Cody Sommer talks the birth of the Gateway Dirt Nationals and hints at midget or sprint car race in the future
St. Louis, MO is home to the greatest dirt race in the world. I’ve spent my entire life in STL, I’m as surprised as anyone that it’s hosted here in the Gateway city.
However, the race was in the works 5 years before it ever came to The Dome at America’s Center. Below, event promoter Cody Sommer explains that Missouri wasn’t the first choice regarding location of the Gateway Dirt Nationals.
He also spoke on future plans for the event. Which are very interesting.
“I’ve worked on having this race, for years,” Cody Sommer explains to RacingNews.co. “My original plan with the Gateway Dirt Nationals, it actually wasn’t even Gateway, it was Indy. I wanted to have a late model race, indoors, during PRI weekend.”
“I wanted to do it at Lucas Oil Stadium. I tried and tried and tried for 5 years, tried. They were just simply unwilling to do it. 5 years, exact. I’ve been in contact, I ask every year, religiously.”
“It’s quite an interesting situation because literally the same sales person’s been there, for all those years. Every time I speak to him, he kind of chuckles and goes, ‘You again.’ ”
“I made it clear at this point that if there’s a day they’re willing to have an indoor dirt race at Lucas Oil Stadium… They better call me.”
“I’ll be honest with you. Because if they don’t I’m going to have a huge problem with it. I’ve shown that we’re capable of doing it, for one. Two, I’ve been trying, for years.”
That’s what prompted Indy indoors and the midget race.
“That’s what prompted Indy indoors and the midget race. I finally was kinda just like, ‘Well, I wanna do this. But, I guess I’ll just do something else at this NBA arena around the corner to kinda bide some time, I guess you’d say.
The Indy Invitational was a Dirt Midget and Outlaw Kart race held indoors. That race was hosted at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN. Following the 2015 race, it didn’t return.
“Everybody knows that event and kinda how it shook out. I ended up doing midgets there. But, it was about that time that I was like, ‘Alright, I’m going to look somewhere else.’ Then, I started looking other places, doing this and doing that.”
“The timing with the Rams and all that,” Cody Sommer details the transition of plans to STL. “St. Louis just started to make a whole lot of sense.”
Following the 2015 NFL season, the St. Louis Rams left the The Dome. Team owner, Stan Kroenke picked up his team and went to Los Angeles.
“I have a lot of them. I guess I’m no different than a lot of entrepreneurs. You can have a lot of ideas and only one of them actually comes to fruition. You gotta have a hundred, in order to have the one. If you don’t really think outside of the box and compile all these different ideas and concepts you’re just going to probably not go anywhere.”
“Even to the 5 years ago point, I’ve evaluated doing midgets indoors, there [at The Dome]. I’ve evaluated doing sprint cars indoors, there. I evaluate a lot of different opportunities. People that know me well, would joke around and say, ‘which one of Cody’s ideas today is gunna happen or not happen?’ ”
What are the future plans? Do you have plans to run a midget race, at Gateway, the week before?
“I’ve contemplated the midgets indoors. I’ve contemplated the sprint cars indoors,” Sommer admits.
“There’s pro’s and con’s to anything you ever do. I’m not saying that I am absolutely going to have a midget race there. But, I’ll tell you there’s been plenty of work done to figure out what would be the best way to do it.”
it is possible.
“I’ll leave it at this, it is possible. And it maybe is something in the cards for the future.”
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2017 GATEWAY DIRT NATIONALS
The 2017 Gateway Dirt Nationals will be hosted at The Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis, Missouri. The races will be run on December 14th-16th, 2017. Each night is a good one, take your pick.
THURSDAY – GENERAL ADMISSION
CLICK HERE – DEC 14th
FRIDAY – SINGLE DAY TICKETS
CLICK HERE – DEC 15th
SATURDAY – SINGLE DAY TICKETS
CLICK HERE – DEC 16th
2 DAY TICKET – FRIDAY & SATURDAY (SAVE $5)
CLICK HERE – DEC 15th-16th
Cody Sommer | Gateway Dirt Nationals | Shane Walters | The Dome | Lucas Oil Stadium | Indy Invitational