The Short Track Super Series has started a rush of excitement in the southern states. Our northeast dirt modifieds are tentatively scheduled to race at four different racing facilities. Thursday was a 35-lap $3,000 to win feature, and Friday was a 40-lap $5,000 to win feature by invitation only at the Tri-County Racetrack in Brasstown, North Carolina and Saturday, drivers will face off in a 40-lap challenge for $4,000 in an open to all big block/small block feature, plus a 602-crate sportsman feature at the Cherokee Speedway in Gaffney, South Carolina. The races at Cherokee will follow STSS guidelines, with a few exceptions.
Last Sunday, STSS promoter Brett Deyo announced that at Cherokee the 602-crate sportsman division would compete in a 35-lap feature paying $1,500 to win and $150 to take the green. Jimmy Horton (unknown reason) and Billy Dunn (birth of child) have decided not to race this weekend. That allowed for another drawing, and the lucky drivers picked as replacements were Josh Delea and Erick Rudolph. Brian Calabrese of Johnstown is one of our local drivers that is planning on going south for the 602 race.
On Thursday, racing will move to Sabine Motor Speedway in Many, Louisiana, for the Corona 32 for $3,000 to win. Then next Friday and Saturday, the race teams will be at the Chatham Speedway in Chatham, Louisiana. Friday at Chatham will be practice and time trials. Saturday will be the Return From the Corona 75-lap $10,000 to win feature.
Is it far away? Yes. Will it be expensive to travel? Probably. Is it worth it? Most definitely. If you are part of the racing community/family in anyway, then you realize that racers will go to great lengths to race, especially after being forced to sit idle.
We cannot explain it, it is just how racers are. Many look at these southern state events as a way to keep their driving skills sharp for when their home tracks open in the northeast. Some may view it as an opportunity to hone their skills on the various shapes and surfaces that these facilities have to offer. While others are anticipating seeing or visiting a new track or state for the first time, most are feeling a sense of freedom to do what they enjoy.
Fans in the northeast continue to be on a daily roller coaster of emotions, as the different state and regional authorities struggle to make the decision of when and how to relax COVID-19 restrictions.
A handful of tracks did hold practice sessions over the last week — Fonda Speedway and Afton Motorsports Park in New York, Devil’s Bowl Speedway and Bear Ridge Speedway in Vermont and Penn Can Speedway in Pennsylvania. These sessions were used to let county and state officials see how the facilities could operate, while adhering to current restrictions.
Fonda was allowed a trial/observation session last Saturday. It held a limited practice with Montgomery County officials on site. Apparently, something did not meet Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s liking, and on Monday, county officials were told no more racing until further notice. How long that will be? No one knows as the power struggle with political officials is out of control at this time.
Devil’s Bowl continues to offer practice and track rental for those wishing to test and tune their racers, but it is limited to Vermont residents only.
Penn Can was set to race Friday night, so hopefully all went well.
If you were not aware, Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown has a drive-in section on the back stretch, similar to a drive-in theater. There are rows cut into the hill, and fans can listen on their car radio to the announcer. OCFS is hoping that this is one advantage that it can use to get state officials to allow them to put cars on the track.
Once again, due to the continued uncertainty in Albany, the small business owner suffers. The lockdown on auto racing does not only affect the big car tracks like Fonda and Glen Ridge Motorsports Park in Montgomery County. Dodge City Speedway in Schoharie County and Caroga Creek Racepark in Fulton County also suffer.
NASCAR did race its Cup Series at the Darlington Raceway in South Carolina this week , with Kevin Harvick scoring the victory.
Here is a brief update on Thursday’s racing at Tri-County Racetrack. Heat race winners were Jared Umbenhauer, Danny Creeden, Allison Ricci, and Billy Pauch Jr.
Creeden drew the pole position for the feature, with Tyler Siri on the outside. Local drivers and their position in the lineup: Ricci started seventh, her Halmar Racing teammate Stewart Friesen was eighth, Mike Maresca was 19th, Peter Britten was 23rd, David Schilling was 26th and Jessica Zemken-Friesen was 30th.
Friesen, of Sprakers, scored the win over Larry Wight, Pauch Jr., Danny Johnson and Andy Bachetti. Maresca finished 14th, Ricci 16th, Schilling 18th and Britten 28th. Zemken-Friesen was listed as a DNS. The top 13 finished all 40 laps, and an accident on lap 2 eliminated six cars.
Stay healthy, stay safe.