Welcome back race fans!
The winter that wouldn’t go away is finally gone (we hope).
Everything is turning green, including the flag this Saturday night!
It will be a fresh beginning as we usher in a new era in management, with Sherry and Gary Lemesurier the new promoters at South Buxton Raceway.
Sherry and her helpers – especially Doug Weaver – have been busy behind the scenes breathing new life into South Buxton Raceway away from the track, in the community and surrounding area.
The response has been overwhelmingly positive, with compliments galore from drivers and race teams that participated in the Practice Day last Saturday, great feedback from new and returning sponsors about the efforts to restore SBR’s good name – and from you, the fans, who have been on the edge of your seats all winter, waiting for the ‘new era’ to begin.
And a big ‘salute’ goes out to all the diehard fans who were lined up at the gate last Saturday, more than 90 minutes before the cars even hit the track, braving cold and windy conditions to watch practice for a couple of hours.
This Saturday night, we begin our 44th season with the most anticipation since it opened in 1971, because of the renewed spirit and enthusiasm from the new promoters, the many people who have helped over the winter and the cooperation and excitement from the drivers themselves.
Here are some ‘Points Of Interest’ for race fans, as we begin our weekly pilgrimage to get our Saturday night racin’ fix!
South Buxton Raceway welcomes Autotech Service and Westside Performance Plus to its division sponsorship family.
Autotech, located at 124 Byng Ave. in Chatham, is the new sponsor of the Bomber class.
Westside Performance Plus, owned by SBR track champion Brett Reaume in Blenheim, is the new sponsor of the UMP Late Models.
Tirecraft, on Richmond St. in Chatham, is doing ‘double duty’ as it has added the Sport Stocks division to its Mini-Mod sponsorship.
And back for a seventh year is Schinkels Gourmet Meats, on Richmond. St. in Chatham, sponsor of the UMP Modifieds.
Behind The Wheel
As of this week, we already have 22 new drivers registered for the 2014 season, led by 10 in the Autotech Bomber class.
Among the new faces will be Blenheim’s Tom Hazlett, a ‘rookie’ at age 62 in the Schinkels Gourmet Meats UMP Modifieds. Hazlett, who began racing in 1973, has been off the last five years since last competing in the Late Models.
There are also some familiar ‘names’ among the rookie class – Jake Hooker, son of three-time track champion Kirk Hooker in the Tirecraft Sport Stocks; and Nick Glassford, son of two-time track champion Dale Glassford in the Autotech Bombers.
Another returning former champion is John Pinsonneault Jr., a two-time Comp 4 championship race winner, who is back in the Mini-Mods.
One new division champion is guaranteed as Cottam’s Denis DeSerrano is moving up from the Tirecraft Mini-Mods to the Schinkels Gourmet Meats Modified class this season. DeSerrano, a three-time season champion, ran the Modifieds a couple of times last year but has decided to make the move to the Modifieds for his fulltime ride this season.
Merlin’s Eren Vanderiviere will ‘going four it’ in the Tirecraft Sport Stocks, as he is the three-time reigning points champion looking for a fourth straight crown.
Chatham’s Gregg Haskell will be looking for a ‘three-peat’ in the Westside Performance Plus UMP Late Models, coming off back-to-back title seasons.
Darryl Hoekstra, of Chatham, is the reigning Schinkels Gourmet Meats UMP Modified champion.
Dylan Bonner, of Blenheim, won the first Autotech Bombers division title last season.
The five championship race winners are all back, led by back-to-back Sport Stocks’ winner Tyler Lozon of Grande Pointe.
Chatham’s Jim Jones (Late Models), Leamington’s Joel Dick (Modifieds), Merlin’s Steve Shaw Jr. (Mini-Mods) and Blenheim’s Jeff Schives (Bombers) are the other championship race winners.
Race Night Format
There have been a few changes to the nightly program and points races, including going back to ‘old school lineups’ in the Late Models, Sport Stocks and Bombers.
Gone are the ‘Crack The Whips’ and back are the ‘Pursuits’ and ‘Dashes’ in the second preliminary races for the four main classes.
The Late Models and Sport Stocks will run Heats, Pursuits and Features and the Bombers Heats and Features.
In the Late Model, Sport Stocks and Bombers drivers will start the Heats in inverted order of points.
The Pursuits will be lined up by inverted order of finish from the previous week’s Feature.
The Feature line ups will be also be inverted order of finish from the previous week’s Finish. Lapped cars and those that missed the previous week’s feature will start at the rear of the field.
In the Modifieds and Mini-Mods, drivers will do a pill draw to determine their starting positions in the Heat races.
The top three finishers from the Heats advance to the Dash. Following the Dash, a pill draw will invert the finish to line up the Feature, with the numbers 0, 3, 6 and 9 available for the invert.
All Heats are eight laps and Dashes six laps.
The Modified Feature remains 25 laps while the Late Models, Sport Stocks and Mini-Mods are 20 and the Bombers 15.
The UMP points system will be used in all divisions this season, with a maximum 115 available for a driver who wins all three races plus the show-up points.
New Concession Foods
South Buxton Raceway has expanded its food menu, thanks to new sponsors.
Mouth-watering Pulled Pork Sandwiches, from Blazin’ BBQ (St. Clair St. Chatham) will also be sold in the concession.
Regular food items, such as hamburgs, hot dogs, popcorn, nachos, pop, etc. will also be on sale.
The Pit Stop will again have ice cream and frozen products at its portable truck, behind the west grandstand.
Beer will be available, from the Tilbury Kinsmen, at select events this season. (The dates will be announced).
Bits and Bolts
- The gates open at 5 p.m. every race night.
- New this year will be a South Buxton Raceway Yearbook, including profiles of all of the drivers and other information on the 2014 season. This beautiful edition will be a great keepsake of the 2014 season. The cost is $6.
- There will also be weekly programs, including division standings and other information for fans.
- This week’s program includes a ballot for fans to vote on The Best Appearing Car in each class. Judging by last Saturday’s practice, many drivers have gone all out with their new paint schemes for 2014, and you fans get to judge which cars are indeed, the best appearing. The winners will be announced next week.
- South Buxton will again have a Souvenir Booth, with a line of clothing carrying the new SBR logo.
- Admission will be accepted by cash and bank cards (see Admission Prices under the Track Info icon).
- A race night is considered complete after six races, in case of weather or other circumstances (See the full Rainout Policy under the Track Info icon).
- The new infield Bomber track has not been completed, due to the lateness of the ground thawing from the long winter.
- The ‘Winner Circle’ sign is gone (much to the delight of fans who complained about it obstructing their view). Post-feature race celebrations and interviews will be conducted on-track by the flagstand.
- There will be draw for Suzuki Quad from Bob’s Motorsports. Tickets are $10 will be on sale every race night until all 1,110 tickets are sold.
- Fans are allowed to bring in their own coolers, but please be patient at the gate as all coolers and large carrying bags will be inspected.
- Fans can find more information on SBR’s Facebook page. Just type in ‘South Buxton Raceway’ to access the Facebook page.