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Albany-Saratoga Speedway back to blacktop...for fall and spring

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Diary of a Mad Sportswriter: Albany-Saratoga Speedway back to blacktop...for fall and spring

Diary of a Mad Sportswriter

Stan Hudy is a sportswriter for The Saratogian and Community News. He covers high school and youth sports in the Saratoga County area as well as writing a weekly book review on sports books. He's not just a "stick and ball" sportswriter, he's willing to take on any sport as well as any subject.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Albany-Saratoga Speedway back to blacktop...for fall and spring

As some things continue to move forward in the Town of Malta, Albany-Saratoga Speedway director Bruce Richards had decided to make a slight move backwards at his 3/8th-of-a-mile oval on Route 9.

Consider it down-shifting two gears to gain some horsepower and then shifting one gear back up.

Richards announced Wednesday afternoon that he would be pulling up the clay surface off the dirt track later this fall and running multiple auto races on the original blacktop surface that was installed in 1965. The paved surface races would continue into the Spring of 2010 before the blacktop would once again be covered with more than 200 truckloads of clay that has made the location famous as “The Great Race Place.”

“We have the unique opportunity that no other track in the Capital Region can offer, blacktop and clay,” Richards said. “I am confident that the blacktop is still just like the day that I covered it up. I’ve seen it in different spots out there, it looks just like the day we covered it up.

Richards, always the innovator, continues to find ways to expand the racing experience for Capital Region fans and provide opportunities for current race teams.

This fall, Richards will offer the annual Halloween Havoc Oct. 17 on the newly unearthed surface followed by a night with the 358s, budget, pro stock, limited and mini/duke stock divisions. The same divisions that will conclude their dirt season Sept. 11. In the first week of November the go-kart nationals are expected to return for a weekend on the blacktop surface.

“We will be hosting at least two tour races at the speedway,” Richards said. “We have guarantees from the ACT (American-Canadian Tour) and their late model series and also from the IMSA (International Supermodified Association). We also have commitments from the True Value Modified racing Series in New England.”

The Malta race track was born as an asphalt track in 1965 and it was his father, C.J. Richards, who covered it with clay beginning in 1977. There has only been one asphalt race since that time, Sept. 29, 1991, when the clay surface was removed as part of a resurfacing project.

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