The United States Auto Club is on its way to becoming the new promoter of Dodge City Raceway Park.
After interviewing four candidates for the job, an advisory committee will recommend offering a contract to USAC Racing of Speedway, Ind., the city of Dodge City said in a news release. City and county officials expect to wrap up negotiations in January or February.
The committee has recommended a five-year contract requiring the promoter to schedule five major shows, which may include The Off Road Championship, the USAC Sprint Car Series and USAC Midgets. The other two shows have not been finalized but will be decided before city and county officials accept the contract.
The promoter will also schedule seven local weekly races and determine the classes after consulting with the committee.
Assistant City Manager Cherise Tieben said Tuesday the committee had several good candidates to choose from but felt that USAC Racing was the best choice.
“We looked at multiple issues — everything from the type of show to their record of operating different facilities around the nation and how they were planning on doing it,” she said. “They intend to have someone here on the ground all the time.”
Tieben also said USAC Racing was willing to host the major shows the committee wanted as well as some local races.
USAC Racing President and CEO Kevin Miller said his organization was excited at the prospect of promoting DCRP.
“We actually went through Dodge City as part of the Fireball Run this year — myself and my executive vice president — and saw the facility,” he said. “We both looked at each other and thought it was one of the finest dirt tracks in America. Very impressed and started looking at options of holding some events there.”
The racetrack contract is subsidized by part of the proceeds from the “Why Not Dodge?” sales tax, which finances a series of family entertainment-related projects. The subsidy amount has not been determined yet, but it will be when the contract and show schedule are finalized.
The recommendation and contract proposal will be submitted to the Community Facilities Advisory Board and the Dodge City and Ford County commissions for approval.
Tieben said she hoped the boards would consider the proposal later this month.
Assuming USAC makes the final cut, it would replace former promoter Ed Beckley, who decided not to submit a proposal for DCRP this year.
Beckley told the Globe last month that he needed to return to his hometown of Bridgeport, Texas, and run his monster truck business instead of devoting more time to DCRP.