This past Saturday, my niece Shawna and I had the opportunity to attend the Arca Remax Series racing at the Rusty Wallace Speedway in Newton.

The tickets were sent to us from friends, Andy Hanellin, Ken and his son, Brett Butler. Brett is the driver of the No. 1 Loanmax Arca car and it is owned by his father, Ken Butler. Ken is also the owner of over 1,500 Aarons store throughout the nation and sponsors Aarons cars on the Sprint Cup Series, which we found out a couple of days after our day at the track.

The day started out early with a stop for breakfast on the way. Upon arriving at the track, it was off to the credentials office to pick up tickets, only to find out the office would not open until 11:30 a.m. We waited until noon, when the office actually did open, to get our tickets. Unfortunately, we were looking under the wrong name for the tickets and our names were not available for the race. A message was sent to Brett, who came to the office and helped them locate our tickets.

After that, we went with Brett to the garage area, only to be stopped once again by the officials, who advised that flip flops were not allowed in the garage area. So it was off to Wal-Mart to purchase proper shoes for Shawna.

Arriving back at the track, we immediately went back to the garage area, where the ALWTS trucks were on the track for their final practice for their race later in the evening. After watching them practice for a bit, we walked around the garage area, took a lot of pictures and watched the pit crew/drivers get their Arca cars ready for the race.

At 2 p.m. we attended a free concert held at the race track by Eric Church. After that we went to pit road and sat on the pit wall to watch Brett qualify in the 17 position for the 8 p.m. race that evening.

To watch both the ALWTS race and the Arca race that evening, Ken Butler provided us with suite tickets. We watched the race in style, with air conditioning (much enjoyed after the hot day), food and drink and we could also keep up on the Sprint Cup race.

Brett’s dad, Ken, also joined us during the Arca race and kept us up to date on the goings on, both in the pits and with Brett while he was driving the car. Brett ended up finishing in the 15th position. We were treated like royalty throughout the day and had an awesome time. (Some would say we think we are royalty to begin with).

Once again we have to say a big thank you to Ken and Brett Butler, Loanmax and Dogs by Andy for the very enjoyable day that we had.

Also, to let you know, if you are interested in watching any of the races, Ken Butler III will be racing the nationwide race on Aug. 1 at the Rusty Wallace Race Track in Newton and Brett Butler will race once again in the Arca race in Newton on Sept. 19.

I also have a message from the RAGBRAI Committee this week:

Thursday, July 23, the annual bike ride across Iowa will be going through our town. Let’s make our town look its best and show them how proud we are of our town. The theme is “Follow the Moravian Stars.” Please display your Moravian Star if you have one and also red flowers.

All residents living on North Brandon, West Baird, North Trussell and Milwaukee Streets need to be aware of the route of RAGBRAI support vehicles which will travel to Moravia via Old Highway 5 from the north. The designated parking for these vehicles will be at the Moravia School parking lot.

The route for support vehicles is as follows:

They will be coming from the north on Old Highway 5 (Brandon Avenue) and will turn on Baird Street to North Trussell Avenue and go to the school parking lot. When they leave they will turn on Milwaukee Street and go back out to Old Highway 5 (Brandon Avenue).

The bike riders will come from the west and come straight into town on West North Street and will turn south on William Street. They will exit town along the south side of the square on King Street to South East Street and go on to Unionville. All activities will be taking place in the city park. Vendors will be lined up along the square. Shut down time is 2:30 p.m. which will encourage the riders to move on so they will be in Ottumwa by around 6 p.m.

Due to the increase in traffic flow for that day, we would like to limit local traffic between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. If you have small children, keep them away from streets and intersections for the day.

We hope that all RAGBRAI participants will enjoy their time spent here. It is the hope of the Committee that residents will make an effort to groom lawns and display red flowers and Moravian Stars if possible.

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