Pandemic Stops Hard Clay Open At OCFS


MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hard Clay Open at Orange County Fair Speedway has been postponed.

The event, serving as the opener for the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series fueled by Sunoco Halmar International North Region, was scheduled for April 19 at the five-eighths-mile oval.

As regulations are in place for COVID-19 in New York State, OCFS has postponed all racing until at least May 2.

“This was an inevitable situation,” STSS organizer Brett Deyo said. “We have been in communication with Brett (Hearn, OCFS director of motorsports) about the possibility of making this event up. At this time, we both agree we would like to run the event if possible but it is very difficult to nail down a date with the situation evolving so rapidly.

“We wish the STSS racing community only the best and we definitely can’t wait to get back to the track.”

The ‘Hard Clay Open’ holds the distinction as the first-ever STSS-sanctioned event.

The inaugural running was April 6, 2014 and won by Andy Bachetti of Sheffield, Mass., who went on to win the title that season.

Bachetti topped the event for a second time in 2017.

Other event winners have included Stewart Friesen (2015, 2018), Tommy Meier (2016) and most recently, in his first-ever conquest at OCFS, Matt Sheppard (2019).

The next scheduled event for the STSS is set for Delaware Int’l Speedway in Delmar, Del., a Velocita-USA South Region presented by Design for Vision and Sunglass Central Modified & Crate 602 Sportsman event on Wednesday, April 29.

Next up for the Halmar International North Region, featuring both modifieds and Crate 602 Sportsman cars, is the 70th Anniversary Race at Five Mile Point Speedway in Kirkwood, N.Y., on Sunday, May 3.