MIDDLETOWN, NY – Anticipation has reached a fever pitch for the 2016 season at one of dirt racing’s hallowed grounds: Orange County Fair Speedway.


And the event that starts it all is the third running of the ‘Hard Clay Open’ on Saturday, April 2.


Bolstered by the backing of Halmar International’s Chris Larsen, renovations at the fairgrounds facility have been widespread and an influx of new talent joining the solid core of regulars will thrill the speedway’s loyal fans. To kick of ’16, OCFS hosts the opening round of the Short Track Super Series Fueled By VP North Region with the ‘Hard Clay Open’ event co-promoted by BD Motorsports Media LLC.


The two-division open-wheel program is slated to open the New York dirt Modified season.


Modifieds, big-blocks using traditional windows and small-blocks with sail panels, will battle for a minimum $5,000 winner’s share with a hefty $30,000 base purse posted including $1,000 for the 10th-place finisher and $500 to take the green flag in the 50-lap main. Crate 602 Sportsman, under weekly OCFS rules, will battle in a 25-lap feature paying $1,000 to the winner and $100 to take the green.


The ‘Legendary House of Power’ launches the race for the lucrative STSS North Region title chase with a point fund of more than $38,000 posted for the ’16 campaign. The top-12 drivers in the final STSS North point standings will share in the fund.


Again this season, United Pump & Tank has signed on as the lead ‘Hard Clay Open’ marketing partner. United Pump & Tank, based in Newburgh, N.Y., is the leader in service station maintenance and technologies. The Lowitt family owned business specializes in all service needs, including repair service, maintenance, and installations, from new to upgrades. To learn more about United Pump & Tank, visit www.unitedpumpandtank.com.


For the ’16 ‘Hard Clay Open’ event, pit gates will open at 11 a.m. Grandstand and drive-in gates open at 1 p.m. A drivers’ meeting takes place at 3:30 p.m., with hot laps at 4 p.m. and racing at 5 p.m. A rain date of Saturday, April 9 is in place.


The Saturday, April 2 race will be preceded at OCFS by an open practice run on Friday night, April 1.


Complete pricing information will be released in the coming weeks.


A year ago, Stewart Friesen of Sprakers, N.Y., opened his STSS North title-winning season with a ‘Hard Clay Open’ triumph worth $5,783 in the No. 44 Jeff Daley small-block. He bested 13th-starting Jerry Higbie Jr., running a big-block with windows, eighth-starter Danny Johnson, Tommy Meier, up from 14th, and 23rd-starting Brett Hearn.


Andy Bachetti of Sheffield, Mass., the ’14 STSS champion, holds the recognition as the inaugural ‘Hard Clay Open’ winner as he held off a charging Tim Hindley in the race’s first edition.


Ironically both Friesen and Bachetti used Orange County victories as springboards to their STSS championship efforts.


The Short Track Super Series Fueled By VP and BD Motorsports Media LLC can be found on the web at www.shorttracksuperseries.com or www.bdmotorsportsmedia.com. Brett Deyo can be reached by phone at 845.728.2781 or via e-mail: [email protected] The series is also on Twitter @ShortTrackSS and Facebook under “Short Track Super Series.”


Located at 239 Wisner Avenue Middletown, N.Y., 10940 on the Orange County Fairgrounds, Orange County Fair Speedway is the oldest continuously operating dirt track in the United States. The first auto race was held at the speedway in 1919. The five-eighths-mile oval offers fully-covered and half-covered grandstands in addition to open bleacher seating on the frontstretch and turn one areas, with drive-in viewing on the backstretch. To learn more, contact the Orange County Fair Speedway office at 845.342.2573 or visit www.orangecountyfairspeedway.net.


The 2016 Short Track Super Series is presented by Bob Hilbert Sportswear, VP Racing Fuels, American Racer/Lias Tire, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, HyperCo, Bicknell Racing Products, Hig Fab Chassis, Teo-Pro Car, ATL Fuel Cells, Kirkey Racing Fabrication, Vahlco Wheels, Dirt Track Digest & many more marketing partners.


2016 Short Track Super Series Fueled By VP North Region Schedule

Saturday, April 2 (Rain Date: April 9) – Orange County Fair Speedway/Middletown, NY – Hard Clay Open

Tuesday, May 10 (Rain Date: May 17) – Big Diamond Speedway/Minersville, PA – Anthracite Assault (Combo)

Sunday, May 29 (Rain Date: May 30) – Thunder Mountain Speedway/Center Lisle, NY – Lightning on the Mountain

Tuesday, July 5 (Rain Date: July 6) – Accord Speedway/Accord, NY – Battle of the Bullring 4

Wednesday, July 13 (Rain Date: TBA) – Rolling Wheels Raceway Park/Elbridge, NY – STSS vs. RoC Challenge (all drivers in attendance receive 60 points)

Wednesday, July 27 (Rain Date: July 28) – I-88 Speedway/Afton, NY – Crazy 8s Special

Tuesday, August 16 (Rain Date: August 17) – Woodhull Raceway/Woodhull, NY – Hustlin’ the High Banks 52

Sunday, September 18 (Rain Date: September 25) – Thunder Mountain Speedway/Center Lisle, NY – Wade Decker Memorial

Friday-Saturday October 7-8 (Rain Date: October 9) – I-88 Speedway/Afton, NY – Short Track SuperNationals 9 – Championship Points


Short Track Super Series Fueled By VP North Region Point Fund (*based on 9 events): 1. $12,000; 2. $7,000; 3. $4,000; 4. $3,000; 5. $2,500; 6. $1,850; 7. $1,750; 8. $1,650; 9. $1,550; 10. $1,450; 11. $1,000; 12. $1,000.


-BD Motorsports Media Press Release. Photo credit: Orange County Fair Speedway

Hard Clay Open Kicks Off 2016 Season at Orange County