All posts by Myracenews

Mahoning Valley Speedway Test and Tune day has racers geared up for April 9 opener

(Dino Oberto photo)

(LEHIGHTON, Pa. 3-26-16) Mahoning Valley Speedway opened its gates to racers for the first time this season as the initial day of three Test and Tunes took place on a picture perfect Saturday afternoon.

With Opening Day less than two weeks away, a nice showing of cars took advantage of the afternoon in preparation of the April 9 lid-lifter which will be highlighted by the Ferris Mowers Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Series Fueled by Sunoco “Break-the-Ice 75.” The $2800 to win feature is building momentum to be a huge gathering of Modified teams from throughout New York and New Jersey who are reading themselves to take on the hard-nose players of Mahoning Valley Speedway.

A sneak peek of that was evident on Saturday a several strong contending Modified drivers were on hand including 2015 track champion Earl Paules, points runner-up Austin Kochenash and others took to the track.

Also on hand was Race of Champions steady Tony Hanbury in the Dan Kurzejewski owned No. 21. Hanbury was making his first laps at Mahoning since Opening Day 2010. He, like most others on the Race of Champions Tour, was getting in pre-season laps on the unique quarter mile circle knowing that it will be a tough ordeal when it comes time to face off against the home track regulars.

Hanbury did very well throughout the day and should be ready to roll when he returns on April 9 for the Break-The Ice-75.

Five of six 2015 track champions came out which along with Paules included Paul Koehler Jr., Zach Graver, Ricky Yetter, and Cody Geist in the Late Model, Street Stock, Dirt Mod and Hobby Stocks respectively.

Mike Sweeney, who was second to Koehler in points and the overall top feature winner last year with 10 wins, unveiled a sharp looking new Ford Taurus Late Model that got plenty of second looks, being both fast and sharp.

Of the 50 total cars that were pit-side, Modifieds, Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks showed the best numbers thus far.

Next weekend, April 2-3, Test and Tune continues with on track activity running from noon to 4:00 pm each day. The cost is $25 per car and $10 per person in the pits. Grandstands are free.

Also a Racers Flea Market will be held on Saturday, April 2 beginning at 10:00 am. There is no charge for anyone wishing to have a spot for the flea market that will be held in the parking lot alongside the pits.

On Opening Day 2016 race teams will begin entering the pits starting at 11:00 a.m. followed by Modified inspection at 11:30 a.m. Sign-in takes place from 1:00 – 2:15 p.m. Heat racing will begin at 4:00 p.m. Also on the card will be Late Models, Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks.

Additional news can be found on the track’s official website at www.mahoningvalley-speedway.com or on Facebook at Mahoning Valley Speedway. You can also log onto the Race of Champions website at http://www.rocmodifiedseries.com

Mohegan Sun to Once Again Host Thompson’s Championship Awards Banquet

(THOMPSON, CT) – Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park officials announced on Friday that the Annual Championship Awards Banquet would return to Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT on Saturday, December 17. The venue played host to the Banquet for the first time last December, bringing the annual event to a new level of excellence with music, improved trophies and the Champions’ cars on display.

Woody Pitkat, last year’s Sunoco Modified champion, enjoyed having the event at Mohegan Sun as it reminded him of the past NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour banquets. “It’s a great facility. We used to go there for the NWMT banquet, before it was moved down to North Carolina, and it was always a great time… It’s great knowing that it’s going to be back there this year.”

“The banquet hosted at the Mohegan Sun Casino put on by the staff of TSMP was an amazing event,” remarked 2015 Late Model Champion, Brian Tagg. “My team and I, my family, and sponsors were so grateful to be honored like we were there. It goes to show you how hard Josh Vanada and his staff at TSMP work to make sure the competitors, sponsors, teams, and families are recognized for all of their hard work and support. I am lucky enough to have been there on the maiden voyage and hope to get back there again!”

This year drivers and teams from all four Thompson NASCAR Whelen All-American Series (NWAAS) divisions will be invited to return to Mohegan Sun, the Official Hotel and Casino of Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. Tickets will go on sale for the Banquet on Monday, October 24.

The Championship season for Thompson’s NWAAS season will kick off at the 42nd Annual Icebreaker, April 8-10. Thompson’s own four divisions, the Sunoco Modifieds, Late Models, XtraMart Limited Sportsman and Mini Stocks, will be racing on Sunday afternoon leading up to the first championship event for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

For more details about the Icebreaker, or any of TSMP’s other events, be sure to visit their website, www.thompsonspeedway.com, and stay connected with them on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube.

