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WNY Auto Racing: Freedom joins American Racer family

Freedom Motorsports Park owner Bob Reis invoked an open-tire rule last season when he introduced the Outlaw Modified class to the Delevan dirt track.

That is not longer the case.

Reis has aligned with  American Racer, making it the only brand of tire now allowed in Freedom's Outlaw Modified class. Reis cited the fact that nearly every team at Freedom used the American Racer product last season along with some added financial incentives that could be paid out to Freedom's teams as the reasons for his decision.

Drivers in the Outlaw Modified division will utilize their final average finishing position from their 10-best races of Freedom's season  to possibly win an $11,000 bonus. The Freedom competitor with the best average finish will have their tally matched against the best drivers from other participating American Racer tracks. The driver with the best average from all these tracks combined will win the American Racer Cup and the $11,000 bonus.

Should the driver who claims the American Racer Cup also sweep the traveling American Racer North and South Region points titles, consisting of seven races in each region, the bonus will rise to nearly $58,000.

"What the switch to American Racer will do is enable us to offer a lot more to the racers over the course of the year financially," Reis said. "I told everyone last year that we would evaluate where we were and see where everyone came from and most of all see what the guys were racing on as far as tire brand was concerned. Overwhelmingly even the guys that were Hoosier Tire shod cars at other tracks they were running on other nights during the week, they were all coming with American Racers to Freedom so it was a pretty obvious choice. They were all happy with the American Racer tire."

The Sportsman class at Freedom will continue to utilize the Hoosier Tire as dictated by rules. Reis is also bringing in the traveling ULMS Super Late Models on four occasions in 2018. That will also present a point battle within a point battle as the ULMS stops at Freedom will award ULMS points toward that series' overall championship and the driver who has the best results from just the four-race Freedom schedule will be crowned the track's season Super Late Model point titlist.

All in the family at Holland

Holland Speedway's staff are currently working on the high-banked oval's 2018 season, which track owner Ron Bennett Sr. says will mirror the limited schedule the track presented last season.

Bennett also announced that his son Ron Bennett Jr., has taken over the management reigns at Holland. This is the second time in track history that the elder Bennett has turned over the direction of Holland to one of his sons with Tim Bennett directing Holland from about 2000 until 2016.

The Bennett family is still staging racing at Holland next season despite the fact the track is for sale.

"The track is still on the market and has not been sold,"  Bennett Sr. said. "We'll have about nine races for our Modifieds next season and barring weather problems we should not have off two weeks in a row from racing events. We could go every other week or something like that but we'll have our schedule out very shortly, before our awards banquet which is January 20 at the Holland Willows."

Bennett Sr. confirmed that the popular Race of Champions (ROC) Asphalt Modified Tour will make its annual stop for the Holland 100 on July 21. Holland officials are currently working with ROC organizer Joe Skotnicki to also book a ROC Late Model Series event at Holland. Plans are currently being formulated for the NASCAR Pro Modified George Decker Memorial.

Ransomville rides WOO momentum

The World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series made its return to Ransomville Speedway after a 20-year absence on Oct. 16 and the night was a memorable one. There was a strong field of 32 Sprint Cars and an overflow crowd resulted in the spectator parking lots overflowing to Brayley Road. It was proof positive of how popular a motorsports attraction the WOO Sprint Cars are. WOO champion Donny Schatz of Fargo, N.D., smashed the Ransomville WOO lap record. His lap of 12,629 seconds on the three-eighths mile track  easily erased the Ransomville record of 14.360 seconds set by Mark Kinser in 1997.

"We had about 4,000 fans in the grandstand that night and I think in all we had as many as 4,500 spectators here," Ransomville GM Jennifer Martin said. "Schatz record was mind-blowing."

Ransomville has its 2018 schedule almost ready according to Martin. New truckloads of clay are being applied to the track as well.

"We put down another 87 truck loads of clay today so we're up to 130 loads so far since the season has ended and we anticipate another 100 loads between the Go-Kart track and to finish off the big track. We want to have a good race surface for our drivers next season."

"In addition to the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars coming here again on July 27,  the World of Outlaws Late Models will be here on June 15," Martin said.

The  Super Modified Series will be at the track Aug. 7, the Patriot Sprint Tour on June 1 and the Bellinger Electric Sportsman Tour on Sept 14.

Lancaster awards

At the recent Lancaster National Speedway and Dragway awards banquets held last month on the drag racing side, the Balser family won the Alex Friesen Spirit of Racing Award that honors those who not only compete hard on the track but also have a fun time with their fellow racers on race nights. In addition, Bill Balser Jr., won Sportsman of the Year. Sandy Boczar was honored with the "Team Libby" Award for her IHRA Team Lancaster fund-raising efforts.

At the stock car banquet, Rich Warden won the Alex Friesen Spirit of Racing Award. Warden retired from race driving in the 1990s after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He has continued his involvement in the sport, especially assisting the FOAR Score Fan Club. Jeff Whalen was given the Tommy Druar Contribution to Racing Award for spearheading efforts to raise funds for new fire extinguishing equipment utilized by the Lancaster track safety crew.

Post makes appearance

Steve Post, a noted racing radio and television pit road race reporter, including NASCAR Cup Series events, will present a talk, "Speaking of Life in the Fast Lane," Dec. 16 at 1 p.m. at the International Motor Racing Research Center at Watkins Glen. A $5 donation for admission is requested to help defray costs. The center is located at 610 S. Decatur St., Watkins Glen. Visit for more information.

Inductees honored

DeVere Bliss, Vince Fullone, Hal Lawrence and Mike Scroger will be inducted into the FOAR Score Hall of Fame in a ceremony to be held in conjuction with the club's annual Holiday Awards Party at 6 p.m. Saturday  at the Elks Lodge, 33 Legion Parkway, Lancaster.

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