Countdown to Middletown: Hard Clay ‘Opens’ New Halmar International Era Sunday, April 8 At Orange County Fair Speedway

MIDDLETOWN, NY – After a huge kickoff to its southern region in Delaware, the ‘countdown to Middletown’ is underway for the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco.

On Sunday, April 8, the STSS Halmar International North Region launches at the venerable Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, N.Y., as the ‘Hard Clay Open’ celebrates its fifth anniversary.

The ‘Hard Clay Open’ takes on special significance with the announcement that Halmar International’s Chris Larsen has assembled a group to lease the speedway for five years with an option to purchase. The STSS visit will be the first race at OCFS under the new Halmar leadership.

STSS Modifieds, sporting sail panels, are set to battle for 50 laps around the OCFS oval competing for a total payout of more than $30,000: $5,000 to win, $1,000 for 10th and $500 just to take the green flag. A minimum of 30 cars will start the main event.

The ‘Hard Clay Open’ is event No. 1 of 10 toward the $12,500 Halmar International North region championship. The North Region once again starts and finishes on the ‘Hard Clay’ of OCFS.

Crate 602 Sportsman, running under weekly OCFS rules, will complete the two-division open-wheel doubleheader. Crates race 20 laps for a $1,000 winner’s share.

The only repeat ‘Hard Clay Open’ STSS Modified victor has been Andy Bachetti. The Sheffield, Mass., driver has earned his triumphs in distinctly different fashion. During the inaugural race in 2014, Bachetti led every lap from his pole starting position. A year ago, the ‘Wild Child’ marched forward from 20th starting spot to pass both Stewart Friesen and Brett Hearn in the final laps.

Friesen (2015) and Tommy Meier (2016) are the other two ‘Hard Clay Open’ winners.

On Sunday, April 8, pit gates will unlock at 11 a.m. Grandstand and drive-in gates open at noon. Hot laps hit the track at 2 p.m., with racing at 3 p.m.

Adult admission is $25 for the grandstand and drive-in. Seniors pay $22 with Kids 12 and under $2.

Pit admission is $35, with no license required.

There will be an Open Practice for racers on Saturday (April 7) with gates opening at 2 p.m. and practice from 4-8 p.m.

Complete rules, times, pricing and information can be found at the following link:

Located at 239 Wisner Avenue Middletown, N.Y., 10940 on the Orange County Fairgrounds, Orange County Fair Speedway is the oldest continuously operating dirt track in the United States. The first auto race was held at the speedway in 1919. The five-eighths-mile oval offers fully-covered and half-covered grandstands in addition to open bleacher seating on the frontstretch and turn one areas, with drive-in viewing on the backstretch. To learn more, contact the Orange County Fair Speedway office at 845.342.2573 or visit

To learn more about the 2018 Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco, visit, e-mail, check out ‘Short Track Super Series’ on Facebook or @ShortTrackSS on Twitter or Instagram.

The Short Track Super Series is presented by American Racer/Lias Tire, Sunoco Race Fuel, Insinger Performance, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Halmar International, Allstar Performance, ATL Racing Fuel Cells, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, Beyea Custom Headers, Bicknell Racing Products, Dirt Track Digest, Fast Axle, Fox Racing Shocks, Henry’s Exhaust, Hig Fab, HyperCo, Kirkey Racing Fabrication, Land Hoe Maintenance, K&N, Precision Hydraulic & Oil, QA1, Race Pro Weekly, Racing Optics, Superior Remodeling, Teo-Pro Car, Vahlco, Velocita, Weld & Wilwood.

Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco 2018 Schedule

Halmar International North Region

Sunday, April 8 – Orange County Fair Speedway/Middletown, N.Y. – Hard Clay Open

Sunday, May 27 – Thunder Mountain Speedway/Center Lisle, N.Y. – Lightning on the Mountain

Tuesday, June 5 – Big Diamond Speedway/Minersville, Pa. – Anthracite Assault – COMBO

Wednesday, June 20 – Outlaw Speedway/Dundee, N.Y. – Outlaw Showdown

Tuesday, July 3 – Accord Speedway/Accord, N.Y. – Battle of the Bullring 6

Wednesday, July 25 – Afton Motorsports Park/Afton, N.Y. – Afton Action 50

Wednesday, August 8 – Woodhull Raceway/Woodhull, N.Y. – Hustlin’ the High Banks 54

Tuesday, August 14 – Albany-Saratoga Speedway/Malta, N.Y. – Stampede at ‘toga

Friday-Saturday, October 5-6 – Afton Motorsports Park/Afton, N.Y. – American Racer Cup Short Track SuperNationals 11

Thursday, October 18 – Orange County Fair Speedway/Middletown, N.Y. – Hard Clay Finale