Story By: BRETT DEYO / GEORGETOWN SPEEDWAY – GEORGETOWN, DE – When the time comes to go racing, a resurfaced Georgetown Speedway will be ready.
Less than 12 hours after the final Sunoco checkered flag flew on the Melvin L. Joseph Memorial weekend March 7-8, the first dump truck arrived full of clay. Over the next two weeks’ time, nearly 200 loads were spread on the historic half-mile oval as part of a complete resurfacing project.
The speedway now is covered from top-to-bottom with gray, sand-free clay and – after a few more grading and packing sessions – will be ready to race on as soon as the current COVID-19 situation allows.
“Resurfacing the track has been on our mind since the middle of last year,” speedway promoter Brett Deyo said. “But we also didn’t want to put the same type of material back on the track. Our neighbor Jay Baxter from Baxter Farms tipped us off to this clay over on the Delaware-Maryland line. It checked out to be exactly what we needed.”
The First State business community rallied to assist in the process. Dump trucks from Melvin L. Joseph Construction, Chesapeake Paving/J.W. Brown Trucking, Baxter Farms and Kruger Trailers hauled the clay over the approximate 50-mile round trip.
“We are very fortunate to have so many friends of the sport and Georgetown Speedway who stepped up to make this happen,” Deyo said.
Over the season-and-a-half, the track crew has battled a sandy clay that required significant water to avoid high abrasion on tires. Instead of getting slick, the surface became abrasive as the track blackened up.
“We are optimistic the new surface will ‘shine up’ and get slick, wide and racy without burning tires,” Deyo said. “That’s our goal. And the quality of the material looks to be ideal for those type of conditions, while limiting dust for our fans.”
Lou Johnson from the Georgetown Speedway track crew has been busy: first knocking down the clay piles, then grading the clay repeatedly and packing to get the surface ready for race cars.
Now, like the rest of the motorsports industry, Georgetown management awaits the “green light” to return to racing.
The next scheduled event is the ‘Battle of the Bay’ on Thursday, April 16 featuring the RUSH Late Model Series ($3,000 to win) plus the Sunoco Super Late Models in the Mark Williams Memorial ($3,026 to win), Southern Delaware Vintage Stock Cars, Delaware Super Trucks and Delmarva Chargers.
Speedway management is in frequent contact with RUSH Late Model Series directors Vicki Emig and Mike Leone. Any changes to the planned schedule will be announced via a press release and posted to the speedway website and social media avenues.
“We are taking a wait-and-see approach,” Deyo said. “This situation changes every day. As we get closer to each event, we will make a decision and announce our plans.”
Make-up events, if needed, could be added to the second half of the Georgetown 2020 race schedule.