MANSFIELD — Grant Milliron couldn’t have found a better promoter for Mansfield Motorsports Park (MMP).

Like a carnival barker, Kevin Ruic knows how to get ’em inside the tent.

The 71-year-old motor sports showman from Avon Lake recently announced plans for a six-event 2015 schedule at the asphalt half-mile oval on the city’s north side.

The season starts Memorial Day Weekend with racing and a fireworks show May 23 and will conclude on Labor Day Weekend with a monster truck show and demolition derby on Sept. 5.

“We have some major events scheduled and we also will try to do some smaller stuff, like driving schools and track rentals,” Ruic said. “Weekly events are a thing of the past, so we are focusing on the special events.”

One such event is a Fourth of July fireworks show.

“I’ve heard that Mansfield hasn’t had a fireworks show for quite a while, so we’ve earmarked $50,000 for it,” Ruic said. “We also will have a thrill show while people wait for the sun to go down. Fans can pay a few bucks to come in or park the truck in the parking lot and drop the tailgate and watch the fireworks for free.”

Ruic and his son run FASCAR Promotions. They are best known for their thrill shows.

“FASCAR does two things. It’s bread-and-butter comes from the thrill show business,” Ruic said. “We like to say we are the largest motor sports thrill show in the nation.”

The other part of Ruic’s business isn’t as well defined. Call him a race track resuscitator.

“If you have a race track and things aren’t going well and you’ve invested a ton a money and you’re out of money and you haven’t got anything to keep it going, we’ll get a telephone call,” Ruic said. “If they sound like they are serious, we’ll go in and staff the place and handle the promotions and advertising. We’ll tell them what the schedule should be. It will take a couple of years … but the business will be making something. It might not be a home run hitter but it should at least be making something and then they can put it up for sale because it’s in the black.”

Ruic promoted some events at MMP for former track owner Mike Dzurilla, including a season-ending monster truck show in 2009 that drew more than 10,000 people to the track. He was planning to promote several events in 2010, but the plug was pulled shortly before the season was scheduled to start.

The track has sat dormant ever since.

Milliron purchased it at sheriff’s auction in 2013 for $800,000.

“I met Grant a long time ago and saw him at the auction. I was there with a client who was thinking about buying the place,” Ruic said. “Grant ended up winning it and we talked. I asked him, ‘What are you going to do with it?,’ and he said he’d like to leave it a race track but didn’t know anything about race tracks. I told him I’d always be around if he needed some help. After a couple years, the phone rang and it was Grant.”

Ruic’s company and Milliron have a leasing agreement in place.

“We are working under the assumption that it will take three years,” Ruic said. “It will make money the first year, but to make it a solid business it will take three years.

“Then Grant will have a choice. Does he want to sell it or continue running it? If he wants to continue running it, he gets it with a full staff of people.”

For Ruic, the opportunity to work at Mansfield Motorsports Park was too good to pass up.

“I had retired and when he called I thought, ‘It’s only an hour-and-a-half from my house,’ ” Ruic said. “I don’t need to go there every day. I’ve got all the key people in place.”

The community has embraced Ruic and his effort to resurrect the track. His post on the I Love Mansfield Facebook page has drawn plenty of interest.

“I put something on there and in 48 hours it had gotten more than 400 messages and 1,000 likes,” he said. “I’m going to make sure we give them something they want to come see.”

For more information on the season schedule, visit

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