Kutztown, PA - In the spring of 2013, there were more questions than there were answers regarding the JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA on the Kutztown Fairgrounds. The configuration and clay surface were both brand new, as was the promotional team and many of the speedway's staff. There was also a new division on the weekly menu of dirt track competition...the SpeedSTR's were making their debut at the fairgrounds.
As the season began, many people wondered how all of the new aspects at the Berks County oval would mesh; would the inaugural season under the Tobias/Rose and JeffreyHogueRealtor.com banner be a success?
It quickly became apparent that the speedway would indeed be successful. The large crowds (who turned out week after week to witness some of the biggest names in local racing battle it out in the SpeedSTR division) were living proof that the track, and the race format designed by Rich Tobias and Doug Rose, produced some of the best wheel to wheel action in the northeast. And the fans were also introduced to, and rapidly became enamored with, another of the weekly classes competing at the facility located in the shadows of Kutztown University. There was an unmistakable buzz in the grandstands whenever the Pioneer Pole Buildings Wingless 600cc Micro-Sprints pulled onto the track.
The broadsliding, slide-job-throwing, ground pounding 600's consistently presented a highlight reel brand of side by side entertainment that left the fans wanting more...and in 2014, they'll get exactly what they crave.
Co-promoters Tobias and Rose have decided to increase a couple of the components that enticed all of the top 600cc drivers to come to the Action Track USA. The weekly purse will see the winner's share bumped up to $500, while paying $50 to take the green in the main event.
The fans will see more of that "back 'em into the corner" style of racing they love to watch, as the 600cc features will go 25 laps, rather than the 20-lappers run at Kutztown for the past several seasons. Tobias and Rose want to give drivers (who start near the back of the field) more time to work their way to the front of the pack, so they are adding five laps to the distance of each main event for the wingless 600's.
And the drivers will have an opportunity to earn even more cash on Wednesday nights, as the promoters introduce a "gambler's bonus" for both the wingless 600cc and All Star Slingshot competitors.
Upon entry to the speedway, a driver will have the chance to pay an extra $10 or $20 as part of their entry fee. A $10 gambler's fee could mean an extra $100 if the driver wins the feature, while a $20 gambler's fee will increase the payout by $200 if the driver wins the main event. Those taking the $20 gambler's challenge will be racing for a $700 winner's share - a payout unheard of (on a weekly basis) in 600cc Micro-Sprint competition.
"One of the main reasons I got involved in promoting races was to give back to the racers who support us," said Action Track USA co-promoter Doug Rose. We felt we had the best overall purse structure in the area, and now we've made it even better for the wingless 600's. We want to make sure we are tops; we pride ourselves in being the top paying track in the tri-state area."
Another new wrinkle for 2014 is the addition of a "Mad Scramble" for non-qualifiers from the previous week's event. The winner of the Mad Scramble will be locked into that night's feature.
Due to the success of the wingless 600's and one late season, non-wing event for the 270cc Micro-Sprints, Tobias and Rose have announced that the 270's will no longer compete at Kutztown with the top wings bolted to their roll cages. The 270cc Micros will race at the Action Track USA on three occasions next season, and all three races will be wingless.
When the Pioneer Pole Buildings Wingless 600's and the NAPA Auto Parts All Star Slingshots begin the 2014 season next May, the handicapping system will remain the same as it was for the second half of the recently completed campaign. Drivers will draw for starting positions in their heat races, and there will be a 12-car handicap for the feature lineup, based on drivers' three week point average.
The starting time for next season has also been adjusted by 15 minutes, backing up to 6:15 p.m.
This year's wingless 600cc activity produced seven different winners in 12 features and a three-way battle for the point title that went right down to the final race before Jay Hartman emerged as the champion.
With the recent announcement of additional cash and extra laps, next season is bound to be even better for the wingless 600's - and the fans - at the JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA!
Tobias and Rose also noted that the new purse structure for the 600cc Micros will be in effect for the upcoming Fall Jamboree at Path Valley Speedway. The two-day event is being promoted by the Action Track USA team, and it will take place on Saturday and Sunday, November 9 & 10.