Champion Speedway hopeful for opener Sunday May, 26th
The little dirt oval track on the side of NYS 17/86 known as Champion Speedway has had a storied past. Started in 1975, it quickly became a local legend with sellout crowds who came in droves to see a spectacular form of extreme motorcycle racing called speedway where motorcycles slide sideways with no brakes. Local riders became somewhat of celebrities in the area and some gained a reputation for being amongst the best in the country. The facility reigned supreme in the 70s and early 80s until ownership battles led to its first closure for several years in 1987. The track re-opened in 1990 for a short three year spell with moderate success the first year but changed promoters three times in its second life and none were able to achieve stability.
In 1997, professional hockey player, Jason Bonsignore, of Rochester took over the facility and invested a lot of money into it with a long-term commitment to bring the facility and sport back from the dead. Star racers were brought back, new ones were groomed, improvements were made to the facility and although many mistakes were also made along the way, Champion Speedway has since seen 16 more years of great racing and Bonsignore has become the longest serving promoter of Champion in it's history and the second longest serving speedway racing promoter in the Country behind the Oxley Family of the World Famous Costa Mesa Speedway.
Bonsignore has decided to make some improvements to the facility in preparation for this year and the crashwall and racing surface are under re-construction. The size and shape of the racing surface are being altered for what Bonsignore hopes will make for better and more frequent passing.
Although still under construction, Bonsignore is fairly confident Champion Speedway is going to make it time to open it doors for its usual season opening Spring Classic on Memorial Day weekend.
This years Patrick Ahlund Spring Classic, presented by Southern Tier Insulations and Admar Supply is set for Sunday, May 26, and will feature a full program of professional speedway and ATV racing. Youth and Amateur preliminary heats kick off at 6 p.m. with the regular program blasting off at 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices are still just $10 for adults and $3 for kids under age six. More information can be found at www.speedwaybikes.com or by calling (585) 739-9612. Champion Speedway also now has a facebook page. The go-kart fun track and BMX races should be back open at Champion Speedway also during the month of May.