CHEMUNG, N.Y. – Longtime Chemung Speedrome Race Director Ray Hodge and his wife, Ellen, have leased the three-eighths-mile asphalt oval from track owner John White.
The first announcement made by Ray and Ellen Hodge was that the track would begin hosting weekly Friday night racing this year. The track most recently held weekly racing on Saturday nights.
“At the end of the 2018 season I announced I was leaving the track because Saturday nights no longer worked for me,” said Hodge, who expressed a preference to spend weekends with his children and grandchildren instead. “We talked it over, had many conversations with John, and it all came together this week.”
Besides moving back to Fridays, race teams will see a few other changes.
“We’re staying with INEX sanctioning for the Legends and Bandoleros, but we’ll no longer be a NASCAR home track,” Hodge stated. “We’ll be running our Sunoco Modifieds, Super Stocks and 4 Cylinders, so fans will enjoy the same five divisions.”
Hodge will no longer serve as race director at Chemung and instead has named Jerry Sinsabaugh as the track’s new race director.
“Jerry Sinsabaugh will be our race director this year. He’s well known in the racing community and is looking forward to taking on this key role,” said Hodge.
Other personnel will return, including track announcer Carol Houssock, who had also said she was leaving at the end of the 2018 season for the same reason as Hodge. Chris Zacharias will also be back to handle pit road and victory lane reporting.
“Hope Miller will be back as our track photographer, but her parents will now be part of our team as well,” said Hodge. “Lyndell will handle sign-in’s, points, handicapping, and serve as a backup scorer as needed. John will assist Jerry Sinsabaugh as our Pit Steward.”
While the 2018 schedule was scaled back from prior years, the upcoming season will include between 16 and 18 races.
“We’ll be holding practice the two Saturdays prior to our opener, and we’ll close the season with a two-day show,” Hodge added.
The full schedule, set to be released by Feb. 1, does have some good news for those enjoying special shows.
“We’ll hold two RoC races, one in May and the other in August during the NASCAR weekend at Watkins Glen. We’ll also host two races for the New York Super Stocks, but those dates have not yet been set,” Hodge said.
A competition meeting will take place at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 20 at the Chemung Fire Department.