|Jarred Esh during hot laps at Port Royal Speedway|
Bill McIntyre photo
By- Justin Snyder
PORT ROYAL, Pa- As soon as the final laps of 2019 were completed and the victory lane celebrations wrapped up on the front stretch of the Port Royal Speedway, the track team began work on what will be a busy offseason at ‘The Speed Palace’.
While many things will remain the same, several large projects are in the works to ensure the fans and racers will continue to be rewarded for their support throughout the years and allowing the Speedway to further flourish into the future.
When entering the speedway, one of the first Improvements fans will notice will be the addition of a new handicap accessible concrete tunnel that will replace the old outdated tunnel that enters the infield under the speedway entering turn 1. Also looking vastly different will be victory lane, as the old raised stage will be torn up, along with the old infield tower and a new victory lane is being built near the middle of the front stretch.
The current infield bathrooms under the old stage and the infield concessions stands are also being removed and will be moved further back and in an area between turn 1 and 2 where new structures are being built.
This is being done to open visibility for fans and will allow for the track to widen the front stretch racing surface by 10 ft. Another big change will be the addition of a time trial staging area, to include a lane for push trucks and for drivers to fire their cars. This is a residual of the new time trial format, where after hot laps cars will remain inside the track in the staging area with their mules/carts.
This will not only improve on safety for time trials, but it will give fans an up-close view of last-minute preparations and adjustments being made to cars prior to heading out for their time trials laps. Lastly, the old flag stand will be torn down and a narrower structure is being built a few feet to the left of the old one to align with the scoring loop and new grandstands are being built inside the pit viewing area.
All projects will be completed in anticipation for the 2019 season opener, where the tentative first laps of 2020 will occur with a Test & Tune session from 1-4 PM on Saturday, March 7th. This will serve as the lead up for the 78th Port Royal Speedway Opening Day the following day on Sunday, March 8th at 2:00 PM.
This will be the second consecutive season that the speedway will attempt a rare Sunday evening opener and will feature the 410 Sprint Cars and the Super Late Model in full programs of racing. Last year Dylan Cisney picked up the win in Sprint Car competition and Jason Covert picked up the Late Model feature.
If the March 8th events are affected by weather and Speedway officials are forced to cancel, we will try again Saturday March 14th.
Several other confirmed dates for the 2019 racing season include a March 21st visit by the ULMS Late Models, three visits by the Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model Series to include Sunday, April 19th and a two-day show August 28-29th with the Saturday night finale paying $50,000 to win. The 53rd annual running of the Tuscarora 50 will also be held September 12th.
We thank you for continuing to support Port Royal Speedway and fans can be on the lookout for a complete schedule and additional information/changes in the coming months via our various social media outlets and website.