Path Valley practice notes 2003-03-22

Path Valley practice predicts great season. Spring Run, PA_ John Winsett of Two Wheel Promotions and his track crew pulled off a minor miracle over Mother Nature and more than 90 race teams got their fill of "Bug Day" practice Saturday on the ...

Path Valley practice predicts great season.

Spring Run, PA_ John Winsett of Two Wheel Promotions and his track crew pulled off a minor miracle over Mother Nature and more than 90 race teams got their fill of "Bug Day" practice Saturday on the smooth Path Valley Speedway Park clay.

The first Path Valley points race will be Pepsi Night Friday March 28 and the lineup will include 270 Sprints, Mini Stocks, V-8 Street Stocks, 600 Sprints, Dwarf Cars and Four-cylinder Thunder Cars. Sponsored by Pepsi, the gates open at 5 p.m. and cars will be on the track no later than 6:30. Saturday, March 29, is practice day for the regular karts and four-wheelers from noon to 4 p.m. and then the gates reopen at 5 p.m. for a regular American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) points race for bikes and four-wheelers.

The first race for the INEX Legends Cars and the PA 305 Sprints will be April 4, along with the five regular weekly classes. The first points race for the karts and quads is Saturday, April 5, with gates open at 10 a.m. and the first race for the Strictly Stocks that were formerly called junkyard cars is that same night, with gates open at 5. The full schedule is available at www.pathvalley.com.

With most area tracks too wet to race on, Winsett explained, "We started running the track in last weekend and then we used the grader to scrape off about three inches of ice. Then we ran it in again all weekend, and finally we sealed it so that the rain forecast for the end of the week would run off."

He added that technical inspections went very well with only two cars failing. "Our rules are locked in now for the season and they've changed very little or not at all from last year, so most all the teams have abided by them quite nicely."

The Legends, Dwarfs and the PA 305 Sprints enforce their own technical rules, and Tom Worrick, chairman of the 305 Sprints group said that most of the returning cars have their engines still sealed from last season. Information on the 305 sprints, including the full season schedule and the complete rules is on their website at pa305sprints.com.

The Four-cylinder Thunder Cars at Path Valley also require a sealed engine and teams can contact promoter Ken Geesey at the track at 717-349-7111 for details.

Geesey said, "I can predict a very good season based on our Bug Day turnout. We will see a lot of new cars, new young drivers, and a lot of enthusiasm.

"Lots of drivers are moving up a class or two with new life and new blood for our top classes. They jump from our karts to the micro sprints or from the micro sprints into the full-size 305 sprints or the Legends. If they pick the stock car style, we see them moving up from the thunder cars and strictly stocks to the faster mini stocks or the V-8 street stocks. The Legends Cars produced three national champions here last season, and we expect that class to keep growing too."

"Our stable rules means the drivers can concentrate less on the cars' mechanics and learn more about setup and driving, and we're going to see some great racing this season," Geesey said.

He said that while the Friday night sprint and stock car racing continues to be the big show at Path Valley, each of the other three types of racing are gaining ground. The regular Saturday daytime kart races, with four-wheelers added, are sponsored by Burris Racing and develop young riders and feeds talent to the PDKA state championship series that has produced several national karting champions. Three of the six PDKA races, under joint Burris and WKA sanction this year, will be at Path Valley.

The bike and four-wheeler racing Saturday night and two Sundays include all three races in the AMA Northeast Pro/Am National Championship series. In addition to the sanctioned AMA races, Path Valley will also run a few "Outlaw" bike and quad races this season for double track points.

The strictly stock minimal budget fun racing Saturday nights for the former junkyard cars is the most promising style of racing and could replace the Friday night show as the biggest race of the weekend.

"It's fun, it's cheap to race in the strictly stocks, and now that we've handicapped experienced racers to start at the rear, it should be even more challenging," Geesey said.

The strictly stocks are cars straight off the street with no racing modifications allowed except for safety. Instead of an expensive roll cage, they require a guardrail length attached to the drivers side, and all the glass, hubcaps and anything else that might come lose on the track are removed. Last season the strictly stocks raced monthly and grew from about 30 to more than 90 by the end of the season. Full rules are at the pathvalley.com website.

The Path Valley Speedway Park is located in Spring Run PA a mile north on PA Route 641 from the intersection with PA Route 75, halfway between Port Royal and Hagerstown. It is five miles east from the Willow Hill Exit 14 of the PA Turnpike. The new phone number at the track for promoter Ken Geesey is 717-349-7111. For information on the 2003 schedule and rules, race teams and fans can consult the website at www.pathvalley.com or they can email Two Wheel Promotions at twp@pathvalley.com.

-pvsp-

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Series Sprint , Stock car