For nearly two decades Newfane's Jeff Anstett served as the race director at Ransomville Speedway. That reign has come to an end.
Anstett has chosen to fill a new role at the Niagara County-based dirt oval as the operator of the track's huge infield Jumbotron- style video screen message board. He also will continue to work with the transponder scoring system there as well.
Anstett has been Ransomville's race director for the last 18 years and informed the race teams during last Friday night's season opener of his changed role. Anstett's opportunity to land his new position opened up just a few weeks ago.
"About three or four weeks ago the DIRT organization hired our video board operator full time," Anstett said. "He is Will Salisbury. We wish Will nothing but the best. Will knew how to operate the board as did I. I was trained on the board also. We put an ad out for a new Jumbotron operator and unfortunately we did not find any takers for the position. So I started thinking to myself that I'm already doing quite a bit and I wanted to actually lighten my load a little bit."
He discussed taking on the Jumbotron role with Parm Atwal, the track owner, and Jennifer Martin, the general manager and the move was made.
"So I'll still be pretty busy. I'll still handle the transponder rentals, setup all the electronics. I will do all the race lineups and I'm going to operate the Jumbotron. Lastly I handle the race purse payout sheets at the end of the evening. I'm already quite busy and didn't feel that I could give 110 percent to the race director position. So we collectively felt it was better to find a new race director who could devote their entire time to that role on race night."
Transponders are basically small electric boxes that are coded and attached to each race car so that the car can be scored by a signal to a computer system in race control.
Ransomville announced Wednesday that former Modified racer Joe Kubiniec has been named the new race director, effective immediately. He will train with area DIRT race official John Nelson.
Anstett began his new role last Friday and Nelson served as interim race director. Anstett has been a part of the scene at Ransomville for many years. He said his decision to change roles gave him quite a bit to think about.
"I've been at Ransomville for 24 years total," Anstett said. "I was the race director for the last 18 full years. So I have over 360 race nights where I've race directed at Ransomville. Between Ransomville, Humberstone, Genesee, and the New York Dirt Kart Series, it's been over 500 races I've directed over the years. When I first came to Ransomville in 1995, I was the person that let the cars out on the track. I was track release guy for five years and then Jamie Friesen (former Ransomville co-owner) promoted me to race director .
"I do computers for a living and I've taken quite an interest in the electronic scoring. That's why I kind of want to gravitate more toward the electronic scoring end of it. I enjoy that more. Also, the pressure of being a race director is quite large and that will now not be there for me anymore. The main thing is I will still be a part of the Ransomville team."