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[December 27, 2012]
Mason-Dixon 270 Sprint Series gives micro sprint teams an alternative
Dec 27, 2012 (The Evening Sun - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Scott Ertter was not about to sit idly, not when he has thousands of dollars tied up in his micro sprint teams.
When Trail-Way Speedway announced that it was cancelling most of its Saturday night schedule, including most of his division's schedule for the 2013 season, Ertter knew that shut out a large group of drivers in the 270cc micro sprint division.
And they, like him, have a lot invested in their racing equpiment. He said, "Anybody that's as serious about it as Bill Laughman or Nik Gower or Jim Still, has about $12,000 to $15,000 in those cars." Therefore, Ertter, a policeman from Mount Airy, Md., who will field three such cars next season, and driver Mike Boer together began to develop an alternative.
The result is the Mason-Dixon 270 Sprint Series, a collection of 12 programs which, if the financing comes together, will feature a points fund and contingency awards.
Most important, it will give the 270cc micro sprints, once a headline division at Trail-Way, places to compete in 2013. This year, those teams include a new pairing of former two-time Trail-Way track champion Bill Laughman and Ertter, who will put the New Oxford driver in a new car.
Ironically, the schedule includes the very track which benched the division. After hosting the 270cc micro sprints 23 times in 2012, Trail-Way will host seven of the 12 programs, including four times on the Adams County oval schedule's principal night, Friday. In addition, the track will continue to determine its own 270cc micro sprint champion.
"That kind of fortified it for some of the folks that still race at Trail-Way Speedway," Ertter said. "But some were saying that seven or eight races are not enough. That's why we pushed for other tracks." That effort came with two Saturday programs at Winchester, Va., Speedway and Saturday events at Shippensburg Speedway and at Path Valley Speedway Park. The last track will host a show combining both the Mason-Dixon series and a western Pennsylvania tour, the Road Show.
In addition, Potomac, Md., Speedway will host the group, projected to be as many as 25 race teams, on Friday, June 7, with an invitation to return for the track's National on Oct. 11-12.
Ertter said he attempted to arrange additional shows at both Lincoln Speedway and Hagerstown Speedway. While the latter's response is still uncertain, Ertter said Lincoln management was concerned about available pit space by adding another division to a potentially crowded program already.
However, Ertter said the schedule contains several off weeks, which he said will allow 270cc micro sprint drivers to travel elsewhere to race if they wish.
"We're going to race these 12 races," Ertter said. "In the grand scheme of this series, I think the travel time will be more, but teams won't have the financial burden of racing every weekend at Trail-Way." So far, based upon the page views about the topic on www.microracing.com, Ertter believes the series' first year can be a great success. Besides, even as the series becomes a support division at distant tracks, he said the division's goal remains the same.
"We are the breeding ground for the 358s and the 410 sprints," Ertter said. "You've got to have the little guys so you can get the big guys." EMPA honors: The Eastern Motorsports Press Association will honor NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski as its Al Holbert Memorial Driver of the Year at the group's convention on Jan. 4-6 at King of Prussia.
Sprint Cup championship car owner Roger Penske was named the EMPA's T. Wayne Robertson Newsmaker of the Year while veteran announcer and writer Al Robinson will receive the Junie Donlavey Spirit of the Sport Award. Modified ace Brett Hearn was named the recipient of the Richie Evans Northeast Driver of the Year.
The EMPA will add six to its hall of fame. They include former super sprint standout Doug Wolfgang.
Notes: Gerard McIntyre Jr. will be the driver of the Dietz Motorsports No. 14 super sprint in 2013, when that team races weekly at Williams Grove and Lincoln speewday. McIntire replaces New Oxford's Brian Leppo in the York-based car.
Former racer Scott Ausherman has been suffering from dementia which requires continuing care. Fans and friends are organizing an effort at Dirt Trackin' 2013 to raise funds for the family, whose savings have dried up. An auction has been scheduled at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, at the York Expo Center to benefit him. ...
Doug Hoffman, a former modified standout, died on Christmas Eve after a single season as the promoter at Bridgeport, N.J., Speedway, where he won 92 features. ...
Former NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart has entered the Chili Bowl indoor midget races, which begin Jan. 8 in Tulsa, Okla.
___ (c)2012 The Evening Sun (Hanover, Pa.) Visit The Evening Sun (Hanover, Pa.) at www.eveningsun.com Distributed by MCT Information Services
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