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New York Track Finds Value for Racers with IHRA Agreement

Monday, 29 January 2018

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Empire Dragway sees its new multi-year sanctioning agreement with the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) as providing value for its racers.

Patrick Budd, competition coordinator at the Leicester, N.Y. facility, explains how the IHRA’s commitment to grassroots, Sportsman racing directly affects those who race at his track.

“It saves the racers significant costs racing through the IHRA,” said Patrick Budd, competition coordinator at Empire Dragway. “All the way through membership costs, certifications and more tech items, it’s a more Sportsman-friendly environment. It works with the racers here in the Finger Lakes region. Anything we can do to present the racers with lower operating costs helps both of us.”

Called state-of-the-art by Budd when the 1/4-mile track was built in 1970, it has undergone major upgrades since current owners Jerry and Clara Scaccia purchased the track nearly five years ago.

In the first year, they invested $200,000 with a new ambulance, a second concession stand, improved the lighting and outfitted a four-wheel drive vehicle with updated firefighting equipment and a track dryer.

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In addition, they’ve remodeled the tower, added a new timing system, improved the sound system and fixed drainage issues. Plus, they added several fresh coats of paint.

Last year, there were more upgrades with another new timing system installed with a LED scoreboard. A major emphasis was placed on track preparation, learning all the nuances of track fillers and investing in new dual-stage sprayers. The track is now concreted well past the 1/8-mile mark.

“They’ve invested heavily in the property year after year,” Budd said. “They’ve reversed the trend at a lot of tracks.”

The Scaccias’ commitment has paid off with the track named the IHRA Summit SuperSeries track of the year in 2016. It can also be seen in the performances of their racers, who won the IHRA Division 3 (North Stars) Summit Team Finals Championship, and in particular with one Junior Dragster champion.

Empire Dragway is the home track for Paige Montgomery, who won the 2017 IHRA Summit Sportsman National Championship title. Her season included weekend sweeps at Maryland and Empire. In addition, she won the IHRA Summit SuperSeries track championship at Empire made it through two rounds of eliminations at the IHRA Summit World Finals in Memphis.

For more information about the track including points, pit spaces and schedules visit EmpireDragway.com or check out the Empire Dragway Facebook page.

Last modified on Tuesday, 30 January 2018

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