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NASCAR's Tony Stewart commits to racing in West Fargo

WEST FARGO, N.D. -- It seems like everybody's excited about the things going on at the Red River Valley Speedway.

A schedule is in place, and the most notable date is June 23, when the track has secured NASCAR star Tony Stewart to race in a Late Model.

"Tony owns a couple of dirt tracks himself, and has those connections with Donny (Schatz)," said Ivan Sailer, the promoter for Valley Racing Group. "He was excited to come up and be part of a brand new speedway."

Danny Schatz took over the track's operations in early March. Schatz's son, Donny, is a four-time World of Outlaws champion and races for Tony Stewart Racing.

The night is the biggest draw on a schedule that is slated to run every Wednesday from May 26-Sept. 1, and is a positive sign for a season that was in limbo until a few weeks ago.

"Getting Tony Stewart was easy to iron out. Getting that lease signed was tough," Danny Schatz joked. "We're trying to do everything that we can.

"You can't fix everything and do everything in one year, but if you want to 'wow' someone, you have to try and do as many good things as you can."

Because of the track moving race night to Wednesday, it made it easier for Stewart to be available because of his demanding NASCAR schedule on the weekends.

"Donny's team is owned by Tony, and we know that he's a big dirt-track racing fan," Sailer said. "It took a lot of work, but it works out with it being on Wednesday for him with his NASCAR schedule.

"He's going to race a Late Model, and it's going to be a big night for us, for sure."