RANSOMVILLE SPEEDWAY DRIVER PROFILE
JUSTIN MCKAY


Another second generation driver who sits in the Ransomville Speedway pits on Friday nights is Justin McKay, he moved up to the Van Raine Construction Novice Sportsman class for the 2016 season after spending the last couple of years in the Gippsters Collision Four Banger class. The four-cylinder class is in McKay’s blood, his father Keith, was a competitor in the 1960’s at the Humberstone Speedway in the Mini-Stock class.

McKay is an armed services veteran, serving several tours overseas. Justin claims the change in divisions has been very challenging, learning the open wheel division. He credits Investors Service Company Sportsman competitor Chris Burek for his training.

“Chris has really taken me in,” said Justin, who purchased a Bicknell chassis from Chris. “He’s helping us to learn the car.”

Justin got some early season work in before Ransomville Speedway opened at Merrittville Speedway and Canandaigua Motorsports Park. His first two weeks at Ransomville Speedway has produced a third and a fifth place finish and a third in division points going into this week’s action.

Justin doesn’t plan on making any changes this year…including moving up to the Sportsman class.

“We’re going to stay where we are right now as long as things stay positive like it is right now.”

The one goal that Justin has on his mind is to attempt to qualify for the King of the Hill Sportsman event at the end of this season. The event will be 100 laps and should draw several outside drivers.

Away from the race car, Justin is employed at General Motors in Lockport. Helping out on the race car this season is Keith, Chris, Mike and Jimmy. The sponsorship list is Christopher Allen Construction, Ace Collision and his Aunt Marianne. The North Tonawanda, NY native is just 26 years of age with a long racing career ahead of him.

Like many of the Ransomville Speedway competitors, Justin reports his racing progress on his facebook page.

Justin seems determined to be successful in the Van Raine Construction Novice Sportsman class, Justin joins a division that has several young drivers who are starting out in stock car racing. Justin could be considered one of them. He’s only been in stock car racing for three years.

The Van Raine Construction Novice Sportsman has already moved several drivers into the Investors Service Company Sportsman class from last season.
 

 

RANSOMVILLE SPEEDWAY DRIVER PROFILE
ROGER ISRAEL


Take a walk though the Ransomville Speedway pit area on a Friday night after the racing program. You won’t find too many drivers making a comeback at the age of 62.

Roger Israel of Wilson, NY is back at home behind the wheel of a Ki-Po Chevrolet Street Stock. Starting up again last Friday night, when he finished fifth. Israel was the 2006 Ransomville Speedway Street Stock champion and has had a four year rest from racing, before last Friday.

Before finally winning the championship, he had finished second in points four times.

In fact, it was only a few weeks ago when Roger decided to give it a shot again. He missed practice from last Wednesday night and wasn’t quite sure he was going to make it last Friday night.

“ We were working on the car right up until 5pm,” said Roger, “ I was surprised that I did as well I did because the car wasn’t even set up right. We just threw this car together when I decided to go racing again.”

He is waiting to see what happens this year, Roger looks at possibly moving up next season.

Roger started racing in 2000. He then shared a ride with his son Justin. The following year, Roger would have his own ride. Roger’s other son Jaren has also been very successful at Ransomville Speedway winning several feature events.

The famous #37 Street Stock that won so much during the 2000’s is back. It just goes to show you that you never lose that will to race. It was Ed Ortiz who also made a comeback at the Ransomville Speedway in the 1980’s. I guess you never get to old to drive.

“I don’t think I’ve forgotten anything in the last four years. It felt pretty good being out there again,” said Roger about his comeback last Friday night.

Sponsoring Roger this year is Eugene Burke, Attorney; Empro Metals and Pogo Machine and Mike Pahl Graphics. Helping out with the 1981Camero behind the scenes is Jaren, Joe and Mike Pahl and Noreen. Roger admits that with the late decision to race this season, he hasn’t had a lot of time to look for sponsorship.

Roger adds experience to the Ki-Po Chevrolet Street Stocks, which is made up mostly of veterans and youth. The division has been a stepping stone for drivers who want to get into short track racing.

 

 

RANSOMVILLE SPEEDWAY DRIVER PROFILE
RYAN SUSICE

The 2015 season saw history made with Ryan Susice winning the 358 Modified championship. Susice was the youngest driver to ever win a Ransomville Speedway Modified championship, at 24 years of age. Ryan is the one of two drivers to win a championship at Ransomville Speedway in three different divisions. Along with the 358 Modifieds, he’s won titles in the Sportsman and the Street Stocks. Ryan won the championship last year in a tough late season battle with Danny Johnson and Pete Bicknell, Ryan took one feature victory and was consistent in his finishes which helped in his path to the championship. 

