Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Salina Speedway 2013 Season Preview; Opener This Saturday

SalinaStreetDec5-300x199by Dusty Wiegert SALINA, Kan. — Three years ago opening night at the Salina Speedway was a far fetched idea.

The track sat dormant from 2007 to 2010, growing weeds and small trees while it seemed that racing might never return.

Then in 2011 the track sprang back to life courtesy of promoter Tommy Hendrickson with a complete rework of the track and facilities.

Now entering 2013 the track will open with an exciting schedule for the season including 25+ race dates!

Saturday April 13th’s season opener brings the start of a new year with six
divisions in action: Friesen Chevrolet Late Models presented by M&H Motors,
Belleville Motorsports IMCA Modifieds, Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Northern
SportMods, Auto House Mod Lites, Budweiser IMCA Hobby Stocks, and T&R Dirt
Construction Mini Stocks.

The Saturday night special edition of racing is due to the Salina Bombers
Indoor Professional Football game on Friday night. Friday night’s game will
feature Salina Speedway night, showcasing cars and drivers from the
Speedway.

One big change this season is the amended Stock Car division, now named the
Coors Light Street Stocks, with an opportunity for more cars to compete in
an opened rules format. They will make their season debut on April 26th and
run on the nights when Late Models are off.

A huge event last year returns on May 31st as the Lucas Oil American Sprint
Car Series (ASCS) National Tour rolls into town. Kevin Swindell won last
year’s inaugural event and afterwards remarked how it was the “funnest race
of his life” as he exchanged slide jobs on the way to the win. This year’s
event will feature IMCA Modifieds and IMCA Northern SportMods as support
classes.

June 21st will make Merchant’s Night at the Speedway with many Salina area
business’ giving away tickets to fans.

The Independence Day weekend will once again feature the 3rd Annual Topless
Challenge on July 5th. This unique event allows the fans a better view of
the drivers as the IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Northern SportMods, and Mod Lites
remove their roofs to race.

August will bring the annual Landstar night, a big one for the trucking
company and CDL drivers in the area.

The season will conclude on September 27th with Championship Night, but the
racing won’t be done yet.

The 3rd Annual Fall Fling will take place October 3-5. Five divisions are
on the tentative schedule to compete in the season ending event that many
consider there favorites around the area.

Many improvements have been done to the facility, including upgraded
lighting in the pits and the grandstands, and a new sound system in the
pits as well. A new lineup board featuring a flat screen TV is also
available with up to the second lineup announcements. A new parts building
has also been constructed to house Xtreme Motor Sports parts for the racers.

Another huge change is for the families of fans. Beginning this season all
kids ages 17 & under get FREE admission to the grandstands! The Speedway
would like to make it entirely possible to bring a big family out and enjoy
Friday night racing all season long.

The T&R Dirt Construction Mini Stocks will likely see a new champion or the
2013 season. Last year’s champion, Brendon Thiessen, has announced that he
will run a limited schedule in 2013 due to work commitments, leaving the
door open to a host of young drivers seeking the top spot. Fourteen year
old Russell Roberg set a blistering pace throughout last summer to capture
a plethora of wins and is a definite favorite along with last year’s Rookie
of the Year Elliott May, Fall Fling winner Brian Dunsworth, Dallas Dunn,
John McNabb, and Amber Bird. They will be joined by veterans Stacey Fuller,
Randy Rice, Paco Montague, Wayne Juenemann, and more. The Mini Stocks will
compete 21 times in 2013, with 19 scheduled points events.

For the Budweiser IMCA Hobby Stocks, last year came down to tie-breakers
for the Championship with GW Fuller taking home the hardware over a tie
with Rick Slothower. Fuller will return to compete again for the top spot
with car owner Bill Wolford. Most of last season’s top 10 in the point
standings will return along with a few new faces in a very competitive and
high car count division. The IMCA Hobby Stocks have 21 events on the
schedule, 19 of them being track points shows.

In 2012 Salina’s Brandon Gray put the hurt on the Auto House Mod Lite
division, capturing a string of wins to propel him to the Championship. In
2013 he turns with a new look to defend his title against a strong division
of rising stars and a few somewhat new challengers in the division. Both
Justin Kinderknecht and Danny Morrison Jr. look to swoop into the division
to steal the spotlight in a talent packed atmosphere. The 5/8 scale
modifieds powered by motor cycle engines continue to be a fan favorite for
2013 with much anticipation. The Mod Lites will race 16 times in 2013 with
15 of those being points events.

Capturing a Championship in the highly competitive Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA
Northern SportMod division is no walk in the park, nor is it easy to do the
year after winning Rookie of the Year, yet Jesse Levin accomplished that
task last season. He piloted his #11J to the title easily over 2011
champion Josh Rice. Both return in 2013 to go after another crown against a
slew of heavy hitters and rookies alike. The IMCA Northern SportMods will
run nearly every event at the Speedway in 2013 for a total of 26 times, 24
of which are for track points.

As mentioned earlier in this article the Coors Light IMCA Stock Car
division has been replaced with the Coors Light Street Stock division. The
Street Stocks have always had a cherished place amongst Salina Speedway
fans and teams and the division returning signals a much needed change for
the fast stockers. Last season Austin Carter went on a winning streak to
capture the division title over Justin Murdock. With Carter moving into the
IMCA Northern SportMod division and Murdock stepping away a new champion
will be crowned in the division that has sparked interest from not only the
local contingent but also from drivers in Hutchinson and Wichita to
Junction City and Topeka. The Street Stocks have 9 events tentatively
scheduled to see how the division will do at the Speedway.

“Smokin'” Joe Cleveland was just that during the 2012 season, Smokin’ Fast!
Cleveland picked up a handful of wins en route to the Championship in the
headlining Belleville Motorsports IMCA Modified division. Cleveland returns
with a Grave Digger like wrap scheme to contend for multiple titles against
some of the best in the Midwest. The IMCA Modifieds will be featured on the
schedule 26 times for 2013, with 24 of those being for track points.

For the first time in over 20 years the Friesen Chevrolet Late Models
presented by M&H Motors took to the track for a “season” of racing at the
Speedway. With car counts increasing throughout the year a veteran of the
Speedway took home the Championship, Delbert Smith, aka the Iceman. Smith
battled his teammate Darrick Klima frequently during the year to come out
on top. Smith’s son Dan Smith will also run with the division in 2013 along
with many new faces in what’s expected to be a banner year for the
division. Ryan Grit, last year’s winner of a new 604 crate motor courtesy
of Friesen Chevrolet, also expects to be a contender for the title. There
are 14 events scheduled in 2013, with 13 counting for track points.

With the exception of the Saturday night season opener, racing on Friday
nights will occur throughout the season with pits opening at 5:00PM,
Grandstands at 5:30PM, Hot Laps at 7:00PM, and racing to follow.

For more information on the Salina Speedway please visit
www.racesalinaspeedway.com, Like us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/salinaspeedway), or Follow us on Twitter (@salinaspeedway1)

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