This year, 28 teams have scored points in this series at 12 race events held at eight different racetracks within this region. Series co-owners, Doug and Julie Strasburg took over the series after the passing of the founder, Gary Vercauteran. The first race under their leadership was on April 1, 2006.

They came back to a series that they had left due to reasons only they can speak about, but were determined to grow the numbers of teams. As Julie explains on their website, “In being able to increase (car) counts, we are first enforcing the rules.”

I can only surmise from that, that there was some problem with enforcement in previous years. As we have pushed in CT, when you enforce the rules for everyone, you stop losing teams and start growing your car counts.

The track owners here are very sensitive to the families who attend the races. A very centrally located and modern play area was setup for the kids and to help them with the heat, a water spray area behind the grandstands drew many youngsters who ran through the sprinklers to cool off. It was fun to watch and I wanted to take a trip through the spray myself, but refrained.

My notes from the event (this is written some nine weeks later) show that the racing was clean, with little or no cautions for the divisions, even with plenty of two wide racing going on.

The feeling among some racers and car owners is that the rules might be due for some review and changes made to reflect the way the cars are setup in this day and age.

There is a very cool track bar setup where many fans gathered during and after the races. The party there went on well into the wee hours of the next morning, a Friday I do recall. The announcers were excellent, a plus we have talked about numerous times, and the race was broadcast live via a local radio station, 100.5 FM.

Despite the heat, we had a cool time at State Park and we got the feeling that everyone enjoyed coming here and being a part of the event. The track management just made it that way. So, we see a good future for SPS and it should continue to grow as does the economy. Our hats go off to Ron and Scott Wimmer for all of their hard work and thanks for having us.

Madison International Speedway

This is not the first time I visited Madison. I came here in 1999 as one team’s engineer and again with Pete Raskovic and the Urban Force Racing Team from Beloit Memorial High School. I find the track to be fast, technical to a degree and where it is hard to pass, but possible with the right setup.

I met Kevin Ramsell, the Director of Public Relations for ASA, upon arrival and he treated us to a downtown tour of Madison, the state capital of Wisconsin. During lunch we discussed the track, his home track, and all that goes on with it. Kevin was a big help here and at other tracks where we would run into him at. He knows all of the teams and the story behind them.

The temperatures were up from the day before and we saw 103 degrees on the thermometer in the afternoon. Several tracks in the vicinity cancelled their programs that weekend due to the extreme heat. But once the sun went down, the temperatures came down to tolerable levels and the racing was not affected.

Plenty of race teams showed up and the grandstands were showing good numbers of fans in attendance. Madison has struggled as of late with their class structures and rules packages. But the management, including Jason Tyler, is hard at work reviewing how things have gone in the past and how they can make things better for the future.