Catching up with some offseason news and notes from the Western New York garages:
The Southern Tier high-banked oval this year will add a series of about 10 races for INEX Legend Cars, developed several years ago at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C.. The cars are smaller wheel-based vehicles that utilize a 125-horsepower Yamaha FJ 1200 motorcycle engine and weigh 1,100 pounds. Styles consist of 1930s era Chevy, Dodge and Ford coupes and sedans.
"There is a growing interest in the Legends Cars in this area and I believe this is an affordable option for a number of drivers," Holland General Manager Tim Bennett said. The class has been competing at the Lake Erie Speedway.
Holland is also running a four-race, International Motor Contest Association (IMCA) Modified Series. Former NASCAR official Joe Skotnicki of Elma is the IMCA eastern operations manager and made the arraignment with Bennett.
"These are Sportsman Modified type cars that are an affordable entry level division," said Skotnicki. "Complete cars with engines cost between $5,000 and $7,500 and use either a crate or claim engine. At Holland, the IMCA spec tire will be used and any IMCA legal team, be they either asphalt or dirt, can compete on the same common ground."
IMCA hopes to become a weekly class at Holland in 2007.
Two long-time area race officials, Art James and Rick Mooney, recently were honored by Holland. James, a retired Holland race director, won the Ray Greenan Award for dedication to racing while Mooney, the track's announcer and public relations director, was given the Unsung Hero honors.
Holland will host its winter registration party Feb. 26 at 1 p.m. at the Holland Willows, 177 Savage Rd, Holland.
Lancaster Raceway Park
They're back! Defending Modified champion Tom McGrath is seeking a new major sponsor while Sege Fidanza, who placed second in Lancaster's title chase, has a new Modified ready for the upcoming campaign.
Lancaster Late Model standout Bobby Weber sat out the 2005 campaign with a shoulder injury. He plans on being behind the wheel for a full season.
Lancaster's Sunday Niagara Nostalgia Drags have been moved to Aug. 11-13. Drag racing legend Don "Big Daddy" Garlits will attend the event.
Lancaster will have its season kickoff party at 1 p.m. Feb. 26 at Samuel's Grande Manor on Main St. in Williamsville.
The Lucas Oil Shootout, a new five-track series, features this area's DIRT-sanctioned speedways: Ransomville, Genesee, Merrittville, Humberstone and Ohsweken.
The Lucas Oil Shootout consists of two separate five-race series, one for the DIRT 358 Modifieds and another involving the DIRT Sportsman. Each of the five tracks will host one race in each series. A series point fund and perfect attendance money bonus will also be paid out.
Ransomville Speedway will host the World of Outlaws Late Models, July 21 and the Advance Auto Parts Modified Super DIRT Series on June 12.
The Cup Lites Racing Series mourns the loss of Debbie Graff to cancer. The wife of series director Paul Graff, she was a valuable contributor to the series. . . . Former series car owner and driver Kevin Blakely has been named the director of public relations for the series.
*The BRP Can-Am 360 Late Model Series, formerly the Can-Am Super Stock Series, will race at Merrittville on May 22 and Aug. 19; at Ransomville on June 23 and Sept. 15; and at Genesee on Aug. 12.
*Freedom Raceway in Delevan has enlarged its dirt oval. Promoter Dan Hoffmann says the track now measures a full one-third mile in the main racing groove.
*Western New York Mini-Cup Series director Dave Urbanski says a Junior Mini-Cup division is being formed.
*Mr. DIRT Pro Stock 2005 champion Jipp Ortiz of Ransomville is moving up to DIRT Sportsman and has secured sponsorship from Original Pizza Logs.
*Ryan Zitzka, who won his first Casey's TQ Midget Racing Series championship in 2005, is hoping to move up to the Supermodifieds this season. . . . Casey's series race director Paul Faleski, the 2000 NASCAR Pro Truck champion at Holland, is constructing a truck for competition at Lake Erie Speedway.
*Ron Williams is mulling a return to the SST Sportsman ranks at Wyoming County International Speedway, where he was a past champion in the division.
*Two-time International Hot Rod Association Pro Modified champion Mike Janis will be bankrolled by Flaming River Industries, a manufacturer of steering components for street rod vehicles.
*The Show and Cruise News 13th annual Cavalcade of Cars featuring race cars, hot rods, custom and classic cars and motorcycles will run March 3-5 at the International Agri-Center Building on the Erie Country Fairgrounds in Hamburg. See www.showandcruisenews.com for details.