PLATTSBURGH — The future of Airborne Park Speedway was in doubt following the 2015 racing season.
John Walker, however, leased the speedway in the off-season and put plans for 2016 into motion.
This season will feature some divisional realignment. The Ernie's Discount Tools Sportsman Modifieds will be the headline division with the Jeffords Steel Renegades the second tier division, replacing the Late Models. Two four-cylinder divisions will be racing this season — the Busch Beer Mini Modifieds and a beginner Strictly Stock division. The Strictly Stock division will be for drivers with less than three years of racing experience. All divisions will compete in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, presented by Fidelis Care of New York.
The 2016 campaign kicks off May 7 with a 5 p.m. post time. Opening day will feature the first CAN/AM Challenge of the year for the Sportsman Modifieds. Drivers from the Province of Quebec will challenge the Airborne sportsman modified contingent in an extra distance 75 lap main event. The Renegades, Mini Mods and Strictly Stocks will also be in action.
The American Canadian Tour (ACT) will make its one and only stop on May 14 for the ACT Spring Green 116, presented by Egglefield Ford. The ACT Late Models will run 116 laps in the fourth event on their tour schedule. All regular divisions will also be in action.
May 21 will be Little League Night, presented by Bailey Ford. All Little League baseball players who show up with their team jersey on will be admitted free of charge. In addition, the Sportsman Modifieds will run twin 25-lap features. Renegades, Mini Mods and Strictly Stocks will also be in action.
Last season, there was no Memorial Day Weekend race for the first time in the track's history. This year there will be a two-day event, presented by Econo Lodge and After Hours Imagining.
On Saturday, May 28, there will be a regular card of racing, with an incentive for the Sportsman Modifieds. The top five finishers in Saturday's sportsman modified feature will be automatic qualifiers for the 358 DirtCar Modified main event that will take place on Sunday.
The 358 Modifieds will headline the card on Sunday under the direction of Mike Perrotte. Some familiar faces will be making their return to Airborne. The Wesley Moody stables will have two cars prepared for the race, with Patrick Dupree piloting one of the machines. George Foley, Jessey Mueller, Aaron Bartemy, Adam Bartemy, Chris Cayea and Kevin Broderick have already committed to the event as well. The Renegades, Mini Modifieds and Strictly Stocks will also race on Sunday.
June 4 will be highlighted by twin 25-lap events for the Sportsman Modifieds, presented by Huntley Trucking. The Renegades, Mini Mods and Strictly Stocks will also be in action.
The Renegades will be in the spotlight on June 11 when they will run a 50 lap feature event around the Airborne half mile, presented by Sunoco Race Fuels. The Sportsman Modifieds, Mini Mods and Strictly Stocks will also be in action.
Kids Night will be June 18, presented by Sweet Frog. All kids 12 and under will be admitted free of charge. During intermission, there will be kids bicycle races on the front stretch. A regular night of racing is on tap for the Sportsman Modifieds, Renegades, Mini Mods and Strictly Stocks.
A regular night of racing is scheduled for June 25, presented by Whelen Engineering. Volunteer Fire and EMS will be admitted free of charge with proper identification. The Sportsman Modifieds, Renegades, Mini Mods and Strictly Stocks will be in action.
July 2 will be the Fourth of July Celebration, presented by Bill McBride Chevrolet. A gigantic fireworks display will cap off the night. The Sportsman Modifieds, Renegades, Mini Mods and Strictly Stocks will be in action.
Fidelis Care of New York will present Mid-Season Championships on July 9. The Sportsman Modifieds, Renegades, Mini Mods and Strictly Stocks will run.
The Renegades will once again run the main event on July 16, during a racing card presented by Island Excavation. The Renegades will run a 100 lap feature, their longest distance race of the season. The Sportsman Modifieds, Mini Mods and Strictly Stocks will all compete.
Following a week off for the Clinton County Fair, racing actions resumes on July 30 with a Canadian Invasion from the Autodrome St Eustache Limited Late Models, presented by Espos Diesel. A familiar face will be competing as Plattsburgh's Robin Wood will be piloting his number 61. The regular racing divisions will also be on the card along with the RevStar Speedsters.
August 6 will be an opportunity for the fans to show off their driving skill. Spectator racing is back, along with Sportsman Modified twin 25-lap features, presented by Vertigo Motorsports. The Renegades, Mini Mods and Strictly Stocks will also take part.
Scout Night is scheduled for August 13, presented by Poirier's True Value. All Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in uniform will get in free of charge. The Renegades will battle for 50 laps that evening. Also on the card are the Sportsman Modifieds, Mini Mods and Strictly Stocks.
Military Appreciation Night is set for August 20, presented by Aaron's. All active and retired military members will be admitted free of charge, with proper identification. The Sportsman Modifieds, Renegades, Mini Mods and Strictly Stocks will have a regular night of racing.
The mechanics will receive their chance to get behind the wheel on August 27, presented by Plattsburgh Ford. Mechanics races and Sportsman Modified twin 25-lap features are scheduled. The Renegades, Mini Mods and Strictly Stocks will be in action.
The Labor Day CAN/AM Challenge is scheduled for September 3, presented by Rene's Repair. Drivers from the Province of Quebec and Airborne regulars will go at it for 75 laps. The Renegades, Mini Mods and Strictly Stocks are also scheduled.
The final event of the 2016 racing season will be the Leon Gonyo Memorial presented by Ford Racing. Gonyo was a longtime supporter and competitor at Airborne and the race that bears his name will decide the 2016 Sportsman Modified track championship. This will also serve as the final point counting event for the Renegades, Mini Mods and Strictly Stocks.
Regular season ticket prices will be $10 for adults, $3 for kids ages 6-12 and a family pass (2 adults and 2 kids) for $22. Note that Opening Day 5/7, ACT 5/14, Memorial Day Weekend 5/28 & 5/29, July 4 Celebration 7/2, Canadian Invasion 7/30, Labor Day CAN/AM 9/3 and Leon Gonyo Memorial 9/17 will all have special event pricing.
To stay up to date, visit our website at www.airborneparkspeedway.com or on facebook at Airborne Park Speedway.