With a year of speedway management behind them, Hesston Speedway’s operators Sam Britz of Hollidaysburg Pa., and John Claycom of New Enterprize, Pa., have applied lessons learned from their year as rookie promoters into an innovative schedule for 2017.
“This year, all of our races are sanctioned events,” said Britz. a Cettified Public Accountant, who admittedly, was initially attracted to the purchase of the Hesston property as an investment.
“This is Late Model country so our biggest events will be Late Model shows. Our emphasis will be on running quality events, not on racing every week,” said Britz.
The one constant on the Hesston Speedway schedule in 2017 is that all of the races will include multple Enduro races as part of the undercard.
“We ran two Enduros last year and they proved to be successful. There is a feeling among the Enduro guys that they would like to race more often and they will be here this year,” Britz expounded.
Britz said the expectation was that over 100 cars would be in action at each Enduro. The format for the Enduros calls for the Four Cylinder class to run either a 50 lap or 100 lap feature at every race; V6 and V8 cars will either run individual features or run a combination event, also over the 50 lap or 100 lap duration.
The action starts on Saturday, May 6 with the running of a freewheeling program of Enduros. Dubbed Enduro 300 Spring Blast, on the schedule are three 100 lap races, one for Four Cylinder cars, one for V6s and the finale for V8s. Each Enduro will pay $1,000 to win.
The first non-Enduro race takes place on Saturday, May 20 with the running of the Mason Dixon Shootout Series Limited Late Models. Paired with the Late Models are the 305 Racesaver Sprints, Street Stocks, and three fifty lap Enduros for a five-division show.
“The Mason Late Model Series is something that Hesston is behind one hundred percent,” Britz said. “We have taken two dates and look forward to them.
“And the 305 Racesaver Sprints are really strong out here. They love racing at Hesston and that’s why we have booked them so many times. They’re good for at least twenty to twenty four cars and they race very well here.”
Limited Late Models and Racesaver 305 Sprints are the backbone off the June 17 program, accompanied by Street Stocks and a pair of 50-lap Enduros, one for the Four Cylinders and a combined 50-lapper for the V6 and V8 classes.
July 1 brings in the ULMS Racing Series, with the Super Late Models going for $3,000 to win. Support classes are the 305 Racesaver Sprints, Street Stocks and the same Enduro race breakdown as was in effect June 17.
Fivestar Powersports will be on hand and will present side-by-Side and ATV racing.
Toward that end, Fivestar will have its team motorcycle and ATV experts at all events with some of their machines on display and will offer test rides on and off the track.
The second Mason Dixon Shootout Series Limited Late Model event of the season goes July 22 with 305 Racesaver, Sprints, Street Stocks, and the Enduro 50/50 Enduro lineup as previously. Added to this event is the Penn-Mar Vintage Car Club display and exhibition events.
The 305 Racesaver Sprint Cars will be featured on August 26 as part of the Laurel Highlands Sprint Car Series. A Limited Late Model Bonus Race, with additional details to be announced. is paired with a three Enduro card with Four Cylinders, V6s and V8s each having at it for fifty laps.
Saturday, September 9 has been reserved as a raindate should any of the previously scheduled events be cancelled by weather.
The final races scheduled for 2017 are planned for the October 13-14 Weekend. On Friday, October 13, day one of the Year End Blast will be dedicated to qualifying races with Limited Late Models featured. Features will be run thenext day, Saturday, October 14.
The acquisiton of the Hesston Speedway property was complleted in 2014 after the track had lain fallow following the death of Dave Erickson, the owner and operator of the track who himself had resurrected a track that had once thrived.
Britz’ partner is John Claycom who has an excavating business and has been responsible for many of the physical improvements at the facility, notably, the widening of the backstretch drive-in section that is a favored spot among many Hesston fans. Improvements and upgrades have also been made to the grandstand seating area by the promotional duo.
“We learned a lot last year, most importantly, that we tried to run too many events. Our 2017 schedule, we believe, is what is right for Hesston, its race teams and its fans,” summed Britz.
Britz and Claycom ran one ATV race in 2016 on an off night and proved successful. The promotional duo is planning to schedule more such events in 2017 although a specific schedule has not yet been released.