February 4th, 2006
KIRKWOOD, NY - One of the Northeast's most historic speedways has teamed up with the oldest active automobile racing sanctioning body in the United States.
Five Mile Point Speedway promoter/owner Andrew Harpell announced on Fri., Feb. 3 that the 56-year-old quarter-mile oval would sport an International Motor Contest Association (IMCA) sanction for the 2006 season.
According to Harpell, racing under the IMCA banner should contribute greatly to the growth of the track's IMCA-Modified division, which has run under the NASCAR Grand American, UMP and independent FMP Modified monikers.
"I think this is going to be good," Harpell said from the FMP office, where he was preparing for the '06 season.
"I believe in it (the IMCA-Modified class)," he continued. "It's an affordable class, where the everyday person can go racing on a small budget."
Harpell believes that having "one common set of rules" across New York State and beyond will allow competitors to try Saturday action at FMP without additional cost. The division will run under full IMCA specifications, including the recently-signed Hoosier tire rule. Competitors will be able to chase the lucrative IMCA points (the sanctioning body's point system and handicapping rules will be utilized).
While the class has a solid core of enthusiastic participants, its numbers have rarely peaked over 10-14 for a regular Saturday night. Harpell blames the division's car-count shortcomings on the fact that true "IMCA" teams were forced to make changes - tires, etc., to compete at the track.
Last season, FMP hosted an Empire State Series IMCA-sanctioned event on Oct. 15. A record 36 cars signed into the pit area with George Catanzano fighting off local standout Mike Stolarcyk III for the triumph.
"The Empire State race showed me something," Harpell said, noting FMP boasted the highest car count of the entire series. "Having the IMCA sanction will encourage more participation."
IMCA was organized in 1915 and has seen significant growth across the nation. In 1979, the sanctioning body introduced its Modified division, which was become the largest class of racecars in the country. Currently, IMCA, based in Vinton, Iowa, is under the direction of Kathy Root.
2006 license applications and rules are available on the IMCA website: www.imca.com.
For more information on Five Mile Point Speedway, contact the track office at (607) 775-5555 or check out the website: www.fivemilepointspeedway.net.