Lots of activity at local short tracks around the country these days. For one, Black Rock Speedway in Dundee, New York, has been renamed Yates County Speedway by new promoter Dan Harpell. “I changed the name because I wanted to create a new atmosphere and show the public that a significant change has occurred,” Harpell told the local paper. Here are a few more interesting developments in the racing realm:
• Billed as the only asphalt track in West Virginia, Ona Speedway is set to open its 2014 season on Saturday (April 12) under new management. But it almost didn’t happen. In fact, the track nearly scrapped the end of last year’s season after Ona’s previous administrator terminated his lease in August with five races left on the schedule. That’s when businessman and part-time driver Scott Pierson stepped in and not only wrapped up the 2013 slate, but also signed a lease through the 2014 season. The 3/8-mile oval runs 6-cylinders, 4-cylinders, Hobby Stocks, Classic V8s, Sport Modifieds and Late Models. Visit the Ona Speedway website for updates and information.
• Speaking of new management, Dog Hollow Speedway in Pine Township, Pennsylvania, is currently undergoing a facelift ahead of its planned opening on May 2. New track promoter Dan Savino and his partner had tried to bring racing back to Ebensburg Speedway, about 80 miles away, after enforcement of a local noise ordinance last year prompted its closure. Though unsuccessful, Savino & Co. were able to take over Dog Hollow and are now sprucing the place up for a full season of racing in 2014. For all the latest information on schedules and more, check out the Dog Hollow Speedway website.
• Charleston Speedway in central Illinois is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year with new promoters and a new class of racing. Under the guidance of Jim and Shirley Campbell, the 3/8-mile semi-banked dirt oval located just off Route 16 is adding B-Mods to its regular Pure Stock, Straight Stock and open-wheeled Modified classes this season. The Speedway will undergo improvements like pavement milling for entryways and brush clearing for added visibility. And, this year will also see the return of a family-friendly Kids Club with activities including autograph nights and potentially bicycle races. As historical significance would have it, July 24 falls on a Saturday in 2014. Provided the weather holds out, expect a memorable 50-years-in-the-making celebration. Stay updated via the Charleston Speedway website.