A second generation driver, his dad, Roy competed at Ransomville Speedway in the 1980’s. Like many of the young drivers at Ransomville Speedway, Ryan got his start in the Thursday night go-kart program. 

Ryan already has two nights in the books this season with starts at Merrittville Speedway in Rob Clark’s new Bicknell chassis. 

“This year we’re going to concentrate on the wins and let the points take care of themselves,” says Ryan.

 Ryan will have to take on a great Ransomville Speedway Krown Undercoating 358 Modified field,  once again. Ryan will also drive a 360 Sprint car when the Patriot Sprints come into Ransomville Speedway twice in 2016. Ryan will also drive several Southern Ontario Sprint events in Canada. He may see more work with the Rob Clark 358 Modified at Merrittville Speedway when his schedule allows. 

Ryan admits to having the pressure off.

“The last three weeks in 2015 were stressful, I was glad when it was finally over,” said Susice, as he recollected his championship season.

Last season, Ryan also won in a big block Modified race at Sharon (OH) Speedway last season and at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park two years ago. 

Ryan had a busy off-season driving a Three-Quarter Midget a the three race series which was promoted by Lenny Sammons of AARN. Those took place in  Atlantic City, NJ, Trenton, NJ and Allentown, PA. 

Sponsoring The Ryan Susice Race Team is Asset Consulting Experts, Subway, Tim Phillips Garage, RPM Property Management, Investors Service Company and Philpac.

The crew is Roy, Ricky, Mike, John, and Scott. Ryan sends out a special thanks to his mom Judy and his fiancé Becky.

 

RANSOMVILLE SPEEDWAY TRACK PROFILE
JONATHAN REID
 

For those of you who have never heard of Jonathan Reid. The Lockport, NY racing star has been one of the top open wheel Three Quarter Midget racing stars in the Western New York racing theatre.

Reid will be at Ransomville Speedway in 2016 with the Investors Service Company Sportsman class, driving for car owner Ken Banker and the Hy-Bank Racing Team. Reid was one of the better Ransomville Speedway go-kart competitors in the history of the Thursday night program. Reid was a multi-time champion and was a huge feature winner. When he left go-karts, Reid teamed up with TQ Midget car owner Harry Macy, who has since passed away. Reid is a multi-time winner of the US Open at Lancaster International Speedway. Reid has also won multiple go-kart championships at Ransomville Speedway.

Reid is only part of the proof that the Ransomville Speedway Thursday night go-kart program works,
working his way through the program for several years during his teenage years. Already an established racer, Reid adds his name to an already talented group of Ransomville Speedway weekly competitors. It will be his first time on dirt with a stock car. Reid will have good equipment available to him.

It was always dream for Jonathan to return to Ransomville Speedway in a stock car . Reid had always been regular visitor to Ransomville Speedway on Friday night.

Johnathan is also driving a Lafler Three Quarter Midget on the three race indoor series, keeping himself busy at Allentown, PA, Atlantic City, NJ and Trenton, NJ. He got a ninth at Allentown with Atlantic City ready to go this weekend.

Like he did on the inner go-kart track, John is expected to have a lot of success on the half mile as well. Ransomville Speedway would like to welcome back Jonathan Reid. He’s coming back home. Reid will be a top driver in all of those weekly 25 lap features. Central New York racing stars Nick Cooper and Justin Henderson will be teammates of Jonathan’s in the Central New York region. Right now, Jonathan’s TQ Midget outdoor life is on hold due to to the fact he doesn’t have a a legal motor on the local tracks after a rule change.

His first start is certainly something a lot of race fans at Ransomville Speedway have been waiting for. Like many of the young drivers who have gotten their starts in the go-kart, now in the stock car program. He belongs here. He should be a lot of fun to watch.
 
HANGOVER 150 HELPS CURE THE WINTER RACING BLUES
AUSTIN SUSICE AND BRETT SENEK TO COMPETE IN ALL THREE FEATURE EVENTS
 

RANSOMVILLE, NEW YORK_When the Hangover 150 was first thought of some fifteen years ago, it allowed those who only had dreams of weekly racing, once a year…the opportunity. Today, it also draws those who compete in the Ransomville Speedway summer schedule.

Several of the regulars from the summer schedule will be on the race track for this years event. Two of the young competitors in the field will be extremely busy as they will compete in all three 50 lap features. Some have tried the trick. Defending Van Raine Construction Novice Sportsman champion Austin Suscie and Investors Service Company Sportsman driver Brett Senek, both have cars for the six cylinder, four cylinder and the eight cylinder divisions. Senek drove all three classes in last year’s version of the Hangover 150, which didn’t go so well for him. Susice hasn’t been able finish a Hangover event in the two previous years he’s been doing it.

