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Adirondack International Speedway speeds backs into the picture

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NEW BREMEN — After a reawakening in the fall, the Adirondack International Speedway is ready to return for a full season.

The asphalt track will kick off its first season since 2009 on May 4 with six classes, featuring super stocks, trucks, legends, sports compacts, thunder stocks and junior thunder stocks.

The races will take place Sunday afternoons from May 4 until Sept. 7. Track owner Paul Lyndaker said the non-racing fans in the community are excited to have racing back in the county.

“Even the people who don’t go to racing say it’s a good thing for the north country,” Lyndaker said. “It’s been pretty much positive.”

The speedway actually returned with a racing program on Nov. 2, 2013 after being rained out three times. Track announcer and marketing director Keith Zehr said the fall race was a good dry run for the upcoming season.

“The weather wasn’t very good, but it gave us a chance to work the track in,” Zehr said. “It was a little bit of a teaser.”

The track closed in 2010 after the speedway filed a lawsuit against Lewis County, stemming from an unresolved lien against the property filed in 2004. However, the county is now ready to help the raceway get up and running.

Lewis County Legislative Chairman Mike Tabolt said he is eager to work with the track to help bring more money into the county.

“I would say there’s renewed enthusiasm,” Tabolt said. “We all recognize the potential this racetrack has not just for New Bremen but for the whole county.”

Lyndaker said that it’s great to have the county ready to promote the track.

“There’s been very much cooperation from the county,” he said.

One sign of the improved relations between the county and the raceway is that Tabolt came up with the idea to hold a meeting of the New York State Association of Counties on Thursday at AIS. Zehr said the meeting was a good start.

“It sets a whole different tone,” Zehr said.

At the height of the track’s last run, the minor-league NASCAR-affiliated Busch North (later renamed the Busch East and now the K&N Pro Series East) ran events at the speedway. Lyndaker said they’re aiming for the series to return next season.

“I’m sure they’ll be back next year,” he said. “It was too late for them when this thing was settled this year. We tried hard together to arrange a race.”

Lyndaker also said the track is in negotiations to bring other events to the speedway.

Adirondack will run a slate that is similar to the set of races run at Evans Mills International Speedway on Saturday nights. Zehr said the drivers he has talked to are ready to race at the track again.

“The buzz seems pretty positive,” Zehr said. “I’m not sure on how many drivers there will be, but they’re excited.”

Zehr added that some of the racers have not raced anywhere else since the track closed down.

While getting the track reopened was a major step, Lyndaker envisions expanding into different kinds of racing from the current two asphalt ovals.

“Getting together some of other kinds of racing like road, a drag strip and maybe some dirt racing,” he said. “Just a combination of a lot of things before we’re done.”

Lyndaker added that he wants to make it the premier motorsports facility in the north country and a place where families can spend several days.

One of the big changes has been the addition of a general manager in Greg Smith, who has experience at other area racetracks.

Evans Mills, meanwhile, has also experienced some changes for the upcoming season. The track shifted ownership to Monty Groff of Cutting Edge Lawn Service.

Go-karts have been added to the program on Friday nights for the upcoming season, while the majority of races are on Saturdays.

Chapman’s Can-Am Motorsports Park is scheduled to start the local racing slate today, with Evans Mills following on Saturday. Mohawk International Raceway in Akwesasne starts on May 4.

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