2010, at 11:17 AM
  • Jlake you have a serious issue with alcohol. Reminds me of an anti gun zealot who is irrational and blames the gun for the crime and not the criminal.

    -- Posted by Chaco1 on Wed, Mar 10, 2010, at 9:15 PM
  • Why isn't the blame put on those who get drunk, they are the ones pouring it in?

    I have attended almost every race for the last 2 years. I would like to have a beer on those hot summer nights. I am responsible for my actions, whether I drink or not is my choice, and I have to suffer the consequences for my actions.

    If you don't like the races, don't go, if you don't like drinking don't drink. Don't spoil it for all those who are responsible drinkers and like the races.

    I don't think this is any different than going to the bar, we will just have one at the races.

    Thanks Dennis and Taste of Texas and all who voted for the beer garden.

    I hope that the races will be run fair and safe this year. That all will have a good time.

    -- Posted by Wifeoffarmer on Fri, Mar 12, 2010, at 7:17 AM
  • Wow, jlake, you are taking a hammering on this issue...and I agree with them. I live in a very large community in another state. We have BIG TIME racing and there is alcohol, entertainment, you name it and its there. I guess one point that needs to be made here is that the drinking age is 21. Those who are 21 have the right to consume alcohol. There are several other entertainment functions that do this very thing. Football games, baseball games, pro wrestling, etc. I guess...bottom line is if you don't like it, stay home, drink your fluid of choice and mind your own business.

    -- Posted by McCook Supporter on Fri, Mar 12, 2010, at 9:12 PM
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