Mansfield Motorsports Speedway Ends Weekly Racing; New Focus on Special Events in 2007 Mansfield Motorsports Speedway's 2006 NASCAR Weekly Racing Series season was completed on Saturday September 9, and with the completion of the event also...
Mansfield Motorsports Speedway Ends Weekly Racing; New Focus on Special Events in 2007
Mansfield Motorsports Speedway's 2006 NASCAR Weekly Racing Series season was completed on Saturday September 9, and with the completion of the event also brings with it the end of weekly racing at the banked half-mile asphalt oval. In 2007, MMS will present an 8-10 event schedule of major specials rather than offer a weekly program. The track was the last weekly racing track to hold a national-level NASCAR touring series race with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series visiting each of the past three years.
"Anyone who knows me personally knows that this is a hard decision for me to make," said MMS president Chris Mize. "I am a big supporter of weekly short track racing, and once we decided that is the direction we were going in 2007 it literally made me sick. But this is a business and what our business model tells us is we need to focus on a schedule of eight to ten events on the oval track rather than trying to race 20 or more times.
"I'd like to thank all of the drivers, teams, and fans that have supported us the past several years," Mize continued. "We have had a great field of drivers this season in all of our divisions. Things just haven't gone quite as we expected with our weekly shows, and with today's business environment we thought it made more sense to make the change now rather than wait until things got worse and hurt everyone. Congratulations to our champions in 2006 - John Sandquist, Jr. in the Miller Lite Late Models, Baldy Baker, Jr. in the Mountain Dew Modifieds, and Tigh Shaffer in the Pizza Hut Grand Nationals - as well as all of our winners throughout the year."
The cornerstone event on MMS's 2007 oval track calendar will be the fourth annual NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Ohio 250.
"We are very proud to be NASCAR's home here in the state of Ohio with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race," Mize said. "We will be announcing the dates for our NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Ohio 250 weekend shortly along with ticket information."
As for the rest of Mansfield Motorsports Speedway's 2007 schedule, Mize has had discussions with several sanctioning bodies that have expressed an interest in racing at the track next season.
"We've had several calls already from sanctions wanting to schedule a race here next season," Mize said. "I'm already working on a first draft of what our schedule will look like. It will be a great mix of events for all types of racing fans. We are working hard to bring top level racing for stock car fans and open wheel fans alike. We are discussing bringing some new series to Mansfield that haven't ever raced here before. Hopefully things come together like we anticipate and we'll be able to follow up with more exciting news when we announce our oval track schedule for next season."
Mansfield Motorsports Speedway has already announced plans to construct a world class drag strip on the east side of the speedway property. Blueprints are already being developed for the dragstrip, which will host the IHRA World Finals as soon as 2007.
There are two weekends of racing left on the 2006 schedule at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway. On Saturday October 7, MMS will play host to the HOSS 410 Sprints along with the track's Miller Lite Late Models, Mountain Dew Modifieds, and Pizza Hut Grand Nationals in the annual fall classic Cavalcade. The season winds up with the USAR Hooter's ProCup Series Alan Kulwicki Memorial Sears Auto Centers 250 on Saturday October 14. For ticket information, contact the Mansfield Motorsports Speedway ticket office at (419) 525-RACE or visit the track website at www.mansfield-speedway.com.