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Belle-Clair Raceway under new managment; local auto racing season begins April 3

The 2015 metro-east auto racing season kicks off April 3 with a $1,500 to win “Shamrock 40” race for UMP Late Models at Belle-Clair Speedway in Belleville.

It will be the first race at the track since the 2014 season came to a premature close in September. There is no such risk of dropping races this year, however, since Belle-Claire has reached a multi-year agreement with Performance Open Wheel Racing, Inc.

POWRi has been sanctioning up to six open-wheel events at Belle-Clair each season for years. It will promote and manage races 19 events this season in all categories for the next three years.

“It’s sort of a unique contract for us,” said Kenny Brown, operator of Millstadt-based POWRi. “It’s our home track I just think it needs be open. I couldn’t watch it go from 30 races each year to six. My main goal is to keep the track open and bring good shows there.”

POWRi is a nation-wide sanctioning body for midget racers, with affiliations with 53 raceways across from the northeast through the midwest. It is based in Millstadt.

Belle-Clair Speedway is running on Friday nights again this year with UMP Late Models, UMP Modifieds, UMP Sportsmen, UMP Pure Stocks and Mini Sprints for the first half of the season, which switch to Sundays beginning on June 7.

Some of the Belle-Clair events include the UMP Summer Nationals for the seventh time and the third running of the UMP Late Models with the POWRi Midgets on May 17.

The POWRi Midgets and 600cc Mini Sprints will have seven shows again this year. The Midwest Open Wheel Assoc (MOWA) Winged Sprint cars will race June 14 for the first time. The Big Ten Late Models come to Belle-Clair for two shows May 15 and July 26.

The Don Klein 100 Lapper is Friday, Aug. 7 and the two-day Belleville Bash is Oct. 2 and 3.

The Shamrock 40 will be the Belle-Clair Speedway 2015 season opener, March 27. Gates open at 4 p.m. Hot laps being at 6 p.m. with racing to follow. General admission is $15 and kids under 12 are free.

General admission is $15, with children 12-under admitted free. Fan appreciation nights will be offered for admission price of $9.99.

For more information, visit www.belleclairspeedway.com/

Highland Speedway

Rick Frey is the new promoter at Highland Speedway.

Highland Speedway will be running UMP Late Models, UMP Modifieds, UMP Street Stocks, and SportMods on Saturday nights again this year, with several specials planned along with the weekly racing programs.

Highland will be part of the July 4 UMP Summer Nationals for a $10,000 to win show for the Late Models. For more information visit www.highlandspeedway.com.

Tri-City Speedway

Tri-City Speedway in Granite City will run the same classes as last year: UMP Late Models, UMP Modifieds, UMP Pro Late Models, UMP Street Stocks and Pro 4 racing on Friday nights. Tri-City will have several special events in 2015, including the Lucas Oil Late Models May 1, May 24 will see the Bud 50Late Models for $10,000 to win, July 24 is the Midwest Open Wheel Sprints and June 19 is the UMP Summer Nationals with $10,000 to win for the Late Models.

The Lucas Oil Late Models returns July 10, Modified Mania returns in September and the annual Gold Crown is a three-day show in September with $15,000 to the winner.

For more information visit www.tricityspeedway.net.

Others

Federated Auto Parts I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Mo., will race UMP Late Models, UMP Modifieds, UMP Sportsmen, UMP Pro4s and B-Mods on its weekly programs on Saturday nights.

Special events are World of Outlaw Sprint cars for two shows May 2 and August 7-8, UMP Summer Nationals on June 27, UMP/MARS Challenge on Aug. 29 and the St. Louis Showdown Late Models on September 19. For more information visit www.I55raceway.com.

More information on the local racing scene can be found at www.stlracing.com and www.POWRiracing.com.

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