You just know they were holding their breath.
Although the forecast was sunny, and the first few hours of the day bore that out, you know the track officials at Estevan Motor Speedway were taking a "seeing is believing" approach to Friday's races.
After seeing the first four race nights of the season wiped out, including the debacle of May 18, when the rain started in the evening and forced a late postponement, it was hard to exhale until the first heat races started.
Mother Nature finally left the dirt track alone.
The presence of the Speedway in the Estevan summer sports scene was sorely missed over the last two months, and now we cross our fingers for no more rainouts.
The attendance at Friday's opener was hard to predict due to the Saskatchewan Roughriders playing their season opener the same night in Hamilton. Despite that, the community came through in flying colours to support the track, with an estimated crowd of well over 1,000.
They got a good show, with two of the three features being decided in the last couple of laps and the three big races being largely free of cautions.
The track's season will gear up very quickly now, with the $3,000-to-win feature running on Saturday, followed by the Dakota Classic Modified Tour on Tuesday.
The mod tour stop is the highlight of the year, and with the Fast 40 being rescheduled from its original date in May, there should be lots of out-of-province drivers for that too.
The silly season hasn't been quite as silly this year, but that doesn't mean no extremely questionable contracts have been dished out by NHL general managers.
The league's free agency period began on Sunday with a decidedly thin crop available for teams to address their needs.
Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, the two biggest fish on the market, hadn't finished wading through a smorgasbord of offers as of Tuesday morning.
Lots of other players have found new homes, though, many of them of the fourth line or third defence pair variety.
A lot of those players were signed for reasonable dollars, but other deals make you wonder if the GMs know that there's a new collective bargaining agreement on the way, probably with a lower salary cap than the $70.2 million figure recently put in place.
After signing Jiri Hudler to a four-year, $16 million contract on Monday, the Calgary Flames now have the second-highest payroll in the league at just under $66 million.
Yes, the Calgary Flames.
A team that was already paying too much money to the likes of Matt Stajan, Mike Cammalleri and Jay Bouwmeester went out and spent about $55 million (including $17.5 million next year) on Hudler, Dennis Wideman, Roman Cervenka, Lee Stempniak and Cory Sarich.
Which of those guys is going to get them past the first round of the playoffs, again?
(I'm being generous. They'll be lucky to make the playoffs.)
Jay Feaster is in denial of the fact that this core will not get him anywhere. The longer he puts off a rebuild, the more pain Flames fans will endure. I'm speaking as a fan of a team that waited three years too long to make that call.
The worst free agent signings so far: Filip Kuba ($8 million over two years in Florida), Jason Garrison ($27.6 million over six years in Vancouver), Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau ($16 million over four years in Colorado) and Brandon Prust ($10 million over four years in Montreal).
The best so far: Martin Brodeur and Johan Hedberg (a combined $5.9 million over two years to stay in New Jersey), Brad Boyes ($1 million for one year with the Islanders) and Chris Mason ($1.25 million for one year to return to Nashville).
Josh Lewis can be reached by phone at 634-2654, by e-mail at spo...@estevanmercury.ca or on Twitter at twitter.com/joshlewis306. Uh, about that whole balance of power thing in the CFL...