Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Albany-Saratoga Opens Northern Racing Season Saturday

Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta, N.Y. will say goodbye to winter two weeks early as the gates swing open on Saturday for a 50-lap, $5,000-to-win, open-competition Big Block/Small Block Modified event. A 25-lap race for the Champlain Valley Racing Association's Budget Sportsman class will also be on the card.

According to Promoter Bruce Richards, interest in the race has been "off the wall" since the race was announced last week. Richards told Vermont Motorsports Magazine that he expects all of the area's top stars - drivers like defending Albany-Saratoga champion Kenny Tremont, Jr., New Jersey's Brett Hearn, and Devil's Bowl Speedway champion Todd Stone of Middlebury - to be in attendance. "They're all gonna be here," he said. "And why wouldn't they be? It's an open-rules race and no one else is open that early. And it's a heavy purse all the way through - it's $5,000 to win, $1,000 for tenth, and $300 just to start." Richards also said that interest in the Budget Sportsman race was very high from around the region.

The track's original opening day event was scheduled for April 17, but Richards says optimal weather and grounds conditions have given him confidence.

"The track is as tight as can be," said Richards. "We were blessed in Malta this winter. We got a lot of snow early, then it all melted and there wasn't any frost left in the ground. The grounds are dry and we've been packing the track and the pits all week. It's supposed to rain on Friday, and getting the track dry enough on Saturady morning might push the start time back a little bit, but it shoudn't be much of a problem." Modified driver Ronnie Johnson and Pro Stock driver Kenny Martin assisted Richards in a successful test of the track's new electronic scoring loop on Friday, adding to Richards' confidence that the track is ready for racing.

Time trials are scheduled to begin at 1:00pm on Saturday. Pit gates will open at 10:00am, with the grandstands opening at 11:00am.

No comments: