With a little help from the weather, this could be one of the busiest race schedules in Baer Field Motorsports Park's 54-year history.
Rain already knocked out the original season-opener, but it's been rescheduled for Saturday as part of "Spring Fling/Opening Day Festival of Speed." Qualifying begins at 2:30 p.m. with heat races at 4:15 p.m. and features at 6 p.m. The schedule includes both the 1/2-mile and 3/8-mile asphalt tracks with street stocks, open-wheel modifieds, Thunder Roadsters, front wheel drive, late model sportsman and mini-stocks divisions.
Including the new 1/4-mile dirt track inside the asphalt tracks which was completed last week, the schedule could include 65 events. The dirt track opens a 12-event schedule at 7 p.m. May 20 with engine pro sprints, super streets, bombers and 4-cylanders. The 1/6-mile go-kart dirt track located outside the grandstand opens a 16-event "Friday Night Fury" schedule on May 6. The dirt tracks schedules will run through Halloween. Among the highlights are the "Summit City Late Model Nationals" on Aug. 16, the "Baer Field Fall Nationals" on Sept. 16 and 23 and "Halloween Havoc" and the initial dirt track season championships.
The new dirt track is believed to be the first dirt track racing in town since Fort Wayne Speedway closed in 1949, according to BFMP officials. Close to 70 cars are expected for opening night. Baer Field promoter Dave Muzzillo is expecting a sellout crowd of 2,600.
There will also be four dirt car divisions: winged sprints, modifieds, street stocks and front-wheel drives. The dirt track schedule will take over on the third Saturdays for May, June and July, the third Wednesday in August and then weekends after Labor Day.
The other thing racing fans will notice is the speedway's first scoreboard, a 39-foot by 10-foot monster Muzzillo acquired from Columbus Motor Speedway which recently closed. There will also be a new lighting system in place.
The highlights of the asphalt schedule includes the "Spring Breakout" shows on April 29 and 30 which will have the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour 100 and Champion Racing Association late model sportsman 50-lap races along with the regular division schedule. Hall of Fame Night and the Stan Perry Memorial Race will be showcased June 10 and the Summit City Sprintcar Shootout and fireworks will be featured July 1.
The third-annual Dean Best Memorial, a 75-lap race for open-wheel modifieds runs July 29, and the next week the "Hot August Thunder" event features super sprints. The season ends on Aug. 26 with "Night of Champions."
For more on local racing, follow Blake Sebring in Twitter @blakesebring and on Facebook at Blake Sebring.