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National notebook

Notes: Fastrak tightens '17 safety requirements

October 13, 2016, 7:17 am
From series, organization and track reports

The Fastrak Racing Series is tightening safety requirements with on-board fire systems and window nets required for the organization’s Crate Late Models drivers in 2017, founder Stan Lester announced Wednesday. Fastrak also plans to mandate seat-belt checks at every event, formalizing current regulations.

“We are not out here dreaming up things to make teams spend money” Lester said in a news release. “People have died this year from different things and I am not going to be the person that has to call your wife, girlfriend or mother and tell them you have had something terrible happen because I didn’t do my part.”

Several Fastrak teams have added fire systems after the organization first began plans to make them mandatory in June.

“We are training our series officials to be ready in the event of a fire. There will be a drawing in our 2017 rule book as to how and where we want the pull tab mounted,” Fastrak’s Jim Carter said. “Our officials will be trained in the dark with a bunch of chaos going on while they are finding the pull tab in a car. Our goal is to simulate the same type of pressure these guys will be under if something happens at the track.”

For 2017’s window net requirement, Fastrak recommends sprint-car style window nets because they’re easier to work around in case of an accident or fire, Carter said.

Seat-belt checks will require competitors use seat belts that aren’t older than two years. Officials will also look for signs of belts damaged by acid-based cleansers. Drivers will receive a written warning if the belts aren’t in compliance and won’t be allowed to compete thereafter without changes.

Updates from dirt tracks around the country:

Lee County Speedway, Donnellson, Iowa: The Lee County Fair Board plans a new 960-square foot pit building for the 2017 season that will include a new kitchen and bathrooms with showers. A sponsor has offered $5,000 towards the building if that dollar amount can be matched by raising other funds, the track announced. Lee County wraps up its 2016 season Oct. 14-15 with the fifth annual Fall Extravaganza that includes the track’s Crate Late Model division. Visit leecountyspeedway.com for more track information

Volunteer Speedway, Bulls Gap, Tenn.: The Joe and Phyllis Loven-owned oval is adding new clay to the racing surface at the high-banked 4/10-mile oval along with adding an additional 2016 event. The track’s Fright Night Spooktacular is scheduled for Oct. 29. Details will be announced. See volunteerspeedway.com as information develops.

Dublin (N.C.) Motor Speedway: With many in the area still cleaning up in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, the track cancelled its Oct. 15 racing program. A makeup date is being considered. The track also had to postpone Oct. 8’s Ultimate Super Late Model Series event in the wake of the storm.

West Georgia Speedway, Whitesburg, Ga.: After being closed all season, owner Sammy Duke is putting dirt on the track in making plans for the track’s annual Frostbite event. Practice is scheduled for Dec. 9 with racing Dec. 10. Details will be announced on the track’s Facebook page.

Susquehanna Speedway, York Haven, Pa.: The track has scheduled meetings for each division to discuss plans for 2017. The Late Model meeting (team owners and/or drivers only) is scheduled for 7-9:30 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing. The final Late Model event of the season is Oct. 15’s Fall Classic King of the Hill.

Baton Rouge Raceway, Baker, La.: After a suspension of racing for more than two months because of devastating flooding at the track and beyond, the Louisiana State Championship is scheduled for Oct. 27-29. Late Models run a regular program on Friday, Oct. 28, with the Late Model portion of the Louisiana State Championship on Saturday, Oct. 29. Saturday’s event already has 12 drivers locked in from last year’s postponed event while other drivers will be added to the field. Several other divisions, including sprint cars and flat track motorcycles, are in action during the weekend.

Florence Speedway, Union, Ky.: The northern Kentucky oval this week purchased a compressed air foam system for the track's fire and rescue truck, better equipping the track’s safety team to assist drivers. The track hopes to have the system ready for its Oct. 22 event.

Other track news: Hendry County Motorsports Park in Clewiston, Fla. closed indefinitely Sept. 15 while undergoing track improvements, according to the track website. … Wartburg (Tenn.) Speedway has adding new lighting around the racetrack with plans to put up new lights in the pits next. … Georgetown (Del.) Speedway wraps up its season Nov. 4-5 with an event that includes a $4,000-to-win Super Late Model event. The track has a $2,000-to-win event Oct. 14.

Correction: Fixes dates and details for remaining Georgetown Speedway dates.

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