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09-13-2014

HUMMINGBIRD SPEEDWAY FORCED TO POSTPONE LATE MODEL SPECIAL
By: Dave Resinger

 

Reynoldsville (September 6) - Despite a valiant effort, Hummingbird Speedway was unable to overcome what Mother Nature threw at it on Saturday night. Rain began late in the afternoon, and just when it looked like the bad weather had passed, a steady drizzle began and the track crew was unable to get the racing surface in condition for competition. As a result, the Mick Orsich Memorial Late Model Open was postponed until Saturday September 13th. It will be a complete new show, so those competitors who already drew for their starting positions will do so again and any new race teams who arrive at the track will be able to compete. Rainchecks from 9/6 will be honored; those in attendance should keep their ticket stubs or wristbands for admission on 9/13. This will be combined with the previously scheduled Ina Caltagarone Memorial Street Stock Special, and both events will take place on September 13th.

 

The $2,000 to win late model special has become a staple of Hummingbird Speedway, honoring the memory of Mick Orsich, who was a big part of the track's history. Orsich was an official in the early days of Hummingbird when it operated in the 1960s-70s, and also managed the track upon its reopening in 2000. He was diagnosed with esophegeal cancer in 2003, and battled it until finally succumbing to the disease and passing away just days after the close of the 2004 season. During the time he fought the cancer, Mick continued to work at his full-time job in addition to handling duties not only as track manager but also flagman at Hummingbird. He was well respected and popular with all who knew him. The annual event is the speedway's way of remembering the man who was so important to Hummingbird, and it has become customary that funds are raised for the Hahne Cancer Center, a division of Penn Highlands DuBois, in Mick's memory.

 

2014 will be the 9th edition of the Mick Orsich Memorial. It will once again feature a 35-lap, $2,000 to win / $150 to start main event for the BWP Bats late model class. Non-qualifiers will receive $100 tow money. There is also lap money being paid for the leader of each individual lap. Track regulars in their steel block late models will be joined by drivers from across the region, as rules will be opened up to allow super late model teams who have aluminum block engines to compete, with a minimum weight of 2300 pounds after the feature event. Also, 16 late model drivers will have an opportunity to earn some extra cash as there will be the ever growing and popular king of the hill race to be run.

 

Chris Farrell of Clearfield (who is the speedway's 2014 late model champion) will try to become the first two-time winner of the event. Farrell won the 2013 Orsich memorial race and will return to go for two in a row, but he will have some very stiff competition. Other past winners of this event include Jason Witherite, Sammy Stile, Luke Hoffner, Denton Boyer, Steve Everhart, Dwayne Brooks, and Denny Fenton.

 

The Street Stock Special will be a 30-lap feature paying $1,000 to win and lap money. The minimum to start is $100 and there will be $40 in tow fee for those not making the feature. Minor revisions will be made to the speedway’s normal rules to allow transmissions other than those normally permitted. Check the track’s website for details. The race is to honor track owner Louie Caltagarone’s wife, who was another integral part of the speedway since its opening in 1964. Caltagarone passed in 2011 after a lengthy battle with cancer.

 

In addition to the Late Model and Street Stock specials, Hummingbird's other regular classes - micro sprints, pure stocks and front wheel drive four-cylinders - will also be on the card with a regular show for each division. Hummingbird Speedway rules will be in effect. All cars will be brought to the speedway before the racing action starts as we fill the track for a four-wide salute to Mick and Ina.

 

24 lucky fans will also have an opportunity to win a $100 as ticket numbers will be drawn to receive an autographed late model driver hat. The fan with the winner of the late model racer’s autograph will receive $100 and get to go trackside for a picture with that driver.

 

Notes/Details: Gates will open at 3:30pm with racing at 6. Admission on September 13th will be $15 general admission, and $25 for the pit area. There will also be a $50 registration fee for late models only. Plans are being discussed for a rain date and will be posted on the track's website shortly.

 

For more information call the track office at (814) 653-8400 or visit the track’s website at www.hummingbirdspeedway.com.