Thursday, June 3, 2010

More News From Merced, July 9th Opener?

Not hearing a lot about Merced Speedway lately, but a poster on the Late Model Racer forum posted a little information. Why we haven't just heard an official announcement yet, I just don't know. I think it's time for the man himself to make an announcement, and maybe he will soon.

So trose5r posted some info, and I thought I might comment on what was posted. His posting is in bold.

Just a few things to help those that want to know what is going on with Merced Speedway from John Soares Jr.

Good. Glad to finally hear something.

1) Will start racing July 9th (yes Friday Nights)

I know it had to be a bit of a pain trying to figure out when to race. Friday night is an interesting choice, considering Merced's best out of town support in recent years is Watsonville. I'm guessing the hope is that Antioch cars will come and, more importantly, they aren't conflicting with dates at Chowchilla. This is the safe decsion. Some will say why not Sunday, but Friday can work for them. What's most important is that the track opens.

2) Chuck will have nothing to do with the track.

This is obvious. Chuck was trying to find a way to be involved with the next promoter, but by the time John got the track, that effort was over. It's time for Chuck to walk away after over two decades at the track and let the new management take over. I'm still curious who will be involved working with John, but Fridays means John himself can be at the track at least on some race nights.

Tom Sagmiller has confirmed that he is not the general manager of the track, leaving speculation as to ho might fill that role. I have a an idea who it could be, but I'm gonna wait to hear what is officially said. It won't be a bad thing if who I think could be involved is involved.

3) UMP rules for Mods

Not s surprise, but I know some racers are not going to be happy with this decision. Merced had a long history with IMCA. Car count, as always, will dictate what happens, but I don't see why they won't be able to get a dozen or so cars on opening day. Although I expect most of the divisions there before will still be there, I would like to know just what will be there.

UMP sanctioning and Merced being involved does raise the possibility of a California racer having a shot at a high ranking in the UMP Regional rankings. This is something not mentioned very often or really publicized very much, but Antioch has two racers competing to be in the top 20 this year and also had the #2 driver in the Nation last year in UMP Hobby Stock feature wins.

4) Track configuration will be changed with the back straightway moving in front of the lights (as soon as possible maybe not until next season)

I had heard this was being considered, and I can't say I blame John. The stigma of the back stretch being where it is has intimidated some from coming from out of town to race. The track was never widened the proper way to begin with, mainly because of the cost. I'm guessing John would like to run Sprint Cars there in the future, and the back stretch will need to be addressed if that is to have a chance of really happening the right way.

5) The Web site will be up with the old address as soon as possible.

I have seen a sample of the page, and it looks good so far. Dennis does great work with the web pages he does. I always felt Antioch's page was the best when Dennis was doing it. I can't wait to see it. When the web page is up, all questions will be answered.

This should help with some answers for everyone, I had a nice talk with John and look forward to racing Merced again.

One thing about John is he is approachable, and has been as long as I've known him. I would hope that official information is released sooner vs later. July 9th is not that far away, and it's past time to start getting the word out. The only reason I ever jumped on this story to begin with is that I felt the racers and fans needed to know. I certainly wish John and his crew the best and hope it all works out.