Now that we are into the new year, everyone is anxious to get going with plans for the 2013 season. There are a lot of exciting things to look forward to at all my local tracks. None of the area track’s have released their schedule as of yet, but some have put out hints of what we will see once the new season gets underway.
Cornwall Speedway has an exciting schedule in store with the return of the World of Outlaw Late Models on Sunday, June 23rd, and the World of Outlaw Sprint Cars on Sunday, July 28th. It is expected that Cornwall will once again host Mr. DIRTcar series events for the Big Blocks, 358 Modifieds, Sportsman and Pro Stocks once again, as well as the three Canadian National Series events that we have seen in recent years.
Brockville Speedway has released some of their 2013 schedule, which will feature a new three race series of their own for the 358 Modifieds and Sportsman, as well as a two race series for the Rookie division. The 358 Modified series will have 50 lap features on Saturday, July 6th, Saturday August 10th and Saturday, August 31st. The Sportsman three race series will do battle on the same dates. The Rookie series will battle on June 15th and August 3rd.
Chapman’s Can Am Motorsports Park has not announced their plans for the upcoming season as of yet, but a switch from Saturday night back to Friday night will take place. I did attend the Hangover Enduro at Can Am this past Weekend with a field of 18 cars doing battle in twin 40 lap races. It was great to get back to the track, and a nice way to break up the winter with a little racing action.
Mohawk Raceway has been fairly quiet over the off-season. They had intentions to drop the Pro Stock class, but an overwhelming turnout of racers from that division changed the minds of track officials when they held a meeting late in 2012. Their schedule is not out yet, but more information should be out in the next couple months.
Evans Mills Speedway has also made a change in their program for 2013, dropping the collective “Open Wheel” class in favor of the more traditional Northeast Style Modified division. The class will be open for Big Block/358 Modified/Crate Sportsman with different weight classifications that can be found on the Evans Mills Website.
December was a tough month for the racing community with the loss of several people that have helped make what dirt racing in this area has become today. Just before Christmas, Stan Friesen passed away. Stan was the grandfather of Modified star Stewart Friesen and was a big part of Ransomville Speedway. Just days later DIRTcar Hall of Fame racer Doug Hoffman passed away on Christmas eve. Hoffman was a legend in Dirt Modified racing, winning hundreds of races throughout the Northeast. Milton Johnson, father of Danny and Alan Johnson, and great racer back in the day himself also passed away just after Christmas. The loss of these three guys will have a huge impact of the racing community and will be missed by everyone.
With the racing season still a few months away, the next thing we can look forward to is the start of the NASCAR season. I make no secret that I am not a fan of Daytona and restrictor plate racing in general. However, I am looking forward to seeing how the new style car will effect the racing, and will be following how well my favorite driver Matt Kenseth does making the transition from a Roush Racing Ford to a Joe Gibbs Toyota. My prediction is that he will repeat as champion the 500, and over the course of the season will provide some much needed leadership to the entire Joe Gibbs operation.
It wont be long now and we will be back racing. There are some Pennsylvania area tracks that open in March, and as we get into April, tracks in New York begin to open up. As usual, Brockville, Cornwall, and Mohawk will begin their season in May. In the meantime, I look forward to the Canadian Motorsports Expo in Toronto on February 8th to 10th, the Gater News Motorsports Expo in Syracuse on March 9th and 10th and the annual Frontenac Mall Car Show in Kingston on March 21st to March 23rd. The car shows tend to get everyone ready for the upcoming season, as they mark the unofficial kickoff to the new racing season. Also, the banquets for all of my local tracks are coming up soon as well.
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