BILLINGS, Mont. — Shane Liebig and Jerry Brey have been around the dirt track racing scene in Billings, Mont., for as long as they can remember.
Each of their fathers raced in the “Magic City” in the old days and the pair of the second-generation drivers, who started racing together around the age of 10, have both competed and won in Billings.
In fact, Liebig won the first-ever sprint car race at what is now Big Sky Speedway in 2003. That night, he was driving for Harvey Ostermiller, who helped build the track.
Liebig and Brey are the new owners of Big Sky Speedway, the former BMP Speedway and prior to that, Billings Motorsports Park. Brey was born and raised in Billings, while Liebig, who hails from the Rapid City area in South Dakota, has spent quite a bit of time in Billings over the years. The first order of business for the duo was to re-name the track as well as secure a new website, which can be found at www.bigskyspeedway.com.
“We wanted to change the atmosphere and have something that is a little more attached to the area, with it being ‘Big Sky,’” said Liebig. “We wanted to start fresh and have things a little bit newer and more modern. That includes the new-look logo, which has a modern-look to it. We want it to be a new era for racing in Billings at Big Sky Speedway.”
Liebig owned and operated Black Hills Speedway in Rapid City, S.D., in 2010 and 2011. He has also promoted four World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series events in his career. Most recently, he was a car owner, including fielding an entry for Aaron Reutzel in a number of events in the Upper Midwest. Liebig will draw on his vast dirt track racing experience when it comes to preparing the three-eights-mile Big Sky Speedway for competition.
“I hope that all of my experience over the years will help us get things figured out quick in regards to the track surface,” he shard. “The reality is that everything won’t be perfect the first night. It’s a work in progress and we’ll give our all every night and prepare the best track we can for the drivers and fans.”
The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series will visit Big Sky Speedway for the second consecutive year on Saturday, Aug. 25. Daryn Pittman won last year the track over Shane Stewart and nine-time Outlaws champion Donny Schatz. The Big Sky Brawl at Billings this year will mark the fifth different season the series has raced at the track. Joining the Outlaws will be WISSOTA Street Stocks.
“It’s always special to have a World of Outlaws race,” noted Liebig. “Jerry and I have been involved in sprint car racing our whole lives. There is a lot of prestige involved with the World of Outlaws and it’s the crown jewel in sprint car racing. It’s a big honor to have SLS Promotions bring the Outlaws back again in 2018 to Billings. We want to put on a good show and hope the folks involved with the Outlaws say that our place is one of the nicest they go to.”
Liebig and Brey have a number of improvements planned for Big Sky Speedway, including adding a camping area for RVs. The pair will also be putting up billboards, including one along the back straightaway, along with a guardrail. One of their main goals is to provide a family-friendly environment to bring the next generation of race fans to the track and a playground for kids is currently in the works.
Among the highlights of the nine-race special event schedule at Big Sky Speedway in 2018, will be the two-night Monster Truck Throwdown on August 3-4. The season will open on June 8-9 with the two-night IMCA Modified Gunslinger Tour, along with WISSOTA Street Stocks and Midwest Modifieds. Sprint cars will be part of the second night of that event as the ASCS Frontier Region makes their first appearance of the season at the track.
The winged warriors of the ASCS Frontier Region will return on July 14 for the Harvey Ostermiller and Mark Rieker Memorial. Rieker was a long time racer, who also helped Ostermiller with dirt work at the track.
Late Models will take center stage on June 29-30 as the WISSOTA Wild West Late Model Tour hits the track. WISSOTA Street Stocks and Midwest Modifieds will also be on the card both nights. IMCA A-Mods will be in action on the second night as well. A triple header of WISSOTA classes will be in action on July 28, with Late Models, Street Stocks and Midwest Modifieds, along with IMCA A-Mods.