|Date: 2/14/2011 10:22:22 PM|
BETHEL, NY – While racers have been in
their garages working on their cars, Bethel Motor Speedway has been hard
at work preparing for the 2011 season as well. The upcoming season will
mark the 51st anniversary of the speedway, and anticipation is already
Following a successful 2010
season, work began almost immediately at the speedway on capital
improvements. In addition to the increased lighting, new Victory Lane
area, track widening, and other improvements that all took place for the
2010 season, the ¼-mile asphalt track received a new surface shortly
after the completion of the season. The repaving project, which was
completed in early November, involved the application of more than 450
tons of asphalt and resulted in a new 2-inch thick surface around the
The forward momentum at the
speedway is extending beyond physical improvements, however, as it was
announced this week that the management team would have broader
responsibility to continue improving the speedway.
A spokesperson for FGR,
Inc., the owner of the property, stated, "When we bought this speedway,
we made two promises. The first was to the town of Bethel and the local
residents to offer spectators exciting racing at a family friendly
facility that residents can be proud of."
Bethel has offered $5
grandstand admission for all shows since reopening, and many initiatives
have been undertaken to improve the spectators' experiences. These
include the replacement of all of the wood in the general grandstand
area last season, as well as the painting of walkway lanes in the
Additionally, the speedway
has become increasingly involved in community activities, and has
participated in events with the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce and
the Bethel Business Association.
"The second promise was to
drivers at the speedway, to offer an environment that allows competitive
asphalt short track racing at an affordable price," the spokesperson
continued. "We strive to be very disciplined in terms of tech inspection
to insure that we achieve our goal."
Indeed, car counts have
steadily risen since the speedway was reopened. In addition, the Young
Racers Program, a staple at the track designed to help young drivers get
started in motorsports and thrive in a cooperative environment, has
helped to open the door to racing for youngsters in the local community
who might not otherwise have the means and support to compete.
It was recently announced
that the speedway would be implementing AMB transponder scoring for all
divisions except the 4 Cylinder classes in 2011, a move that was brought
about in part by the growth in car counts.
"We are very proud of the
progress we have made in the last few years, both at the speedway and in
the community," the spokesperson said, "and we are now looking to
increase the role of promoter to a full-time position so that greater
focus can be put on improving on and increasing our delivery on those
John Condit has been named
as the Race Director for 2011, and will head up the race day operations.
Condit has an extensive racing resume that includes experience as a
Race Director, Track Official, Pit Steward, and Tech Inspector. Condit
has a long history behind the wheel as well. He has been a competitor in
Street Stocks, BMS Modifieds, and the All-Star Race Truck Series (ARTS)
at numerous tracks throughout the Northeast. A former "Most Popular
Driver" award recipient at Bethel, Condit's record includes five wins in
the All-Star Race Truck Series and several wins in the Street Stock
class at Bethel; and he is a multi-time winner at Wall Stadium's
prestigious Turkey Derby. In 2010, Condit served as an official at Wall
Stadium (NJ), and he will be the Pit Steward for the upcoming Gamblers'
Classic Indoor Races hosted by Lenny Sammons Motorsports Productions in
Tracy Chirico will be the
Business Operations Manager for Bethel Motor Speedway, and will handle
the day-to-day business operations. Chirico's involvement at the
speedway traces back to the 2008 season, and she acted as the track
publicist for the 2009 and 2010 seasons. During that time, Bethel has
expanded its scope of media outlets to include an array of web sites,
online publications, and traditional magazines and newspapers, raising
awareness of the speedway and drawing visitors to the town itself.
"This is an exciting time
for Bethel Motor Speedway," commented the FGR spokesperson. "The
majority of our seasoned and tested team has been in place, working
together, since 2008.
"Tracy's dedication to
Bethel Motor Speedway, combined with her professional experience and
passion for racing, create a winning combination for us. John and FGR
have a long history together. Fifteen or so years ago, we were his
sponsor for several seasons. It has been a pleasure to watch his racing
career, and then to watch him grow into a seasoned professional in the
business of racing."
The spokesperson concluded,
"As we all know, a business is only as good as its people, and we have
been very fortunate to have such top quality people at every level.
Racing promotion is not an easy business and would be impossible without
our solid team of dedicated professionals."
Chirico and Condit have
also been named to the Bethel Motor Speedway Advisory Committee, which
will also include Fred Graf Sr., Joe Graf, and Paul DeGracia. Fred Graf
Sr. and Joe Graf are representatives of FGR, Inc. DeGracia is a veteran
racer with an extensive resume that includes both dirt and asphalt
experience, who has remained involved in the sport through his son's
racing efforts, and who brings a wide array of successful business
experience to the table.
Prior to the start of the
2011 season, plans call for the construction of a building on the
premises at Bethel, which will include office space for the speedway and
serve as the primary location for track operations.
Bethel Motor Speedway's tentative 2011 schedule was released last month, and is posted in its entirety at www.bethelmotorspeedway.com.
Plans call for a preseason practice on April 23rd, and Opening Night is
slated for April 30th. Several special shows are still in the process
of being scheduled.
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