Column By: MIKE TRAVERSE / RPW – ACCORD, NY – After the difficult season with no actual racing in 2020, Gary Palmer and his Accord Speedway staff were looking to come back strong in 2021.
While a number of rainouts hampered the efforts, including Opening Night and almost the whole month of August, it was still a decent enough season according to Gary. And the expectations are high for the 2022 season at the Ulster County bullring, located at the south end of the Catskill Mountains.
“We did have our share of rainouts, but the season was okay. When you get to have more than half of your season, that’s good as far as we are concerned. We have a lot of good special events coming back this season.
After Opening Night on May 6th, Accord gets right into a big race and a fan favorite, the Short Track Super Series Battle of the Bullring on May 10th. Rain date on that one is May 11th.
“All our big events are coming back this year. The Battle of the Bullring is on May 10th. We have 2 fireworks shows. The Joe G’s Great Crate Race will be taking place. There’s going to be a memorial race for Phillip Goetschius, who died from Covid. We’re doing The Gobbler again this year. The 9/11 Tribute will be held again. Look for the King of the Catskills to be back. We’re also working on another big race for the Sportsman.”
And one thing that is very important to Accord is maintaining the various sponsors that helps to keep the racing going.
“I think the season is going to be exciting. All our sponsors came back and we have 6 new ones this year and all of our major ones have returned, I’m very happy about that. Dan’s Towing is sponsoring the July 1st fireworks show and the 9/11 tribute fireworks are sponsored by Joe O’Connor and Associates.”
If you like fireworks, you can’t go wrong with an Accord fireworks event, they are spectacular.
One of the fans favorite night’s returns on August 5th as it will be Camera and Autograph night. It is a very awesome sight to see the entire frontstretch packed with cars 4 wide. A great night for fans of all ages.
The Joe G’s Great Crate Race will be held on October 1st. Will Steve Davis be going for his 3rd straight Joe G win? Last year’s event had a thrilling finish, between Davis and Kyle Rohner, one of the best races of the season.
The Halloween Havoc is scheduled for October 29th. Hopefully, the weather won’t play havoc with this year’s edition.
And the always popular Gobbler will be held on November 26th. That’s one that many racers and fans look forward to, one final chance to get together before the winds of winter take over.
Gary is hopeful that some interest that has been expressed about the speedway will help increase the car counts for some of the divisions.
“With the Pure Stocks, going back to the street tires, it will make that a much more affordable class again, which it should be. The 4 Cylinders will be back. The Slingshots will be a paying class this year. If we could get any new class that would have 10 or 12 cars a week, that would be great in my estimation. Car counts look to be good in the Modifieds and Sportsman.”
With Gary’s wife, Donna, not able to be as active as she has been in the past, Gary’s daughter, Melissa Hatzistergos, has become an invaluable part of the track management team.
“I would like to thank my daughter, Melissa, for taking over the reins of the office for me. She has done a great job and been such a great help to me and the track.”
In addition to Dan’s Towing and Joe O’Connor and Associates, there are many sponsors that Gary would like to thank. These include Pioneer Pole Buildings, FastSigns, Northeast NAPA, Taylor Rental, Ron’s Auto, Mid Hudson Concrete Products, Arkel Motors, H.O. Penn, Powdertech, Orange County Fair Speedway, U Dig NY, Williams Lumber, Outpost BBQ, Upstate Auto, WRWD, My Town Marketplace, Binnewater, Mark & Dave Smith Roofing, Building Experts, Eager Beaver Stump Grinding, David Decker Contracting, Brian Hommel Home Improvement and Marshall & Sterling Insurance.
And if there’s anyone out there that would like to work with Gary, he can use some help, especially on Friday’s.
“If anyone is looking for work, I’m always looking for help. If someone could come in around noon on Friday. And it’s a paying job. It can be a bit physical, but anyone interested can give us a call.”
Hopefully, Mother Nature will be a little more kind to the folks at Accord Speedway in 2022. A trip to Accord Speedway is a great way to spend a summertime Friday night. Lots of close, competitive racing. Come check out the action in 2022.