***Shangri-La II Press***
The SpeedSTRs, open cockpit cars which created such a positive impression among Shangri-La II Motor Speedway racing fans in 2009, are set for their first of two appearances at the Concrete Castle on Hoosier Daddy Night presented by Hoosier Racing Tires this Saturday, June 12. Race time is 5:00 p.m. for the five-class ASA Member Track program that includes the headline tour-type Modifieds, the ASA Late Models, the Sportsman Modifieds, and the Street Stocks.
The SpeedSTR class is the creation of racing veteran Richie Tobias, who conceived and produced a racer that looks and performs much like a midget car from the USAC or ARDC circuits, but at a fraction of the cost. A sealed four-cylinder Mopar engine of 280 horsepower permits lap speeds close to the Sportsman Modifieds at a price of $17,000, ready to race.
When it was first introduced, the SpeedSTR class was most notable for its celebrity competitors like Ray Evernham and Erin Crocker, but now it is producing talent for the higher ranks of open cockpit racing, like Billy Van Inwegen who has moved on to the limited sprint car ranks with success. Among the SpeedSTR rookies of 2010 is Fred Rahmer Jr., the teenage son of sprint car legend “Fast Freddy” Rahmer.
This week’s appearance by the SpeedSTRs is a regular season event. When they return on July 10, it will be national points race, so Saturday’s car count is expected to be bolstered by point chasers looking for an edge in next month’s showdown.
The last race at Shangri-La II, Memorial Day Madness on May 30, saw two winning streaks broken as Travis Fisher was unable to extend his ASA Late Model run, and Chad McDonald was knocked off his perch in the Street Stocks. On the other hand, Tony Hanbury just kept rolling like the nearby Susquehanna River, staying undefeated in four Sportsman Modified races.
The Modifieds have yet to see a repeat winner as the victories, not counting the Race of Champions Tour non-point special event, have been shared by Brian Defebo, Rick Zacharias, and Jim Storace.
Gates open for Hoosier Daddy Night presented by Hoosier Racing Tires at 1:00 p.m. this Saturday, with practice at 3:00 p.m. and the first heat at 5:00 p.m., one half hour earlier than usual due to the addition of the SpeedSTRs. For more information, visit shangrila-2.com or call 607-330-2622. Shangri-La II Motor Speedway is located on top of the ridge, one mile east of Tioga Center on Route 17C. It is easily accessed from Route 17, the Southern Tier Expressway, by taking Route 17C west from Exit 64 (Owego/Ithaca) or Route 17C east from Exit 62 (Nichols).