Story By: FIVE MILE POINT SPEEDWAY – KIRKWOOD, NY – In early April no plans were in place for racing to occur at Five Mile Point Speedway in 2023.
Fast forward four months and the speedway will host the Summer Series Finale this Sunday at 6 p.m. Five Mile Point Speedway will try again as we honor the memory of legendary local driver Mike Colsten this Sunday, August 20th. The race was held back on July 17th with drivers from all over the northeast in attendance.
Unfortunately, after qualifying action rain moved into the area washing out the 51 lap Modified headline event. That race will be held this Sunday. The race will pay a minimum of $5,151 to win along with over $2,500 in bonus lap money put together for the race.
Racing begins at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday evening and will include a second complete program for the Modified teams on their final night of the Sunday Summer Series. Dan Creeden currently leads the point standings in the Modified division entering the final races this Sunday.
A limited race schedule was put together in mid-April as delays in the closing on the potential sale of the speedway took place. As of this writing, a firm closing on the sale has not occurred but is moving forward as an ongoing re-zoning process is taking place with the Town of Kirkwood regarding the speedway property.
The Modified field for the Mike Colsten Remembered 51 was set after qualifying back in July. The field of talented drivers towed in from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Vermont to make up the 26 – car starting field for this Sunday. The program this Sunday will also see another complete race program for the Modified teams to determine the Summer Series Champion. The Southern Tier Showdown for Sportsman will be on the card as well as Summer Series Championship Events for Factory Stocks and Four Cylinders.
The race honoring Mike Colsten was first held in 2020. That season saw the event held without spectators being permitted to attend due to the covid pandemic. Stewart Friesen bested the talented field in that first race honoring the legendary Colsten. In 2021 the race was first postponed due to the ongoing race car tire shortage and the second time due to weather. Last year, weekly Modified Driver Nick Rochinski from Dickson City, PA bested a star-studded field to record the victory in the Mike Colsten Remembered event.
Colsten, was one of the winningest and most popular drivers of all time at Five Mile Point Speedway over his legendary career. On the track he raced to over one hundred feature wins in the Late Model and Modified divisions and recorded five Modified Track Championships. Colsten was also a Late Model Track Champion and captured big Modified wins in the Southern Tier 100 in 1993 and won the Southern Tier Open in 2001 and 2008 and was a four-time Heath Memorial race winner. He was also one of the original All-Time 50 Greatest Drivers at Five Mile Point Speedway as announced back in 2000. His first Modified victory at the speedway occurred on July 15, 1978 and his final win at the speedway took place on opening day – April 9, 2017. He continued to race weekly at Five Mile Point Speedway through the 2018 racing season.
Mike Colsten held the nicknames “The Recycler” and “Mr. Ford Power” as the majority of his racing career he utilized Ford powered Modifieds to success. He seemed to have a leg up on the competition when it came to opening day at Five Mile Point Speedway with six opening day Modified victories. Colsten, passed away in January of 2020. His son Joey Colsten will be driving the famous #51 on his Modified Monday evening. Joey has five career feature wins at Five Mile Point Speedway and would certainly love to add to that total in the race remembering his dad.
Over $2,500 in lap sponsorships have been put together for the Modified feature event. The majority of the 51 laps having bonus money posted of at least $51. Drivers running in the top five positions on each lap will be randomly drawn to collect the bonus laps. Lap 26, the halfway point of the race will see the race leader earn $251 from Dale and Sue Smith. Other extra incentive laps are lap 7 ($100), lap 17 ($171), lap 33 ($133) and lap 51 ($100). Those laps in order have been put up by Ron Doebler, Signworks Custom Fleet Graphics and Binghamton Truck & Tire Center.
Modified heat race winners back on July 17th earned $151 each from Signworks Custom Fleet Graphics.
Pit gates will open at 3 p.m. on Sunday, grandstand gates will open at 4:15 p.m. On track practice begins at 5:15 p.m. with racing set to start at 6 p.m. this Sunday. As always, children 8 years old and younger will be admitted into the grandstand free of charge.