HEDGER: Time For SuperFans Entries Again

Ron Hedger.

BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. – With the holidays over and the first races of the new season already in the books, it’s time to wrap up last year with our annual SuperFans contest.

Not surprisingly, longtime participants Kevin Babcock and Eddie Reichert have already filed their entries, a reflexive New Year’s activity for them. Now we need a healthy response from all the others who attend a great many races each year to flesh out another SuperFans feature field.

Since the demise of the printed weekly NSSN, participation has dwindled, but we’re sure there are many who read SPEED SPORT on the internet who are more than casual fans.

Longtime readers will recall that we split the field into two groups, amateurs who pay at the front or pit gate and pros, who enter the speedways of America on a press pass or other credential. We only count “real racing,” not horses, bicycles or foot races, and you have to see the majority of the show for it to count. That means that if you’re cold and slide out before the four-cylinder feature that closes the program, you’re good.

However, if you catch the first heat at one track, scoot to another speedway for a consi or two and then catch the finale at a third speedway, you do not score a triple for the night.

Readers continuously tell us that besides the impressive numbers some fans rack up, they really enjoy reading about what they liked and disliked about various speedways – food, facilities, how the show was run off, an especially thrilling race, announcers and more – so include your opinions with your race totals.

Other interesting information includes distance traveled to the races and what your tickets cost.

Recent years have seen many newcomers surprised by how well they did in the standings, so if you’ve never entered, give it a go.

Entries can be mailed to 17402 SE 77th Helmsdale Ct, The Villages, FL 32162 or sent to [email protected] if you prefer e-mail. Either method works fine for us.

On a final note, we thank Tim Frost of the National Speedway Directory, who has once again agreed to provide plaques to the two SuperFans division winners.

Brett Deyo has leased Fonda Speedway for this year. (Dave Dalesandro photo)

While on-track action is still months away here in New York, the off-season has been unusually interesting.

With Short Track Super Series organizer Brett Deyo, among the sport’s most energetic promoters, taking over the struggling Fonda Speedway, other area tracks are preparing for a battle for fans.

Observers can’t help but notice that DIRTcar has adjusted their programs with increased purses and more races for the Super DIRTcar Series as the Short Track Super Series schedule moves north into traditional DIRT country.

Races against Deyo’s Fonda 200 weekend, resurrected after many years’ absence, have been announced for Utica-Rome on Friday, Sept. 27th – when Fonda will have modified time trials and Patriot Sprints – and Canandaigua’s Land of Legends Raceway the following night, when Fonda will run non-qualifying events and the 200 lap modified finale.

Deyo, who made his mark running shorter races on smaller speedways for “the working man” as an alternative to DIRTcar’s longer distance races featuring professionals like Brett Hearn and Matt Sheppard, has raised the winner’s share for the Fonda 200 to $53,000 to throw more fuel on the fire.

As always, racers will be caught in the middle. Longtime DIRTcar star Billy Decker won the STSS Northern Region title last year, with DIRTcar champ Sheppard also carting off a substantial amount of money from the STSS purses and point fund last year. It appears that supporting both series – and padding the income side of the ledger – will be much more difficult in the future.

On the other side of the coin, the STSS has let many local racers travel a bit and up their games against tougher competition. If bigger purses let them continue the upgrade, maybe they’ll be ready to replace Decker, Hearn and some other aging stars when they do retire.

Late model racing is certainly thriving with drivers going back and forth for the big Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and World of Outlaws Late Model Series events. Would that be a bad thing for modified racing?