Story By: JOHN SNYDER / ORANGE COUNTY FAIR SPEEDWAY – MIDDLETOWN, NY – What began in 1962 as a one-day, end-of-season 100-lap race for Modified stock cars has grown to a four full days of nonstop competition with championship races for United Rentals DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds, H.O. Penn Cat Small-Block Modifieds, Arkel Motors Sportsman, NAPA Northeast Parts Group Street Stocks, Short Track Super Series Modifieds, USAC Wingless Sprints, and Pro Stocks.
Each division will compete in a full program of qualifying races and a lucrative feature event. The headline DIRTcar Big-Block Modified Eastern States 200 will see the winner take home a base purse of $40,000 plus lap and contingency awards.
***There will be a parade of race cars through town beginning 1:00 pm on Thursday, October 21***
Racing begins in earnest at 6:00 pm on Thursday, October 21 with the Sportsman and Street Stock divisions. Group time trials for the Sportsman will set the lineups for their qualifying heat and last chance races with the top finishers advancing to the Friday evening 36-car, 50-lap feature, paying the winner $5,000. The Street Stock brigade will draw for heat race starting slots, with qualified finishers making up the 20-car, 20-lap main, with the winner earning $1,000.
Friday, October 22’s action begins at 1:00 pm with Big-Block Modified time trials, with the fastest six drivers locked into their up-front starting slots for Sunday’s 200, and with the remaining cars assigned to one of the qualifying heat races. Following the Modified heats, a special 25-lap Longshot Race open to any Modified drivers who have not won in 2021 will take to the historic five-eighths-mile clay track. This will wrap up the first half of Friday’s full day of racing.
During the approximately two-hour break, at 4:30 pm the world premiere of the full-length (90 minutes) documentary film, “Gary Balough: A Checkered Past,” will be shown free of charge in the Orange County Fair Event Center.
Action on the track will resume approximately 6:15 pm with hot laps for the Sportsman and Short Track Super Series (STSS) Modifieds Hard Clay Finale. Following Opening Ceremonies and the STSS heat races, the 24-lap Will Cagle Race of Champions invitational race will command the speedway. The winner of this special race will earn bragging rights and $5,000. The STSS last chance qualifier precedes the 50-lap Sportsman feature. The full day and evening of racing concludes with the 50-lap STSS feature, paying the victor $5,000. With on-track action over, the Annual Halloween Party begins at the 31st Lap Tavern!
Saturday, October 23 track activity begins at 1:00 pm with Small-Block Modified and USAC Wingless Sprints hot laps. Small-Block Modified time trials will set the lineups for qualifying heat races, with the top-six in time trials locked into the first six positions in the 100-lap Eastern State Small-Block Modified Championship race. USAC Wingless Sprints qualifying precedes Small-Block Modified heat and last chance races. In a new twist, the top qualifying Big-Block Modified cars—six fastest in time trials and six heat race winners—will compete in a 12-lap Race for the Pole. There’s a $1,500 bonus for the pole winner, and $1,000 for the outside front row slot.
The $2,000-to-win USAC Wingless Sprints feature will be run before the 36-car, 100-lap Eastern States Small-Block Modified championship race that has $20,000 appropriated for the winner. With the conclusion of the day’s racing, the Annual New Years Eve Party in on tap at the 31st Tavern!
Sunday, October 24, the 60th consecutive Eastern States 200 kicks off at 12:01 pm with one-hour autograph session featuring the qualified Big-Block Modified drivers. Following a break until 2:00 pm, the Pro Stocks will run timed hot laps. Next up will be hot laps for the non-qualified Modifieds followed by hot laps for the qualified Modifieds. Pro Stock heats and a 15-lap Modified last chance race precede the 20-lap Pro Stock feature and its $2,000 top prize money.
With all the preliminary activities completed, the starting lineup for the Eastern States 200 will stage along the homestretch and fans may come onto the track for a special Lineup Photo Op (No Autographs). There’s a record-setting $156,900 total base purse including a minimum $1,500 to take the green flag awaiting the 38 drivers and teams in this year’s 60th Eastern States 200. Following opening ceremonies, it will be time to go racing. . .in the oldest continuously-run championship race for dirt track Modifieds, contested on the historic five-eighths-mile clay-surfaced Orange County Fair Speedway!
The overall base purse for the four days of racing exceeds $318,000, with special, contingency, and lap leading awards to be added.
Live and DJ Music, games, Kids Club, souvenir opportunities, a variety of food stands, and other activities will be on the grounds all four days and evenings of the weekend.
Fans may reserve tickets for the Stands, Drive-In, Party Deck, Parking Passes, and Camping Area by calling the Speedway office at 845-342-2573, or online at the website, www.orangecountyfairspeedway.net.
FANS AND COMPETITORS SHOULD DAILY CHECK THE SPEEDWAY WEBSITE FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION AND UPDATES.
For competitors: Transponders and one-way radios are mandatory for all divisions. Fire suppression equipment is required for all open wheel divisions (Big-Block Modified, Small-Block Modified, and Sportsman) and strongly recommended for Street Stocks. Street Stocks must have fire extinguisher.