Both had excellent seasons in 2015. Senek didn’t win a feature at his hometown track of Ransomville Speedway, but collected an impressive fifth place finish at Weedsport (NY) Speedway against an all-star field in a Super DIRTcar Series event during Super DIRT Week and was the Rookie of the Year at the Big R.

Both drivers are a part of the future of Ransomville Speedway. They both got much of their racing experience in the Ransomville Speedway Thursday night go-kart program. Last season, in addition to winning the Van Raine Construction Novice Sportsman title, Susice won four feature events.

Looking to brake the shutout on New Years Day, Susice has dreams of sweeping the 50 lap events. The competitive field of drivers will make that almost impossible. The pre-race registration has already put over 130 drivers in the pit area with several more expected to register on race day. Austin and Brett are also cousins. Both drivers are nineteen years of age.

“This has always been a lot of fun,” said Susice, of the Hangover 150. With 3,000 race fans expected for the sixteenth annual Winter Classic event, race time is set for noon this Friday.

Several racers from other race facilities will be competing at Ransomville Speedway on Friday. The Hangover is also a great starting point for aspiring racers. It’s an inexpensive way of getting into racing.

Austin and Brett are both graduates of nearby Wilson Central School. In addition to getting three race cars ready for this Friday afternoon they are also preparing their Investors Service Company Sportsman for the summer schedule.

With original idea of the Hangover run in January 2000. It wasn’t sure that the even would go past that first year, which was only one racing event that went 100 laps, that was run under cloudy skies and with a few inches of snow on the ground. The event has taken off since that first year and continues to be one of Ransomville Speedway’s most popular annual events.

Pre-registrations will continue through Thursday. Please call Ransomville Speedway at 716-791-3602 for more information or go to the track’s website at ransomillspeedway.com.

 

 

 

RANSOMVILLE SPEEDWAY PROFILE
THE ROBINSON FAMILY

Ransomville Speedway  has many dedicated hard working employees that make race night go much easier. The Robinson  family that fits into that mold. Tana Robinson has been part of the Ransomville Speedway for sixteen years as a full time employee each race season. 

Tana heads up the office and is responsible for the many sponsorship partners that come into the speedway every year. The VIP tower suites are often sold out - this year would be no exception as suites are sold out until September. Tana also writes up the track’s pre and post race releases and is the editor of the Ransomville Laps program.
 
Tana got her first taste of working in short track racing when she wrote a column for the now-defunct DIRT Trackin’ Magazine. Following the death of race promoter  Alex Friesen, Tana was hired on to work in the track’s office, which also included Lancaster Speedway. When Lancaster was sold by the Friesen family, Tana would then move to the  Ransomville Speedway office.

Tana makes herself available to those on race night. In fact, she might be one of the first of the track personal you might see once you walk though the front gate. Tana understands the short racing business. She first started coming to Ransomville Speedway in her early years with her grandparents.  Her favorite drivers was Gary Iulg and Davey Moore. 
 
Working at Ransomville Speedway has been a generational thing for Tana. Her three children all got their first jobs at the speedway. "Working at the speedway doesn't feel like work at all," commented Tana.  "I have been extremely blessed to be given this opportunity to work with the Friesen family in an industry I love. I have learned so much.  Having my kids all there on race night is a bonus."  
 
All three sold programs and racing papers. Today, they’ve moved up the ladder. Her oldest, Dan, his now the track’s head flagger. Dan got his experience by being he assistant starter to his dad, Matt.  A few years back when Matt had decided that he didn’t want to do it, Dan was placed in the position. Dan had also been the starter for the Thursday night go-kart program. Dan is 28 years old.  Dan and his wife Stephanie, recently had their first child, Lucas, who is five months old. Currently employed at Try-It  Distributing in Lancaster, NY as a manager, Dan even had his time behind the microphone for he go-karts.  Stephanie also helps out at the speedway.
 
 
Mike is a school teacher away from the race track. He sits up in the officials tower as the lead scorer and concentrates on the electronic scoring system the speedway added in 2014.  Mike also scores for the go-kart program. Mike is also a former go-kart points champion. Mike is 25 years old.
 
Jeff, is also employed by Try-It Distributing in it’s sales department.  Jeff’s race day responsibility is setting up the lineups for the heats and the features.  Jeff is handicapper and also prepares the nights pay-off for the drivers. Jeff calls over all feature line-ups and finishes to the pit area.  He is also youngest of the trio at 22 years of age. Jeff’s girlfriend is Taylor Manchester, who works in the office on race nights.. 

 

 

                       

www.RansomvilleSpeedway.com