Hayfork, CA… Despite rumors to the contrary, the 2018 racing season will begin this Saturday night at the newly renamed Mountain Valley Raceway in Hayfork. The Trinity County Fairgrounds based facility will be opening with the first event of a seven race season this week. It’s the Independence Day Celebration. The regularly featured classes will be there, including Hobby Stocks, Mini Stocks and Enduro Cars. There will also be at least one Sport Modified on hand as the track attempts to establish the division. It belongs to multi time Hobby Stock champion Josh Smith. The night will conclude with a Fireworks Show.
The season was set to start back in May under previous management, but financial difficulties forced that association to fold. It looked like the season might be over before it started, but new arrangements were made to allow racing to happen this season after all. Race dates will include, this Saturday night, July 28th, August 11th and 25th, September 8th and 29th and October 6th.
The popular Hobby Stock division has given the fans plenty of reason to cheer since the track opened back in 2012. Second year racer William Kasper made it through the 2017 campaign as the champion, following up on the championship won by his grandfather, Bill Kasper. Bill had retired prior to the season and sold his car to Josh Smith. However, the competition was still tough for the younger Kasper.
Russ Newman continued to be a front runner and a feature winner in the group last season, and he figures to continue that trend this year. Another driver to contend with is Burl Richardson, who has won his share of races at the speedway through the years. There are some good drivers in the field, including DJ Case, Carl Roberts and Brian Young. Another thing that makes the track in Hayfork so exciting is that drivers from Orland Raceway have been known to come to town from time to time and race wheel to wheel with the locals.
This also happens in the Mini Stock division. Past Orland Raceway Mini Truck champion Ross Vige made a habit of racing in Hayfork back in 2016 and earned the Mini Stock championship as a result. Andy Blackburn was just getting started that season, but he took it up a notch last year as he became the champion. 2015 champion, Jack Turner, was also a competitor in the class last year along with Drew Brown and William Young. There were some new drivers just getting started at the end of last season, and Saturday should have a good race for this class..
From the popular Hobby Stock and four cylinder Mini Stock divisions that are seen at several venues throughout California, Hayfork also has a rather unique division called the Enduro division. It takes its cue from the popular race that many tracks used to run a couple times a year. These special 20 or 25 lap races in Hayfork see the track watered down and the drivers turned lose to do battle. The cars are basically stock, and the action is anything but boring.
This division has helped Hayfork build up a base of racers in town with 8 to 10 competitors racing at times. You never know who can win one of these races, and winners last season included Bryan Gummeras, William Young and Tim Kasper.
Capping off the event, which is sponsored by the Trinity County Fairgrounds, will be a Fireworks Show. It all adds up to a night of excitement at Mountain Valley Raceway this Saturday night. Gates open at 6 p.m. with the first race at 7 pm. Adult tickets are $10, Seniors and Veterans are $8 and kids are $5. Children 5 and under are free. For more information, check out the Mountain Valley Raceway Facebook page.