New Egypt, NJ (March 25) -- Over one hundred ten racers came out on Saturday afternoon, to debug new equipment and shake the dust off the old, as New Egypt Speedway officially opened its gates for the 2000 season with a day-long test-and-tune...
New Egypt, NJ (March 25) -- Over one hundred ten racers came out on Saturday afternoon, to debug new equipment and shake the dust off the old, as New Egypt Speedway officially opened its gates for the 2000 season with a day-long test-and-tune session prior to the track's April 1 opener.
A diverse field of URC Sprint cars, Modifieds, Sportsman, Street Stocks, Mod Lites and 600cc Micro Sprints took to the 4/10ths mile clay under warm and breezy conditions. The most impressive turnout by far was the Rookie Sportsman class, with 21 newcomers registered to compete in the eight-week series, all vying for the title of Rookie of the Year. Seventeen of the 21 novice drivers attended a free orientation session prior to practice, with Modified champion Billy Pauch tutoring the group on how to race safely and successfully.
The track, itself, also had some new equipment put to the test on Saturday: the new AMB computerized scoring system got up and running for the first time, with on-site support from AMB representative Kevin Oonk, who flew in from Atlanta. The system, which utilizes a personal transponder attached to each car that sends a signal to a computer in the scoring tower when it passes over a detection loop buried beneath the start-finish line, will provide instantaneous and indelibly accurate scoring computations. Although the system has been in use in racing events around the world since 1981, New Egypt is one of only five dirt short tracks in the country to adopt the cutting-edge scoring technology -- a $45,000 investment for the Central Jersey speedway.
The $300 rechargeable transponders at the heart of the scoring system went on sale to New Egypt competitors on Saturday. Modified teams can either buy a unit up-front or pay $25 over 12 weeks. Sportsman and Street Stocks can also purchase transponders under those terms, or can rent a unit for $15 per event. Track officials experimented with various transponder mounting positions in test runs on Saturday, and will announce a uniform mounting location for cars in all divisions at this week's opener.
New Egypt racers and fans get ready to rock for real this week, as the season officially gets underway. Modifieds, Sportsman, Street Stocks and Rookies will be in action on Saturday, April 1, with gates opening at 2 p.m., warm-ups at 4 p.m., and the first green at 5. Adult admission is $12, children 7-12 are $4, and kids 6 and under are free. For more information, call the speedway office at (609) 758-1900.