Story By: JEFFREY AHLUM / GRANDVIEW SPEEDWAY – BECHTELSVILLE, PA – As the old saying goes, LET THERE BE LIGHT!
Lights it will be, as the 60th anniversary season of professional auto racing begins at Grandview Speedway on Saturday, April 2, with the running of the 5th annual VP Racing Fuels Bruce Rogers Memorial Money Maker.
Speedway management has revealed that a totally brand-new LED track lighting system will be in place for Opening Night. The project, over a year in the planning, will be a huge and noticeable change for both racers and fans alike. Now, with the new lights already on and tested, watching the racing at Grandview will appear to be like watching the action during the day under bright sunlight! Comparing light meter readings from the old system to the new one, the lights will be THREE times brighter than before.
Work on the project began in late fall under mild weather conditions and was just completed the first week of March. All the major work has been completed, however some of the cosmetic work will be completed once the season begins, which includes moving the communication wiring.
Not only will there be 64 brand new LED lights all around the one-third mile high-banked raceway, but a total revamping of the system has been completed. The project includes all new lights, crossarms, seven new poles and new wiring. All the wiring has now been placed in conduit underground and out of sight, to make for a totally clear view of the racetrack from all the spectator areas. All wiring to anything in the infield area (scoreboard, caution lights, etc.) will now be brand new and underground.
Three different companies were contacted to put in proposals for the new lighting project, and MLEDTECH was chosen. After being chosen for the job, they planned, did light studies on the old system and were consultants for the project after the Rogers Family made the purchase of the lights.
All the actual work at the track, including digging the trenches, laying the conduit, setting the poles, running wiring, hanging the brackets and the new lights was all spear-headed by competition director Brad Missimer, grandson of track owner Theresa Rogers.
Missimer would like to acknowledge the great help of many individuals who worked with him through the entire winter to complete the project (including some very cold days).
Brian Schaffer and the Phillips Brothers Electrical Company, from whom all the electrical supplies were purchased, was very instrumental in getting the necessary supplies and providing many hours of work in wiring the new system.
Huge thanks also go out to Don Schaffer, Jeff Stapleton, Eric Clark, and Glenn Mertz who all put in many hours of work during the three and a half months of working on this major project.
Enough lights have been purchased to, in the future, put new LED lighting in the pit area as well, when time permits.
This major project is being done in time for the 60th anniversary season of racing, following on the heels of a total replacement of the track’s PA system for the 50th anniversary season in 2012. The public address system, while brand new in 2012, was re-updated again in 2020.
The huge projects follow the completion of several other projects over the past several seasons including a new scoreboard/lap counter, re-siding of all buildings with metal siding, paving of driveways and spectator walkways and adding new hand railings in the grandstand as well as the main entrance way.
The 60th anniversary season officially begins on Saturday, April 2 with the VP Racing Fuels Bruce Rogers Memorial Money Maker, paying a huge $10,060 to win for 60-laps, and a handsome $1060 to qualify and take the green in the feature. The event is open to both Big Block and Small Block Modified drivers. An added prize to the winner will be a guaranteed starting spot in the September 17 Freedom 76.
A complete show of Sportsman is also included on the Opening Night card starting at 6 pm, and Saturday, April 9 is set as a rain date if needed.
The VP Racing Fuels Bruce Rogers Memorial is run in honor of the late track owner and promoter who helped his father build the speedway, then run it successfully with his family for over 50 years, taking Grandview to national recognition, before his passing in 2017.
Since the 1960’s, Grandview Speedway has been presenting exciting wheel to wheel NASCAR stock car racing every Saturday night starting in April and running through September, plus special events. Grandview Speedway is located at 43 Passmore Road, Bechtelsville, Pa. 19505, just off Route 100, 10 miles north of Pottstown, Pa.