Before a race at Daytona International Speedway last February, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series veteran Terry Cook of Sylvania observed: “You have those days in racing where you re killing yourself to run at some of the smaller tracks, and you just keep pushing because you want races like this one to be somewhere in your future. Those places don t always get the credit they really deserve, but that s where you learn how to race. Those guys I raced against at Flat Rock and Toledo and Sandusky - they all helped get me here.”
A number of “those guys” Cook raced against will usher in the 2004 racing season this weekend at several of the areas short tracks.
Just outside Wauseon, the folks at Oakshade Raceway - “where the fastest meet to race” - are ready for Saturday evening s season opener on the 1/2-mile clay oval. The Bill Reckner Memorial for bombers plus sportsman/trucks gets underway at 7 p.m.
When teams in all three of the track s divisions (410 winged sprint cars, 305 winged sprint cars and pickup trucks) sign in at Fremont Speedway Saturday night, they will find a bigger weekly purse structure for the 2004 season.
“Fremont Speedway is in the top five in purse money for a weekly show in the nation. We re proud of that,” promoter Jim Ford said. “We decided to put a little more money back in the finishing order. There can only be one winner each night, and the others need to make a little money. Hopefully this will help them come back each week.”
Saturday s Crabill Construction Night at “the Track that Action Built” will feature races for the 410 s, 305 s and Trucks. Race time is 7:30.
Have you ever wanted to drive a race car in competition but never had the opportunity? Not really sure if this racing thing is for you, but you sure would like to give it a try without the time and financial investment? If so, Flat Rock and Toledo speedways have a deal for all you aspiring racers. It s a rent-a-car program for the ARCA 4 Cylinder Stock Car class.
In order to participate one must be 18 years of age, abide by all ARCA and track rules and sign the necessary insurance, release and waiver forms. There are 17 race dates to choose from between the two tracks. On the race night you select, the car will be waiting for you in the pit area, ready to go. And unless you bring your own, a helmet and driving suit will be provided. The newest “stars” of Flat Rock and Toledo will get practice time, then will run a heat race and a feature event on their selected race night.
The cost is $250 a night. Just call the tracks at 734-782-2480 (Flat Rock) or 419-727-1100 (Toledo) and get ready to put the pedal to the metal.
After holding races on Sunday nights last season, Toledo Speedway owners/promoters Ron Drager and Roy Mott will revert to Friday nights this season. The Benore Road track will hold its first race of 2004, the Home Depot Opening Night, this Friday. The ARCA Late Models and Sportsman will battle on the 1/2-mile paved oval, while the Factory Stocks will tackle the 1/4-mile paved oval. Time trials begin at 6:15 p.m.