Yakima Speedway prepares for 45th Anniversary - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima Speedway prepares for 45th Anniversary

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YAKIMA, Wash. – The Yakima Speedway is planning a big party this weekend to celebrate 45 years in the Valley.

The speedway kicked off its 45th season earlier this year but will officially mark the anniversary on Saturday. In addition to races, they will have outdoor vendors, extra food options, and lots of activities for kids. Management expects up to 5,000 spectators to make it out for the festivities.

Steve Condoff is the general manager of the Speedway, he says it has been hard in recent years to keep the track running but this year they're off to a good start.

"Things are way better than we ever anticipated being with the economy being what it is," he said. "We were really concerned this season with what it was going to be. Attendance has been very strong, the car counts have been very strong."

As the Speedway approaches the half-century mark, Condoff says its survival is largely thanks to the owners. He says they are passionate about the sport and were willing to keep the business going even when it wasn't profitable.

Through the years, management says it has remained an important part of the community.

"It's a great venue for entertainment for Yakima, it's a great revenue source for Yakima for all the rest of the businesses, motels, restaurants," Condoff said. "An event like this it's gonna bring people from all over the west coast so they're all gonna need logging, all gonna need a place to eat."

Gates open at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, the opening ceremony begins at 6:00 p.m. Several businesses are giving away promotional tickets this week. For more information, visit www.yakimaspeedway.us.