Story By: JOHN SNYDER / ORANGE COUNTY FAIR SPEEDWAY – MIDDLETOWN, NY – The 62nd Annual Eastern States Weekend, October 20-22, at Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, New York, and the headline Eastern States 200 for DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds maintains a long tradition of true 200-lap races with live pit stops, the ultimate test of driver, team, and machine.
In addition, drivers and their teams will be allowed the use of two-way radio communication, adding to the “big race” aura of the event. Time trials and qualifying races will set the Sunday, October 22 forty-car starting field.
The basic purse for the 200 is $139,500, with $30,000 to win and a minimum $1,000 for starting the race. Bonus awards will swell the total purse significantly.
Three other racing divisions that compete on the Orange County five-eighths-mile clay surface are part of Eastern States Weekend. The Small-Block Modifieds, with engines restricted to 360 cid or less, are the stars of Saturday, October 21 with their 100-lap championship race. Following the format of the Big-Block Modifieds, time trials and qualifying races will set the 36-car field. The winner of the 100-lap race can expect $10,000 from a base purse of $47,500 that includes $500 for qualifying for the finale. Bonus awards will increase the event’s total purse.
The Sportsman have their big day and evening on Friday, October 20. Sportsman cars are similar to Small-Block Modifieds with additional restrictions. Modified drivers are not eligible for Eastern States Sportsman competition. Group time trials and qualifying races will set the 30-car field for the 50-lap Sportsman feature, paying $5,000 to win and $250 to start from a total basic purse of $24,125. Bonus awards will increase that amount.
Street Stocks, Orange County’s only full-body division, are part of the Sunday, October 22 program. Timed hot laps and heat races will determine the 24-car starting lineup for the 25-lap Street Stock race, paying $1,000 to win and $100 to start from a total purse of $3,500 plus bonus awards.
It has become traditional for the traveling Short Track Super Series (STSS) Modifieds sanctioning body to be part of Eastern States Weekend. The “Hard Clay Finale” STSS qualifying races and 50-lap feature will part of the Friday, October 20 evening program. STSS Modifieds rules permit several engine-weight combinations to compete, allow but don’t mandate the use of body sail panels, and race on a different brand of tires. The winner of the STSS feature will bank $7,500 from a total base purse of $33,815. STSS is known for a large number of bonus awards widely distributed among the competitors.
The total base purses for the 61st Eastern States Weekend is a quarter million dollars!
Advance ticket sale for the October 20-22 Eastern States Weekend can be found on the Orange County Fair Speedway website or from the Speedway Office, 239 Wisner Avenue, Middletown, NY 10940, M-F 10:00 am-4:00 pm.