Story By: BRETT DEYO / SHORT TRACK SUPER SERIES – MIDDLETOWN, NY – A wintry weather forecast lasting into April has forced the postponement of the fifth annual ‘Hard Clay Open’ at Orange County Fair Speedway scheduled for Sunday, April 8.
The speedway and Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco jointly announced a new date of Tuesday, May 8.
Cold temperatures, saturated grounds and a prediction of more snow, sleet and rain prompted the move.
The ‘Hard Clay Open’ moves in its entirety to the May 8 date with the first Halmar International STSS North Region big-block/small-block Modified 50-lap main paying $5,000 to win and $500 to start plus Crate 602 Sportsman offering a $1,000 winner’s share and $100 to start for 20 laps.
Hot laps will get underway at 6:20 p.m. with racing at 7:15 p.m. A rain date of May 9 will be in place.
The postponement date will allow for the new Halmar International promotional team to work on facility upgrades prior to the big event, while providing an “under-the-lights” track surface for competitors.
“We’ve done our best to get ready, but the weather has only gotten worse for the weekend,” said Michael Gurda IV, OCFS general manager. “We need some time to get equipment on the track and get it prepared before we can get cars on it.
“Chris (Larsen of Halmar International) has wanted to try a midweek show or two, and now we will be the first big midweek event in the area for the season.”
STSS organizer Brett Deyo looks forward to the new date.
“It will definitely provide our teams with a better track surface and hopefully warmer, more conducive weather for racing,” he said. “This weekend wasn’t going to be a pleasant experience for anyone.
“There is so much excitement for Chris and Orange County right now, and with all the buzz around our Sunoco partnership with the series, we want to kick off our North Region the right away on a non-conflicting date.”
The scheduled practice for Saturday (April 7) has been canceled.
Orange County Fair Speedway will host an Open Practice on Saturday, April 14. There is a motocross event taking place on the fairgrounds April 15.
One week later, the speedway kicks off its regular season on April 21 with big-block Modifieds, Sportsman, Rookie Sportsman and Street Stocks.