The world of auto racing is an ever changing one, even at the local level.
The Plymouth Speedway has undergone an extensive change in the off-season. Ed Kennedy, the owner of the track, made the decision to change the surface from asphalt to dirt. Director of Racing Matt Schwartz believes it’s going to be a positive change for the speedway.
“The asphalt track wasn’t that successful,” Schwartz stated. “We weren’t getting a lot of cars or a lot of fans. So, last year we experimented and tore out the infield and put in a one-fifth mile dirt track for racing and it was well received. We had a lot of people show up in the stands, we had a lot of cars in the pits and it was really exciting.”
Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart even came to the track for a feature event on the dirt track last August and while the track was “a little tight” for racing with the amount of cars in the race, he said it was a lot of fun.
That’s what the management thought at Plymouth Speedway and at the end of the 2012 season made the change. There was a lot of support behind the decision.
“A lot of us were very supportive of that. We laid dirt on top of the asphalt and we’re racing on Saturday nights! We’ve got about a foot of clay on there and the track itself should be about the same size, about three-eighths mile. We also kept the dirt track on the inside for the micro sprint races that we’ll have with us every week,” said Schwartz.
Several different types of race cars will be kicking up the dirt at the Plymouth Speedway this summer.
“We’ll have modifieds on a weekly basis, super street on a weekly basis, thunder cars on a weekly basis, two classes of mini sprints, open 600 class, and a restricted 600 class. For the first time ever, they’re sanctioning mini sprint races and we are the pilot program for the USAC 600 mini sprints this year,” said Schwartz.
A new dirt track means a few big events at the Plymouth Speedway including a special SOD race in August.
“In May, have the Earl Gaerte Classic with the SOD Outlaw Sprints. These are the big guys with 800 horsepower motors, wings on top and they are the fastest things on dirt. They will be moving around there really quick. In August, we have the same SOD Outlaw Sprints but we’ll have a special guest racing with us…Tony Stewart! He’ll be out here racing during the Bob Newton Memorial. Bob Newton was the one who started Hoosier Racing Tire in Lakeville. He passed away last year and we’re going to have a classic memorial race for Bob Newton and Tony’s going to be here,” said Schwartz.
The season will officially kick off with a Cabin Fever event April 12 and 13 where late models will be featured as well as modified, super streets, thunder stocks and 600 sprints.
Be listening for a special June race as well.
For more information, visit www.plymouthspeedway.net.
Photos submitted by Gary Gasper and Matt Schwartz