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.
Shangri-La II Motor Speedway, an ASA Member Track, has announced that veteran race official Gary Folk Jr. has joined the race day staff at the Concrete Castle in the role of assistant starter, working with chief starter Glenn O'Loughlin. They will be in control of the race when the green flag flies on the season-opening Concrete Duals, Saturday, May 1.
Folk Jr. has served at many speedways in New York and Pennsylvania and is currently the chief starter on Friday nights at the Penn-Can Speedway near his Great Bend, Pa. home. He was the last chief starter at the original Shangri-La Speedway when it was known as Tioga Motorsports Park, and his father, Gary Folk Sr., was the colorful starter at Shangri-La in the 1980's.
"We're delighted to have Gary Folk Jr. on board. It's good to have another connection to the tradition of the original track, but it's far more important to add one more skilled and respected member to the first-class official team we have assembled," noted track manager Amy Stilson. "The racers know Gary and he knows them, so there won't be a major learning curve on either side," she added.
Joining O'Loughlin and Folk as trackside officials are corner flaggers Mike Epler, Scott Brind, Charlie Brown, and Duane Manzer. The two men who interact the most with competitors, pit steward Jerry Sinsabaugh and chief technical inspector Matt Jilson, return to their roles for 2010 as do announcers Tom Cummings and Al Robinson, chief scorer Maggie Waibel, and handicapper Jason Waibel.
The Concrete Duals on May 1 offer twin features for all four of Shangri-La II's weekly racing divisions, providing an opportunity for drivers to get a jump start on the season's point race. A sweep of the Modified, ASA Late Model, Sportsman Modified, or Street Stock features will be the equivalent of winning a double point race on opening day.