AFTON, NY-Spring is in the air and the bees are a buzzing, but so is the buzz in the air on the switch to Saturday night racing at the historic Afton Motorsports Park (A.M.P.). Two test and tune sessions are on the docket on Saturday April 22 and 29 which will serve as track time for competitor’s and give the track crew notes in case, they need to make any necessary adjustments to the newly laid down clay at the speedway. It is the third consecutive season that the race surface has seen more clay put down and manicured in, to mesh with the great surface already there. The track is on schedule for those opening two test and tune sessions. You will want to get out to one or both of them if you’re a competitor to get used to the new surface and the buzz of the influx of new competitors you will want to see the wide spacious layout of the track and the great area for parking in the pits on grass. Bring your sign and mark your parking spot as they will go quick.
The first two weeks of the season are going to be blockbusters to say the least with opening night Saturday May 6 being a tribute to the winningest Modified driver ever at the track. Mitch Gibbs aka (‘The Show Stopper’) of North Norwich, N.Y. will be honored with a huge night planned for the Modified division. The feature winner will be getting a minimum two grand for their efforts in the thirty-two-lap affair. All thirty-two laps will be sponsored for a minimum of $25.00 with many of them much more. As of this writing there was only six unsponsored laps but probably by the time this is posted they will be sold. There is always room for more money to be put down to the racers or even contingency awards just let Promoter Ron Ford or his General Manager Todd Stanton know. Call Mr. Ford at 607.624.3772 or Todd at 607.287.7175 or leave a message on the official A.M.P. page Heat races are sold with each one of four having $100.00 going to the winner. Hard Charger award worth $200.00. There are four laps worth $100.00 each, one at $200.00 and one at $222.00. You can go the they A.M.P. Facebook page or website and get all the sponsor’s name and details. It is not all on position one either and a big $500.00 challenge where if you start in position 22 and end up in the top ten you would collect that nice prize. Right now, at this writing the special cash awards add up to $2531.00. Nice job for all involved to honor one of the greats not only at A.M.P. but wherever Mr. Mitch Gibbs strapped into a racecar. Thank you for the memories Sir.
Week two, Saturday May 13 will see the return of the IMCA Modified division on a every other week schedule as they will be in competition the weeks the All Star and Junior Sling Shots are not competing. On this date the IMCA Modified will be taking part in the Billy Ward Memorial event. Mr. Ward was a fierce competitor at A.M.P. in his number (4) along with his son Will Ward and his number (14). Since the time they both raced at the track, they both did retire from the sport and unfortunately Billy later passed away. Jake Maynard who is a Reginal Director for the IMCA Modified and also is President of the NYPENN IMCA Modified Series. He has four memorial races scheduled with the first here at A.M.P. and he informed me he is looking for sponsorship for those four series events. The Billy Ward Memorial will pay $1504.00 to win and lap money on the line for the twenty-five-lap feature go.
Racing in 2023 will be on Saturday nights as mentioned above and will mark the first ever time this has been done foe a season here at the Afton Fairgrounds oval. Divisions for the season will be headlined by the Modified division which consist of big and small block variety. 602 Crate Sportsman, Limited Sportsman and Slingshot divisions. Making a return to the speedway weekly are the 600cc Modified and the Front Wheel Drive Four Cylinder division. Also as mentioned above the return of the IMCA Modified Bi-weekly. Afton Motorsports Park is easily accessible at Exit 7 off of Interstate 88 at 46 East Main Street Afton, N.Y. 13730. General admission on regular shows are $12.00 for Adults, Students (ages 9-14) $5.00 with 8 and under free. Three ways to contact the speedway are the