Story By: JEFFREY AHLUM / GRANDVIEW SPEEDWAY – BECHTELSVILLE, PA – The first race of a brand-new season is always one of the most anticipated race events of each year.
When the green flag drops on Saturday night April 2 at Grandview Speedway, it will begin the 60th consecutive season of stock car racing at the one-third mile high banked clay raceway, all under the direction of the Rogers family.
The special Opening Night event will be the 5th annual VP Racing Fuels Bruce Rogers Memorial Money Maker, featuring Big Block/Small Block Modifieds racing 60-laps for $10,060 to win and $1060 to take the green. The race distance and race purse are both using the number 60, representing the track’s 60th year of racing. The winning driver will also get a guaranteed starting spot in the September 17 Freedom 76.
The VP Racing Fuels Bruce Rogers Memorial Money Maker is run annually to honor the late track owner and promoter who helped his father build the track, then along with his family run it for over 50 years, taking it to national prominence before his death in 2017.
Bruce Rogers was alongside his father Forrest when the track was built in 1963, then took over the track after his father’s sudden passing prior to the start of the 1966 season. Working with his family by his side, Bruce was able to take his father’s dream and make it a reality.
After a slow start the little track on the hill, soon with great support from local star drivers and super loyal fans, became a great success. After a period of time, national touring series and nationally known drivers began passing through the gates of Grandview Speedway, and still do to this day!
Over the years Bruce Rogers worked with different partners like Jerry Stinson in the early years, and for special events Ed Darrell and Bob Miller, to give Grandview’s fans a variety of racing programs.
Bruce once said that “The fans at Grandview can’t be beat. They are the ones that make it happen for all of us.” Bruce Rogers was a man of few words when it came to public speaking, but his tireless work efforts at Grandview and for auto racing spoke volumes of the great man he was.
Rogers spent over 50 seasons at Grandview Speedway and saw a lot of different events happen on his one-third-mile high banked race track. He promoted over 1100 Saturday Night stock car events, over ten years of Sunday Night Midget competition and over 100 Sprint car events.
Now his family continues the tradition of operating Grandview Speedway and for the fifth consecutive year will present the opening race in his honor.
This event is a non-point race, no pit license is required. There is no entry fee, however drivers are reminded to visit the speedway website to print and fill out a W-9 form and bring it with them to the track on Opening Night. The W-9 form must be provided to the pit office to be eligible for drivers to draw for heat race starting spots.
VP Racing Fuels is the sponsor of the event and will have a VP fuel truck on hand at the track. Once again as was the case last season, there will not be a fuel truck at the speedway on a weekly basis, so race teams need to plan accordingly.
American Racer tires will be available at the track for this event. American Racer is also posting a total bonus of $1000 dollars for drivers who do not qualify for the VP Racing Fuels Bruce Rogers Memorial feature race. Four randomly selected drivers will each receive $250 from a drawing of all non-qualifiers.
Rev. Don Kerns will present Da Rev’s tailgate worship and communion service from 4-4:45 at the meet and greet area outside the main gate on April 2. Bring your own tailgate and chair and join in the worship service. Pastor Don will be on hand starting at 3:45 pm. There will not be a meet and greet with the drivers for the opener.
Race time on Opening Night is 6 pm, which will be the starting time for all Saturday night programs for the month of April. Pit gates open at 1 pm, grandstand gates open at 4 pm, followed by warm-ups at 5 pm. Grandstand admission for adults is $30, children 6-11 pay $10, and under age 6 are admitted free. Pit admission is $40 and again, no license is required.
Saturday, April 9 is set aside as a rain date if needed for the opener. However, if not needed, then it will serve as the first point race of the season under the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series banner for the T.P. Trailer 358 Modifieds and T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman. The program will consist of qualifying races leading up to the 30-lap Modified and 25-lap Sportsman main events. Grandstand adult admission is $18 with children under age 12 admitted free of charge.