Adams County Speedway

The Adams County Speedway is hosting its first event of the year this weekend.

Photo courtesy Adams County Speedway

There will be races at Corning’s Adams County Speedway this weekend.

ACS is hosting a non-sanctioned event for the first time this season, Saturday, May 23 with no fans allowed in the grandstands.

“Everybody is definitely excited to get going,” track announcer Billy Rock said. “It’s going to be a non-points race, which is totally different for us, but it’s a good way to break the ice and let some guys come in that normally wouldn’t run with us.”

Rock stressed Saturday’s race isn’t a sanctioned event. ACS has an affiliation with NASCAR, who hasn’t given them an indication as to when they can begin the season yet.

“This weekend is strictly run by the Adams County Fair and Racing Association,” said Rock. “We have the same purse, but no points. Our officials can’t even wear their typical uniforms.”

Saturday starts with hot laps at 6:30 p.m. and five divisions of racing beginning at 7.

Saturday’s races will be broadcast live for the first time at Rock said fans can purchase a monthly subscription and watch every lap.

ACS is putting on a practice night Friday where drivers can come in and test things out. There will also be a powderpuff and mechanic’s practice session.

“They will be able to jump into the cars,” said Rock, “and get a feel for what it’s like out there.”

The night will conclude with a $500 winner-take-all pit crew challenge, something ACS hasn’t done before.

The Friday night festivities are the idea of Mike Van Genderen, who is the new race director and Rock said everyone is excited to have Van Genderen on board this year.

Rock said bordering states like Missouri and South Dakota allowed tracks to open before Iowa, so he said every weekend they lose is a few more drivers potentially going elsewhere. They hope to get several in this weekend.

“We’re banking that drivers come out and support this event,” said Rock. “When you have no grandstand admission it’s a gamble. Each driver is limited to 10 people with them in the pits. Hopefully everybody will bring at least four to six to help out. If we don’t get enough back-gate revenue it will be hard to continue for very long.”

This isn’t the first time the track has been used this season as ACS held reserved practice sessions earlier this month bringing in nearly 50 cars.

“These sessions were very popular with the drivers,” said Rock, “allowing them to fine –tune their cars and hopefully work out possible opening night issues. The practice was also a benefit to the ACS track prep crew. It allowed them to work on the track and develop a good solid base to the speedway that will provide drivers with a great racing surface for the entire season.”

Rock said there are a couple other events on the schedule, including a wingless-sprint car event in June and a super late model event in August. Other than that, everything is on hold right now.

“ACS is committed to getting drivers back on the track,” said Rock, “while following all social distancing and safety guidelines set by government agencies. The health of not only our drivers and crew, but our staff and fans is priority number one.”

Rock is hopeful restrictions on spectators are lifted soon that would allow the grandstands to re-open.

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