Shangri-La II Renews Sanction as ASA Member Track for 2010 Season; Propects are Bright for Growth in Historic ASA Late Model Class
Shangri-La II Motor Speedway and the American Speed Association have announced a renewal of their sanction agreement for the 2010 racing season that will again make Shangri-La II an ASA Member Track and feature the ASA late models as one of the headline divisions on the half mile concrete track's weekly racing program.
Shangri-La II builder and owner George Swansbrough, a successful late model racer who still owns a pair of the sleek, full-bodied cars and races them on occasion, made the commitment to give his division a place to race at his new track in 2009, knowing the class had fallen on hard times across the Empire State. The inaugural season that started in July saw strong competition among a small but talented field with Jim Lamoreaux emerging as the ASA track champion over western New York traveler Scott Nurmi and Travis Fisher, who like Lamoreaux made the weekly haul from the Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton, Pa. area. Local favorite Ben Reynolds of Trumansburg, N.Y. was also a multiple feature winner.
For 2010, the ASA late models are expected to grow as teams that raced elsewhere or remained on the sidelines in recent seasons take advantage of Shangri-La II's demonstrated commitment to the class. That's good news for the fans who made the late models a favorite at the original Shangri-La Speedway, with drivers like Jim Zacharias, Mike Casterline, Ed McGuire, Doug Depew, and the late Duane Ellis, not to mention George Swansbrough and Jim Lamoreaux, each of whom was a two-time champion.
Several teams who raced under ASA sanction at Adirondack International Speedway in New York's North Country are expected to make the trip to the Southern Tier to compete at the Concrete Castle. Joining them will be teams who supported Shangri-La II'a inaugural season, like Joe Brown of Tunkhannock, Pa., fifth in points during 2009, and best appearing car award winner Joe Beretta of Exeter, Pa. At the end of February, more ASA late models had been registered for competition at Shangri-La II in 2010 than cars in any other class.
"Of course the late models are special to George, but we wouldn't run them every week if they didn't add to the show we provide for our fans," said track manager Amy Stilson. "Mark Martin, Rusty Wallace, Alan Kulwicki, and Dick Trickle were all graduates of the American Speed Association and Kyle Busch still races similar late models when his schedule permits, so you know they're real race cars for professional drivers," she added.
"George Swansbrough has created a premier track, wth everything done first class," commented ASA president Dennis Huth. "It's a perfect fit for ASA's Member Track program," he added, noting that last year's national championship was won by Tommy Cloce of Canton, N.Y., who made one appearance at Shangri-La II in 2009 driving a modified.Shangri-La II Motor Speedway opens it second season on Saturday, May 1, with the Concrete Duals, featuring double features for all classes. Open practices are set for April 18 and 25, weather permitting. For more information, call 607-330-2622.