Column By: MIKE TRAVERSE / RPW – MIDDLETOWN, NY – It’s going to be a rare November race day at the Orange County Fair Speedway this Sunday.
The Short Track Super Series will be in competition with the Hard Clay Finale, which was postponed from Eastern States Weekend last month.
According to the racing history website, Auto Racing Research Associates (ARRA), this will be only the third November racing event at the track as far back as their records go, which is 1948.
The first was on November 6, 1976, Gerald Chamberlain won the Eastern States 200 which had been pushed back by weather.
The other was November 5, 1994. Barefoot Bob McCreadie capped off his amazing 47 win season with an Eastern States 200 victory in a race that had been postponed from October.
So, when the checkered flag falls on Sunday, it will be the latest time of the year that OCFS has ever held an event.
As fans and racers enter the facility on Sunday, many will be wondering about what lies ahead for the historic ‘House of Power.’ It was announced during the 2023 edition of Eastern States that the American Flat Track Motorcycles will be returning to Orange County on June 15th, 2024. Also announced was that the popular Burnout Nationals will be returning.
It seems probable that the OCFS Motocross track would still be in operation. If events are held at the track in 2024, one would think that the widely-popular Diesels of New York would hold events along with a possible Eve of Destruction which always packs the grandstands.
However, there’s lots of speculation if there will be any future stock car racing events.
In a recent interview in Area Auto Racing News, editor Len Sammons had a lengthy interview with Chris Larsen. During that interview, Mr. Larsen indicated that he is cutting back on his involvement with motorsports.
He also commented that he still would talk with OCFS owner, Michael Gurda. Unfortunately, the interview didn’t paint a very optimistic picture about any future stock car racing events at the track.
So the questions remain. Will there be a 105th season of racing? Will there be a 63rd Eastern States Weekend? Will this Sunday be the last dance?
If it should be the final event before the Orange County Fair Speedway goes the way of Flemington, East Windsor, Reading and Nazareth, do you want your final memory of the grand ole’ track to be made sitting on your couch?
Get out and support OCFS and the Short Track Super Series in person, if possible.
Many are hoping for good news about a possible 2024 racing campaign on the Hard Clay. We can only speculate for now until any official news is announced.