By STEVE EIGHINGER
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
Sunday night at Quincy Raceways was more of a celebration, rather than a competition.
The celebration was not only for this year's track champions in the five weekly racing series, but for what many feel will be a 2014 rebirth of the Bullring at 8000 Broadway.
New track manager Ken Dobson, who will take over once the final paperwork is completed in the next couple of weeks, was one of the ones sharing in the excitement. Dobson has been busy much of the past month talking and working with numerous civic, corporate and business leaders to be able to hit the ground running.
Dobson and the rest of Last Chance Promotion are anxious to get started. Even though LCP is headquartered in Jacksonville, Quincy has already become a home away from home, thanks in part to departing promoters Paul Holtschlag and Bob Rhinberger.
"Everyone in Quincy has been incredibly helpful and supportive," Dobson said. "Paul and Bob and their staff have answered every question we have asked without hesitation. We have fielded calls for two solid weeks and each and every person seems excited and looking forward to 2014.
"We have talked to and met with a lot of people within the Quincy racing family in order to try to become familiar with traditions and expectations here so that we can put our own spin on things without throwing away the rich history of this facility."
LCP, which will be taking over Quincy Raceways for its 40th anniversary season, turned around the fortunes of Jacksonville Speedway after assuming control there two years ago.
"When we took over Jacksonville, we were taking over our home track," Dobson said. "Jacksonville was a facility we were familiar with from having been there our entire lives in some capacity. We knew where the light switches were, which keys worked which doors and already knew the racers and staff.
"Taking over Quincy is going to be quite different than that. While we now have experience at the business and racing side of things, we have a much greater learning curve when it comes to the facility and racing culture in Quincy.
"We have thought of 100 or more things that we would like to try to do in order to make it a great experience for both the fan and racer every Sunday," Dobson said. "Obviously, we will only be able to accomplish a small fraction of those prior to opening night, but hopefully over time you will see us gradually putting our stamp on the facility and events.
"It's actually a very simple formula: Great racing, an incredibly fun experience and a great value. Like anything else, that's much easier said than done, but now that we've said it, over the next six months all that's left is ... to do it."