By Dan McGee, NvRacingNews
Reno-Fernley Raceway has been divided between two owners for years. One had the clay oval, UTV and motocross track while the other owned the road course.
Now it’s unified under the new owner Dan Shore, who has some big plans for the facility, which includes some of the hills.
“I bought the road course roughly May 2018,” Shore said. “I originally had purchase conversations with the pervious owner Dan Simpson about a year after that. Even though we had an offer on the table he reached out to someone else less demanding and made a deal with somebody else. Recently we closed on both tracks and the whole complex on Thursday, January 11.”
With the sale complete, Shore has plans for each area and the complex as a whole.
“Our plan is to put it back to my whole community complex plans I had years ago,” he said. “Which will be to change the entry so some services on the highway that really promote and support the race track. Then each track will have a whole list of venues. We’ll update the master plan on our www.renofernleyraceway.com website.
Asked about the oval he said, “We’re going to revitalize the grand stands at the dirt track. Basically repair those and paint areas for sponsor’s signage. Infrastructure is a big deal as we’re operating out of a well, and a diesel generator.
“The utilities are so far away and so expensive, we really have to figure out is the City or County going to help us and therefore how does it affect the overall development. We’ll redo the lighting as we’ve got excess lights we can add, or we’d like to update all the lighting to LED, much more efficient and less power.
Asked about the racing he added if they can get all the parts together there might be a summer series.
Asked about the unused Outlaw Kart Track he said, “I understand there was and I like the idea so let’s just see how it fits. If we can fit it in between what I call the short course and parking in the pits, I’d love to have karting. I think you can get younger people involved as well.”
He did mention the motocross track that the previous owner had is in great condition. That’s one of the tracks he’ll probably determine how it will be used in the future.
“We’re going to put back the UTV short course, we’ll most likely offer sand drags, with that modified entry, security gate and then we have to work on infrastructure. So that’s a big deal we’re talking about with the City and the County.
“The UTV Road course is kind of south and west of the dirt oval. It’s on that 95A Speedway property. There’s no offroad on the original Reno-Fernley Raceway but we’re going to create more of a family and training UTV course. Of course we’d like to get the name brand and people of the area to provide support to the UTV’s and the other kind of tire testing.”
Another annual event that uses the UTV course is the Fern 45, which supports the military and has Shore’s support as well.
“So we’re going to keep supporting that group and probably have a full OHV club. And we’ve also just made an agreement with a paintball/airsoft group.
“Nevada Amsoft/Paint Ball is going to have control of about 20 acres on the northwest side to kind of revitalize and modernize the paintball range that used to be there some time ago.”
The largest project will be the road course that Shore has owned for the past few years. Since that area can be used for many things it’s going to be a major project.
Asked about that he said, “Unfortunately I was going to do kind of a Band-Aid to the road course, but I figure it would cost us a lot of money and not make people very happy. So I did a full redesign, we hired a racetrack architect, who is also involved in all three phases with Thunder Hill, the Ridge up in Olympia, Washington and also is part of the team that did the Corvette Museum track in Bowling Green, Ohio.
“A lot of the track works really well and we’re going to open up some corners, ease up some corners and make it easier for most people.”
As the track will have to be torn up, a special machine is going to be used and he called it the Giant Rototiller.
“It basically goes down into the base, into the organics and rototills everything. Then we replace all of it and have the two layers of asphalt it never had,” he said.
One group that uses the track is Club Rowdy, which sponsors drifting events, something Shore wants developed.
“Those guys are great,” he said. “I’ve met John and I’ve encouraged him to do longer seasons and to put together a series where they have awards at the end of the year. So they get more people to come there more often and the series can have champions.”
As far as the road course itself, Shore intends to use it for other things besides racing and drifting.
“We’re also going to enlarge the skid pad about 50% for more car control, especially kids and I want to water it in the winter and have some good ice training, maybe even some ice races, as all of us need to learn that better,” he said.
The main straight on the road course can also be used for drag racing. When asked about 1/8th mile drags he said, “We are very interested in that, we’ve had some more casual, informal drags, definitely 1/8th mile as we don’t want too big cars and not enough slow down as we go slightly uphill.”
Shore also has other plans for the road course.
“We’re not going to try and be sanctioned, at least at this time, and we don’t have a lot of spectators. So we’re going to do private track days, membership and then all the promotional track days from all the big guys like Hooked on Driving and all the different groups.
“We’re not going to have big grandstands, it will be more like, if you’ve ever been up to Thunder Hill, it’s in Willows, not far from Lake Shasta.”
Shore is looking ahead to 2024, it’s going to be a lot of work but Reno-Fernley Raceway fits in with his view of what is to come.
“I hope it is a diverse year, I hope it’s a full year attracting not just users,” he said. “I did want to say we’re out actually out searching for kind of a founders group of investors.
“It’ll be a founder’s club or a steering committee and so what we want to do is get like-minded individuals that have a little bit of money to get involved. This is not Dan’s racetrack, this is Reno-Fernley Raceway, so we need more people involved, get these people that have been to a lot of different race tracks and how all of these are all set up.”
He also has a larger view of what he’s working on and that includes the airport now known as Samsarg Field.
“I think in the big picture when we say we want to be a community resource, we’re serious,” he said. “Talked to the new mayor of Fernley, talked to the new county manager for Lyon that we really want to make sure that kids have something to do.
“Love it with cars we even want to get them into the right seat of an airplane, we want to get them into sky diving if they wish. We want to build that whole area because we also own that airport. The old Tiger Field is now called Samsarg Field so that’s owned with a different partnership group who is the same one building that hanger at Silver Springs, so they’re going to be quite diverse in the things they bring the community as well.”
Asked his feelings about the future he said, “I’m very optimistic, I think that adding all the dirt things we’re doing really brings another dimension to getting it open and exposed. That’ll each have its own little profit center so will keep track of that, but the main goal, the big prize to me, is getting that road course completely repaved and open.”
For further information, try the track’s website at www.renofernleyraceway.com or check out their Facebook page.