QC Kartway and More opens its racing season this Sunday, but it's a season opener that was close to not happening at all.
The1/8mile clay-oval banked track is located behind the back stretch of the Quad City Speedway in East Moline.
When previous ownership had designs of closing the track following last season, Ray Edwards stepped forward.
"My son raced up there for two years, and the guy wanted to shut the track down," Edwards said. "I didn't want to see that happen, so I took it over."
What was known as B&S Raceway in 2012 is now under Edwards's ownership this season.
"I bought the track for it to be a family thing," Edwards said. "A place where a family can come out and have fun without spending a lot of money."
Drivers must have their own karts as none are available for rent. Live racing is held on the weekends, with practice time available during the week.
Edwards encourages large groups to come out for a fun time at the track as well.
"If a church or boy scout group wants to come out, I'm willing to let them come and watch for free,'' he said. "I want this to be a friendly kind of place and where anyone is welcome."
Edwards added some kart divisions to expand the field.Last year, there were only four kart classes. This year there are seven: two-beginner classes, three-junior classes, an adult class, and the Outlaw class.
"It's based on age and motor sizes," he said. "We're also bringing in wing-karts on May 27th for a special."
Those age 5-to-14 are eligible as beginners and 7-to-15 year-olds qualify for junior class. The difference in classes is the beginners have never raced before and juniors have. Karts for each of those classes have different motors, weight classes and restrictor plates.
In the adult class, there are motor and weight rules, but the Outlaws class is whatever you bring to the track.
Although the karts are the main attraction, they're not the only form of racing you can catch at this venue. Lawn mowers will also run every Sunday.
"We've got about 17 mowers for this weekend," Edwards said. "The drivers build them up. We have some mowers that get up to 40 miles per hour."
The new kart classes will draw attention from viewers in surrounding areas, according to Edwards. He is expecting 40 to 50 go-karts to race this weekend.
"It's going to be a challenge," he said. "All my people are new and I'm new at this. People that have never raced up here before are coming and we've got a lot of new karts."
Drivers with no experience at the track may lead to some exciting racing in Edwards' eyes.
"We'll have a lot more side-by-side racing," he said. "Hopefully more competitive racing. A lot more karts and mowers. It'll be a more family-oriented atmosphere."
General admission for the day is $4. Pits open at 11 a.m. with hot laps and a noon driver meeting. Racing will begin at 12:30 on Sunday.
For more information on the track, go to qckartway on Facebook or call 309-631-3551.
Today is Thursday, April 24, the 114th day of 2014. There are 251 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: We learn that it is a contemplation to start a paper mill in Rock Island during the summer by a gentleman from the East. 1889 -- 125 years ago: The gates of Oklahoma were swung open at noon today, and a throng of more than 30,000 settlers started over its soil. 1914 -- 100 years ago: The Iowa Coliseum Co. was incorporated with $40,000 capital and planned a building on 4th Street between Warren and Green streets in Davenport. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Plans are being discussed for resurfacing the streets in the entire downtown district of Rock Island. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Some 45 jobs will be created at J.I. Case Co.'s Rock Island plant in a expansion of operations announced yesterday afternoon at the firm's headquarters in Racine, Wis. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Gardeners and farmers cheered, but not all Quad-Citians found joy Saturday as more than an inch of rain fell on the area. Motorists faced dangerous, rain-slick roads as the water activated grease and grime that had built up during dry weather.