MIDVALE - Last week, Midvale Speedway welcomed the fourth owners in its 65-year history, John and Kelley Chapman.
The Chapmans purchased the speedway from Randy Smith, who bought the facility in 2010.
John has been a fixture at the races for 50 years, as he and Craig Mishler co-owned and operated Mid-Vid Racing Videos the past 37 seasons before John retired from behind the lens after the 2016 season.
John is the Superintendent of Union Cemetery in Uhrichsville. Kelley is a Registered Nurse and is the instructor for Introduction To Nursing at Buckeye Career Center the past 20 years. She also works at Mercy Medical Center in Canton in Critical Care areas.
The Chapmans live in Uhrichsville and have two daughters - Allison Beal, her husband Brian and Hillary Smith, her husband Bryant and their two children Millie and Miles.
Ironically, their first date took place in 1980 at Midvale Speedway, sitting in turn four, watching the races. They are members of Roxford Church in Dennison.
They paid homage to the past owners and the history of the speedway and vowed to bring back a mixture of tradition and new ideas. The Chapmans plan to make Midvale Speedway a year round venue and not just a racing facility.
Gene, Bob and Chris Tolloty built and started Midvale Speedway 65 years ago. Smith took over for six years and sold it to Bear Schwartz before he and his late wife, Sue, bought it back in 2010.
Midvale Speedway will be running a complete schedule on Saturday nights in 2018, with the five weekly divisions being, the Outlaw Late Models, Economy Modifieds, Street Stocks, Mini Trucks and Compacts.
Some of the special events coming up this season will be a Fan Appreciation Night where fans will get Grandstand Admission for $5 with a non-perishable food item, Autism and Alzheimer's Awareness Nights, Christmas in July, Kids Ride in Race Cars and many family oriented things each and every week.
The Main Event Super Late Models and Open Motor Modifieds will return with one of the best firework displays in the area. The Must See Sprint Cars will also return along with The Midwest Compact Touring Series, making its debut.
Midvale will also host other special events and series that will be released with the schedule in mid-February.
The season will kick off at the New Towne Mall for the annual Car Show, with the 65th season opener taking the green flag on Saturday night, April 14.
For more information, follow Midvale Speedway at www.midvalespeedway.com and on Facebook and Twitter.