Travel costs and shortage of supplies force cancellation of stock car race at Clearfield
CLEARFIELD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) – As ever-escalating fuel prices and supply chain issues continue to affect everyday Americans across the United States, these economic issues are now beginning to affect the world of motorsport.
The ripple effect has recently been felt in UMI motor sports park in Clearfield when they canceled an upcoming race at their track citing high costs and ongoing tire supply chain issues as the cause. The Super Cup stock car series was scheduled to race on the asphalt oval track on Saturday June 18 in an event called the “Keystone Twins” which was to feature two 50-lap races.
The decision to cancel the event was reportedly accepted by the track and series and anyone who purchased tickets or parking for the event was offered a refund, according to UMI Motorsports Park. The track and series plan to revisit racing in 2023.
UMI Motorsports Park spokesman Ramey Womer said many riders in the series are not traveling due to financial constraints related to fuel and other expenses. Womer added that the current cost of race fuel is $12 per gallon with no markup.
“We have a great relationship with the Super Cup Stock Car Series and hope to welcome them when the economy, supply chain and state of racing in the union are better,” said Womer.
Super Cup Stock Car Series public relations coordinator Aaron Creed elaborated on the issues the series was facing with the race weekend and said many factors led to the mutual decision to cancel it. He said some teams have been forced to think twice about their decision to race while others choose to stay home. Creed explained that many of the series’ teams travel from out of state and use diesel-powered vehicles to tow their trailers and race cars.
Teams have also faced various parts shortages and struggled to repair their race cars due to track damage and/or mechanical failures that were caused at the start of the 2022 season. Creed says the shortage also caused a few teams to miss a few past events in the series.
“When I spoke with our series director, Joe Schmaling, he mentioned an interesting point. We’ve billed ourselves as ‘Racin’ The Way It Used To Be’ since the series premiered in late 2007, in part because of its relatively affordable price as well as its family atmosphere. There are things that are sort of unprecedented that currently don’t fit into that category,” Creed said. of a part, or occasionally a major failure, a team could call a supplier and get a spare part or what they needed within days or sometimes even overnight. It’s not what most go through if they have to make repairs to get back on track.
In addition to parts shortages, tire supply has also been a challenge for the series. The Super Cup Stock Car Series tire supplier is American Racer, a company based in Indiana, Pennsylvania. Creed said the series made adjustments throughout the season to deal with the shortage and even limited the use of new tires per event. However, Creed added that the tire supplier has been accommodating and informative since supply chain issues became a concern last year.
“We had to make some adjustments along the way, but we greatly appreciate them for their continued communications with us in which we are fully aware of the challenges all tire suppliers are currently facing,” Creed said.
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Creed expects tire rationing to continue, but says American Racer has informed them that the next batch of new race tires will be available before the series’ next race at Jennerstown Speedway Complex in July. The series hopes the weather before the July event will allow teams to regroup and prepare.
The Super Cup Stock Car series last raced at UMI Motorsports Park in 2021, which would have been the first oval race at the venue since 2015, when it was then known as CNB Bank Raceway Park.