MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – official series release —
The Hard Clay Open isn’t just an early season tradition on the hallowed grounds of the Orange County Fair Speedway, it is also among the richest springtime events for big-block/small-block modified competitors.
On Saturday, April 2 the Hard Clay Open presented by United Pump & Tank is headlined by the big-block/small-block modifieds of the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By VP in the third edition of the BD Motorsports Media LLC co-promotion.
Modified competitors at the Hard Clay Open battle for a total purse structure of more than $30,000, including $5,000 to win, $1,000 for 10th and $500 to take the green flag. The event serves as the season opener of the STSS Halmar Int’l North Region boasting a point fund of more than $38,000.
Crate 602 Sportsman complete the two-division open-wheel doubleheader in a 25-lap feature paying $1,000 to win and $100 to start under weekly Orange County rules.
The Hard Clay Open is unique in its welcoming rules format. Small-block engines (maximum 363 cubic inches) weigh 2,400 pounds (OCFS/Lebanon Valley/DIRTcar legal 2,350 pounds) and are permitted to utilize sail panels. Big-block engines (more than 363 cubic inches) weigh 2,500 pounds and must run traditional window bodywork. This format was popular a year ago as an equalizer for competitors and a visible distinguishing factor among engine combinations for race fans.
A liberal tire rule is also competitor-friendly. American Racer is the official tire of the STSS. Accepted compounds for the ‘Hard Clay Open’ are as follows: 44 or harder left-rear; 48 or harder right-rear; 44 or harder right-front; and any left-front.
To accommodate local competitors wishing to take part in the ‘Hard Clay Open’ race teams will be permitted to qualify on Hoosier tires (D400 or harder, all corners). The Hoosier options will be legal for heat races and consolations; feature-event starters, however, must be outfitted with at least three American Racers (left-front optional).
Previous ‘Hard Clay Open’ winners include Stewart Friesen in 2015, driving the Jeff Daley No. 44, and Andy Bachetti in a big-block during the 2014 inaugural version.
CREDIT: BD Motorsports Media