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Who's Ready For Racing Action?
Posted on Sunday, March 03 @ 09:59:10 MST by Bob

DFC Racing

The 2024 racing season is finally about to get started. Three tracks in particular are looking to make 2024 bigger and better than ever with plenty of action of all varieties. Probably the most awaited news in this area has finally become official in recent days. Under new ownership and even a brand new name those familiar sounds and smells of racing will return to what was known for decades as Barberton Speedway, or as many folks called it, "Barbertucky Speedway". After the death of the previous owner the future of the track was in doubt as things were tied up in the courts for what seemed like forever. I gotta say this Dennis Knox fella is one very determined and motivated sumbitch who wasn't about to let this place slip away into permanent silence as other tracks have done. With plenty of support from the area racers and others he finally sealed the deal this week with the blessings of the Norton zoning commission. The 1/4 mile paved bullring that helped to make the Miller family and many others famous will now be known as Norton Raceway Park. While some folks didn't exactly welcome the new name, I'm reminded that Wayne County Speedway and Lakeville also had name changes in their past but we all got over it and moved on. Well except in the case of Lakeville, since it's latest name is "farm land". So I say we should all be thankful that somebody so dedicated stepped up and returned racing action to the place, no matter what they call it. My only concern is what do us old timers call it now. I mean is it Nortontucky or just Nortucky? ;-) Call it what you will as long as you racers and fans show up to support the place. I look forward to whatever they throw at us this year!

Last season we saw the new owners of Midvale Speedway jump in full throttle from the start. Randy and Kim Smart certainly aren't new to racing but operating a track is completely different from operating a race team, and always quite a challenge. The proved in 2023 that they were absolutely up to that challenge. They added plenty of extra entertainment along with the top notch weekly racing action throughout the season and it seemed to pay off with improved car counts and much better crowds than in recent years. Their 2024 schedule is out and you'll want to check it out to make your summer plans. There's something there for everybody for sure. Shucks, even this old fart is gonna make the trip back down there.

2023 was also the first season for new owners at Hilltop Speedway too. Tyler and Beth Evans took over the place at the very end of the 2022 season and we got a glimpse of their intentions with improved track conditions from the start. In 2023 they decided to try some new things on the schedule which sure surprised me. After years of requesting a shot, those winged "tumble buggies" got their chances to take on "the hill" to put on their version of a race show. While the racing action was decent the car count and support from the loyal weekly fans just wasn't there on those nights. Ya can't say Hilltop didn't give the Sprints a chance at least. This season you won't see them on the schedule nearly as often, and I know I'm not the only one that's alright with that. As Jeff Norris used to say, "if I want to see wings I'll go to the airport". Improvements at the facility for this season have been underway for weeks now and I'm happy to report that the damn sound system that everybody complained about is being upgraded for 2024. Myself, I can see the action and the only sounds I need come from those screamin' engines 3 and 4 wide out of turn four. A basic schedule has been released for now but there will be some tweaks and additions as things get sorted out. The return of the Jeff Norris Memorial is hopefully one of those additions.

All of these local tracks mentioned here work their asses off all year long to provide a place for our favorite pastime so be sure to support them as often as you can. If you have concerns or suggestions they are all eager to here directly from you. "Directly" is the key word here. From my experience a face to face chat at the track or a phone call during the week is the best way to be heard and taken seriously. See ya at the track!!



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· Lakeville Speedway
· Wayne County Speedway
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