When Mahoning Valley Speedway promoter Keith Hoffman introduced the Rookie Hobby Stock class last season, at the time little did he or anyone else know the impression it would have with such an influx of young racers looking to drive stock cars.
From the very beginning the division saw an amazing array of up-and-comers, good car counts that stayed steady all year and even a class sponsor in E. Schneider and Sons Inc. Scrap Metal and Recyclers of Allentown.
“I wanted these kids, young and old, to get the feel of racing in a stock car and also what it felt like to win a race at Mahoning Valley and be greeted by a large cheering crowd,’ explained Hoffman.
“We accomplished that and in the process paved the way for the next generation of stars to race here.”
That was indeed the case as eight different winners graced Victory Lane in 11 events held. Hallie Muffley, who never raced a car prior to that, came out as the top winner with three victories while Paul French, Jr., was hailed as the very first class champion.
2021 will see a host of those talents take the step up, which is exactly what the focus of the class is designed for. However, there will be some who may not be quite ready to make that advancement and feel another year of getting better adjusted to the surroundings will be in their best interest.
Parents and guardians agree too, which is what led track management to institute a “Futures” class.
Although those racers not moving up are no longer a rookie with the first year under their belts, the Futures class will combine them with Rookies. Each feature will see two winners, one Rookie and one Futures.
“This was the best course of action that we felt was the right thing to do,” offered Hoffman.
“We saw that some of the Rookies, even though they all did a great job, where not yet ready to make the step into the regular Hobby Stocks or higher and this will now provide a more safe and basic environment for them to do so.”
And, they will have adequate track time to improve and nurture with 21 race dates.
At the present time Hoffman noted that a three-year and out rule will be instituted for the Futures/Rookies.
The Futures/Rookie Hobby Stockers along with all others will get the first opportunity to get on track starting March 13, 20 and 27 with Test and Tune days in advance of the Saturday, April 3 Opening Day which is also race number one of the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series featuring the Bill Teel Tribute.
Please log onto the official Mahoning Valley Speedway website at www.mahoningvalley-speedway.com or on Facebook at Mahoning Valley Speedway or Twitter @MahoningSpeed updated info and news. Mahoning Valley Speedway is located on PA route 443 just a few miles west of Lehighton.