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Archive for January, 2011

Great American Dirt Track at Jetmore opens gates to four IMCA divisions this season

Monday, January 31st, 2011

JETMORE, Kan. – IMCA drivers in western Kansas have a new Saturday night venue, with the announcement that four sanctioned divisions will join race programs at the Great American Dirt Track at the Jetmore Motorplex in 2011. IMCA Modifieds return to the 3/8-mile oval for the first time since 2006. IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks and Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods will all race there for the first time.

“T0There’s a strong IMCA heritage in this area,” said Patrick Johnson, owner and promoter for the former Jetmore Motorplex. “Our rules were very similar to IMCA’s last season and we had a lot of IMCA drivers who raced here on Saturdays but couldn’t get points because we weren’t sanctioned.” “This will provide another place for drivers to race for national, regional and state championships,” he added. “Drivers need to get the recognition they deserve and they can get that with IMCA.”

Modifieds will run on the undercard of the April 30-May 1 Sunflower State Late Model Showdown. Tentative opening night for track points in all classes is May 15. The regular season will run through August.

Former head of the Dirt Legends Racing Association, Johnson races an open late model and only needed a couple laps around the Great American Dirt Track to convince himself to buy the facility. “I did a few laps and liked the facility right away,” he said. “It wasn’t too long before we shook hands and had a deal to buy the track. I took over ownership in December of 2009.”

After resurfacing of the race surface was completed, repair and update work was done on buildings and a new high-tech scaling system was installed. “The most important things for us, in deciding to sanction with IMCA, were their rules and the economy of their divisions. They have a set of rules that anybody can follow and we will be very strict in enforcing them,” Johnson said. “Economics is another big deal. If we went with another sanctioning body, drivers would have to make changes to their car every night they wanted to come here. That would cost them money so not as many of them would be able to compete.”

Jetmore will be part of IMCA’s ButlerBuilt Central Region for Modifieds and Probe Industries Northern Regions for Stock Cars and for Hobby Stocks.

USA Raceway joins forces with USRA in 2011

Monday, January 31st, 2011

TUCSON, Ariz. — While the 2011 racing season draws nearer and racers are feverishly working on their racecars in preparation for the upcoming season, the USA Raceway is also busy drawing out the game plan for the next 12 months. In a joint effort to bring the race fans of Tucson the best in racing, USA Raceway has shifted directions and will join the United States Racing Association (USRA) to sanction Modified racing at the popular facility.

The USA Raceway will join Southern New Mexico Speedway in Las Cruces, N.M.; El Paso (Texas) Speedway Park and Thunder Raceway in Show Low, Ariz., in a joint effort to promote weekly Modified racing throughout the Southwest, giving competitors a legitimate opportunity to compete for a sizable national points fund while also competing for extraordinary track point funds in the USRA Weekly Racing Series. Drivers in the USRA Western RHS Modified division will compete for a points fund worth $1,500 at season’s end to the track champion and a $10,000 top prize awaiting the division’s national champion in the USRA Weekly Racing Series.

With several non-conflicting race schedules between the participating tracks, racers will have the opportunity to race well
over 30 events throughout the 2011 season. “We are excited about the future of Modified racing here at USA,” commented co-promoter Benji Lyons. “It’s no secret that we’ve got some work to do if we are going to continue to grow the class like we have in the past. There was a time when car counts were upwards of 30 to 40 cars a night and racers could run more than just once a week. As the cost to compete got higher and higher, we have left a ton of racers sitting on the couch each Saturday night.”

The USRA Western RHS Modified rules will tailor to the weekly racer and the affordability of racers in the Southwest. For the first time at the USA Raceway in any division comes an RPM limit rule. All competitors in the class will be required to have an
8,000 RPM chip installed at all times. The “Western” rules at the 3/8-mile clay oval will also call for the removal of the rear spoiler and give weight breaks allowing racers to compete with more affordable engines. Shocks and suspension components will also be more limited than in years past.

By USRA rules, measures are in place not only to further control the cost but to allow more drivers the opportunity to compete on a level playing field. “Our goal is to allow the weekly racer an opportunity to race in a premier division without refinancing their house and selling off one of their kids. I know we can accomplish this and still maintain hard competitive racing for our fans.”

The first USRA Western RHS Modified race will kick off at the 5th Annual “Copper on Dirt” scheduled for Feb. 18-19 for two separate shows and then move to Southern New Mexico Speedway the following weekend for the USRA Winter Meltdown & Chub Daniels Memorial. The 5th Annual “Copper on Dirt” will feature ASCS National Wing Sprint Cars, Midgets, the West Coast Late Model Shootout vs. Total Seal Late Model Dirt Racing Series and USRA RHS Modifieds all taking part in a sensational racing spectacle at Tucson’s USA Raceway’s for two nights on Feb. 18-19, marking USA Raceway as the only dirt track venue in the country to host these four premier divisions all in one event.

