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Weedsport Speedway shows off changes, upgrades ahead of July 13 Sportsman Classic

Kurt Wiegel, a member of the Heinke Baldwin Racing team, speaks Tuesday in the garage at the Weedsport Speedway about the reopening.

BRUTUS | Everyone at Weedsport Speedway, it seems, is excited to have the track back up and running and nearly ready for racing.

"We've got something really cool out here," said Jeff Hachmann, the director of event sales and marketing for DIRTcar Racing.

After laying dormant for nearly two years, the racetrack just outside of the Weedsport village limits hosted a Super DIRT Week satellite event and is now slated to host some more events under new ownership.

Ahead of the July 13 Sportsman Classic, one of three races scheduled at the track this season, officials from Weedsport Speedway and Heinke Baldwin Racing — team owner Al Heinke also owns the track, while his driver, Jimmy Phelps, is the general manager — hosted a media day Tuesday to show off the changes and upgrades made at the facility.

HBR crew member Kurt Wiegel gave tour of the race shops on the grounds, housing cars and equipment for HBR drivers Phelps and Matt Sheppard, while Phelps gave an overview of the facility's facelift.

"We're trying to build a little motorsports complex here at Weedsport Speedway," Wiegel said, noting other race teams will work out of the speedway to take advantage of HBR's resources.

Rather than maintaining a weekly schedule, Phelps said his vision to is to operate the track with special events, hosting eight to 10 races a year and running once or twice per month.

The other events on tap this season include an Aug. 7 Super DIRTcar Series race and a to-be-announced Super DIRT Week satellite race.

"It's been fun," Phelps. "I've got a few more gray hairs just trying to make this all come together, and I know we're going to make some mistakes. Hopefully, we can keep the mistakes at a minimum."

Joining Phelps for interviews were teammate Sheppard, fellow DIRTcar Modified driver Peter Britten and Empire Super Sprint racer and former Cayuga County Legislator Dave Axton.

At the end of the day, Joe Ortowski, speedway public relations and marketing manager, took media personnel for a look at the racing surface itself and the new grandstands that are still being built.

"It's amazing to see in the past year how much as happened," he said. "If you could've seen it the first time I came out here, it was bad."

Jonathan Monfiletto can be reached at jonathan.monfiletto@lee.net or (315) 283-1615. Follow him on Twitter @Skan_Monfiletto.

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