Verona, NY — November 21, 2010 – By Tom Skibinski, DIRTcar Racing Northeast PR Director
Member track officials from the DIRTcar Racing Northeast Region assembled on November 20 to set in motion their annual Promoters’ Meetings as part of the year-end awards ceremonies with Saturday festivities held at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino.
The hotel’s Chautaqua and Canandaigua rooms were filled with promoters and operators representing nearly 20 DIRTcar-sanctioned tracks along with a host of World Racing Group officials and DIRTcar Racing Northeast staff members.
In a special announcement, Autodrome Granby was named the VP Racing Fuels Track of the Year. Promoter Dominic Lussier and General Manager Jean-Francois Tessier received $5,000 worth of fuel from VP Racing Fuels.
Jeremie Corcoran and Eric Kingsley participated as new promoters of DIRTcar’s charter member tracks Canandaigua (N.Y.) Speedway and Cayuga County Fair Speedway in Weedsport, N.Y. Corcoran recently signed a five-year lease with the Ontario County Fair Board to run Canandaigua while Kingsley has the lease for CCFS.
DIRTcar Racing NE Director of Competition & Track Sanctioning Joe Skotnicki led off the morning agenda welcoming all those officials in attendance before introducing World Racing Group Chief Executive Officer Brian Carter.
“Meeting with all of you this weekend is one of my favorite times of the year, I’m always interested in your observations and come prepared to take notes,” remarked Carter, who was also joined by Chief Operating Officer Tom Deery; Vice-President Events Roger Slack; Chris Dolack, VP Public Relations; Anna Walker, Membership Coordinator; and Executive Administrative Assistant Gina Fernez. Accompanying Skotnicki from the DIRTcar Racing NE office were Marketing & Promotions Director Jeff Hachmann, PR Coordinator Amanda Hirko, Public Relations Director Tom Skibinski, NE Technical Director Bob Dini and assistant tech inspector Scott Fremouw, along with 358-Modified Series Director John Nelson, Pro Stock Series Director Brian Mulligan and ’10 Interim Director Denis Moquin.
“With the buzz that started at Super DIRT Week and a great year capped off at the World Finals, I can’t wait for the start of 2011 in Florida with all the momentum that is building. Coming here provides a great opportunity to express our thoughts and concerns in an open forum, and that can only make DIRTcar racing better as a whole,” added Carter, as he addressed the room of officials on hand to help celebrate the conclusion of the organization’s 35th consecutive season of sanctioning auto racing events.
Deery took the floor next, acknowledging the infusion of experience that both Corcoran and Kingsley bring to the table at sister speedways Canandaigua and Cayuga County, cornerstones of DIRTcar Racing in the Northeast since the 1970s.
“Our philosophy remains the same when it comes to sanctioning the weekly events at both properties, right now all that is changing is the day-to-day operations,” noted Deery, confirming WRG’s commitment to keep close ties with each track affiliate. “Nearly every component will remain intact from previous years, we’re just putting in place two new management teams. There is no less interest on our end, only now Canandaigua will become Jeremie’s track while Eric will be the face of Cayuga County.”
Added Deery, “We will host six select weekends filled with big shows at Rolling Wheels, including the combination of two marquee events — Hall of Fame Classic and All-Star Weekend — on May 29. And as a sanctioning body we’ll continue to provide valuable resources to every one of our member tracks. We want to give the best benefits possible to the track operators, race teams and our suppliers. We’ll have a complete benefits plan laid out for our next meeting in March.”
Deery also offered updates to the $500,000 Participant Accident Coverage Plan that is in place as an option for every DIRTcar member facility, providing additional material about the motorsports policy currently in effect.
Skotnicki relayed the announcement that VP Racing Fuels officials recently signed a three-year deal maintaining its status as the official racing fuel of the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, the World of Outlaws Late Model Series and the Super DIRTcar Series, every division of DIRTcar Racing, along with a number of regional touring series that fall under the DIRTcar banner.
Membership Director Anna Walker offered an on-screen illustration of DIRTcar’s unique on-line membership tool that allows promoters, officials and competitors to sign up for and view member benefits, a member directory, rules, entries and answers to frequently asked questions. Walker stressed the significance of using the e-mail blast option to get out timely information to their desired group of DIRTcar members. The modern data management system can be easily accessed by logging into www.DIRTcarMembers.com and following the instructions provided.
Marketing specialist Hachmann spoke next, reviewing the past season of special promotions that planted the seed for 2011 year while outlining plans for the upcoming campaign on the DIRTcar Northeast circuit. Teaming with promotional assistant Hirko, his efforts will be more focused on DIRTcar Northeast’s major series and touring drivers while working directly with host tracks to promote each with the ultimate goal of making the brand more mainstream and expanding the fan base. “We’re looking to develop new fans, they’re the future when it comes to filling the grandstands,” Hachmann said. “And we started this summer by taking the DIRTcar brand to non-traditional race venues and in 2011 we’ll continue to put together a number of in-market promotions.”
Slack pointed out the growing significance of increased social media, highlighting DIRTcar’s presence on Twitter and Facebook while gaining further awareness through search engine Google ‘want ads’ and YouTube online videos. “We’ve got fast cars and colorful drivers, a great visual product. It’s a matter now of showing everybody our brand and there are a lot of programs out there today where tracks can maximize media dollars. Our ultimate goal is to make our shows fan-friendly, be family oriented, as the bottom line is still to have fun whenever you go out.”
Skotnicki returned to the forefront as he presented Gary Spaid’s statistical review of the season, covering feature race events and new winners in the four major touring divisions along with detailing series car counts and the overall Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar points structure in effect for 2011.
DIRTcar NE Chief Technical Inspector Bob Dini indicated very few changes were in store for the upcoming season. Items that attracted the most attention were actual rule enforcement procedures and the extent of penalties per offense if imposed. While rule book will remained unchanged in the Pro Stock and Sportsman Modified divisions, the option of allowing a 525-cubic inch engine in DIRTcar’s small-block class was considered, and in the Big-Block class cylinder head production will be strictly monitored during the 2011 season in the Northeast.
WRG/DIRTcar moderators ended the session by opening up the floor to questions and concerns from those track officials in attendance. Carter reiterated that now is the time to take advantage of the growing momentum and carry it right through the winter. “We’re stronger as a group and working together makes the entire organization that much better. We’ll be back on the track in just a couple more months so this is the time to prepare.”
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, VP Racing Fuels www.vpracingfuels.com and GM Performance Parts www.gmperformanceparts.com. Promotional partners include the University of Northwestern Ohio www.unoh.com and Chizmark & Larson Insurance www.chizmarklarson.com, and contingency sponsors are Bicknell Racing Products www.bicknellracingproducts.com, Bilstein Shocks www.bilstein.com, KSE Racing Products www.kse-racing.com, Motorsports Safety Systems www.motorsportssafetysystems.com, MSD Ignition www.msdignition.com, Penske Shocks, www.penskeshocks.com, Racing Electronics www.racingelectronics.com, Vicci Racing Apparel www.vicci.com and Wrisco Industries www.wrisco.com