Near a quiet little cemetery in a quant town in North-Central Ohio there is a place where speed and power culminate for an ultimate show of competition and adrenaline.
Attica Raceway Park is in the heart of the Attica Fairgrounds and although locals are used to the rumble of a fast moving train trekking on the property line frequently, the hauling locomotives can’t even begin to hold a candle to the rumble that emits from the speed plant every Friday night and occasional Saturday’s.
Attica has long been known as a sprint car drivers dream. A semi-banked 1/3 mile sits inside a large ½-mile horse track giving crews ample room to move, push trucks a nice wide berth to get the mini-monsters started and drivers a perfect fast and exciting playground.
On March 30th I made my first visit to Attica and was incredibly impressed. Firstly, Gaylord, Michigan had over 2-foot of snow on the ground and flurries in the air upon my departure so an Easter weekend spent with family in 54º was automatically a winner, but once arriving at the very clean and very fan friendly facility I found myself in awe. The season opening event played host to the UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions, the weekly 305 Sprinters and UMP Late Models and there was never a break in the action.
The racing was incredible as we got to see Dale Blaney pick up his 94th All Star victory after and exciting 40-lap event that saw Sheldon Haudenschild wheel his no.93 up into a 2nd place finish. The event started with Cap Henry jumping into the early lead, but challenge after challenge met the Attica regular. Henry originally sliced and diced his way through lapped traffic, but the competition was intense between mid-packers and Henry ultimately got hooked up with a lapped car sending him to the rear, from there things went from bad to worse and the no.54 ended up leaving the speedway on the hook. Blaney & Haundenschild had the top two spots under control, but the race for 3rd was also intense as Tim Schaffer (no.83) and Randy Hannagan (no.66) battled it out until the bitter end when Hannagan pulled ahead just enough to snatch the final podium position.
In the Late Models, nobody could hold a candle to Matt Miller. Rick DeLong has stepped out of the cockpit, but the success of his no.3 team continues with Miller as the pilot, Rusty Schlenk drove his no.91 to second just ahead of the very hard charging Dona Marcoullier.
The 305 Sprint feature was the most intense in my opinion. Throughout the entire 25-lap feature there was constant three wide action and wicked slide jobs. Some drivers worked their way up from deep in the field, while minimal cautions kept the lead cars fighting one another and lapped traffic. When the checkered flag flew it was a very excited Alvin Roepke who piloted his no.00 to the hard earned win over a hard charging Dustin Dinan.
If you have never before made a visit to Attica Raceway Park it is definitely one for the bucket list, with every weekend being a possible double header between Attica on Friday and its sister speedway the nearby Fremont running Saturday’s throughout the summer it is the perfect way to spend a long weekend. Not too far from Sandusky; North-Central Ohio may just be the perfect spot for your next family vacation.
With an amazing track surface, an expedient program, and incredibly friendly drivers; Attica Raceway Park is a winner in my book and I am looking forward to sharing the stories of two of Attica’s finest; Nate Dussel (Driver of the no.1 305 Sprinter) and Craig Mintz (Driver of the no.09 410 Sprinter) in upcoming stories.
I would like to thank Attica Raceway Park, Todd and Bob Buffenbarger of tjslideways.com for their knowledge and great company, and all of you for reading.
I’ll see you when the next green flag flies!