Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.
The roar returns to the Miami Valley tonight as Kil-Kare Raceway kicks off the racing season and Edgewater Sports Park revs up for its second week.
While Kil-Kare Raceway opens with late models, modifieds, sports stocks and compacts on the oval tonight, Saturday’s opener for the dragstrip is pushed back at least a week and perhaps two. The dragstrip has undergone a major upgrade including resurfacing the quarter-mile competition surface plus an additional 100 feet past the finish line, barrier walls that replace old metal guardrails and safety nets at the end of the track to prevent vehicles from going into the Little Miami river. Poor weather prevented the improvements from being completed by this weekend.
As for the speedway, the on-track highlights include the return of the ARCA Truck Series on July 5, Open Wheel Friday on July 19 and the third and final leg of the Robbie Dean 94 memorial, a special three-race series that also includes Shady Bowl Speedway (May 18) and Columbus Motor Speedway (July 6).
Drag strip highlights include the Night of Fire (June 27), an all-Harley-Davidson event on July 27-28 and the Buckeye Nationals (Aug. 24).
Weather delays action: Kil-Kare isn’t the only track dealing with a cold and wet spring. Eldora Speedway cancelled its Test & Tune for Saturday. The half-mile clay oval opens its 60th season on April 13 with the American Late Model Series, UMP DIRTcar modifieds and Eldora stock cars. The Little Eldora go-kart track holds its season opener Sunday.
Shady Bowl Speedway pushed back its season opener to April 13, but will host Test & Tune on Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.
As for other tracks, Tri-State Dragway will host Test & Tunes from 2-6 p.m. every Saturday leading up to the April 21 opener. Waynesfield Raceway Park hosts a Test & Tune on April 27 and opens the season May 4. Winchester Speedway starts Sunday, May 19.
USAC honors Hewitt, Baltes: Troy’s Jack Hewitt and Eldora Speedway founder Earl Baltes were recently named to the United States Auto Club (USAC) Hall of Fame. Baltes was named along with Henry Banks, Pancho Carter, Al Unser, Bobby Unser, A.J. Watson, Don White and Bob Wilke. Hewitt made it after a social media fan vote that took the top four vote getters from a list of 16 nominees. Hewitt’s 23 Silver Crown victories are the most in USAC history. He also has 46 sprint car wins and seven midget victories. He was selected by the fans along with Tony Bettenhausen, Tom Bigelow and Johnny Rutherford.
The ceremony will be held at Raceway Park in Indianapolis on May 18.
Local Racing Schedule
Kil-Kare Speedway: Late models, modifieds, sports stocks, compacts. Gates open at 6 p.m.
Edgewater Sports Park: Quick 8 racing plus super pro, pro, sportsman, motorcycle, trophy, Jr. dragsters. Gates open at 2 p.m.