RPW Column: Thursday Night, Things Are Set To Be Unique For Big Blocks At Orange County

Column By: MIKE TRAVERSE / RPW – MIDDLETOWN, NY – It will be a format that will be a new one for competitors and fans of the Orange County Fair Speedway this Thursday as the United Rentals DIRTcar Big Block Modifieds will be in action with their first of their 6 Thursday races scheduled for 2021.

In addition to the OCFS regulars, drivers who have indicated that they will be in competition on Thursday include Stewart and Jessica Friesen, Matt Sheppard, Peter Britten, Mike Gular, Billy Decker, Larry Wight, Keith Flach, Mat Williamson, Tyler Dippel and Jack Lehner.

The feature lineup will be set with a pair of 25 lap qualifying races. The top 10 from each race will advance to the 75 lap main event. A last chance qualifier will add 10 more cars to the lineup for the 30 car feature.

Each qualifying race will have a $1,000 winners purse. The feature will pay $6,000 to win. A potential $7,000 payday awaits a driver who can win their qualifier and then the feature.

At Thursday’s driver’s meeting, a team member will draw for their qualifying race starting positions. The feature will be a heads up start based on the qualifying races and last chance results. As always with these draw type and heads up lineup events, there will be some hard racing from the back of the pack to make it into the show and also at the front to climb towards the front of the feature lineup.

“In a field this deep in talent, starting spots will be key,” said OCFS General Manager Doug Dulgarian. “With all the starting positions for the feature ‘heads up’, there will be a lot of drivers looking to gain those valuable close to the front starting spots We should see some really great racing in those qualifying races.”

The feature winner will also move into the ‘Final 8’, locking themselves in position to challenge for the 2021 Modified championship. So far, Tommy Meier and Sheppard have locked up spots in the playoff style format.

Also on the race card is the Precision Hydraulic and Oil Rookie Sportsman. And making their first appearance in many years are the One-On-One Spectator Races where drivers can race their licensed street legal vehicles in a single lap elimination style format. Up for grabs us the winners purse of $400 plus a lot of bragging rights. There are a number of rules regarding this event. Anyone interested or with questions can contact Doug Dulgarian at ddulgarian@ocfsracing.com. The rules also appear in a May 21st post on the speedway’s Facebook page.

It was announced on the OCFS Facebook page that Jessica and Stewart Friesen will be joining the spectator winner in Victory Lane to do a photo with them.

Back in the day, I always found the One-On-One Spectator Races to be quite entertaining. I’m glad to see them back.

There was bonus money awarded after the 5/22 races. The Barrons Hard Charger in the 358’s was Mike Kolka (28th to 12th, +16). The Friends of Astro Pete Hard Charger in the Sportsman was Clinton Mills (23rd to 5th, +18). The Accurate Collision of Pompano Beach, Fl. halfway bonuses went to Tyler Boniface 358’s, Brian Krummel Sportsman and Bob Jashembowski Rookies.

May 27th Race Event Schedule.

4:00 Pit Gate opens
4:30 Grandstand and Drive In gates open
5:45 Mandatory Drivers Meeting at the scales, includes draw for starting spots
6:20 Rookies to staging area
6:30 Hot Laps Rookies

Hot Laps Modifieds

6:55 Pre Race Ceremonies / National Anthem
7:00 Modified 25 Lap Qualifying Event 1 (10 qualify)
Modified 25 Lap Qualifying Event 2 (10 qualify)
Spectator Elimination 1 on 1 Races
Modified “B” Main 12 Laps (10 qualify)

INTERMISSION

Spectator 1 on 1 Finals – Victory Lane 1st and 2nd
Rookie Sportsman Feature Event – 15 Laps
Rookie Winner Victory Lap – Photos (Top 3)
Modified Feature Event – 75 Laps – 30 Start
Modified Winner Victory Lap / Photos (Top 3)

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