ADA — The sounds of roaring engines and screeching tires may be silenced at Oklahoma Sports Park. Located 10 miles west of Ada on State Highway 3W, the 4/10 mile oval race track may have to shut down if owner George Welch can’t find an ambulance service to be on stand-by during the events.

Welch said he recently received a certified letter from Valley View Regional Hospital stating that, after 13 years, they would no longer be providing ambulance services for the Saturday night events. Welch said that is a tremendous problem for his facility.

“My insurance requires that I have an ambulance on stand-by at all races, and I won’t operate without insurance,” said Welch.

The letter stated that because of increased call volumes and lack of equipment and manpower, Valley View could no longer afford to provide an ambulance.

“They are going to be shutting the race track down if we aren’t real careful,” Welch said.

According to Welch, Valley View has been trying to cut off the service for a couple of years now. “They don’t care about what it could do,” he said.

Emily Denney, assistant director of Community Relations/Marketing for Valley View Regional Hospital, defended the hospital’s action, saying whether or not VVRH officials “cared” about racing was not the issue.

“As Valley View has grown into a regional referral facility, our service area has increased greatly. Due to the large number of emergency calls to which Valley View EMS responds, we are unable to spare on-duty personnel to be onsite at the OSP events,” she said.

Denney also said having their EMS units on site at OSP put Valley View in the compromising position of using its public service for a private, profitable business.

Oklahoma Sports Park is a popular form of entertainment for many local residents. The Saturday night event started in 1994 and its fan base has grown larger each year.

“I have been going out there for three years now and there is a great atmosphere out there,” said fan and racing photographer James Brantley. “I believe it would be something Ada would be sad to lose.”

Welch also believes the loss of the race track would affect the fans as much as it would the drivers that participate in the events. “There will be a lot of people pretty upset about it,” he said.

Welch has approached other hospitals and EMT services about standing-by at the Saturday night races, but has not found a replacement.

“I don’t know what I am going to do just yet,” said Welch.

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