RANSOMVILLE, NY – This Friday night Ransomville Speedway features a pair of special tribute races as part of a full card of racing presented by the Sunset Bar & Grill.
The Krown Undercoating 358 Modifieds will headline the program with the $2,000-to-win, 40-lap “Super Fan” Joseph Scholtisek Special. The event serves as a “living tribute” to a very devoted race fan.
In the years following his retirement from Harrison Radiator, Joseph Scholtisek logged many miles while attending over 100 motorsports events per season. In 2013, after attending 134 races and traveling 18,470 miles, Scholtisek was rewarded for his passion with the Gary Jacobs Super Fan Award from National Speed Sport News. Shortly after this he suffered a series of health issues that greatly reduced his travels.
While he chased races across the country, Scholtisek always loved to come back to his home track at Ransomville. You can find him spectating at the “Little R” on Thursdays and at the “Big R” on Friday nights. He is a weekly supporter of the 50/50, and the concession stand staff even knows his order by heart (two hot dogs and a Pepsi).
“Joe has always been one of our most devoted fans at Ransomville,” said Jenn Martin, Ransomville Speedway General Manager. “No matter what day of the week we are racing, you can find him at the track. He is great to talk to and loves racing.”
Scholtisek’s family now wants to hold a race in his honor at his home track, but they didn’t want to wait until he passed away to do it.
“The idea is to have a living tribute to my brother’s love of racing, especially local short track racing,” said Brian Scholtisek, Joseph’s brother. “We thought there was no better place to have it at than his favorite track.”
The Gippster’s Collision Mini Stocks will have a special race of their own as the “Big R” will honor the memory of the oldest feature winner in speedway history on Friday with the Dick Wilkinson Tribute Race.
On May 11, 2012, just one week after his 73rd birthday, Dick Wilkinson won the Fireball division (now Mini Stock division) feature to set a new benchmark for the oldest feature winner in the history of Ransomville Speedway. Wilkinson passed away this February, and now his family and Tim Phillips Garage are paying tribute to him with this special race.
Former racer and owner of Tim Phillips Garage, Tim Phillips, is the son-of-law of Wilkinson. Phillips has put up $400 for the winner of the Dick Wilkinson Tribute Race, with the runner-up taking $175 and $135 for the third place finisher. Tim’s son and Dick’s grandson, Kyle, raced go-karts at the “Little R” go-kart track before moving up to sprint cars.
Wilkinson had a long on again-off again involvement in motorsports that spanned over 50 years. He raced late models on the dirt at Ransomville and on the pavement at Lancaster Speedway during the 1960s. He also owned a 358 Modified that was piloted by Mark Sylvies. Wilkinson then spent several seasons in the grandstands as a fan before getting the itch to get back behind the wheel in 2008. “I didn’t race because I couldn’t afford it,” he told Dave Roberts in 2012, “I really did want to try it again. So when the Fireball division was at the track, we decided to give it a try.”
Wilkinson served in the U.S Army Reserve and New York Army National Guard for a combined 40 years of service. He also was a member of the Lewiston #1 Fire Company.
The Investors Service Sportsman, Ki-Po Chevrolet Street Stocks, and Stevenson’s Hardware Novice Sportsman will also be in action plus Power Wheels races for the kids.
Pit gates will open at 5 p.m. with grandstands opening at 6 p.m. Racing starts at 7:15 p.m. Grandstand admission is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors and students (ages 13-17 with valid school ID), $8 for children ages 9-12 and kids 8 and under are free. Pit admission is $27 for member, $32 for non-member.
Set along the picturesque shores of Lake Ontario in the Wilson Harbor, the Sunset Bar and Grill is the perfect setting for a night out during the spring and summer months. Specializing in seafood and American cuisine, Sunset Bar and Grill can also host your next private party, corporate event, rehearsal dinner, weddings and more! Throughout the summer, Sunset Bar and Grill is also known for their outdoor patio and live music. You can find them on Facebook and Instagram and by phone at (716) 751-6868.
About Ransomville Speedway: Opened in 1958, Ransomville Speedway is located on Braley Road in the hamlet of Ransomville, just 20 minutes from Niagara Falls and Lockport. “The Big R” is a 3/8-mile DIRTcar sanctioned facility that is the home of the Summer Nationals. Ransomville also features a 1/16-mile Go-Kart track for action on the “Little R” on Thursday nights. For more information, please visit our updated website at www.ransomvillespeedway.com as well as follow us on Twitter @Ransomville and like us on Facebook. You can also contact the speedway by phone by calling (716) 791-3602 or (716) 791-3611.