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Local auto racing: Drivers to aim high as season approaches

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Race car drivers and their crews hope their efforts in the offseason will result in winning races and capturing point titles at north country speedways this season.

Track promoters at Can-Am Motorsports Park in LaFargeville and the Evans Mills Speedway are hopeful of beginning their season this weekend, weather permitting.

Can-Am opens its season Friday night, while Evans Mills will hold its first race on Saturday night.

Greg Smith, general manager at the Evans Mills Speedway, said there will be seven classes competing this season.

“We will have the super stocks, trucks, legends, modifieds, thunder stock, sports compact and the junior thunder stocks this season,” Smith said. “The modifieds will include the big-block and small-block cars.’’

There won’t be a special women’s truck class this season, but Smith said that the handful of female truck drivers usually compete in the men’s truck class.

“For the first time on asphalt, the Empire Super Sprints will be making an appearance in June at the speedway,’’ Smith said.

Can-Am has returned to Friday night racing this season, following a one-year stint on Saturday nights.

General manager Chip Burdick said the speedway dropped the modified division and increased the purses in the other divisions.

“Saturday night was a tough night for us,’’ Burdick said. “We’ve had a lot of people contact us to say they were glad we moved back to Friday nights. Many of them said Saturday wasn’t a good day for many of them because of family commitments.

“We will have the sportsman modified class, along with late models, thunder cars, pro stock and novice sportsman this season. The novice sportsman is a beginners class, and we’ve had several inquiries about that division,’’ Burdick added.

“We’ve got some mid-week race programs featuring the SUNY Canton Shootout for sportsman, which will pay $2,000 to win,’’ Burdick said. “We will also have a $1,000 to win payoff for street stocks.”

Racing at the Mohawk International Raceway in Akwesasne won’t begin until May 17, but there will be a test and tune practice session six days earlier. There is also a big-block modified Super DIRT Series race on Sept. 14.

The Oswego Speedway opens its season May 4, with a practice session scheduled for April 27.

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