Predictions, Purses and Prices for Eastern States Weekend – DTD Exclusive

By MIKE MALLETT

The leaves are changing and the air is turning colder as we enter our final stretch of the 2019 racing season.  Every weekend now offers one big event with big purses and prestige. This weekend it’s time all fans and drivers to turn their attention to the Orange County Fair Speedway for the annual running of Eastern States Weekend.

The tradition kicks off Thursday night with the return of the Hard Clay Finale before qualifying begins on Friday for the big-block Modifieds.  The Sportsman also race their finale for a shot at Eastern States Weekend triumph on Friday.  The small-block Modifieds take center stage on Saturday night before the Eastern States 200 rolls off Sunday afternoon with $40,000 on the line.

Before cars hit the speedway, here are some predictions, the purses drivers will be racing for as well as the prices to get in each night of the 58th annual Eastern States Weekend.

Eastern States Weekend Predictions




Favorites

Anthony Perrego: Perrego came up about a half gallon short on fuel and a broken bird cage away from being the $150,000 man in 2019.  He nearly won both the Centennial Weekend event at Orange County as well as Billy Whittaker Cars 200 at Oswego.  Instead, those honors went to Mat Williamson.  Coming into Eastern States Weekend he has to be a favorite to clip off a win in either the small or big-block main-event.  He’s been so close, he’s due.

Matt Sheppard: Sheppard won two out of three races the last time he visited the Orange County Fair Speedway.  He also won the Hard Clay open.  This time he returns for a chance at over $50,000 on just Thursday night.  If he can put forth a solid effort in the Hard Clay Finale he’ll win the North Region points for the Short Track Super Series and leave with the incredible bonus for the sweep of the American Racer Cup as well as the North and South Region STSS titles.  Sheppard has never won the Eastern States 200.  He was on the podium in the Centennial race after going to the rear so you know he’s looking to rebound.  He had a tough Super DIRT Week so adding an Eastern States 200 triumph to the resume would be a nice pick-me-up.

Mat Williamson: No one comes into Eastern States riding a bigger high than Williamson.  He’s only a few weeks removed from his triumph at Super DIRT Week and he’s got plenty of confidence heading to Middletown after how well he ran in the Centennial event.  Williamson is a threat in all three races, but his best finish will come in the 200 where he’ll be in the mix for the win on Sunday.

Brett Hearn: Hearn won his first Eastern States 200 back in 1979, yes 40 years ago.  The 2019 edition comes on the heels of a championship season for Hearn at Middletown.  The G.O.A.T. could very well walk out of Orange County Sunday night with his record 13th Eastern States 200 win.  All totaled, Hearn has been on the podium for the big and small-block races a combined 45 times.  At minimum, he finds a pair of weekend podiums.

Stewart Friesen: Friesen will run the Hard Clay Finale on Thursday night, a race he’s won in the past and he’s a good bet to win it again.  He then heads south for the NASCAR Truck Series before returning to run the 200.  It will be a grueling weekend for Friesen, but if anyone can start deep in the field Sunday and win it’s Friesen.  The new surface allows for tons of passing and Friesen is a sure bet to take advantage of that on Sunday afternoon.

Others to Watch

Tim McCreadie: T-Mac is back at the Orange County Fair Speedway going for his second career Eastern States 200 triumph.  Every time he straps into a Modified he can win.  If he were to clip off one of the two big races this weekend no one would be surprised.  McCreadie is strapping into a Petruska car that has won the big one three different times with three different drivers.  McCreadie could make it four.

Jimmy Phelps: Phelps finished on the podium in the 2018 edition of the Eastern States 200.  He was a threat late to score the win.  This year Phelps has struggled, but Sunday offers a chance at redemption as he pilots a brand new Bicknell mount.  The HBR team is in need of a good run and Phelps has won at Eastern States before, albeit in the small-block race.  No one would shocked to see him up front at the end of the night.

