The annual charity late model stock car race is Saturday, July 9, at Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley. The ticket gate opens at 2:30PM. Hot laps commence at 6:30PM.

The Gopher 50 is a fundraiser for the Blooming Prairie Lions. Jerry Ingvalson has been a promoter for the event since its inception as a fundraiser for the Blooming Prairie Jaycees. He looks forward to a great race on Saturday with moderate temperatures making it easier on drivers and fans. He expects the track to be in good condition as well. This is the 12th year for the Gopher 50 to be held at Deer Creek. It was held at the Steele County Fairgrounds in Owatonna before that. Napa Auto Parts and Miner's Outdoor and Rec of Blooming Prairie are major sponsors.

Josh Richards of West Virginia is the points leader on the World of Outlaw late model series. Shane Clanton of Georgia is second in the standings. Both are expected to race on Saturday. Ingvalson says Billy Moyer Jr. is also likely to be in the field. His father, Billy Moyer, is a multi-time winner of the Gopher 50 but is semiretired and won't race this weekend. In the previous 11 races in Spring Valley, seven different drivers have taken the checkered flag.

The trip to the winner's circle has been even more varied in the USRA Modified event with 10 different winners during the history at Deer Creek. Brandon Davis of Medford is the lone repeat winner.

Late model drivers are aiming for an $11,000 payday. Modified drivers can pocket a $4,000 check for winning. Over 60 drivers are anticipated between the two classes. Napa will have its dragster on display and will offer interactive games and prizes.

Ticket information is available at www.deercreekspeedway.com. The ticket window opens at 2:30PM Saturday, according to the news release on their website. The front gate opens at 3PM. A driver autograph session is at 5PM. Hot laps begin at 6:30PM. Opening ceremonies and the first race begin at 7PM. Deer Creek Speedway is south of Rochester on Highway 63.

Photo courtesy of Deer Creek Speedway