“Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
Blake Outhouse has said those words so many times the last couple of days, he should seriously think about changing his last name to ‘Hallmark.’
Blake and Anne and all of the staff at South Buxton Raceway can’t say ‘thank you’ enough for all of the support they’ve received from drivers, fans, businesses and other race tracks after word got around about the serious damage inflicted by vandals over the weekend.
But the best news of all … it looks like we’ll be racing this Saturday night!
“If we have an ambulance, we’ll be racing,” Outhouse said on Tuesday.
“We should know by Wednesday night … but it looks promising.”
The track ambulance, owned by the track’s Emergency Medical Response service, suffered the most damage in a wild vandalism spree, which is believed to have occurred between midnight Sunday and 8 a.m. Monday.
The inside of the ambulance was trashed and its windows smashed out. The track’s water truck, tractor and other equipment was also damaged.
“Two tracks have called to donate their ambulances, we have had people calling us willing to donate medical supplies to restock the ambulance, and shop vacs on Wednesday cleaning up all of the glass out of the ambulance,” Outhouse said.
Outhouse said there will be an army of volunteers at the track this evening cleaning up the destruction left behind as the culprits drove the water truck and tractor throughout the pits, smashing into fences, garbage cans and other track equipment.
“There’s glass everywhere,” Outhouse said. “It’s going to take a lot of work to clean up the mess, but we’re going to have a ton of people out here on Wednesday … we’ll get ‘er done.”
Outhouse said there will be a car wash at his Outhouse Image & Design business on Richmond Street this Sunday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
There will be a barbecue, with John Schinkels, of Schinkels Gourmet Meats, donating the hamburgs and hot dogs and Mark Lush, of Giant Tiger, donating the buns and condiments.
There will a silent auction, including two tickets to the Patriots Canadian Mid-Season Championship, which South Buxton is hosting June 22.
And the Grand Bend MotorPlex is also donating two tickets to a future event.
All proceeds will go towards the clean-up bill and enhancing the track’s security system.
Outhouse also said plans are in the works for a pre-race barbecue at the track on Saturday afternoon. More details will be announced on Wednesday.
Outhouse, who along with wife Anne are in their fourth year operating South Buxton Raceway, was near tears as he expressed his gratitude for all the support they have received the last two days.
“Words don’t describe the help we’re getting, the phone calls, texts and messages from people from all over …. drivers, fans, businesses, other race tracks.
“This racing community is unbelievable, I mean totally unbelievable … it’s very humbling,” said an emotional Outhouse.
The incident is under investigation by the Chatham-Kent Police Service.
It is the second occurrence of vandalism this month, as culprits damaged the water truck before the May 4 season opening night.
Anyone who has information on either incident is asked to call Chatham-Kent Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Tip forms are also available on line at www.crime-stoppers.on.ca
You may be eligible for a cash reward.
You can also 519-809-3587 and leave a message.
Your identity will be kept confidential by calling either number.