Though the regular season came to an early end on Maine's oldest track this summer, Unity Raceway owner and Long John promoter Ralph Nason said he expects success in the final event of the state's stock car racing season. A recent partnership with Speedway 95, Nason hopes, will rejuvenate interest in the Long John Weekend.“This is the first time I can remember – the first time since I bought the track in the 1980s – that we've ever had a combined effort between Unity Raceway and Speedway 95 for an event like this,” Nason said. “(Speedway 95 owner) Del Merritt is going to supply the tires, Jere Humphrey is going to supply the fuel and we're going to put on a heck of a race for everybody.
“I'm hoping this is the start of something big.”
The Long John Weekend begins Saturday, October 13, with open practice for all divisions from 12-6 p.m. After a short practice round on Sunday, October 14, racing will kick off at noon with qualifying and feature racing in eight divisions, including the New England Auto Parts Late Model 100, 50-lap features for the Sportsman and Wildcat/Strictly Stock divisions and the Wicked Good Vintage Racers.
A total of more than $3,000 in purse money will be paid to Long John feature winners over the course of the weekend. Competitors who pre-register prior to September 30 in any division will be guaranteed a starting spot in their respective feature, with pre-registration for Late Models limited to the first 30 pre-registrants.
All purse money will be paid immediately following racing on Sunday.
“It's too bad that we had a tough time this summer and weren't able to race all season, but it is what it is. It's tough for everybody – including teams and fans – right now,” Nason said. “It would be too bad to lose this tradition of the Long John, which is why we're so excited about having this event.”
The following events will be held on Sunday of Long John Weekend:
• 100-lap feature for New England Auto Parts Late Model division ($1500-to-win)
• 50-lap feature for Jim's Salad Sportsman division ($500-to-win)
• 50-lap feature for Pit Stop Convenience Store & Liquidation Center Wildcat/Strictly Stock division ($500-to-win)
• 25-lap feature for Tire King of Skowhegan Sport 4/Monsta Mini division ($250-to-win)*
• 25-lap feature for Folsom & Sons Bombers/Flyin’ 4 division ($250-to-win)*
• 20-lap feature for Teen division
• 20-lap “Wheel of Fortune” feature for Enduro division
• Wicked Good Vintage Racers
* If 20 or more cars enter in these divisions, the feature distance will be 50 laps.
Pit admission for practice only on Saturday, October 13, is $20, and tires and fuel will be available for all teams. Grandstand admission for Sunday, October 14, is $15 for adults, $5 for children ages 6-11 and free for children 5 and under. Pit admission is $30 for Sunday, and gates open at 9 a.m.
For more information about the annual Long John Weekend at Unity Raceway – or to inquire about event sponsorship opportunities – visit www.UnityRaceway.info or “Like” Unity Raceway on Facebook.