May 1st, 2006
KIRKWOOD, NY - Nearly one month after the quarter-mile oval hosted its first on-track action, Five Mile Point Speedway's official 56th Season Opener is slated for Sat., May 6.
The five-division card will be headlined by a 50-lap feature for the big-block/small-block Modifieds. The extra-distance main is a Qualifier for the Short Track SuperNationals All-Star Cash Dash to be held at N.Y.'s Afton Speedway on Sat., Oct. 7.
The Sportsman, sanctioned IMCA-Modifieds, Street Stocks and Pure Stocks will fill out the card. The point championship battles will get underway for all divisions. Race time is 6 p.m.
The venerable Kirkwood facility has undergone several improvements since the Southern Tier Open was contested on Sun., April 9.
New poles and updated lighting have been installed to illuminate the action. New fencing has been put into place down the length of the entire frontstretch. The material on top of the frontstretch wall has been shaved down to improve viewing from the spectator area.
Victory Lane is now located on top of the frontstretch wall, a change that will offer two benefits. Primarily, the celebrations will be "up close and personal" for the fans. Secondly, moving the winners out of the infield will expedite the program (eliminating downtime while crew members, announcers, etc., cross the track).
In the pit area, elevated viewing bleachers have been erected.
The track itself has been widened by 20 feet in turns three and four by pushing in the inside hub and extending the outside of the track.
"We haven't been racing, but it's been a busy month," said FMP promoter/owner Andrew Harpell, entering his third season at the helm of the Southern Tier oval. "I know I'm excited about the season.
"The interest has been unbelievable."
A healthy big-block/small-block Modified field is expected for the Season Opener, including defending champion Brian Weaver, former champion Mitch Gibbs, steady Nazareth, Pa., veteran J.R. Crouse, Rich Keehle Jr., Bobby Puckett, local favorite Joel Batzel, Dana Wagner, Brian Malcolm, Barry White, popular Glenn Knapp, George Hildebrant, soft-spoken Gary Griffin and many more.
Invaders expected to attend the 56th Season Opener include Penn-Can (Pa.) Speedway talent Joey Grammes of Kunkletown, Pa., who finished third in the Southern Tier Open and Big Diamond (Pa.) Raceway Modified regular Doug Hendricks, the all-time winningest Roadrunner competitor at the Minersville, Pa., three-eighths-mile.
With Erwinna, Pa., native Jason Hamilton planning to enter the night's Sportsman action, two of last year's Race of Champions Dirt Tour point title winners will be in the pit area. Hamilton was the '05 RoC Dirt Sportsman champ and Mitch Gibbs notched the '05 RoC Dirt Modified Tour overall co-championship.
Full fields are expected in all divisions, with a significant growth in numbers for the recently-sanctioned IMCA-Modifieds on the horizon.
The new "Family Five Pack" will be in effect for the Season Opener: for $30, a family of five can purchase two Adult tickets and three Youth tickets. They'll also receive five hot dogs and five sodas. The savings is $33. This "Family Five Pack" is in effect for regular shows and the Season Opener. The program is intended to help families attending the races so it is requested that all five people be at the ticket window for the purchase.
Five Mile Point Speedway also accepts credit cards (Visa and MasterCard) for general admission, new for the 2006 season.
For further information, contact the track office at: (607) 775-5555 or visit the website: www.fivemilepointspeedway.net.