Column By: DYLAN FRIEBEL / RPW – MIDDLETOWN, NY – When you think of dirt tracks in the area, one just took the cake of the “Hold My Beer” title. That would be the longest-running dirt track in the northeast…the Orange County Fair Speedway (OCFS).
They boast a staggering $3,300-to-win Big Block, $2,000-to-win Small Block platform each week along with $40,000 going to the Big Block champion and $15,000 to the Small Block Champion.
OCFS is big race central in 2019. Opening night will be $7,100-to-win. May 11th is $6,600, The Super DIRTcar Series Battle Of The Midway’ on July 18th is $10,000-to-win. Eastern States will pay $40,000 to the victor but we still haven’t gotten to the biggie. The kicker is the middle of August is when the speedway holds their Centennial Race Weekend, culminating with a 160 lap, $100,000-to-win event. This will make or break someone’s career, and is bound to draw from all over the Northeast and Canada.
Prediction: Well this guy is from New Jersey, has over 900 wins, eight Super DIRTcar Series titles to his name and will possibly be making a return to the Hard Clay in 2019…back to where it all started. Brett The Jet Hearn. He still has what it takes to win on a weekly basis and proves it almost every year with a Championship at both Albany-Saratoga and Lebanon Valley in 2018. If he moves to OCFS again this season, he’ll once again be the king of the Hard Clay this year, but those are just my thoughts.
Dark Horse: There isn’t really a clear cut favorite in 2019, as with any track that hosts weekly racing but my dark horse would be have to be 2018 Big Block Champion Anthony Perrego. He easily could win it just like I predicted Brett to do. Let’s be honest, it’s Orange County. Anyone can win it. It’s more about being good as well as consistent.
Eastern States Prediction: There’s been one man the last four years who has had his name on Eastern States and its Halmar Racing driver Stewart Friesen and i think he will once again be showered in Confetti in late October.
However don’t count out guys like Hearn, Danny Johnson (2nd in 2018) or anyone else looking for the big $40,000 check.
Centennial Race Weekend Prediction: While this won’t make people happy along with the 2019 champion prediction, I believe, barring a bad qualifying effort, Brett Hearn will be $100,000 richer come August. He’s the master of long-distance races at the famed House of Power.
All eyes will be on Orange County Fair Speedway this summer as they have provided us with our first six-figure money race to win here in Northeast in a long time and I think it only looks up for here.