Weedsport, NY — January 12, 2009 – By Tom Skibinski, DIRTcar Racing Northeast PR Director
2009 has arrived and so has the addition of Glen Ridge Motorsports Park as a full-fledge member of DIRTcar Racing Northeast for the upcoming race season.
Recent talks between Cory Reed, DIRTcar Racing Northeast Director of Competition & Track Sanctioning, and Glen Ridge co-promoters Jake Spraker and Mike Romano, resulted in an agreement over the past weekend which officially recognizes the Montgomery County oval as the newest member of the premier dirt track sanctioning body in the country.
“This is something very good for the track, the drivers and our fans, everybody involved in helping Glen Ridge to grow,” remarked Romano, 49, an eight-time DIRTcar Racing Modified track points champion from Johnstown, New York, nowadays also remaining a vital component of the race day activity at other area speedways providing parts from the familiar Andy’s Speed Shop truck.
“Our shop is a supplier for Bicknell Racing Products and during the last year I’ve spoke with Pete (Bicknell) about a lot of things regarding tracks, promotions and race teams, so its really been a work in progress. I raced the DIRT circuit long enough to know its important to be recognized as part of a successful group. The DIRT organization has always offered some of the biggest events like Syracuse and attracted the best drivers, so this move will give Glen Ridge more notoriety and certainly provide plenty of prestige to our own drivers,” Romano said.
Touted as the ‘birthplace of budget sportsman,’ the fledgling Glen Ridge facility boasts a ¼-mile dirt oval located south of Fultonville, New York that first opened in 2004. Veteran car owner Spraker and retired racer Romano assisted former Race Director Jerry Sampson Sr. in mid-June of ’07, officially taking over the track lease a month later from owners Jim and Jeff Hayes and making an immediate impact on both sides of the fence. Welcome improvements included the addition of a lap counter, increased track lighting and enhancement of the surrounding sound system, with special attention given to the racing surface and its weekly competitors.
“I really wanted to join up with DIRT last season, at least with the Sportsman, just needed to work out all the details with Mike and make sure it was a feasible deal,” noted Spraker, 53, himself once a Mini-Modified racer in the early 1980s before emerging as an accomplished car owner. “I’ve always been a supporter of what DIRT is trying to do so this is the next step for Glen Ridge, bringing it more credibility and hopefully attracting more teams to share the rewards.”
DIRTcar Modified action for both the Big-Block and Sportsman divisions will anchor the Friday night card during the upcoming year, with regular appearances by Street Stock and 4-Cylinder classes complementing weekly shows staged from April through September. DIRTcar point champions will be crowned at season’s end with the ’09 Big-Block titlist pocketing $2,500 and the Sportsman top points earner collecting $1,000. All drivers holding a valid DIRTcar license will also be eligible for DIRTcar Northeast Regional Championship point fund awards based on their best feature race finishes compiled in the Eastern bracket.
A multi-time track points champion in New York State’s Leatherstocking Region with over 110 (77 Big-Block) DIRTcar Modified feature wins to his credit, Romano last competed in 2004 before back surgery in March of ’05 curtailed a successful short-track career. An established proprietor of his own car dealership in Gloversville, New York, Spraker has been a staple trackside at big events offering potent rides to Romano as well as C.D. Coville, Ray Dalmata, Jeff Trombley, Bobby Varin and most recently Alan Johnson in the Big-Block ranks.
“I’ve already talked with some of our top drivers from last year and they’re all set for the move,” added Spraker, acknowledging conversation with reigning Big-Block points king Jeff Brownell Jr., who used four feature wins to outlast JaMike Sowle and Craig Hanson in the ’08 title chase. Jeremiah Munson copped the Sportsman crown with a season-best eight checkered flags. “Hopefully, we can land a Sportsman tour date, something that will really put Glen Ridge on the map and give some of the spotlight to the drivers that helped turn this place around.”
Glen Ridge Motorsports Park is located on Mary Lane outside the village of Fultonville, a short drive off Exit 28 of the New York State Thruway (I-90). Mike Romano (518/705-3148 or 518/762-1333) and Jake Spraker (518/848-4037 or 518/773-7998) can be reached by phone or send e-mail correspondence to email@example.com. For complete track information, log into www.thenewglenridgemotorsportspark.com on-line 24/7.
Further information can be obtained by contacting DIRTcar NE Competition Director Cory Reed at the Weedsport office (315/834-6606) during normal business hours. Access the DIRTcar homepage anytime at www.dirtcar.com or www.superdirtcarseries.com to find out more about the entire circuit including plans for the 2009 race season.
Glen Ridge Point Champions
2008 – Jeff Brownell Jr. (Modified), Jeremiah Munson (Sportsman)
2007 – Craig Hanson (Modified), Butch Irwin (Sportsman)
2006 – Randy Hotaling (Modified), Lenny Billings (Sportsman)
2005 – Mike Ketchum (Modified), Matt Demitraszek (Sportsman)
2004 – Frank Blanchard (Sportsman)
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The Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series for Big-Block Modifieds is brought to fans across the Northeast by several sponsors and partners, including series sponsors Advance Auto Parts, Hoosier Racing Tire and Sunoco Race Fuels. Promotional partners include AMB i.t., Rite Aid Corporation and the University of Northwestern Ohio and the contingency sponsors are Bert Transmission, Bicknell Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Crane Cams, Integra Shocks, MSD Ignitions, Motorsports Safety Systems, Penske Shocks and Wrisco Industries.