VINTON – After a year of planning, visitors to Sunday night’s race this weekend at the Benton County Speedway ‘The Bullring’ will be witness to a new world’s record.
The ‘World’s Largest Candy Dash’ is being held at the Benton County Fairgrounds. “This will be largest candy dash at a dirt track,” Christine Rublack, dash organizer, said earlier this week. “I’m expecting to have over 1900 pounds of candy which will be dumped on the track for the world’s largest candy dash at a dirt race track.
“The candy dash is something that I remember doing at the track when I was a kid,” she said. “I have so many fun memories of the event.”
Rublack explained that Janice Smith and the racetrack’s Lil’ Racer’s Club brought the event after a few years absence. “I helped Janice in the beginning, but about five years ago took over getting everything organized.” In a family involved with dirt track racing, Rublack said she was able to use those connections to help gather candy. “The racing community is always great and very generous,” she said.
The idea of ‘go big or go home’ with the candy dash was planted a couple of years ago Rublack shared. “Hawkeye Downs in Cedar Rapids had collected 1050 pounds for their candy dash. I felt the record needed to be held by a dirt track so last year work started early collecting candy and we had 1,304 pounds of candy on the track in 2020.”
Rublack said she has had boxes of candy sitting at home for the past year. “I started after last year’s dash collected candy and money for this year.” Rublack said sales after Halloween, Christmas and Easter along with other holidays enable her to get the most candy for the dollar.
With the dash just a couple of days away, Rublack and family members have begun the task of mixing candy. “We’ll open the boxes and start mixing everything together so you don’t have all the Halloween candy in one area and all the Easter in another,” she chuckled. Once mixed it will be placed in boxes and wait to be distributed out on the track at the Bullring. “Last year we had three trucks that hauled the boxes out onto the truck. I’m not sure how many will be needed this year.”
With a goal to have more candy than year’s event, Rublack said she believes that she will have over 1,700 pounds of candy. “I’ve had some people reach out to me and I need to pick up some more candy this week.” Rublack weighs all the candy herself so she is able to keep track of what she had. “I’ve got a postal scale that I weigh it on. The packages are not always right so I started weighing the packages so I knew what I had.”
An event of this magnitude wouldn’t be possible without the help of the track promoters. “Rick and Kim Dripps have been great to work with,” Rublack said. “They are very supportive and will be helping to get all the candy out on the track Sunday. After watching last year’s event, Rick was like ‘we need to contact Guinness about what the world record is,’” Rublack stated.
“This is all Christine,” Kim Dripps said when asked about the event. “She is all the gathering, all the organizing the candy dash wouldn’t happen if it wasn’t for her hard work during the whole year.”
Gates to Sunday’s event will open at 4 p.m. and kids up to age 14 will be admitted for free that night.