Advanced tickets are on sale now. Ticket pricing, seating charts and purchasing information can be found online at www.usaraceway.net/uploads/copperondirttickets.pdf or by calling the USA Raceway office at 520-574-8515.

Hotel information can be found at www.usaraceway.net/lodging.php or by calling the Tucson Airport Courtyard by Marriott at 520-573-0000.

The USA Raceway is located east of Tucson off I-10 at exit 265, then 1.6 miles south on Craycroft Rd. (turns into Los Reales Rd.). For more information, contact the track at 520-574-8515 or visit www.usaraceway.net online.

The USRA was founded in 2002 with the sanctioning of Modifieds and Stock Cars at the Thunder Valley Speedway in Fayetteville, Ark. Hobby Stocks were added in 2003 and the organization grew steadily over the next three years with 14 tracks hosting USRA events in 2005. The B-Mod division arrived on the scene in 2006 and since then, USRA Weekly Racing Series national champions have been crowned in all four premier divisions.

To learn more about the USRA, visit www.usraracing.com or call 515-832-6000. You can also follow the USRA on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

Allstar Performance rewards 60-plus IMCA state champions

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

WATERVLIET, Mich. – More than 60 state champions in seven IMCA divisions will receive post-sea son awards from Allstar Performance again in 2011. The second-year sponsor will give $100 gift cards, redeemable for any purchase from any Allstar distributor, to the top driver in Modified, Late Model and Stock Car state standings.

Hobby Stock, Northern SportMod, Southern SportMod and Sport Compact state champions all earn $50 gift cards. Points earned at drivers’ first 55 starts in sanctioned weekly or designated special events during the regular season will determine state champions. More than 400 different drivers have won state crowns since the IMCA program was introduced in 2000.

Allstar will also give $50 gift cards at each Dakota Classic Tour for Modifieds and the supporting series for Stock Cars this summer. Those awards will be issued by Allstar the week after the series conclude. State championship gift cards will be mailed after point standings become official in October. Located in Watervliet, Mich., Allstar manufactures specialty parts and equipment for the high performance in dustry. Information about those products as well as dealer locations is available at the www.allstarperformance.com website.

“The success of the program last season brought Allstar Performance back for another year in 2011,” IMCA Marketing Director Kevin Yoder said. “They have a vast network of distributors and products and IMCA racers will definitely benefit from the experience of their knowledgeable staff when they call for information.”

ASA Promoterw are Optimistic Going into the 2011 Season

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

DAYTONA BEACH, FL (Thursday, January 27, 2011) – Looking ahead to the 2011 racing season, many are wondering if this will be the year that short track racing will return to its glory. ASA recently polled some of their ASA Member Track and Series Promoters on their thoughts going into their season. Many feel optimistic. Brad Allen, Promoter of Ace Speedway an ASA Member Track in Altamahaw, NC, will be entering his second season in his role. “Things here are going well. Our 2011 schedule is out and full of a great variety of racing events. The lessons learned throughout our first year of managing the race track have proved very useful for approaching what will be our 55th anniversary at Ace Speedway,” Allen said. “Our season ticket sales have been solid and the preseason rule meetings were very well attended. By all accounts, the fans are ready for the season opener on March 25th and the number of race teams that have registered car numbers point to full fields in all classes. The momentum created last year with a great 2010 season has produced an unmistakable air of anticipation here that has filtered through the surrounding community and we can’t wait to see what this year holds. Our goal of returning Ace Speedway to prominence continues and we thank ASA for providing support and direction to do so.”

The ASA Midwest Tour is entering their fifth season of competition. Tim Olson, ASA Midwest Tour President, is seeing some positive signs. “When you watch the news, many are seeing that a lot of blue collar jobs are picking up again,” Olson said. “Many of our racers work those blue collar jobs and for them to get a steady income, it will also allow them to come and race at the short tracks and series. Things are turning for the better.”

At Lonesome Pines Raceway, an ASA Member Track in Coeburn, VA, Promoter Harold Crook is excited about the upcoming season. “We have our first race sponsorship sold among several other race events that have sponsors already,” Crook said. “We have 19 events on the schedule this season and every one of them is special.” Not only is he the 2010 ASA NSRA Winged Sprint Car Champion, but Andy Alberding is returning as the club President in 2011. “We are very optimistic about the outlook of our 2011 season from this point,” Alberding said. “We have assembled a diverse schedule of races across a wide area of the Pacific Northwest and all word so far is our car count will be even better than last year. We hope the fans will be able to make it out to see what a great show we can put on.”

Ron and Scott Wimmer, the father/son promoter duo at State Park Speedway, an ASA Member Track in Wausau, WI, had a successful first season as the new promoters and are very optimistic about their second. “We are really excited for the 2011 season, we have a great schedule lined up and can’t wait to get started. Last year was a big undertaking for us. We were very successful in some areas, but went through some growing pains in other areas,” Ron Wimmer said. “Our car counts were awesome and we had over 13,500 people come through the gates in just our nine events. Thanks to help from great sponsors and fan support were able to pay a larger purse for a weekly show. We know if we continue to improve more fans will come out and more sponsors will want to be involved.”

