The Action Track Ready To Open 2017 Season
Story By: ERNIE SAXTON / FIRST DIGITAL MEDIA
Photos By: LENNY SLEMMER / RACERSGUIDE.COM
Kutztown Pa.- May 9, 2017- The fans who pack the grandstand each week at the JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA definitely know their racing and they are certainly passionate about it.
And they often liken the clay-churning, three and four-wide, sideways and inches apart competition presented by the 600 Sprints to the outstanding wingless shows waged by the Midgets and Sprint Cars in the Midwest. And those wingless 600 warriors who gas their mounts at the Kutztown, Pa. oval absolutely love to “get up on the wheel” for the Action Track USA crowd on Wednesday nights from the middle of May through mid-August.
The “Big 3” races for the Hyper Racing Wingless 600 Sprints will return in 2017, and that is one-quarter of the season’s schedule. Beginning with the King of No Wing 40-lapper on May 24, the first two events of the “Big 3” will pay $1,000 to win (with Gambler’s Challenge). The second of the $1,000 to win (with Gambler’s Challenge) races is the 4th Annual Tri-Track Challenge presented by AEI Equipment on July 12.
The biggest race of the Action Track USA season for the 600 Sprint drivers is the annual Kutztown Fair Nationals on August 16. The winner of the 60-lap main event will grab a $2,000 pay envelope (with Gambler’s Challenge) and rest in the knowledge that he/she just captured glory in the longest 600 Sprint race in the country.
Back again is the popular Mad Scramble, the 10-lap dash that kicks off the evening of high speed adventure each Wednesday. The race is limited to drivers who did not qualify or did not attend the previous week. The Mad Scramble winner transfers directly to that night’s feature and gets a $25 perk from the Hosensack Poker Club.
The JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA and Linda’s Speedway in Jonestown, Pa. will combine efforts once again in 2017 for a series of five Action Track Takeover Nights at Linda’s.
The first one was April 21st with other Action Track Takeover Nights at Linda’s Speedway in Jonestown happening on June 9, July 7, September 1, and September 15.
When the new season takes the green flag on Sunday, May 14, at Action Track USA in Kutztown (yes, the opener is on a Sunday this year), a nice bonus has been posted by Lamar Shaffer of LHS Racing Engines. For the Mother’s Day Opener on May 14, Shaffer is offering an extra $200 to the first driver across the Wingless 600 finish line using an LHS power plant. The second highest finisher with an LHS engine will receive $100, and the third pilot taking the checkered flag with an LHS motor will get an extra $50.
The Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds will head south for the second points event of 2017 and their only stop in New Jersey this season. Bridgeport Speedway is set to host the Super DIRTcar Series for the first time since 2005 in the Friends of Mike Finale on May 16.T
The 60-lap Tuesday night showdown at the Sweedsboro, NJ track is a landmark race not only as the Series makes its return, but also as the 12th and final Friends of Mike event. Bridgeport Speedway General Manager Danny Serrano has promoted the race since 2006 in honor of his late friend Mike Rogie.
Serrano and Rogie became friends while attending New Egypt Speedway as fans. When Rogie was diagnosed with cancer in the fall of 2005, Serrano and his racing friends began planning a race in Rogie’s name.
“I thought maybe we could do something to show him we care about him and put up some money for the drivers in his honor,” Serrano said. “Before you knew it, everybody had heard about Mike, and they wanted to donate. Within two weeks, we had close to $5,000.”
Unfortunately, Rogie’s health deteriorated, and he passed away on the day of the inaugural event held at New Egypt. The race continued in Mike’s name in the years that followed with a barbeque and auction to compliment the annual race.
The event moved to Bridgeport in 2013 when Serrano took on a new position there. Serrano is happy to have honored his friend over the past 11 years and wants to close the book on the event with the best Big-Block Modified drivers.
“I would say this is a fitting way to say goodbye to a great event,” Serrano said. “This is the way I envisioned it, and I’m glad the best dirt Modified drivers are going to be a part of it.”
Bridgeport has hosted the Series 17 times, with Danny Johnson the most recent victor in a 200-lap race in 2005. Hillsborough, NJ-native and series Platinum driver Rich Scagliotta is excited for a chance to race in his home state. Despite the 12-year absence, Scagliotta doesn’t believe the Series drivers will be at any disadvantage when they tackle the big 5/8-mile.
“I think the Series regulars are on their game more than people think,” Scagliotta said. “It’s tough at every series race you go to. All the locals are usually really good and on their game. The guys who race the Series are also really good. It’s the same at Bridgeport.”
Strong finishes are important at every Series race, but a successful night early in the season goes a long way, Scagliotta said. To do so, drivers will have to tame one of the fastest tracks on the tour.
“Smooth is fast there,” Scagliotta said. “Everybody’s fast on the straightaways, but being able to get through the corners is something not everybody can do. There’s guys that have been racing there for a long time, and they’ll be tough to beat.”
Many of the local standouts will most likely be testing their talents against the DIRT stars.
Advanced tickets for the Friends of Mike Finale at Bridgeport Speedway, featuring the Super DIRTcar Series, are available for purchase online by visiting www.BPSpeedway.com. All advanced ticket purchases feature a $5 coupon for event merchandise purchased at the track on race day.