Ace Speedway was once again faced with an uncertain future during the offseason, but Bill Catania’s Short Track Management signed a lease to keep the gates open and gave new life to the 4/10-mile track in Altamahaw, North Carolina. Catania has put Randy Myers, the director of the KOMA Unwind Modified Madness Series, at the helm of Ace Speedway’s operations.
Myers has already made tweaks to the schedule at Ace Speedway but he says he doesn’t plan to sway too far off from what Brad Allen had in place the past few seasons.
“Smaller changes but, overall, I would like to preface anything about Ace by saying Brad did a hell of a job with the circumstances he was dealt and he funding he had,” Myers said. “It’s a hard job. With that said, there are not a lot of things that need fixing at Ace. We’re tweaking our format a little bit just to create different shows with the fans in the grandstands. In one respect, we’re doing what Brad did last year.”
The main thing Myers emphasized was the need to have consistency in the schedule. In previous seasons at Ace, the Late Models would be the headline division one week, the Limited Late Models the next week and then the Modifieds another week. Myers said it was often the case that fans didn’t know what divisions would be racing so he will race all three feature divisions every week.
“Brad was changing the visions week to week and giving guys time off and bringing in something different when he had his regulars taking the night off,” Myers stated. “We heard from a lot of fans that didn’t know what was going on and wanted something ore consistent so we went to an every week program and running our three feature divisions every week. We’re running the Mini Stocks, they have four nights off and the Extreme cars have five nights off and we’re bringing in a division called the Tuners. Langley [Austin] gave me a little bit on that,.”
Along with consistency, the races will, in general, be shorter than in years past.
“As far as the race format goes, we’re either running 50 laps or twin 25s for the Late Models and 35s and twin-20s for LLM and Modifieds,” Myers explained. “If you look at the attendance at much of the tracks that have stuck with the same 150 lappers following each other, you can see what’s going on. It’s like a nose, everybody’s got one. I think we’ll spice up the events and have a little more excitement where needed and hopefully everyone will play as they should. I think the racers will love it as they go. It’s not like we’re stopping longer races altogether, we want short quick to the point start and finish on time.”
The season’s marquee event will be the Rodney Cook Memorial, a 150-lap Late Model Stock Car race honoring one of Ace Speedway’s greatest drivers. The late Rodney Cook was to Ace Speedway what Dale Earnhardt was to NASCAR and, in many ways, Cook was like Earnhardt. He was aggressive and he wanted to race.
“Rodney was a good guy. He was a confident racer. If they had a race, he showed up. His phone number’s still in my telephone. I think he was probably as well respected around the track as anybody. If they had a show, he would be there. He ran with me at Friendship when Ace wasn’t running. He dedicated his life to the sport and people appreciated it. He was a great guy. He’ll be missed. He’ll be remembered and it will be a good thing every time we run this race.”
The Mischa Sell Memorial will also be run once again at Ace Speedway on Sunday, October 25th. The Pro All Stars Series (PASS) and the KOMA Unwind Modified Madness Series will both hold races at Ace Speedway. PASS will be in town on Labor Day (September 7th) and the KOMA Modifieds will race on June 19th.
The 60th season of racing at Ace Speedway will go green on Friday, April 3rd.
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2015 Ace Speedway season schedule
April 3rd: Late Model Stock Car
April 17th: Late Model Stock Car/Limited Late Model
May 1st: Late Model Stock Car/Limited Late Model
May 15th: Rodney Cook Memorial (Late Model Stock Car 150)
May 29th: Late Model Stock Car/Limited Late Model
June 5th: Late Model Stock Car/Limited Late Model
June 19th: KOMA Unwind Modifed Madness Series/Late Model Stock Car
July 3rd: Late Model Stock Car 100
July 17th: Late Model Stock Car/Limited Late Model
July 31st: Late Model Stock Car/Limited Late Model
August 7th: Late Model Stock Car/Limited Late Model
August 21st: Late Model Stock Car/Limited Late Model
September 7th: Pro All Stars Series
September 18th: Late Model Stock Car/Limited Late Model
September 25th: Late Model Stock Car/Limited Late Model
October 2nd: Late Model Stock Car/Limited Late Model
October 16th: Late Model Stock Car/Limited Late Model
October 31st: Late Model Stock Car/Limited Late Model