 

Thompson 2016

UTICA-ROME SPEEDWAY’S BILL AND KIM SHEA TO PROMOTE ROLLING WHEELS RACEWAY PARK IN 2016

ELBRIDGE, NY-Just one year ago, Bill and Kim Shea agreed to purchase Utica-Rome Speedway from Gene Cole which they operated throughout the 2015 season.  In 2016, in addition to successfully operating Utica-Rome Speedway weekly, they will operate Rolling Wheels Raceway Park for track owners Bill Mendick and Bert Butler.  Mendick and Butler approached the Shea’s in early February about running the Elbridge speed plant after Glenn Donnelly stepped away from promoting the speedway.
“We were flattered when Mr. Mendick and Mr. Butler contacted us,” commented Bill Shea.  “They said they like the direction we were going in at Utica-Rome and reached out to us, and after some discussions, we decided to do it.  We feel very fortunate to be operating two of the most historic tracks in the northeast.”
“We realize the work that will go into making this work,” added Kim Shea “but we expect much of the staff that works with us on Sundays to be with us at Rolling Wheels and that will help make it easier.  We also feel that both tracks will feed off of each other, benefitting both speedways.”
A preliminary schedule has been set that includes seven firm dates and two to be announced events.  The first event to kick off the 2016 Rolling Wheels Raceway Park season will be a Thursday night affair on June 23, featuring the 602 Crate Sportsman, Crate Late Models, and Vintage Modifieds plus an open practice for Modifieds and Sprints.  The second event on the schedule is the highly anticipated Race of Champions Modified Series and Short Track Super Series Modified Series combination event on Wednesday July 13.  The two series, headed by Joe Skotnicki and Brett Deyo respectively, will bring the best drivers of both series together on the same track in the same time for the first time ever.  The Race of Champion Sportsman Series will also be in on the action, wrapping up an exciting night of racing.
The Race of Champions Modified Series will have two more events at the “Fast Track”, on Thursday August 4 and Wednesday August 24.  On August 4, the GRIT Sportsman Series will join the RoC Modifieds while the 360 Sprints will be on the card on August 24 for an open competition show.
The Super DIRTcar Series will have a double header at the Rolling Wheels Raceway Park on Wednesday, August 17 as the DIRTcar Modifieds and DIRTcar Sportsman will both compete in their respective series events.  Both series have a long and rich history at the fast 5/8 mile oval.
The Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints will headline the action Thursday August 11, being joined by the GO Nuclear Late Model Series and a combination Race of Champions and GRIT Sportsman Series event.
The final event of the 2016 season will be the traditional October stop by the World of Outlaw Craftsman Sprint Car Series.  Some of the best 410 Sprint drivers in the nation will be competition for a rare Central New York stop.  The Modifieds will also compete in a format that will be released at a later date.
A new website for Rolling Wheels Raceway Park is under construction and will be up and running in the coming days but you can keep up to by visiting Rolling Wheels Raceway Park on Facebook or follow on Twitter at @RollingWheelsRP.  Rolling Wheels Raceway is west of Syracuse on Route 5 in Elbridge and has had a storied history where some of the best drivers in dirt Modified racing have competed over the years.  Opening in 1969, Rolling Wheels was one of the charter members of the upstart Drivers Independent Race Tracks (DIRT) and operated weekly until the early 80’s when it switched to a specials only format.  Some the sport’s best drivers have conquered the “Fast Track” including legends Will Cagle and Bob McCreadie to today’s stars Brett Hearn, Matt Sheppard, Stewart Friesen, Danny Johnson, Larry Wight, and many more.
Utica-Rome Speedway is also located on Route 5 but east of Syracuse in the Village of Vernon and operates weekly on Sunday evenings from late April until early September.  Utica-Rome Speedway is the only short track in the United States that can claim having the only two drivers not in the top three levels of NASCAR in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.  Richie Evans, Class of 2012, and Jerry Cook, Class of 2016, both started their stellar careers by competing weekly at Utica-Rome Speedway.  Utica-Rome Speedway continues to operate under the NASCAR banner as part of the Whelen All-American Series.  More information can be found at www.uticaromespeedway.com
Date                             Track Event
Thursday, June 23         602 Crate Sportsman, Crate Late Models,  and Vintage Cars plus Open Practice for Modifieds and Sprints
                              
Wednesday, July 13      Race of Champions and Short Track Super Series Combination Modified Race plus Race of Champions Sportsman Series
                              
Thursday, August 4       Race of Champions Modified Series and GRIT Sportsman Series
Thursday, August 11     Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints, Race of Champions/GRIT Sportsman Series, and GO Nuclear Late Model Series                        
Wednesday August 17   Super DIRTcar Modified Series and Super DIRTcar Sportsman Series                               
Wednesday, August 24  Race of Champions Modified Series  and 360 Sprint Open
Monday, September 5   TBA
Friday, October 7          TBA
Saturday, October 8      World of Outlaw Craftsman Sprint Car Series and Modifieds