The 2014 racing season is sneaking up on us very quickly. Mother Nature may have us all thinking it's still January but the
thunder of those race engines turning laps is just weeks away folks. As usual, Hilltop Speedway will be the first area track
to bring the racing action back in the new season, and you won't want to miss any night on their schedule. Their first open
practice will be Saturday March 22nd. This practice is open to all divisions and will begin at noon and run until 4:00 p.m. A
new division has been added to the already action packed line-up at Hilltop as they begin the Novice Mini Stock division. This
class is for those ages 14-18 years old and is a great way to get the younger generation hooked on dirt racing to promote a
stronger future for our favorite sport. Just one day after the open practice, on Sunday March 23rd, the ever popular Autocross
event will bring you the first racing action in the area. This is a pretty wild event and if you've never witnessed it, you
owe it to yourself to make the trip. The following weekend the real racing season kicks off on Saturday March 29th. All
divisions will be in action including Late Models sponsored by Holmes Tire, Modifieds, Street Stocks, Mini Stocks, Novice Mini
Stocks, Trucks sponsored by Bugs R Gone, and Mini Wedges. The Modlites will also be added to the action often in the 2014
season with their first appearance being on April 5th. On April 19th the Renegades Of Dirt series will roar onto "The Hill" in
pursuit of a damn nice payday of $3000 to win. Last year some big names showed up for this event including non other than
Nascar veteran Ken Schrader! The entire 2014 schedule at Hilltop is full of must see events, but in my opinion the side by
side action on any night is enough to make any racer or fan make the trip to Millersburg to take in the kickass show. You
won't find better action at any other track in the area and they've proven that for several years now.
2014 Hilltop Speedway Times & Pricing:
Regular Racing Events Start Times: Pit Gates Open at 3:00 cost $30.00
General Admission at 4:00 cost $10.00 Kids 12 and under free
Spring Hours: Hot laps 5:00 p.m. racing at 6:30 p.m.
Summer Hours: Hot laps 6:00 p.m. racing at 7:30 p.m.
Other area tracks will be kicking off their 2014 racing season a bit later. My favorite little dirt bullring, Deerfield
Raceway will be holding an open practice and registration day on April 12th. Their season opener will be on April 19th. This
is little more of a drive for many of you but the atmosphere and racing action is well worth the trip. You'll be amazed at
just how family friendly a dirt track can be. Trust me!
If you're into that asphalt racing stuff, you'll want to head to Midvale speedway this season too. This is without a doubt the
nicest facility in our area and the racing action is probably better than most of you dirt folks may expect. The crate engine
Modifieds here show that a crate program really can work to save racers some money and put on a damn good show due to the
tight rules. There's no runaway winners in this division for sure. The Late Models are still the stars of the show most nights
and you'll find Mike Miller back in action this year in a "new" but very familiar car. He'll be strapped into the very same
car he used to pilot in the Main Event series in the past. After struggling most of last season with an ill handling car, it
should be fun to see what he can do with this newer toy. Midvale returns to action with practice days on April 12th, 13th, and
18th. The 2014 season starts on April 19th with a double points season opener
Saving the most interesting news for last, there's another familiar name coming back in 2014 with a new toy. Yep, you'll see
the return of a red #9 from the DFC Racing stable hitting the track for the first time in many years. Rich Holmes has been
itching to kick up some dust in recent years but we all know this sport isn't getting any cheaper. Gone are the days when many
racers could afford to put together a Pure Stock that's worth hauling to the track. That doesn't mean they have to stay home
or sit in the stands though with the Mini Trucks becoming more popular. Rich picked up a used but not used up Ranger and has
been thrashing to get it ready for the return of Ol' #9 this year. Plans so far are for only racing part time but ya just
never know once he's bitten by that racing bug again. Damn, this could get to be fun!