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Oval track on schedule for June 14 opening
JAMES WOODCOCK/Gazette Staff An aerial photograph taken last week shows the work in progress at Billings Motorsports Park. The oval track at the facility, which will be known as BMP Speedway, will host stock car racing every Saturday night beginning June 14.

Activity is visible in several areas as the Billings Motorsports Park north of the city begins finishing up projects for the start of stock car racing on Saturday, June 14.

The new oval track will be officially known as BMP Speedway. BMP is located 10 miles north of the Billings Heights at mile marker 16 on U.S. Highway 87 (Roundup highway).

Ace Electric is installing a state of the industry lighting system around the 3/8-mile high-banked track.

Metal grandstand seating is up for more than 4,000 spectators and workers this past week were installing the sheeting under the seats.

The framework for the restroom building is up. A ticket booth is ready and a pump house is done.

The track that Ostermiller Construction shaped looks ready for racing right now and some initial testing has been done with a super stock class car. Harvey and Claudia Ostermiller's company also shaped a quarter midget track, graded an area for the parking lot and the pit area and pit road.

And, Billings Motorsports Park, a Montana Limited Liability Company, received approval from the State Attorney General's office on their revamp facility which now allows them to contact its investors.

The BMP Prospectus needed to be amended when the BMP board changed their priorities to give oval track races a place to run this summer. Magic City Speedway, the stock car racers' home track, was severely damage by a storm late in the 2002 racing season.

The speedway, which is designed to include drag racing, 4x4 events, quarter-midget racing for youngsters, tractor pulls, sand drags, go-carts, motocross and automotive motocross, became Phase One.

Phase Two is now the drag strip area of the BMP.

"The dragstrip will be next," said Larry Bohnen, who has been involved in the project since its beginning. "It has been our project for nine years and we will go ahead with that. We promised that we would build a first-class motorsports facility for the community and we will.

"With that in mind, we wanted to go ahead with the Magic City Speedway portion of the project first. To give them a place to race. We did not want to lose our momentum. We had no option. If we didn't, we would have lost racers."

Dale and Becky Schultz, the owners/operators of Magic City Speedway, will be managers of BMP Speedway.

Opening night on June 14, weather permitting, will feature sprints, modifieds, super stocks, mini-sprints, pure stock and quarter midgets.

"It promises to be a very exiting track," said BMP vice-president Syl Schied. "We will have state-of-the-art lighting. I know the fans will appreciate that."

The grandstand area will be protected by a four-foot concrete wall and an 18-foot high catch fence that runs 600 feet along the front straightaway.

Also in June, the Magic City 4-Wheelers will have a 2-day show at BMP. There will be a Mud Bog on June 28, followed by a Tough Truck event on June 29.

Other events are Thunder on the Prairie tractor pull featuring the Pro West Pullers Association on July 25 and a flat track motorcycle race on Aug. 3.

BMP will host stock car racing every Saturday. The Mid-Season Championships are set tentatively for June 28. The Dan Laber Memorial is on the schedule for July 19.

Spicing up the late-season schedule are the Track Championships on Aug. 23, the 6th annual Governor's Cup on Aug. 30-31 and the season-ending BMP Speedway Classic on Sept. 27.

For more information and a complete schedule, go to on the Internet.