Just as it did last year, the 2020 DIRTcar Sportsman
Series will feature three regional points chases, culminating in a fall Championship Challenge series.
The Central Region series will be the busiest of the three regional chases, with eight dates. The North and West region calendars include five dates apiece.
The Central Region will start with April 24 at Fulton Speedway, part of the High Bank Holdup. While the Central Region will start earlier than the North or West, it features nearly a two-month layoff between the opener and the second date, which is June 14 Utica-Rome Speedway.
The Central tour visits Weedsport Speedway July 26, part of Hall of Fame weekend, and Land of Legends Raceway at the Ontario County Fairgrounds Sept. 19.
The North Region opens in June, with three of the five dates booked for that month.
In the West, the season kick starts with a doubleheader May 17-18. Ransomville, the closest speedway to our neck of the woods in the West series, welcomes racers July 7.
There are discussions about adding an East Region slate to the overall schedule.
In the fall, after weekly battles have concluded, there will be a combined Championship Challenge. It starts with Outlaw 200 weekend Oct. 2-3 at Fulton Speedway. NAPA Super DIRT Week XLIX is part of the schedule, with action planned Oct. 6, 7, 8 and 11 at Utica-Rome, Weedsport, Brewerton and Oswego speedways. The final points date is set for Oct. 17 at Brockville Ontario Speedway.
The Sportsman will be the marquee division at the DRIVEN World Short Track Championships Oct. 31 to Nov. 2 at the Dirt Track at Charlotte in Concord, N.C.
Genesee joins DIRTcar fold
Genesee Speedway will carry the DIRTcar sanction on its Sportsman division in 2020.
“Genesee Speedway is home to many talented Sportsman teams from the region that will benefit from the DIRTcar sanction,” promoter Jim Johnson said. “We can’t thank DIRTcar enough for giving us the opportunity to come on board this season and look forward to working with all the officials.”
Oswego Chevy Performance 75 Sportsman Champion Kyle Inman calls the track home, along with Jim Harbison, Cameron Tuttle, Dave Conant and Zach George. The track is situated on the Genesee County Fairgrounds.
The track also will feature the World of Outlaws Late Model Series. The victor of the June 19 event lands a $10,000 check.
For more information, visit genesee-speedway.com.
Binghamton-area racer dies
Storied Modified pilot Mike Colsten passed away Jan. 3 after a long and fierce battle with mesothelioma. He was 70.
Known for his efforts in a Modified, Colsten debuted in 1976. He won the Five Mile Point Modified track championship in 1988, 1990, 1991, 2013 and 2014. The latter crown came while he was in the early stages of battling his illness.
Colsten’s 62 victories at Five Mile Point rank him second on the track’s all-time list. His final win, on April 9, 2017, came five years after his initial mesothelioma diagnosis.
Prior to his Modified stardom, Colsten captured Late Model titles at Five Mile Point, Rolling Wheels and Weedsport.
Five Mile Point invited fans and supporters to share pictures of the trademark No. 51, and of Colsten, as a tribute to the tenacious Southern Tier star.
Indoor racing in full swing
Ryan Flores won the 40-lap Indoor Auto Racing Series Allentown finale on Saturday.
Flores secured the top spot with nine laps remaining. Tim Buckwalter was charging to the Flores machine’s back bumper, but his chances diminished with a spin. Meanwhile, third-placed Bobby Holmes was docked for over-aggressive driving, sending him to the rear as well.
Steve Kemery shifted to the runner-up spot, piloting a 600cc sprint in lieu of a standard-issue TQ midget. He settled into second behind Flores, with Jeremy Haudricourt taking third in just his fourth career Indoor Auto Racing Series start. Anthony Payne was fourth and Ryan Bartlett fifth.
Dylan Hoch won the Slingshot feature.
On Friday night, Erick Rudolph took the 40-lap main. He passed Shawn Nye with 15 circuits to go. Nye was second ahead of Matt Janisch and Andy Jankowiak.
Tyler Brown owned the Champ Kart A-main.
The series competes next at the NAPA Auto Parts Classic Jn. 31 and Feb. 1 in Atlantic City, N.J. It concludes March 13-14 at the New York State Fairgrounds’ Expo Center in suburban Syracuse.
Mackey takes Hangover 2.0
Sportsman campaigner Chris Mackey won the first edition of the Hangover 2.0 at Utica-Rome Speedway, which was contested New Year’s Day.
Mackey took home $500 for the win, topping 70 cars.
Jim Bleau was an early leader before falling off the pace with an overheating problem. Tim Ellison took command, but likewise fell with an overheating issue. Austin Susice was battling for the lead before Brian Hill took over, but he broke down at the point. Dustin Baerman inherited the lead at that point, but became entrenched in the inside of the first turn, allowing Mackey to make up laps he lost earlier and take the lead.
Jonathan Holmes was the only other car running at the checkers, with Baerman, Hill and Susice filling out the top five.