La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway manager the eternal optimist

Chuck Deery

WEST SALEM, WI - Chuck Deery's glass is always half-full, never half-empty.
In the 33 years I've known the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway manager, he is ever so positive, no matter what is thrown his way.
Managing a race track is a tough business because it depends on the weather, which hasn't been kind to the Coulee Region for the last few years. Chuck (pictured) is forced to change gears at any time, any day. Racing, nationwide, has also taken a huge hit in the past decade or more. Yet, Chuck, the eternal optimist, comes up with something new and unique to keep the turnstiles churning.
Now, it's the worldwide coronavirus pandemic causing an abrupt interruption to our normal living. That includes Deery, who announced late Friday that the 2020 season opener has been pushed back to Saturday afternoon May 30.
With Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers’ extending the “stay at home” mandate until May 26, it forced the speedway to miss the May 16 originally scheduled oval track opener.
“We are treating this as though we lost the first two events to the weather and will pick up our schedule from there,” Chuck said. “There is no point to dwell on the disappointing news from Gov. Evers. Instead, we think this extra time will allow the teams to get better prepared for an exciting and competitive season, and when the first green flag waves, we'll be ready and so will the teams.”
Typical Chuck Deery, always looking at the bright side, always finding a ray of sun among the dark clouds.
The May 30 event will see the Kwik Trip Late Models and Lawnkeepers Sportsmen competing on the 5/8-mile oval. The quarter-mile action track will see the Auto Value Hobby Stocks, A.N.T.S. Pest Control Hornets and the Mountain Dew Mini Vans battle it out for those valuable track points.
Plus, it is the annual early season “Buck Night”. Buck Night (or “Buck Day” in this case) is when all concession items are just $1 and cold beer is $2. The event is being presented by Old Dutch Foods.
Gates will open at 12:30 and the first race will be at 2 p.m. Adults are $13.50, Students (12-17) $7, kids (6-11) $4. Children 5 and under are free.
For more information, schedule of events and other interesting fun facts, visit the Speedway’s website at or call us at 608-786-1525.
Good luck, Chuck!
See you there.