WEST LEBANON, N.Y. -- Lebanon Valley Speedway, the "Valley of Speed," is gearing up for opening night on Saturday.
The high-banked, dirt stock car track will feature modified, pro stock and street stock divisions in a night of racing beginning at 6 p.m., said longtime owner Howard Commander.
The Lebanon Valley Dragway also is set to open on Sunday, he said, adding that this will be the 61st season of racing at the stock car track and the 51st for drag racing.
Both tracks are located off Route 20, about halfway between Pittsfield and Albany.
"It looks like decent weather for the opening," Commander said, adding that he is optimistic following an unusually wet season last year -- with six Saturday night rainouts compared to the normal three or four.
About 300,000 fans attend events at Lebanon Valley during a typical season, he said.
At the stock car track, spectators will see from 300 to 400 cars competing in big- and small-block modified, sportsman, pro stock, street stock and four-cylinder divisions.
Special programs scheduled this season include the Eve of Destruction events on June 24, Monster Jam on four nights beginning on July 13, the World of Outlaws Sprint Car series races on July 20, and the Mr. Dirt Track USA 100-lap race with a $17,500 purse to win on Aug. 14.
Commander said he is hopeful that NASCAR Sprint Cup driver and owner Tony Stewart, who has been injured, will be able to attend the World of Outlaws series here, as he has in the past. This year is also the last for driver Steve Kinser, who is retiring, he said.
At the National Hot Rod Association certified dragway, Commander said that on any given Sunday, spectators can see 300 to 500 competitors and 30 to 40 vehicles that will top 200 mph.
Drag racing begins Sundays at 8 a.m. and continues to 6 p.m. Commander said the best time for spectators is early afternoon.
The track owner said that, once again, he has held the line on price increases, and the cost of admission for racing will remain at $10 for those 12 and older.
For more information, log on to www.lebanonvalley.com.
To reach Jim Therrien:
or (413) 496-6247.
On Twitter: @BE_therrien.