"Cautiously Optimistic Chemung Speedrome Releases 2021 Schedule" by Carol Houssock(Chemung, NY) “We have no idea right now if the State will allow us to open. We’re waiting for direction from state and local health departments as well as the Governor, but we’re planning to open on schedule if allowed,” stated Speedrome Promoter Ray Hodge. Hindsight is 20/20, but in 2020 Chemung saw just one event before the shutdown that wiped out the rest of the season.
Hodge and Race Director Jerry Sinsabaugh have worked tirelessly to bring an energetic and intriguing schedule to race teams and fans for the upcoming season. Like bookends, the Speedrome is scheduled to begin and end 2021 with two-day programs.
“One of the big changes this year we’re really excited about is we’re holding a four-race series using track rules for both the Sunoco Modifieds and the Super Stocks,” Hodge added. “These are non-Chemung points races (Cup Series) and we’ll have a champion for each.” Buckley’s Automotive has come on board to sponsor the Modified series, with each of their races paying $1,000 to win.
While the pandemic had a dreadful impact on racing in New York’s southern tier, the business community is being supportive of racing’s return in a big way. “We’re thrilled that so many businesses have come on board to be the title sponsor for a division, to sponsor race nights, and to purchase signage at the track,” Sinsabaugh stated. Division sponsors now include the Marion Decker Agency Hobby Stocks and the Insinger Super Stocks.
The Race of Champions Modified Series will roll into Chemung twice again this year. Their first visit will be on May 8th, with the annual Watkins Glen weekend event on August 7th. Both of those shows will take place on Saturday evenings. The popular New York Super Stock series also returns for a pair of events, on June 18th and July 23rd.
Chemung is also planning to honor several racing greats and special groups this year. “We’ll have $5 admission nights for Law Enforcement, Firefighters/EMT’s/First Responders, and Town of Chemung residents. And we’re continuing to honor Veterans on one special night, with free admission for them,” said Sinsabaugh. Other honorees include Buck Sharpsteen (Grand Marshall) and memorials for Ed Bidlack, Gary Marshall, Ed McGuire, and Russ Tubbs. Fans can cheer on the Sunoco Modifieds, Insinger Super Stocks, 4 Cylinders, Marion Decker Hobby Stocks, INEX Legends and INEX Bandoleros.
Cars return to the Speedrome for testing on April 17th and 24th, with a double-header the following weekend, April 30th and May 1st to get the season going. Day 2 of the opening weekend will include the TQ Midgets.
The schedule and the track’s new website are still being tweaked but racers and fans are reminded to go to the official site on Facebook, ‘Chemung Speedrome – Racing at the Drome’ for all the latest news. When construction is complete, the new website will have details on race nights, sponsors, and where to go for more information.
“Fans in general, and kids in particular, have their own Appreciation nights this year, but everyone at the Speedrome greatly appreciates the support we’ve all received. We’re hopeful that we can move forward with our plans to bring the sights, sounds, and smells of racing back to this legendary facility,” said Hodge.
For more information call Ray Hodge at 607-483-3468.