Deyo Reflects 10 Years of STSS & Going NASCAR

By Ken Bruce

It was ten years ago when young promoter Brett Deyo started the Short Track Super Series. Since then, it has been a whirlwind for one of racings most influential personalities. The STSS has grown from being one series to now having three separate series for the modifieds. If you include the Crate Sportsman series the total is now up five not including the Cajun Region and the Sunshine Swings. It is a entity that has grown exponentially over a ten year period.

“This has been a pretty big weekend, it’s crazy to believe that it has been ten years since we started all of this,” said a very busy Deyo while talking to scores of competitors the Pioneer Pole Buildings Racecar and Trade Show on Saturday. “I remember the very first race we had at Orange County Fair Speedway in 2014 when we formed the series with a total of six races. Now we have so much more going on with our North Region, South Region, Elite Series along with the Cajun Series going into it’s third year. Plus, the Sunshine Swing so yeah, it has been really crazy over the last decade, that’s for sure.”

One of Deyo’s biggest accomplishments is the Cajun Series. Going into the third year, the Cajun Series has grown with expanded car counts and with the amount of northern modifieds that head south in November for the Cajun Swing.

“The in-season stuff down there has been great,” explained Deyo. “We have an awesome schedule this year. It took us a couple of years but now we are getting into some of the more established tracks that the promoters have been there for extended years. We know are dates are solid, we have some sponsors that will give some bonus money to our drivers. It’s a great program that continues to grow and it is really cool to see our modifieds down there. We even ventured into the Houston market last year for the first time at 105 Speedway and the stands were packed and I thought that was a really good sing for the division. The car counts keep going up and I expect them to be even higher in 2023.”

The “Elite Series” came into existence in 2022 with high anticipation with each race paying a minimum of $25,000 to win. The Elite series will return in 2023 with four of the six races paying $12,000 to win instead of the $25,000 that was paid in 2022. The Elite series races at both Fonda and at Port Royal will still pay $53,000 and $50,000 respectively to the winners.

“We just though we should change it up a little bit and not go as crazy with the purses as we did last year,” commented Deyo. “But we wanted to shake it up a little bit. We are going to pay $1,000 to take the green. The reality of it is that in modified racing there are only a few people who are winning a lot but we need to keep those car counts up so we can still get 45 to 50 cars for those races so I think paying a $1,000 to take the green is good money. We are $2,000 to finish tenth for a 50-lap race is awesome and that’s what we need to do to make sure we keep more people and teams racing often. The teams seem to be really supportive of it. It was a decision that if I was to go ahead with the Elite Series on my own or not do it this year but I decided to go ahead with it. We do have a couple of sponsors interested in it so hopefully we can put something together before that opener so we can have a title sponsor for the year.”

The BD Motorsports team has teased a big announcement that was to be revealed on Saturday at the show. Of course we all know now that the big reveal was that all three of the tracks that are run by Brett Deyo which include Georgetown Speedway, Utica-Rome Speedway and Fonda Speedway will now be NASCAR sanctioned joining Grandview Speedway as the only dirt modified tracks in the northeast running under the NASCAR banner. It is something that has been in the works for a few years.

“The NASCAR deal is something I have looked out for the last couple of years,” said Deyo. “It has gotten a little bit more favorable for the track promoters and NASCAR has been trying to work with expanding their short trace program and the money for the racers is phenomenal. They have state point funds, regional point funds, track point funds and national point funds so that will benefit the drivers and team quite a bit. Their insurance is amazing and they have some of the best insurance around in auto racing. Then there is the marketing value and the nice thing is that the drivers are already doing what they do by racing on a Friday and Saturday night track and they will get extra money to do it and that was the biggest attraction to me. In Delaware at Georgetown, you already know that the Georgetown track champion will be the NASCAR Delaware state champion and we will have extra money in the point fund at Georgetown and it will be a nice crossover with the Pennsylvania drivers that come down. Craig Von Dohren probably could have used a couple of starts last season to help him nationally and now he can get them at Georgetown.”

“Fonda and Utica-Rome already have a nice core of drivers who race two nights a week with us and now they will be able to run for a Fonda point fund, a Utica-Rome point fund, an American Racer Cup, a Thunder on the Thruway championship and now a NASCAR championship. That is a total of five separate point funds by running just a Friday and Saturday night track. NASCAR offers a lot of benefits, it is very impressive what they do for the racetracks. I took the time to meet with them in Indy at the PRI Show and we have had extensive conversations since and I was impressed. I think they have a great program, they don’t get involved with the rules and stuff. It is more of a marketing agreement and I think it will be a nice fit for us.”

But before the regular season gets underway in the northeast, there is the business of the STSS heading south to Lakeview Speedway in South Carolina and then onto All-Tech Speedway in Florida for the 2023 Sunshine Swing. Car counts look to be trending upwards as the time for the season gets closer and closer.

“We are looking forward to stopping at Lakeview on the way down to Florida this year,” mentioned Deyo. “It is another paycheck for our racers. They’re already driving right past the exit on Rt. 95 so they can stop there and get paid along the way and get a race in on the weekend before. Scott Tripp and Tim Clemons are transplants from the northeast so their super excited to have our modifieds there.”

“All-Tech is a winner for us, we love racing at All-Tech. Our drivers love racing the surface there. Wendall, Patty and his crew are great to deal with. The one year we weren’t there because the date of the Super Bowl shook up the Florida schedule we realized how much we missed it. Last year was awesome and it is good to be going back again this year.”

The STSS racing season will get underway here in the northeast on March 11th as the Hagerstown Speedway will be introduced to the  STSS as part of the Elite Series and South Region series in 2023. This will be the first visit to the Maryland dirt track for the STSS and it one I think everyone is looking forward to attending.

“We have had people asking us about going to Hagerstown for a couple of years,” explained Deyo. “So I called Lisa Plessinger and she was willing to lease me the track for the weekend and make this event happen so the modifieds being back there for the first time in ten years will be awesome.”

Of course, the STSS season usually opens in March at the Georgetown Speedway which is undergoing a facelift at the present. Deyo offered up a progress report on how the refurbishment was going.

“When I was packing to come up here for the Motorsports show, there was people and equipment going everywhere,” commented Deyo. “The new catch fence is there, a set of aluminum bleachers were delivered. All of the barriers have been pulled out, the surveyor had come in and marked the pivot points for the corners. Backstretch billboards are all up and we are putting guardrail on the backstretch and we are going to call the it the “Ryan Godown” guardrail remembering when he got into the signs and tore the billboard down. Kenny Adams from Melvin Joseph Construction has purchased some Musco lights which are coming soon. It’s going to be a huge rebuild and it was much needed. I am looking forward to seeing the finished product.”

For any questions and comments, I can be contacted by email or on Twitter at @dirtracefan25.