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The drivers of the SWMS club before their final lap of the qualifying round on Saturday, July 1.

The Suika Circuit track is revving its engine


EDITORS NOTE: A previous version of this story said that Andrew Sanford was the new owner of the Suika Circuit. This has sense been changed; the Suika Circuit is owned by Dan Brockett, Jim Guthrie and Mike Ossell since Feb. 2023, according to the Rio Rancho Observer. The article has been updated with the correct owner. 

Just outside of Albuquerque city limits is the Suika Circuit, formerly known as the Sandia Speedway. It's now under new ownership of Dan Brockett, Jim Guthrie and Mike Ossell and is starting to bounce back and start racing. July 1 was the first one-day event to kick off the refurbished pavement track. Members of Southwest Motorsport Inc. came out with their racing cars for their monthly races.

The original Sandia Speedway location hosts events throughout each month on the 1.7 mile long pavement or the slightly smaller dirt track. On July 1, the modified street cars were put on the 14 turn pavement – a tricky course.

The Southwest Motorsport club holds no rewards for winning and they pride themselves on their  “no touch” rule, meaning – unlike NASCAR – the racers are not allowed to hinder their fellow competitors with their own vehicles, racer Gerald “Jerry” Stoughton said. This is due to the sportsmanship found in the competitors, who all have been working on and maintaining their cars for years now.

While the Suika Circuit track hosts, the SWMS is responsible for setting up their own events, usually taking place once a month and typically not in the summer due to a few heat related reasons, Stoughton said.

Stoughton was among the racers who attended on July 1. He has been a part of the SWMS since 2007. While Stoughton was preparing his first streetcar ride of the day in an all white Panoz, he spoke about why he keeps coming back to races.

“I’m a speed freak. And here on the track, I get to let that loose without any worries. I just get to let it all out,” said Stoughton.

Panoz was one of the fastest on the track, competing against many newer Mazda Miatas.

Andrew Sanford is one of the Mazda Miata drivers and is well known in the NTT IndyCar League for being its 1997 MVP. Sanford has since retired from his career as a professional driver and said he now works on repairs and improvements to the Suika Circuit track – whether that means filling in cracks along the pavement, getting the concession stand and bathrooms in  order or driving around the track.

“I just can’t get enough of it, really. I’ve been racing ever since I was six years old on a motorbike and I just haven’t stopped since,” Sanford said.

The newly named track has been one of Sanford’s projects for months – putting in effort to improve the space as much as he can.

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“I really want to try and make the Suika Circuit track a family-friendly and fun place for multiple kinds of races," Sanford said, "whether it be streetcars, drifters or even dune buggies on the dirt track.”

Sanford said he and the other racers are almost like clowns in a show, putting on pure entertainment for fans.

BillyJack Davidson is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be reached at

BillyJack Davidson

BillyJack Davidson is a beat reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be reached on Twitter @BillyJackDL 

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