By Carol Houssock (Chemung, NY) All systems are ‘go’ for the 2021 season opener at Chemung Speedrome, and for the first time ever it will be a Friday night/Saturday afternoon double-header event. Following a pair of practice dates on April 17th and 24th, competition begins on Friday, April 30th and Saturday, May 1st.
On opening night fans will see the growing Marion Decker Hobby Stock class (20 laps), 4 Cylinders (25 laps), INEX Legends (25 laps) and INEX Bandoleros (10 laps). Saturday afternoon, on Sam’s Bar and Grill Day, Chemung will hold the annual Gary Marshall Memorial, with the Sunoco Modifieds running an extra-distance 75 lap event. The big show also includes the Insinger Super Stocks (25 laps), and the visiting, popular TQ Midgets. Race time for that one is 2 PM.
In addition to the Speedrome’s regular classes, the track welcomes back the Race of Champions Modified Tour for two shows this season. The first will be on week two, Saturday, May 8th, with the second on the annual Watkins Glen weekend (August 7th). The New York Super Stocks will also compete twice at the Speedrome, on June 18th and July 23rd.
The Speedrome is coming off a disappointing 2020, where just one event was held before the pandemic’s strict rules put an end to the season. It is important that fans and race teams will comply with all rules and regulations so that a full season can run without issues or interruptions. Fans must wear a mask upon entry and when walking around. Social distancing, except among family groups, must also be observed. The track received approval to open, providing these rules are followed. Seating will be limited to 20% of capacity.
In addition to the open practice sessions, Chemung is also holding its first, of what is hoped to be an annual, car show and swap meet on Sunday, April 25th from 1 to 5 PM. “We scheduled this last year but with COVID it never happened. This year it’s happening, and we’ve had a lot of interest,” said Promoter Ray Hodge. “We’ll have space set up for anyone that wants to display and sell anything they have, for a $25.00 fee per booth.” The show itself if free to the public. “We’ll also have a chicken BBQ for those wishing to purchase food.” For information, or to reserve a spot, contact Hodge at 607-483-3468 or Jerry Sinsabaugh at 607-738-8829.
For the double show on April 30th/May 1st, gates open to the public at 5 PM on Friday night, with practice at 6 and the first competitive laps getting underway at 7. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $5 for kids 6 to 12, and free for kids 5 and under. On Saturday the pits open at 11 AM, with grandstand and practice at 1, and racing at 2. Admission is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, $5 for kids 6 to 12, and free for kids 5 and under. The track will honor Gil (‘Buck’) Sharpsteen during the May 1st show, when he’ll serve as Grand Marshall.
Fans and racers can keep up to date at the track’s new website (chemung-speedrome.com) and on the official Facebook page (Chemung Speedrome – Racing at the Drome).