The 2019 season certainly ended strong with great shows on dirt as well as asphalt. Corey Conley didn't quite dominate the second half of the season at Hilltop as he planned. We saw some great hard fought wins by others like JR Gentry and Freddie Carpenter too. Nobody will forget witnessing Freddie and son Tyler battle it out on the high banks of Hilltop at the season ender. Tyler would have to settle for 2nd in the Late Models but came right back out to pick up the Modified feature win. In the Trucks we saw Dwayne Powell continue to run up front each week while picking up a few more feature wins. Hell, we even saw Rory Reed return to action briefly at the end of 2019! Sadly, 2019 wasn't all fun and games. In August the racing world lost one of the best in the business. Chuck Griffith was taken away from us leaving a huge hole in our hearts. Chuck will forever be a legend in this area and will never be replaced. Rest easy Chuck!
News of the plans for 2020 has been trickling out in recent weeks and things are looking great so far. Hilltop has released their tentative schedule already and announced the date for the 2nd Annual Jeff Norris Memorial event. This show brought out the biggest field of Late Models of the 2019 season even though it wasn't the highest paying event. This year should be even better with the announcement that this show will now be a qualifier race for the $10,000 to win 38th Annual Jim Dunn Memorial race that will be held on May 23rd at Muskingum County Speedway. Let's just see who shows up this year on "The Hill" thinking they'll "cherry pick" an easy one. Ummm,, good luck with that drivers! ;-)
The highlight of the off season so far for me though is the news that Deerfield Raceway is finally on track to return to action. At the end of the 2017 season Paul Miller decided to step away from owning this great facility that he and his family brought back from the dead years earlier. Tell me if you heard this story before.... the track was sold to a fella with big dreams and no means or brains to make those dreams a reality. Meanwhile he sold off and/or destroyed much of what was once a historic race track. It sat silently while Paul fought to regain ownership of what he already owned since the buyer never paid him for it. Finally he prevailed and a sheriffs sale. He wasn't exactly wild about running a track again, but at least the place had been saved from being leveled and it was given another chance at life. In recent days the paperwork was completed to transfer ownership to a man well known to Deerfield racers and fans. Jim Good has stepped up once again to support the Deerfield racers with plans to get the gates open this season. Jim stepped up for many racers while Deerfield was closed by finding places for some of their drivers to race, including Hilltop. I talked to Jim and Paul last season to bring their cars to Hilltop and their dedication to the racers was more than clear. The name of the track has been changed but I'm very much looking forward to the same great family friendly atmosphere that this place has been known for. Let's all wish the best for the future of Good's Raceway. I'm all in to help in any way that I can for sure! Good's Raceway tentative schedule is also posted below