By Rebecca LaBorde
The Little Valley Speedway will kick-start the season with the Memorial Day Late Model Special. This race is on May 27, 2012, and is sponsored by Close Racing Supply with a purse of $3,000. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. and the price of admittance is $14 for children over 12 and up, or you can secure a pit pass for $25.
The Little Valley Speedway is a one-half mile dirt track and they have been holding races there since 1997, according to Kristina Charlesworth, treasurer of the Cattaraugus County Agricultural Society. She also stated that previous to 1997, there were races there in the ‘50s and ‘60s. It has a 3,000-seat grandstand and is the third largest sporting venue in Cattaraugus County, following Bradner Stadium and the Reilly Center. Thousands of people attend these events and look forward to cheering on their favorite driver.
When asked if there was a driver that was a crowd favorite, Charlesworth responded, “Everyone has their own favorite.”
Denny Thomas has been racing stock cars for over 20 years. “I took a friend to the races and thought, ‘I want to do that.’ I went home and built a car and have been racing ever since.”
Thomas feels this is a competitive sport that age does not play a part in. “Racers can be any age from as young as 12 (in Pennsylvania) to the oldest guy that I know racing is Ron Baker and he’s 70,” he said.
For anyone interested in racing, general regulations include being respectful, assumption of risk and knowledge of the rules. It is track policy that all competitors be 16 years of age or older and of sound physical condition. Drivers must pay registration fee (pit pass fee) and sign in with the Pit Steward prior to the start of the race program. The general format for the line-up is determined by the draw of a number upon entering the pit.
All racing officials have been appointed by the Cattaraugus County Agricultural Society Board of Directors. Each flag used during the race has significance. The green signifies the start of the race and all cars must stay in line. Yellow signifies the track is not clear and all cars must slow down. While the red flag halts the race, the black flag indicates a penalty or disqualification. Blue and yellow signifies competitor being lapped and all lapped cars must move inside without changing order. It is the final lap if the white flag is waved and, of course, the checkered flag means the race is over.
There are seven races scheduled for the season, with the admittance price varying from $8 to $25, depending on the racing event. The 4th of July event will display a fireworks spectacular and free camping is available. For more information on schedules and rates, go to www.littlevalleyspeedway.com. The site has a new look and easier access to schedules and news posts, or you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|RACE SCHEDULE FOR 2012
05/27/2012 Memorial Day Late Model Special
06/08/2012 Super Spring Special
07/03/2012 Freedom Daze Spectacular
07/04/2012 Freedom Daze Demolition Derby
07/13/2012 Summer Late Model
08/29/2012 World of Outlaws
09/15/2012 WNY Super Late Model & 358 Modified Double Header