Dominion Raceway Set to Host First Event of the 2016 Campaign April 9th
“If you build it, they will come…” will sure be put to test this weekend as Dominion Speedway, located in Thornburg, Virginia will open its gates, officially, to competitors and teams alike. Dominion Raceway, the sorta, kinda, almost, resurrected Old Dominion Speedway will be in action this Saturday, April 9th for its first official race. As most of you already know, Old Dominion Speedway, a track with more than 60 years of history was shut down in 2012 due to noise complaints from a new housing development. A project nearly two and a half years in the making has finally hit the mark where we can put racecars on the track.
Originally planned to open in 2014, Dominion Raceway & Entertainment saw their fair shares of bumps along the way, however, owners never gave up on there dream to build a one-of-a-kind facility. Not only will the facility host an entire season of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing on their 4/10 mile banked asphalt track, they will also host events on the two mile road course, as well as their 1/8th mile drag strip – set to open in the fall.
Racing just about every weekend from early April through late September, Dominion Raceway looks to be a point of interest on everyone’s schedule this year. Tyler Hughes, who bases his race shop out of Maryland and has a Legends track championship under his belt at Old Dominion Speedway, has already expressed his excitement about the speedway finally opening. Though Hughes will not be able to run a full schedule at the new facility – as the team as other commitments as well as the K&N program – Hughes told us he would not miss opening night for sure. “The new facility is gorgeous,” said Hughes. “They’re doing everything right, the track is nice and smooth and fast. It’truly a top notch short track facility. We are gonna try to run as many races as we can with our budget and the K&N schedule but, yes I will be there Saturday. Wouldn’t miss it.”
Late Models are not the only division who is going to run on a consistent basis at Dominion. INEX, the governing body over the Legends and Bandos, will have both of their divisions at the speedway – great news for me personally because outside the Late Models, the Legends are my favorite. If you are a legends driver this might just be the place you want to be all summer with 16 races scheduled out of the total 20 events. Drivers and crews alike have told me from the open practice that the track is bad fast!
Chris Hayes, who is working in his sophomore year in the Legends is looking forward to getting back behind the wheel this weekend and for the weather to help him out. “Im anxious to get behind the wheel,” Hayes told us. “All the time and effort that’s gone into the car, I am ready to get started and of course having fun.” Hayes, who missed the open practices this off-season due to weather or things going on around the house, tells me he just wants to hit the track, shake the car down and learn as much as he can. “If we can go and learn a lot and keep the car clean I will considered that a success.”
Andrew Graham, who helps get Tommy Jackson, Jr right, feels this weekend is going to be big for the Legends. “The first race is gonna be the biggest race as far as car count goes,” Graham told us. “Everybody will be gunning for that inaugural win. The Legend cars are going to provide some tight, side-by-side racing at some high speeds. [Tommy] Jackson and I have been doing a lot of preseason testing over the winter break at Dominion and hopefully with last weekends wins at Southside and Shenandoah Speedway, we can carry that momentum into Saturday’s season opener.”
The Weekly Racer will of course have you covered this weekend if you cannot make it out due to prior commitments. Gates for the fans are set to open at 2 PM with practice rolling off that same time. Qualifying is tentatively scheduled for 5 PM with green flag racing at 7PM. Due to the weather, we are still waiting on word from the track if we will be racing, so with that being said, we have not decided on our schedule for LIVE updates on our Twitter (@theweeklyracer). This will be made and announced Saturday afternoon once we can get a look at car counts. However, we will pick up the action for qualifying at 5 PM.
To keep up to date with all things Dominion Raceway you can check them out on the web at www.dominionraceway.com or follow them on Facebook & Twitter.