STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Blog and photo by Race Chaser Online Associate Kyle Magda —
Everyone is begging for the next new technological thing, and I just sit here wanting to have a warm house and food on the table. The nights are starting to get colder and hot chocolate is becoming the norm with breakfast in the morning.
But, the holiday season is about giving, not always getting. Sure, a few gifts are nice, but I’m at that point in my life where I don’t need a lot to keep me satisfied. (And yes, that and the title are both references to a particular Mariah Carey Christmas song.)
This year kept me busy, as my 2014 racing season concluded last month at the Turkey Derby at Wall Stadium Speedway and also marked my second racing trip of the year to the state of New Jersey, with the other being at New Jersey Motorsports Park in June.
There are always things that can improve for the quality of racing, whether it be a new competition package for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, or to ARCA for finally lining up cars by practice speeds (if qualifying is rained out) in 2015.
When I heard the word 2015, bigger and better things come to mind, especially racing-wise in the state of Pennsylvania. Mahoning Valley Speedway’s season kicks off on Apr. 11, with the addition of the Central States Modified Gamblers Series (CSMGS) to highlight Opening Day at the Lehighton track. Octoberfast 2015 goes back one week to Oct. 17 and an additional 20 laps are added to the Modified feature, making it 150 instead of 130 laps.
Pocono Raceway got its wish granted, with the IndyCar being moved off the Fourth of July weekend to late August to be the series’ second-to-last race of 2015. The track enters its final year of a three-year contract with IndyCar, but brings a diverse group of racing to the area. The Indy Lights Series won’t return to the Tricky Triangle, but I’d rather see them race at Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca with the corkscrew.
For the first time since 2012, NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will return to the state, with a visit to Motordrome Speedway in Smithton, Pa. on August 15, the same day that the ISMA Supermodifieds go to Jennerstown Speedway in Somerset County. Jennerstown re-opened in 2014 and played host to the ARCA Truck Series, Super Cup Stock Car Series (SCSCS) and a slew of local racing divisions. Motordrome will also once again host SCSCS cars on Friday, July 17.
But that’s not all. The World of Outlaws return to Pennsylvania for the first of three visits to Mechanicsburg’s Williams Grove Speedway on May 15 and 16, one week before Memorial Day weekend and the single greatest day in motorsports. If you can’t make it then, WoO return to the Grove for the Summer Nationals on July 24-25, and two additional days were added to the National Open in Oct. which will now be three days instead of one.
The National Open weekend will be a busy racing one, with the NHRA faithful heading to Maple Grove Raceway in Reading for the 31st NHRA Nationals. Not to mention WoO will also be at Port Royal Speedway on Oct 24, where Ryan Smith picked up his first career World of Outlaws win this year, before going to MVS for the SpeedSTR feature the next day. The 2015 race will also be one day before the inaugural event at the Utica-Rome Speedway in upstate New York.
Don’t forget about the two tradtional NASCAR weekends at Pocono Raceway as well; the dates stay on the same weekends for 2015. The only change is the ARCA race goes back to Saturday with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for a doubleheader, the first time since 2012.
The Bainey family bought back CNB Raceway Park in Clearfield and will be home to three 2015 SCSCS dates: May 2, June 27 and August 22.
So, there’s a lot out there for the casual race fan in the state of Pennsylvania in 2015. There’s also a lot of racing to keep me busy, so making all my racing trips could be better than any Christmas gift. When I already have everything I need, the necessities and simple things in life are the most important. Meeting new people and making life-lasting connections will only help me further my career as a writer, in racing and in real life.
2015 already has the potential to be a star-studded racing season in Pennsylvania. Because of that, I don’t want a lot this Christmas.
I already have what I need.
Merry Christmas everyone, and have a safe and restful holiday season!