Under sunny skies, Shangri-La II Motor Speedway held its long-awaited pre-season open practice days on Friday and Saturday, April 23-24, before the weather man clamped down again and washed out Sunday's activity. Competitors in all four weekly racing divisions at the ASA Member Track were out in force preparing for next week's season opener, the Concrete Duals on Saturday, May 1, featuring dual 25-lap main events for the Modifieds, twin 20's for the ASA Late Models and the Sportsman Modifieds, and a pair 15-lap races for the Street Stocks. Racing starts at 2:15 p.m.
Among the teams doing their homework on Saturday was the crew of the No. 13 Sportsman Modified built and owned by Ray Hedger and driven by Russ Brown. The Hedger-Brown combination won multiple track championships at the Oswego Speedway but for 2010 they plan to concentrate on Shangri-La II.
Updating the team's chassis setup notes after making a handful of appearances at the Concrete Castle in the inaugural season of 2009, Brown said "the track is about a second slower than it was last September now that it doesn't have as much rubber on it, but we expected that." He noted the rubber should be laid down in a hurry with the number of racing laps that will be run on opening day.
The ROC'n Concrete Rumble on Sunday, May 16 at Shangri-La II Motor Speedway attracted an intense level of interest from the moment it was announced as the first visit of New York State's premier paved track modified tour, the Race of Champions Series, to the half-mile concrete oval. Now the event has gained even greater stature as the opening race of the Race of Champions season following last weekend's rainout at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway, where nearly 50 tour-type modifieds jammed the pits for a combined show with New England's Modified Racing Series.
The Race of Champions event will follow an all-racing, no time trials format, highlighted by a 75 lap feature with only green flag laps scored. A full ASA Member Track program for the ASA Late Models, Sportsman Modifieds, and Street Stocks will be on the agenda as well.