“Our focus for this year is to improve the little things week in and week out. Last year we made major renovations to the track and the facility. This year we want to make sure each night flows smoothly, the best thing for drivers and fans is when we can have everything running on time,” Scott Wimmer said. “We have great racing, great fans, and noticed some tracks are even trying some things we did last year, so we look to continue to bring new and innovative ideas to each Thursday event. If we can do that and lead they way in short track racing in Wisconsin we will continue to see success at State Park Speedway.”

Down in the Southwest, Randy Claypoole, President of ISCARS DASH Touring Sanctioned by ASA is looking at 2011 with a new approach. “We cannot ignore the obvious strain with the economy,” Claypoole said. “The focus for us is dealing with expectations. ISCARS has decided to create our own reasonable expectations which are attainable and in turn will produce positive energy. Growth in 2011 will not be based on car count, but rather raising the bar of professional appearance, an affordable schedule of events, and a better entertainment package for the fans.” Mike Eames is the new General Manager at Rocky Mountain Raceways, an ASA Member Track in West Valley City, UT. They are celebrating a milestone in 2011. “This is a special year for us at Rocky Mountain Raceways. We get to celebrate our 15th year racing at this facility along with the honor of having the 2010 ASA National Champion compete here,” Eames said. “Bryan Wordelman did a fantastic job and we look to defend our title either with Bryan or another of our talented racers.” “Everything looks to be heading in the right direction,” Adam Nelson, Promoter of Meridian Speedway, an ASA Member Track in Meridian, ID said. “Even with the economic situation, things are looking good at the Speedway. Drivers are doing what they can to come and race. They are either changing to a division they can compete in or not making many changes to their current cars. They want to come and race and they are doing what they can to do so. The fans are always looking for a good time at a low cost. We think we have cornered that market by providing some of the best entertainment in our part of Idaho.”

“There is a lot of optimism overall in short track racing. The major reason is that this sport is affordable and anyone, no matter what their income level is, can participate,” Dennis Huth, ASA President said. “Many of our ASA Member Tracks and Series have a division that could work in someone’s budget if they want to compete. If you are looking for great family entertainment, the cost of going to a short track event is almost the same as taking the family to see a movie at the local theatre. The action is live and exciting.” Huth also has a message for potential sponsors as well. “You hear about the high dollars that circulate around the upper levels of our sport. Short tracks and series have more affordable opportunities to reach out to the same audience that they would spend millions to attract. They are missing out on a great opportunity.” To learn more about the ASA Member Tracks and Sanctioned Series in your area, please visit www.asa-racing.com.

The American Speed Association started as a single racing series in 1968 and is a fast growing racing sanctioning body today. The ASA Member Track program is comprised of asphalt and dirt short tracks along with road courses around the United States,
as well as a variety of regional and national touring series. To learn more of the Daytona Beach, Fla.-based American Speed Association call (386) 258-2221 or send an e-mail to info@asa-racing.com. For news and information from all the racetracks and regional tours involved in the ASA, visit www.ASA-Racing.com. ASA®, ASA Racing®, American Speed Association® are registered trademarks of Racing Speed Associates, LLC.

Hutchinson Raceway Park sets 10 dates for three IMCA divisions

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

HUTCHINSON, Kan. – Ten race nights for three IMCA divisions are in the works this season at Hutchinson Raceway Park. IMCA Modifieds and IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks return to the central Kansas speedplant for the first time since 2004. Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods will be new to the 3/8-mile dirt oval.

“There were some growing pains that have been worked out since we stopped sanctioning. I had thought about going IMCA again for a couple years,” promoter Paul Dutton said. “The Modified guys came to me at the end of the year last season and
asked about the sanction and I like to think I’m the type of promoter who will listen to drivers.”

“We’ve got a base of 15-18 Modifieds now. I think those cars will be a strong place to build from, especially because we’re a Friday night track,” he added. “If drivers from other tracks, like Minneap olis Raceway, want to chase IMCA points, they’ll have the opportunity to come here and do that.”

Tentative opening night is June 3, with regular point races slated through Aug. 26. The IMCA clas ses do not run on any of the same three nights the United Rebel Sprint Car Series comes to town.

Hutchinson is part of IMCA’s ButlerBuilt Central Region for Modifieds and Probe Industries Northern Region for Hobby Stocks.

IMCA Modifieds have been a racing fixture in Kansas since the 1980s, IMCA Hobby Stocks since the 1990s. The Northern SportMod class was introduced in 2005 and first sanctioned in Kansas four years later.

“I think SportMods are a class that is going to continue growing by leaps and bounds,” Dutton said. “I think IMCA is a great organization in that a driver can race two or three nights a week if they want to and not have to change anything on their car because the rules are the same at every sanctioned track.”