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Racers ready to rumble in New Bremen this Sunday for one-day event

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NEW BREMEN — The grass has been cut, the grandstand has been reassembled and local drivers have already thrown in a practice round.

The Adirondack International Speedway on Artz Road is set for its Fall Foliage-Welcome All Back to Racing event Sunday.

“Everybody I talked to can’t wait for this track as they’ll be taking their families,” said Glenn Lavanche, a volunteer at the track who helped spruce up the grounds.

The track, complete with a grandstand that seats between 3,500 and 4,000 and the half-mile paved oval, has been dormant the past four years.

The track was closed after the speedway filed a lawsuit against Lewis County in 2010, which stemmed from a 2004 lien placed on the speedway by the county after the state comptroller ruled a $500,000 grant funneled through Lewis County Opportunities was illegal. Now the speedway will open the gates for the event, and locals couldn’t be happier.

A group of drivers hit the track Sunday for practice, bringing the once overgrown facility back to life.

“It’s a nice track, fast and huge,” said 15-year-old Thunderstock driver Erica Gardner, a Lowville Academy and Central School sophomore who had previously raced at Evans Mills Speedway. She has been racing since she was 14, which echoes her car’s No. 14, and first got involved after seeing a friend’s father race.

“I’ve never raced Adirondack International Speedway before ... but it’s closer to home and Evans Mills is a lot smaller,” she said.

“It’s one of the best tracks I’ve been at,” said first-time AIS racer Verne Harris of Castorland who has been racing modified since 2006. He took the track modified class champion title at Evans Mills in 2012.

“I’m hoping to get a lot of modifieds to come out,” Harris added. “It’ll be fun.”

Wendy and Bruce McLane of Croghan have been supporting family members or racing there since 2000. “There was quite a few of us traveling to Evans Mills. I think we’ll get a lot of us here from Beaver Falls and Croghan,” Bruce McLane said.

Classes include thunderstock, legends, pick-ups, superstock, super 10s, dirt modified and late modified.

According to track owner Paul Lyndaker, the three-week process of getting the track ready for race day has gone relatively smoothly. However, he said that during the four-year dormant span, an estimated $115,000 worth of equipment was stolen. The track has done what it could to accommodate for the loss, including purchasing new cables.

For the future, the intention was to return for a full season in 2014 pending a lawsuit settlement that had been planned last month. But the settlement was postponed. The hope is to still have the track running in 2014.

The back pit gates will open at 10 a.m. Gate Three will open to spectators at noon with Hot Laps running from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. Official races are expected to begin at 2 p.m. Admission is $5 per head, free to children under 16. The pit gate entry fee is $20 per person.

For further details on the event visit www.adirondackspeedway.com.

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