MIDDLETOWN, NY ……..Six times in Orange County Fair Speedway’s Eastern States history, one driver has won both the Small Block Modified championship race and the headline Eastern States 200 in the same weekend. Danny Johnson swept both races in 1992 and Brett Hearn took top honors in both races five times—1986, 2002, 2004, 2012, and 2014. But neither Johnson nor Hearn ever won as much money as a double victor will this year.
With $35,000 going to the winner of the 2015 Eastern States 200, and $15,000 to the Small-block Modified 100 victor, plus a $10,000 bonus for a sweep of the two races, one driver could leave the historic Middletown “Hard Clay” on Sunday evening, October 25 some $60,000 richer. And this doesn’t include special awards like $1,000 for fast time and the pole position in the 200 and $500 for the outside pole slot, nor the lap money in both races to the leader of each completed circuit.
The questions thus become, how many drivers will enter both races? And who has to best chance of winning the double?
During Orange County’s 2015 weekly racing schedule, 19 different drivers raced one or more times in both the Big-Block Modified and the Small-Block Modified divisions. Of the 19, the best overall record was turned in by Tim Hindley, who was the runner up in the Big-Block standings and finished third in Small-Block points. Hindley has finished third in the last two Eastern States 200 races, but hasn’t had similar luck in the Small-Block event, dropping out last year and finishing 14th in 2013. Yet, based on his 2015 weekly performances in both divisions, Hindley has to be considered one of the favorites to join Johnson and Hearn in the exclusive weekend sweep club.
The 54th Annual Eastern States Weekend is the oldest continuously-run championship race weekend for dirt track Modifieds, is set for Friday through Sunday, October 23-25 at the newly refurbished Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, New York. Friday action will fins Modified Time Trials, Modified Heats, Sportsman Time Trials, Sportsman Heats and a 50 Lap Sportsman Feature. Saturday action will have the Small Block Modifieds running Time Trials, Heats and a 100 Lap Feature Event, also in action on Saturday will be the CRSA Sprint Cars with heats and a 25 Lap Feature. On Sunday the Street Stocks will run heats and a 25 Lap Feature along with final chance races for the Modifieds to be followed by the Grand Daddy of All Modified Events – The 54th Annual Eastern States 200. Call the Speedway Office for times and ticket information.