Berlin Raceway’s transformation from an asphalt track to a dirt-covered showplace for one spectacular racing weekend is complete.
More than 300 truckloads of clay now cover the 7/16th-mile oval in advance of the Keyser Manufacturing ‘Down & Dirty 100’ Presented by NAPA Auto Parts, a historic $20,000-to-win World of Outlaws Late Model Series event on September 21-22 that will return the venerable Marne, Michigan, facility to its dirt-track roots.
The first truckload of clay was dumped ceremoniously on Berlin’s homestretch last Saturday night following the final checkered flag of the ‘Chet Championship Weekend’ that closed the track’s 2012 pavement racing schedule. Application of the clay commenced full force at 7 a.m. on Monday and continued virtually unabated through Tuesday evening.
Over 7500 yards of clay—some excavated from the site of an athletic-field construction project at a local college, some from a nearby landfill—has been spread around the track, producing a dirt surface atop the asphalt that is roughly 12 inches thick.
The project has been overseen by Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park promoter Jeremie Corcoran, a former DIRTcar big-block Modified driver who has track-prep experience at several dirt tracks in the Empire State. Berlin officials were put in contact with Corcoran during the summer and decided to contract him to handle all work done on the temporary clay surface.
With bulldozing, grading and rolling equipment for the special event provided by the Georgetown Construction Co. in Jenison, Michigan, Corcoran has been smoothing the clay since Monday. He expects to spend the remainder of the week discing, watering and packing the surface in preparation for a possible initial test session for local race teams on Saturday.
A full evening of practice for the WoO LMS event and competitors in the weekend’s support divisions is set for September 20, from 4-8 p.m.
Action will begin on September 21, with WoO LMS time trials and heat races headlining a program that also includes DIRTcar UMP-sanctioned racing for UMP Modifieds ($1500 to win), Factory Stocks/Bombers ($350 to win) and 4-Cylinders/Mini-Stocks ($125 to win).
The grand finale on September 22, features WoO LMS B-Mains and the Keyser Manufacturing ‘Down & Dirty 100’ Presented by NAPA, plus another full UMP Modified show paying $1500 to win and a $400-to-win Street Stock event.
Racing is scheduled to begin at 7 each night of the weekend, which is generating plenty of buzz in the Michigan racing community. It’s a throwback race for Berlin, which opened for business in 1950 as a dirt track but has exclusively presented asphalt action since 1966.
Tickets will cost $20 on Friday and $30 on Saturday, with a two-day pass available for $45. Kids are $7 on Friday and $10 on Saturday, or $15 for a two-day pass.
Fans can purchase tickets online and obtain the latest information on the event by logging on to www.berlinraceway.com or calling the track office at 616/662-2051.
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