DUNDEE, N.Y. — Story by Race Chaser Online New York Correspondent Steven Ovens — Sue Foster photo —
“Mike’s in his glory right now, out there in that water truck.”
Those were the sentiments of Black Rock Speedway Business Manager Sue Foster when contacted on Thursday about how progress is coming for the 2015 season.
First-year promoters Mike Jackson and Foster have taken the plunge in becoming the third different promoters for the speedway in the last three years. The four-tenths-mile clay oval set in wine country of Upstate New York has seen many changes and transitions over the past ten years, and for Jackson and Foster, this new era of the Black Rock Speedway is all about revitalizing the facility and earning back the trust of the race fans and the competitors.
Earning back the respect and trust was a focus of 2014 promoter Dan Harpell — who promoted the track under the name Yates County Speedway. Harpell took over the speedway in just enough time to get the facility open for Opening Day 2014, which limited sponsorship potential.
Jackson and Foster officially took over Black Rock Speedway just after the new year and have had time to start conversations with potential returning sponsors, clean up the facility and even make improvements to the facility. They have also rolled out a full weekly schedule with some Tuesday night specials mixed in — an instant hit with the racers and fans alike.
Just this week, the track was opened up and graded, the grandstands were power washed, the PA system was updated and working in all locations around the track and the kitchens went through a deep cleaning at the hands of Foster and her helpers. Even some race fans came out to help on Thursday to pitch in and help in the ‘sprucing up’ process. Plans for a community cleanup day fell to the wayside when every weekend recently involved cold, wet weather.
The next steps in starting this new era at the Black Rock Speedway include more cleaning this weekend and running new video cables to the concession stands where fans can watch the live action as they place their order. Jackson will keep his focus on the racing surface as they prepare for two practice sessions next weekend open for all classes of cars — Friday April 10 at 6 p.m. and Sunday April 12 at 1 p.m.
Opening night for Black Rock Speedway is Friday night, April 24 — featuring the return of the Big Block/Small Block Modifieds to weekly competition. The 602 Crate Sportsman, M&M Auto Sales and Service IMCA Modifieds, Street Stocks, NAPA Know How 4 Cylinders and Creekside Entertainment Black Rock Bandits will fill out the racing card.
One thing is for certain as 2015 approaches — Jackson and Foster are hard at work trying to return Black Rock Speedway to glory — and that is something that fans, teams and drivers are all excited about.