While some racers are seeking their way out to warmer parts of the country to get their racing fix, there are a brave few who are ready to battle it out on the snow-covered track of Speedway 51 (NH).
Mother Nature is on the Groveton, New Hampshire race track’s side this weekend as they get set to go green for their Dalton Mountain Wintersports Winter 100 this Saturday, January 21, at 2 p.m.
The event has a $25 entry fee and a $20 pit fee for those who are looking for the thrill of the 100-lap endurance race around the icy surface. The event is open to any type of vehicle willing to take on the snowy conditions with the top five being paid.
“School Busses, hearse, mini-van, you name it and we will take it,” Dick Therrien of Speedway 51 told Speed51.com.
The race is even open to passengers who would like to go along for the ride for an additional $25.
“One thing that is really unique about our snow race is we allow a passenger,” Therrien explained. “We’ve got more girlfriends that want to ride (along) than you can imagine.”
While most think of track prep as drying the track, the crews over at Speedway 51 are busy moving around snow for the drivers to race on. Plenty of snow over the winter months has built up its fair share of work for the crew prepping the Winter Blast 100.
“We have to push the snow away from the inside of the track so that if somebody gets off track they won’t get buried,” Therrien said. “Of course we have to plow the pits, we have to clean the grandstands and the grandstand area, but the track we will pack with vehicles the day of. We just drive on it and that packs it down. We hope to start with a four to five-inch base and as we go along during the race it will pretty much turn into glare ice.”
Therrien has high hopes for the racing conditions on Saturday as Speedway 51 hosts a handful of other winter racing events including five vintage snowmobile races on the premises.
The race procedure is quite simple: the first one to the checkered flag wins. The twist to the race though is that there will be no cautions being thrown. The point of the race is to maintain control of your car on the difficult conditions while being quick and competitive as well.
“Only a red and a green flag, no yellows” said Therrien. “If someone is in a bad spot there is no intention of anyone getting hurt so if someone is in a really bad position or if there is a bad hit we will throw a red flag and then we just go back to green.”
Along with the race procedure the rules are quite simple as well but Therrien and his crew want to make the event as even and as competitive as possible to put on a good show.
“There is no traction control devices, no chains, no studded tires, no tires that are filled with, you know, items that will make them harder inside, they’ve got to be just air in them. You can’t load the tires like you would with a farm tractor but we’ve seen it all”
While some race fans cringe at the idea of cold weather the case is much different for fans up north as they look forward to the Winter Blast 100.
“The last time we did this we had about 750 fans in the grandstands and that was a cold day. The weather looks to be in the 40s and partly sunny so it looks like Mother Nature is going to give us almost the perfect day.”
-By Hannah Newhouse, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speedway 51