Column By: MIKE TRAVERSE / RPW – WEST NYACK, NY – For the second consecutive year, racers from the Orange County Fair Speedway/Accord Speedway circuit will be testing their skills in the indoor setting of the Autobahn Indoor Speedway at the Palisades Center Shopping Mall in West Nyack, NY.
The event, ‘Racing For A Cause’ is once again focused on raising funds for the Penguin Plunge. This year, donations and proceeds from the charity race and the Penguin Plunge will benefit 4 children in the area that are battling serious health issues.
The event is being co-hosted by Autobahn and the Orange County Fair Speedway. It occurs on Thursday, January 26th.
Orange & Rockland Utilities, with a strong history of supporting non-for-profit organizations, is once again stepping up to sponsor the event.
Also included in the night’s festivities will be a silent auction and Tricky Tray of racing memorabilia and other gifts that have been generously donated by local merchants.
The 2022 event raised $10,000. This year, the goal is a bit higher.
“Our goal this year is to raise $12,000 at this event to benefit the children of the Penguin Plunge,” said Peter Reynolds, OCFS Marketing Director and Event Coordinator.
After opening ceremonies at 7:00 pm, there will be a celebrity match race. Last year’s event had a match race that involved Orange County Executive Steve Newhaus and Rockland County Executive Ed Day. This special match race has expanded this year, In addition to the two returning county executives, the two county sheriffs, Lou Falco from Rockland and Paul Arteta from Orange will be racing.
They will also be joined by Jeff Lewis (morning host at WRCR 1700), Paul Borghese (movie actor and director), and Jay Hood (Chairman of the Rockland County Legislature).
After the match race is concluded, the local racers will be squaring off against in the Pro-Am race against drivers from the Autobahn Racing League and others.
There’s a lot of local racing talent lined up to challenge the Autobahn regulars. On the current list, drivers who are participating include Brett Hearn, Anthony Perrego, Tommy Meier, Craig Mitchell, Cody Higbie, Eddie Owens, Jeff Tubbs, Mike Vigiletti, Tim Hindley, Billy VanInwegen, Jeff Heotzler Jr., Pat Reiser, Daniel Morgiewicz Jr. and Bob Sleight.
Last year, despite being on unfamiliar territory, the local drivers held their own against the Autobahn regulars. The field of 10 in the feature event included 4 from the local ranks. Although the locals were shut out of the podium, Anthony Perrego, Billy VanInwegen, Eddie Owens and Brett Hearn all survived the qualifying format and transferred to the feature. With 50 competitors, including 27 from Autobahn, the locals did well.
All participating drivers must be at the Autobahn facility by 5:30 pm. There will be a drivers meeting at 6:00 pm with racing scheduled to begin at 7:00 pm. All racers must follow the rules of the Autobahn Speedway. Professional drivers may utilize their own helmets.
There is a registration fee of $50 for all drivers.
A $30 gift card to the Yard House at the Palisades Mall goes to the fast qualifier.
Spectators are welcome at the event. The $15 donation to spectate goes directly to the Penguin Plunge.
Doors for spectators open at 5:30 pm.
There will be a post race celebration in the Yard House at the Palisades Mall.
The Penguin Plunge is being held on Sunday, March 5, 2023. Swimmers will take an icy plunge into the Hudson River to help support children less fortunate.
‘Racing for a Cause’ was a very enjoyable event to cover in 2022 and the 2023 version will be the same.
For further information about the event, contact Peter Reynolds (914) 380-7300.
For further information about Autobahn Indoor Speedway, contact Christina Implatini (845) 535-1515.
For information about the Penguin Plunge, check out their social media pages on Facebook and Twitter.
The Autobahn Indoor Speedway is located on the 2nd floor of the Palisades Center Shopping Mall, above the Best Buy.
It’s the time of year where many racing fans really have the winter blues. Come on out, see some friends, root on our local drivers and support a great cause at Autobahn on January 26th.