After a three-year hiatus (four counting a rainout), motorcycle racing returns to the Montgomery County Fairgrounds this weekend with an AMA-sanctioned event.
The newly named Gem City Flat Track race — previously known as the Old Time Newsies — offers pro racing Saturday and amateur racing Sunday. AMA Hall of Famer Steve Morehead, the organization’s operations manager, said there’s a chance as many as eight of the top 10 riders in the country will compete. Jared Mees, Kenny Coolbeth Jr., Sammy Halbert and Henry Wiles are among the possible entrants on the pea gravel dirt track.
Many are already in the area with a test-and-tune session on Sunday at the Allen County Fairgrounds, site of the AMA flat track’s next race June 29. The Lima track is also pea gravel dirt.
The Newsies started racing at the Fairgrounds in 1971 and continued for 38 consecutive years. The last scheduled event in 2009 was rained out.
“I think people are going to come out of the woodwork and show up,” said Gary Stolzenburg, who owned F&S Harley-Davidson. “A lot of people have been asking if we’re going to have another one.”
Cost is a tax-deductible $15 donation. Children 6 and under are admitted free. After the cost of running the event is paid, remaining proceeds benefit the Montgomery County Fairgrounds. Sunday’s racing is free.
“Any profit is going to revamp the fairgrounds whether it’s putting up new fences, adding to the bleachers or tidying up. What a great cause,” said Morehead, who hopes Saturday’s event is the start of bringing an AMA national event to Dayton. “I think they realize they have to crawl before they walk. That’s the idea. If this event can be successful and raise enough money to do some improvements to the fairgrounds, I could possibly see this being a national event on my calender one day.”
Saturday’s action starts at 4:30 p.m. with hot laps. Racing starts at 7:30 p.m. Sunday starts at 1 p.m.
“It’s a fun race track,” Morehead said. “It would be nice to be able to build this event back up to that (Newsies) status. At one time it was one of the highest-paying events in the country. It paid more to win Dayton than it did one of our national championship events with the contingency money provided to the riders.”
For more information on the event call (937) 224-1619 or (937) 776-6918.
Eldora Speedway: Dirt Late Model Dream; time trials, heats, last chance, twin features. Gates open at noon, hot laps at 5:30 p.m., racing at 8.
Kil-Kare Speedway: NASCAR Whelen All-American Series late models, modifieds, sport stocks, compacts; double features. Gates open at 6 p.m.
Edgwater Sports Park: Jr. Dragster Challenge, NHRA-sanctioned super pro, pro, sportsman and motorcycle, trophy racing. Gates open at 2 p.m., racing at 7.
Eldora Speedway: Dirt Late Model Dream; heats, last chance, feature. Gates open at noon, racing at 7 p.m.
Montgomery County Fairgrounds: AMA-sanctioned motorcycle racing. Hot laps at 4:30 p.m., time trials at 6, racing at 7:30.
Shadybowl Speedway: Main Event Racing Series, sport stocks, tuners, compacts. Gates open at 4 p.m., racing at 7.
Waynesfield Raceway Park: Nonwing sprints, UMP modifieds (double feature), min sprints, trucks, compacts (double feature); DARF Night. Gates open at 5 p.m., hot laps at 6, racing at 7.
Montgomery County Fairgrounds: Amateur, vintage racing. Racing starts at 1 p.m.
Tri-State Dragway: JEGS Jr. Summer Sizzler for Jr. dragsters. Gates open at 9:30 a.m., eliminations at noon.