Racing Around: Mid-week shows make a comeback

Midweek, traveling series races used to be a big draw for local speedways as fans packed the grandstands to watch the local heroes defend their home turf against the big-name invaders.

Then the economy tanked a few years ago, quite a few loyal race fans, and teams, often had to decide if they wanted to lay out anywhere from $20 to $35 for a general admission ticket for the special or save the money for their regular weekend race.

The traveling series suffered also as only a few teams and drivers could commit to make every show.

However, it looks like the trend is starting to reverse itself with events under the banners of the King of Dirt and Short Track Super Series along with the Super DIRTCar series events.

The King of Dirt Series, promoted by Rob Hayes, has taken off with events for the sportsman, pro stock and small-block modifieds.

Brett Deyo described the mission of the Short Track Super Series is to provide a manageable schedule of races attainable to the weekly racer that also offer lucrative pay structures, not only for the winners, but all drivers through the field.

Of course the big-block modifieds are featured on the Super DIRTCar Series along with the small block modifieds, sportsman and pro stock divisions concluding with Super DIRT Week.

What got me thinking about this?

Looking over the many press releases from each of the racing series, including the one for Brett Hearn’s Big Show 9 on Tuesday at Albany-Saratoga Speedway.

The $10,000-to-win, 100-lap, Super DIRT Series event for big block modifieds has become an event fans and drivers alike look forward to each year.

“It’s kind of a fun diversion for me personally to put that show together and make some big things happen,” Hearn said in a press release. “Like every year, we have some pretty cool plans to make the show feel different than it does on a Friday night.”

He has added a Pick the Quick Contest in which players who select the top-five fastest cars in time trials, in any order, will split a $1,000 jackpot and there will also be a DJ on hand.

Gates will open at 4 p.m. for fans to enjoy pre-race activities including an autograph session with series and local drivers from 5 to 6 p.m. along with a special appearance from Ms. Motorsports 2017 Taylor Albert and Midi Miller, Ms. Motorsports 1991.

New Era at The Ridge

After what was deemed a successful practice session last Sunday by promoters Mike Parillo and Ray Sefrin, Glen Ridge Motorsports Park gets back down to business at 6 p.m. Sunday with a full race program featuring Crate Modifieds, Limited Sportsman, pro Stocks, 4-cylinders, Slingshots and the Lucas Oil POWRi Midget Series.

Bill Ag Elimination Event

In case you were wondering who will compete in the annual Bill Ag Elimination Event for modifieds Saturday night at Fonda Speedway, here is the list.

The top five in points — Stewart Friesen, Tim Fuller, Ronnie Johnson, Bobby Varin and Jeremy Wilder — are locked in along with a “Lucky Dog” chosen by random draw from the next five — Josh Hohenforst, Justin Boehler, Craig Hanson, Darwin Greene and Pep Corradi.

Clark wins at Afton

Cody Clark picked up the Short Track Super Series sportsman feature win Wednesday night at Afton Speedway.

By Paul Wager

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