March 14, 2010 – By Tom Skibinski, DIRTcar Racing Northeast PR Director
Despite a full board room in the Cayuga County Fair Conference Building representing nearly 20 tracks comprising the World Racing Group’s Northeast Region, the atmosphere was both quiet and relaxed as a confident group of officials convened for the annual spring information meetings held at DIRTcar Northeast headquarters in Weedsport, N.Y. on Friday, March 12.
Day one of the pre-season weekend workshop included active participation by track owners, promoters, general managers, public relations personnel and technical inspectors, along with staff members from the World Racing Group and DIRTcar Northeast office.
“This is a great time of year to get everyone thinking on the same page, finalize our plans for the upcoming season and emphasize all the positives that the DIRTcar organization has going for it entering 2010,” stated Joe Skotnicki, DIRTcar Racing NE Director of Competition & Track Sanctioning, who officially launched his first full campaign helping guide the Northeast efforts in both series and weekly track activity. “We’re blessed with a very strong contingent of speedway operators that continue to be recognized around the entire country as the most loyal in support of what DIRTcar Racing is all about.”
It was also announced that a special ‘Head of State’ meeting is forthcoming during the summer to bring together the tracks which are all major stakeholders in Northeastern Modified racing with the intention to preserve, maintain and expand what is regarded as a precious resource — the brand of dirt Modified racing overall.
Skotnicki led off the Friday afternoon agenda by first welcoming all those in attendance, especially recently named series directors John Nelson (358-Modified) and Chip Burdick (Sportsman), as well as new Can-Am Motorsports Park owner Tiger Chapman and Mike Lauterborn, proprietor of the newest member facility, South Arcade Speedway, formerly known as Freedom Raceway in Delevan, N.Y. Helping make the Northeast sector 27 tracks strong in DIRTcar Racing’s 35th season were Mark and Angela Rinaldi from Brighton (Ont.) Speedway Park.
Notably absent was the staff at Lebanon Valley Speedway as track officials prepared to hand out in excess of $100,000 in record point fund money at the season-ending awards banquets held both Friday and Saturday evening in the speedway clubhouse.
WRG President and Chief of Operations Tom Deery spoke about the significance of weekly tracks in the racing industry and joined Cayuga County Fair Speedway General Manager Cory Reed in announcing some exciting changes for the 2nd Annual DIRTcar All-Star 100 Weekend in Weedsport and the addition of Big-Block Modified Racing to the ‘World Finals’ card at The Dirt Track at Charlotte in November.
“Last summer we laid the ground work for what will be a seasonal highlight for years to come at Cayuga County,” remarked Deery, who thanked John and Laura Wight for their cooperation in adding to the event in 2010. The Wights are in the second year of ownership of nearby Brewerton Speedway, which will kick off the All-Star action with a Super DIRTcar Series show Thursday, July 15 before Cayuga County runs back-to-back July 16-17 to complete the $100,000 short-track production. “The addition of Brewerton will truly make this a destination event, one that will attract similar media attention on a more national level like Super DIRT Week.”
“Bringing back the Big-Blocks to Charlotte will surely create further awareness of this prized class outside of its home in the Northeast. It will be another historic occasion showcasing our top-3 divisions down south, and with 3,000 tickets already sold so far in advance, I can’t wait for autumn when the whole country will be looking at us,” added Deery, as he outlined the Big-Block Modified, Sprint Car and Late Model scheduled for Nov. 4-6 at the popular North Carolina oval.
Skotnicki reviewed the customary track sanctioning agreement put in place for the 2010 race season and covered both the overall Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Championship and DIRTcar Racing Regional point formats for all divisions. Deery followed up with updates regarding the status of World Racing Group’s insurance program.
Membership Coordinator Anna Walker provided a special slide show that reviewed all the website perks available on www.DIRTcarMembers.com and pointed out the customized ‘Download’ section posted at the bottom of the homepage. The Online Membership program was designed for use by promoters, officials and competitors as an important internet tool, with this web-based multi-access data management system allowing sign-up and display of membership benefits, view of registered members, rulebook downloads, special event entry form submission and answers to frequently asked questions.
