Niagara Gazette


May 3, 2013


Racing season opens tonight with Lid Lifter


Niagara Gazette — In addition to Modifieds, Ransomville hosts several other divisions: Investor's Services Sportsman, Ki-Po Chevrolet Streetstocks, Fireballs, and Gippster's Collision 4 Bangers. Last weekend, the track hosted its "Test, Tune and Time" event which determines which drivers will have the honor of opening the season tonight in the front rows of each main event.

"The fastest two drivers in each division earned the front row for the opening nights feature mains this Friday," Robinson explained. "We had 90 cars in attendance and expect close to 100 on Friday."

The competitors, in addition to points, can win portions of fuel granted to the speedway as part of its designation last November as the VP Racing Fuels Track of the Year. The award, which is given to a DIRTcar Racing sanctioned track, honors a selected facility using criteria such as average car counts, average attendance, level of sponsorship participation and promotions. Ransomville's numbers were clearly favorable.

Those prizes of free fuel, which were first given last year, carry a value of at least $500, hardly chump change in a sport that can prove quite expensive for its racing teams.

Something worth noting as the season starts is the presence of women drivers. NASCAR's Danica Patrick has been a media magnet. Meanwhile, more quietly at Ransomville, there are at least three women rostered.

"Im not sure if it's a Danica factor as much as it's a family thing," said Robinson. "Camille Fuller and her husband Jason are both racing in the Gippster's Collision 4 Bangers. Ashley Harbison and her brother both raced in the Fireballs last year. He has decided to sit this year out though. Racing is so much a family sport at this level. You often find brothers racing, husbands and wives, cousins, fathers and sons. We are very much family oriented."

And beginning tonight, many Niagara County families will renew a favored Friday night tradition — under the lights.

Follow Niagara Gazette Sports Editor Michael Mroziak on Twitter at @MrozGazette

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