JEFFERSON, S.D. — Chase and Shelby Alves originally relocated to South Dakota for new race opportunities of their own.
Now they’ll be helping provide those opportunities for other drivers.
The Arizona transplants are new co-promoters at Interstate Speedway, where Friesen Performance IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks, Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMods and Mach-1 IMCA Sport Compacts return to Sunday night programs.
“We moved here to be closer to all the racing in the Midwest. Then this opportunity came up and we didn’t want to see another race track close,” explained Chase, who will be in charge of the hands-on aspect of the new job while wife Shelby manages the financial side. “We will take bits and pieces from tracks where we’ve raced. We aren’t going to do anything crazy yet.
“We want to get our feet wet this first season and then expand more with what we want to do at the track in our second year.”
Opening night for their 2023 IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing season is April 23. Season championship night is Sept. 24 with the South Dakota Fall Nationals set for Oct. 8.
“There is not a single IMCA class we don’t like. We are racers but we’re fans, too. We re going to try to do something extra for the Hobby Stocks and the Sport Compacts because there are so many of those cars around here,” Alves said. “We’ll bring the RaceSaver Sprint Cars in a couple times and we’ve had a couple other groups reach out to us about racing here.”
Chase had success in both the Stock Car and Northern SportMod divisions, while Shelby wrapped up the 2022 Lady Eagle title running a Northern SportMod in Arizona.
Marshalltown Speedway promoter Jerry Vansickel, Stuart Speedway promoter Mike VanGenderen and Arizona promoter Brad Whitfield have all been a phone call away in helping the Alves’ along the race track operations learning curve.
“The lifestyle has been a definite change from being in a go-go city,” said Chase, who was quick to master snow removal. “There is definitely a slower pace here and that’s been nice.”
When their work schedule permits, the Alves’ will do their own weekly racing on Saturdays at neighboring Park Jefferson Speedway.