Walker also offered to all track reps in attendance a sample from by AMI Graphics LLC, the “Official Signage Supplier” to the DIRTcar Racing Northeast region and all of its members through the 2011 season. Based in Strafford, N.H., AMI http://www.ami-graphics.com specializes in the design, print and production of wholesale direct trackside billboards and signs, championship banners, menu signs, vehicle wraps, bleacher banners and many other types of track signage.
VP Racing Fuels’ Research & Development specialist Freddie Turza was on hand to offer insight to VP’s second successive season positioned as the Official Racing Fuel of the Big-Block Super DIRTcar Series, World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series and World of Outlaws Late Model Series, as well as a dozen divisions falling under the DIRTcar and UMP Racing banner. Turza discussed the new ‘D’ brand of VP Fuel that will be available in 2010 as well as continued use of D98 in the Sportsman and Pro stock classes, putting more focus on these divisions in an effort to prevent use of more expensive and exotic fuels.
Skotnicki remained at the head table and introduced DIRTcar NE Racing Public Relations Director Tom Skibinski, who spoke briefly about the Super DIRTcar Series and Mr. DIRTcar Championship Series schedules and online presence through www.superdirtcarseries.com and www.dirtcar.com, with http://www.twitter.com/SuperDIRTcar available for sign-up to receive timely updates throughout the season. He also emphasized the importance of keeping communication lines open between all parties and providing accredited media members with the proper tools to get their job done on race day.
DIRTcar NE Director of Technical Operations Bob Dini was the last to be introduced and he provided a brief update of the important technical issues facing inspectors in 2010. Dini returned to DIRTcar NE HQ on Saturday morning to spearhead a special tech seminar that was concluded by lunchtime.
Member licensing applications, procedural updates and major series schedules helped fill the promoter packets while individual schedules and posters were distributed to track participants before the meetings adjourned by 4 p.m. DIRTcar officials gathered for refreshments at nearby Devaney’s Riverside Grill later on Friday before heading to the New York State Fairgrounds’ Center of Progress Building on Saturday and Sunday to converse with racers, sponsors and fans at the annual Motorsports Expo amidst the huge DIRTcar display.
DIRTcar Racing Northeast main office is located in Weedsport, New York on the Cayuga County Fairgrounds, home of DIRTcar All-Star Weekend in July. DIRTcar Northeast’s crown jewel event —Super DIRT Week at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse runs annually in October featuring Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Championship Series events for Big-Block Modified, 358-Modified, Sportsman and Pro Stock divisions. Ticket and schedule information is available by contacting the Weedsport office (315/834-6606) during the day or logging into www.allstar100weekend.com and www.superdirtweekonline.com anytime.
The Big-Block Super DIRTcar Series is brought to fans across the Northeast by several sponsors and partners, including series sponsors Hoosier Racing Tire www.hoosiertire.com and VP Racing Fuels www.vpracingfuels.com. Promotional partners include Rite Aid Corporation www.riteaid.com, Dig Safely New York www.digsafelynewyork.com and the University of Northwestern Ohio www.unoh.com and the contingency sponsors are Bars Leaks www.barsproducts.com, Bert Transmission www.berttransmission.com, Bicknell Racing Products www.bicknellracingproducts.com, Bilstein Shocks www.bilstein.com, Brodix Cylinder Heads www.brodix.com, Ferris Industries www.ferrisindustries.com, Integra Shocks www.integrashocksandsprings.com, Intercomp www.intercomp-racing.com, KSE Racing Products www.kse-racing.com, Motorsports Safety Systems www.motorsportssafetysystems.com, Penske Shocks, www.penskeshocks.com, Racing Electronics www.racingelectronics.com, Rislone Oil Stabilizer www.barsproducts.com and Wrisco Industries www.wrisco.com.