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Rowdy behavior spurs Wednesday night changes at Lancaster Speedway

Lawn burnouts, infield doughnuts and a fight during Wednesday night racing at Lancaster Speedway sparked officials to revamp its policy and substantially increase the admission.

And if the problems persist, "grudge racing" will be discontinued.

The Grudge Racing/Cruise Night combination at the Gunnville Road facility routinely attracted hundreds of fans and drivers.

But repeated incidents on Wednesday nights that damaged the track's infield, drag strip and lawn forced Timothy R. Packman, speedway president, to eliminate Cruise Night.

Cruise Night featured street racing cars on display in the infield with drivers paying no admission. The event drew many fans in their late teens. Most recently, a fight – involving one person wielding a 2-by-6 and one whipping his helmet around – broke out in the infield and was recorded on video and posted online.

Wednesday attendance ranged from 2,000 to 3,000 people, Packman said.

"We have had some sort of trouble every Wednesday we have been open this season and last week's altercation that posted was online, which brought us negative publicity from local news outlets, was the final straw," said Packman in a statement released Monday. The video was posted Wednesday night by WGRZ. "The disrespect being shown to our facility is undeserved and we’re done with it taking place."


As a result, Packman is dropping the name "Cruise Night" from Wednesday's lineup. Grudge Racing from 6 to 10 p.m. will be the only event. By dropping the event, Packman hopes to reduce the number of cars on the track infield.

Spectator admission remains free, as does main lot parking and access to the grandstands and the infield. Grudge drag drivers must now pay $20 for unlimited racing between 6 and 10 p.m. Those who pay $20 are also allowed to drive their vehicles in the infield.

Grudge Racing features competitors who drive in off the street and race on mopeds, motorcycles and snowmobiles.

Previously, a $5 charge allowed drivers one race down the eighth-mile drag strip.

"For motorcycles, it will be $10 each and will include two tickets for two runs, then they will have to pay $5 per run after," said Packman.

Wednesday night unruliness taxed the speedway's resources and deterred fan from attending drag racing and stock car racing programming at the tracks, Packman said.

"Someone put sugar in a driver's gas tank. One driver spun out gravel on other cars," Packman said. "People came here with the attitude they can disrespect the track. If we have one more incident of this nature, we will cancel Grudge Racing for the rest of the year."

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