October 3rd, 2003
KIRKWOOD, NY…Probably the biggest day of racing in the 53 year history of Five Mile Point Speedway will take place on Saturday, October 18th. For the first time ever the Southern Tier 100 and the Southern Tier Open will be held on the same day. Race time is set for 4:00 p.m.
The Binghamton Pepsi-Cola Southern Tier 100 field was set on September 27th and just as the drivers were introduced, the rains came and washed out the 100 lapper. The race has been rescheduled for Saturday, October 18th, prior to the running of the BPG Motorsports, Sandra Heath Phelps Memorial Southern Tier Open for Big Block and Small Block Modifieds. The Pure Stocks and Four Cylinder Stocks will also compete in Southern Tier Open events as well.
The Southern Tier 100 and Southern Tier Open have been run in successive nights on one occasion. That came in 1975 when Don Beagell won the heldover Southern Tier 100 on Friday night, October 31st. The following night, November 1st, Jack Johnson won the Southern Tier Open to bring down the curtain on the 1975 season.
This will be the first time both races will be contested on the same day, making it the biggest day of racing in the history of the famed quarter mile oval. The day will mark the end of an era as Promoter Dan Harpell has announced his intentions to step down from his position following this event. Harpell has guided the track for the past 15 years and has been around it all 41 years of his life.
The Southern Tier Open was run for the first time in 1970, complementing the Southern Tier 100. Setting the races apart was open carburetion and more liberal rules for the Open.
Canadian Ivan Little won the first Southern Tier Open on October 24th, 1970 by beating some of the legends in dirt track racing across the stripe. Little was followed by George Ely, Stan Ploski, Frankie Schneider and Gerald Chamberlain. During his induction into the DIRT Hall of Fame, Little called that win one of the highlights of his career.
In 1971 Lou Lazzaro lapped the field enroute to the victory over Terry Edwards, Jake Ressiga, Roger Beagell and DeForest Chalker. The 1972 Southern Tier Open was won by the youthful Frank Mears over Don Beagell, Kenny Moore and Jim Keppley.
Stan was the man in 1973 as Stan Ploski took home top honors over Roger Beagell, Jackie Wilson, Moore and Walt Emery. In 1974 multitalented Chuck Ciprich notched the impressive win over Don Beagell, Billy Osmun, Roger Beagell and Chuck Akulis.
The 1975 Southern Tier Open found Jack Johnson in victory lane. Johnson was chased to the stripe by Dave Kneisel, Moore, Pete Cordes and Don Beagell.
The race was discontinued after the 1975 running until Harpell brought it back 25 years later. The 2000 winner was Jim Crawn and he was followed by Dave Locke, Craig Terrell, Eddie White and Dave Rumsey. Crawn became the third driver to win both a Southern Tier Open and a Southern Tier 100.
In 2001 Mike Colsten became the fourth driver to pull off the fete of winning both a Southern Tier Open and Southern Tier 100. He was followed by Doug Worthing, Mitch Gibbs, Brian Weaver and Meme DeSantis. Last year Gibbs joined Ploski as the only drivers to win both races in the same year. Gibbs was followed by Colsten, Brian Davis, George Kostelansky and Butch Klinger.
Will someone win both races on the same day? Find out on Saturday, October 18th as Five Mile Point Speedway brings down the curtain on the 2003 season. It is certain to be a special day at the famed quarter mile oval and you won’t want to miss it.
Pit gates will open at 1:00 p.m. with grandstand gates opening at 2:00p.m. The Binghamton Pepsi-Cola Southern Tier 100 will get the green flag at 4:00 p.m. Following that will be qualifying for the BPG Motorsports Sandra Heath Phelps Memorial Southern Tier Open.
The Big Block and Small Block Modifieds will be in competition in a 50 lapper, paying $2,500 to win. They will be joined by a $500 to win show for the Pure Stocks and a $300 to win championship event for the Four Cylinder Stocks.
Five Mile Point Speedway is located at the intersection of routes 17 and 81 in Kirkwood, New York, near Binghamton. For further information, please call the speedway office at 607-775-5555 or log onto our website at www.fivemilepointspeedway.net.