SUSQUEHANNA, Pa. – Special events at Penn Can Speedway in recent seasons have been nothing short of spectacular.
And they will be back in 2013.
Penn Can managers Reed Miller and Al Wilcox will team with special events promoter Brett Deyo to present two high-profile Modified events at the Susquehanna County clay oval next season. The pairing of Miller and Wilcox – who have leased Penn Can since 1997 – with Deyo enters its fourth season.
Miller and Wilcox embarked on an ambitious speedway reconfiguration project following the point season finale last September. They widened the speedway’s turns significantly – as much as 15 feet on exit – and used a more aggressive approach to keeping moisture in the surface.
The result was consistent three-wide racing during the October ‘King of the Can’ Modified 50-lapper. The changes were well-received by competitors and the paying customers through the front gate, setting the stage for ’13.
“The work Reed and Al were able to accomplish last fall made a world of difference,” Deyo said. “The feedback from track regulars and invaders who only race at Penn Can once or twice a year was overwhelmingly positive. The proof was in the racing. From the heat races to the main event, you didn’t know where to look. There was side-by-side action everywhere.”
The first of two Miller/Wilcox/BD Motorsports Media promotions is set for Tuesday night, June 11 with the fourth edition of the ‘Clash at the Can’ 60-lap event for big-block/small-block Modifieds. Last year’s ‘Clash at the Can’ saw Danny Johnson of Rochester, N.Y., earn more than $11,000 in cash and contingency awards for car owner Mike Payne.
The event offered the largest winner’s share and total purse in the long history of Penn Can Speedway with a talent-laden 57-car field on hand.
Again for ’13, the ‘Clash at the Can’ Modified payout will be the largest of the season at Penn Can, but the structure will be altered. Instead of a top-heavy payout, the cash will be spread back through the starting field. A B-Main is in the works for the event as well. The rain date is Wednesday, June 12.
“We were very proud of the $10,000 we paid out last year,” said Deyo. “But we understand to keep racers coming back year after year, a more lucrative payout through the field is key. We are working on a new pay structure that will be very attractive to weekend racers and traveling stars.”
The ‘Clash at the Can’ purse will be announced in the coming weeks. Additionally, any sanction for the event will be made public in the near future.
Another change to the ‘Clash at the Can’ is the addition of a Crate 602 Sportsman special event as the support division, replacing the Street Stocks. The division will be featured in a 25-lap feature. Rules will be set so as to maximize participation from all surrounding speedways. American Racer or Hoosier tires will be permitted.
Katelyn Kane, a Central New York Sportsman racer who did an outstanding job securing bonuses and extra cash for a Crate 602 Sportsman special last summer at Brewerton (N.Y.) Speedway, will be working to make the Penn Can Crate 602 special more lucrative for racers.
The second Penn Can special is the 14th annual ‘King of the Can’ spectacular on Friday, Oct. 18. The event is highlighted by a 50-lap big-block/small-block Modified event paying a minimum of $5,000 to the winner and $314 to take the green flag. Last year, Ringoes, N.J., driver Ryan Godown rode the outside lane past Johnson to earn his first career Penn Can victory in the ‘King of the Can’ special.
Godown received a commemorative ‘toilet bowl’ in Victory Lane: a unique trophy that will become an annual tradition at the event.
The ‘King of the Can’ event, which remains unsanctioned, has been set on a date that does not conflict with dates on the Race of Champions or Super DIRTcar Series schedules. This will ensure a strong field of cars. Despite sub-freezing temperatures, the ’12 ‘King of the Can’ attracted 46 Modifieds, an increase from the previous year.
The ‘King of the Can’ Friday program will be joined by 602 Crate Sportsman and Street Stocks. The rain date is Sunday, Oct. 20.
“Penn Can has a central location that works well for special events,” Deyo said. “The track isn’t hard on tires and the one-third-mile layout works well as an equalizer for the weekend racer and higher-dollar teams. After the great racing we saw there in October, I can hardly wait for 2013.”
Miller and Wilcox are enthused for next season’s big events.
“Al and I are looking forward to showcasing Penn Can at these special events again in 2013,” Miller said. “We’re busy organizing the weekly racing at Penn Can. Brett has been able to concentrate on making the special events big. It’s been a great relationship we’re pleased to continue into next season.”