Three tracks unify specs for 4 classes

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Posted Dec. 31, 2008, at 10:18 p.m.

Del Merritt, co-owner of Hermon’s Speedway 95, Wiscasset Raceway owner Doug White and Unity Raceway manager and lessee George Fernald Jr. have unified their rules and specifications in four classes to enable drivers to run at all three tracks without having to make significant changes to their cars in order to pass technical inspection.

The trio met on four occasions to iron out the rules package.

“Everybody made a few concessions,” said Merritt. “We each gave a little and took a little.”

“We each got something and lost something, but in the end, it was meant to benefit every race car driver out there,” said Fernald.

“The drivers won’t have to change much [on their cars],” said White.

“It’ll be much easier for us to test the cars [in tech inspections], and this will put everybody on the same playing field,” said Fernald.

The tire specifications, for example, will be the same at all three tracks for similar classes. The shock packages will also be similar, although Merritt said he will require Koni shocks for his top class, the Pro Limiteds, if the drivers want to compete for points.

“But we’ll let cars without Koni shocks race three times. They just won’t be eligible to run for points,” said Merritt.

The unification of rules will be particularly beneficial when the tracks host special races with higher payouts than the weekly card.

“The drivers like to go to them, and if you all have the same set of rules, it will make it easier for them to go,” said Merritt.

“And it will make for better racing all the way around,” added White.

Fernald pointed out that there are a lot of cars “sitting” and not racing and he’s hoping this unification of rules will entice drivers to return to racing.

White said another positive offshoot of the deal is the cooperative spirit shared by the three as they worked out the details.

“For so many years, racetrack promoters worked against each other. But it was time for a change and, because of the [economic] times, you’ve got to work productively with each other. We have to look at the big picture,” said White.

“This is a huge step. I really enjoyed working with them. I’m really looking forward to the season and seeing how it all plays out,” added White.

“We built a good working relationship and that’s something that wasn’t done in the past,” said Fernald. “It was exciting to work together.”

“It was really a good time. I enjoyed it immensely. It’s really fun to work with people [like White and Fernald],” said Merritt.

Another offshoot of their bonding could very well be a points series involving races at all three tracks for the four classes that will have similar rules.

That will be discussed by the trio at this weekend’s 21st annual Northeast Motorsports Expo at the Augusta Civic Center.

Unity Raceway will continue to run its primary card on Friday nights while Speedway 95 and Wiscasset will run on Saturday evenings.

Berggren headlines Expo

Dick Berggren, executive editor of Speed Illustrated magazine and a longtime television analyst for Sprint Cup races as well as other NASCAR divisions, will be the featured celebrity at the Northeast Motorsports Expo in Augusta this weekend.

Berggren has been inducted into four Motorsports Halls of Fame and has worked for virtually every network that has covered auto racing.

Also featured will be Waterville native and racing legend Pete Silva.

The hours will be 5-10 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday.

Berggren will be on hand from 7-9 p.m. Friday and noon-2 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. on Saturday.

Silva will be featured from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday.

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http://bangordailynews.com/2008/12/31/sports/three-tracks-unify-specs-for-4-classes/ printed on April 21, 2014