LIMA — The NFL has the Super Bowl. The NBA has the Finals. Limaland has the Brad Doty Classic.
The 25th Annual Ohio Logistics Brad Doty Classic was originally scheduled for today but was pushed back to Thursday because of the intense amount of rain. Spectator gates open at 4 p.m. and racing begins at 7:30 p.m.
The annual event is dedicated to Brad Doty, who was injured in an accident at Eldora Speedway in 1988.
The first Doty Classic was in 1989 at Attica Raceway Park. Limaland has played host to the annual race since 2006.
“This has really gotten way bigger than what I ever expected,” Doty said at a Limaland press conference Tuesday. “When this race started it was a benefit race for my family and me after my accident. The promoters at Attica asked me if they could name it the Brad Doty Classic in honor of my career. I was just humbled and flattered that they would ask that.”
For the first 16 years Doty came to the race as just another fan. It wasn’t until 2005 that he became directly involved.
“I went to the race every year but I really had no affiliation with the event,” Doty said. “In 2005 I got the opportunity to get involved as a co-promoter and got the World of Outlaws to sanction it for the first time. That first event was televised on the Outdoor Channel. We moved it here to the beautiful Limaland the next year and it’s just gotten bigger and bigger every year.”
The World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series drivers always put on a show for spectators, according to Doty.
“There’s nothing more rewarding than when they line up the feature and they go four wide like the World of Outlaws do,” Doty said. “Seeing the crowd on their feet cheering gives me goosebumps. It’s the most amazing feeling.”
With all of the intense competition, fans will not be disappointed in the show that the World of Outlaws put on.
“It’s the World of Outlaws and they are the premier sprint car series in the world,” Doty said. “Last year the winner of the race was Kerry Madsen, who is from Australia. We get a lot of fans from literally all over the world come to Lima for this event. Last year people came from England and South Africa also. They know that they’re going to see Darren Pittman, Donny Schatz and Steve Kinser, the list goes on and on.”
This being the eighth year Limaland has been the site for the Doty Classic, the facilities and the atmosphere have made the race even more enjoyable, according to Doty.
“The facility is second to none and I was pretty blown away the first time that I came here,” Doty said. “All of the asphalt driveways, the air conditioned bathrooms and a beautiful concession stand are great.”
Since Doty has seen his fair share of tracks, he knows a good one when he sees it.
“A lot of dirt tracks around the country, the restroom facilities aren’t always the greatest,” Doty said. “The air conditioning here is pretty special. The food is excellent and reasonably priced. The racetrack itself helps make some good racing. The cars don’t get too strung out, the leader is going to get back to the tail-end cars pretty quickly and that makes it tough for the leader. Sometimes it’s a contact sport and it makes for good racing.”