Wayne County Speedway season opener 2023

By Randy Worrell
ORRVILLE – Patience is not a race car driver – or fans’ – greatest virtue. After inclement weather wiped out the first two events of the season, the third attempt will be the charm as The O’Reilly Auto Parts Wayne County Speedway will celebrate its much-anticipated 2023 season-opener Saturday night.

After completing an ambitious slate a season ago, the 3-8-mile paper-clip shaped oval presents an even more diverse schedule this campaign kicked off by the first of four FAST Series sprint car events planned at the historic oval near Orrville, which first opened to racing enthusiasts in the summer of 1965. In addition to the Pine Tree Towing and Recovering 410 sprints, the Malcuit Tavern Super Late Models, the McKenzie Concrete Super Stocks, the JoyRide Mini Stocks and open-wheeled Modifieds will also join the card on Saturday.

In addition to the Fast Five weekly series, the speedway will host the FAST series again on June 24, July 22, and the Pete Jacobs Memorial on Sept. 3, Kyle Larson and Brad Sweet’s High Limit Sprint Series Buckeye Brawl presented by Sheldon Haudenschild on May 16, back-to-back All Star Circuit of Champions Speedweek shows on June 11 and 12, the inaugural visit from the highly-popular Ironman Super Late Model traveling series on July 8, and the return of the DirtCar Summer Nationals featuring the Super Late Models and Modifieds on July 16. A pair of BOSS non-wing sprint car events are planned for May 6 and August 19, the very popular Kids Night on August 12, and the season-ending two-day BlowOut weekend slated to bring the curtain down on the action-packed schedule on Sept. 29 and 30.

Few speedways across the country – if any- can match the diversity and high-profile events slated for the ultra-fast speed plant in 2023.

“We feel that we have one of the best fan bases in all of dirt track racing, not just in Ohio,” said promoter and general manager Jason Flory. “None of us could do what we love to do without the fans’ support, and we’re always striving to offer (the fans and competitors) something for all of them.”

Flory and staff have added a new wrinkle to the slate as well, with the formation of the King of the County Series featuring all divisions of the weekly Fast Five Series. The three-race mini-series will culminate with the season-ending Sept. 30 BlowOut for all five classes, with each class adding two other events highlighted by a presenting marketing partner. Integrity Auto and Truck Sales of Bucyrus will back the sprint cars (May 13, July 1), while the Best Western Inn and Conference Center of Wooster picked up the super late models (May 20, Aug 5), with the super stocks series (May 27, Aug. 12) adding backing from Platinum Designs and the mini stocks (June 17, July 29) being presented by Bad Boyz Tree Service. The modifieds will also participate in the series (May 13, Sept. 3) with their backing yet to be determined.

The FAST series hit the WCS twice in 2022 with Ricky Peterson and Henry Malcuit each picking up a victory. Both are slated to appear on Saturday with FAST series regulars Lee Jacobs, Sean Rayhall, Jack Sodeman Jr., Mitch Harble, Justin Adams, Brandon Spithaler, Ryan Broughton, Justin Clark, Jeremy Weaver, Kasey Jedrzejek, Gunner Lucius, and North Port, Fla. driver Danny Sams, who doubled up with wins at WCS in the 360 and 410 sprints on April 30, 2022, in addition to many others including Trey Jacobs, Danny Mumaw, Leyton Wagner, and Cody Bova for the $3,000-to-win, $350-to-start event.

Pit gates open at 2 p.m. with spectator gates at 3 followed by hot laps at 6 and racing at 7.

Fans can follow along at www.waynecountypeedway.com, and on facebook at wayne county speedway and also at www.bossfastsprints.com and FAST on Dirt on facebook.