Billy Decker: A small-block win at Oswego has put Decker back into the spotlight.  Like Phelps, it hasn’t been a perfect season for Decker.  He comes into Middletown as the 1998 winner of the Eastern States 200.  His last podium was back in 2012.  Decker has the playoff beard working and that is enough in my book to say he’ll be dicing up for at least a podium in all three main-events.

Larry Wight: Wight had some tough luck during Centennial Weekend and he has yet to break through at Middletown during Eastern States Weekend with a podium in either the big or small-block race.  He’s too good on the slick track for that luck to continue.  He won the 25-lap small-block racing during Centennial Weekend.  He finished second at Brockville last weekend with the big-block after a disappointing run at Oswego.  My bet is he rebounds this weekend to get things back on track.

My Picks

Hard Clay Finale: Stewart Friesen
Eastern States 100 (small-blocks): Anthony Perrego
Eastern States 200 (big-blocks): Brett Hearn

Modified Purses

Eastern States 200 (Big-Block Modifieds): 1 $40,000 2 $20,000 3 $15,000 4 $10,000 5 $8,000 6 $7,000 7 $6,500 8 $5,500 9 $5,000 10 $4,500 11 $4,000 12 $3,800 13 $3,600 14 $3,400 15 $3,200 16 $3,000 17 $2,600 18 $2,400 19 $2,200 20 $2,000 21 $1,800 22 $1,600 23 $1,500 24 $1,450 25 $1,400 26 $1,350 27 $1,300 28 $1,250 29 $1,200 30 $1,150 31 $1,000 32 $1,000 33 $1,000 34 $1,000 35 $1,000 36 $1,000 37 $1,000 38 $1,000 39 $1,000 40 $1,000

Total Purse: $175,700

Race of Champions Purse: 1 $5,000 2 $2,500 3 $1,500 4 $1,000 5-15 $ 500

Total: $15,500

Eastern States 100 (Small-Block Modifieds): 1 $15,000 2 $10,000 3 $8,000 4 $7,000 5 $6,000 6 $5,000 7 $4,500 8 $4,000 9 $3,500 10 $3,000 11 $2,500 12 $2,000 13 $1,750 14 $1,500 15 $1,250 16 $1,000 17 $900 18 $800 19 $75 20 $725 21 $700 22 $675 23 $650 24 $625 25 $600 26 $500 27 $500 28 $500 29 $500 30 $500 31 $500 32 $500 33 $500 34 $500 35 $500

Total Purse: $87,245

Modified Sweep Bonus: $10,000 (win big and small-block races)

Prices

Thursday – October 24

Pits: $45
Adult Reserved: $40
Child (10 & under) Reserved: $20
Adult General: $35
Child (10 & under) General: $10
Party Deck (Table of 4): $300
Drive-In Adult: $35
Drive-In Child: $10
Parking: $5

Friday – October 25

Daily Pit Pass: $75
Adult Reserved: $35
Child (10 & under) Reserved: $15
Adult General: $30
Child (10 & under) General: $10
Party Deck (Table of 4): $240
Parking: $5

Saturday – October 26

Daily Pit Pass: $75
Adult Reserved: $40
Child (10 & under) Reserved: $20
Adult General: $35
Child (10 & under) General: $10
Party Deck (Table of 4): $300
Parking: $5

Sunday – October 21

Daily Pit Pass: $75
Adult Reserved: $50
Child (10 & under) Reserved: $25
Adult General: $45
Child (10 & under) General: $10
Party Deck (Table of 4): $400
Parking: $5

Weekend Passes

Pit Pass: $199
Adult Reserved: $104
Child (10 & under) Reserved: $48

Drive-In 3 Day Package
Adult: $99
Child (10 & under): $25

Drive-In 2 Day Package
Adult: $80
Child (10 & under): $20

Sunday Drive-In
Adult: $45
Child (10 & under): $10

**This guide is for reference only. The Orange County Fair Speedway has final say on the pricing of all events. To visit their website CLICK HERE for more information.**