Maple Grove Raceway offers safe alternative to street racing

By Jeffrey Fazio
Special Sections Writer

Drivers that have a sweet tooth for speed and acceleration can have their cravings fulfilled at Maple Grove Raceway in Brecknock Township.

George Case, vice president and general manager of Maple Grove Raceway, pointed out that there are as many as 87 events each year at Maple Grove Raceway that are open to the general public to race their cars.

These events include the regular Friday Night Grudge Racing, where the general public can compete from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on most Fridays for only $20. As many as 30 percent of the entrants at Maple Grove on a Friday Night Grudge Race are new to the experience.

Maple Grove also hosts a High School Challenge every year. Students race in heads-up competition for trophies and also accumulate points for their school. The winning school receives a plaque. Every student that enters gets a trophy.

Last year this event drew in 87 schools, 286 racers and over 2,000 other people. Schools were represented from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and New York.

The winning student goes onto to represent Maple Grove at the regional National Hot Rod Associationís (NHRA) Division 1 championships.

As part of the NHRA Division 1, Maple Grove Raceway takes part in the Summit E.T. Racing Series.

According to Maple Groveís Web site, www.maplegroveraceway.com, "Drivers earning the most points become eligible to compete for individual and team titles at the Summit E.T. Racing Series Finals each September. Individual winners receive cash prizes; additional prizes are awarded to the winning track teams."

Maple Grove offers an exceptionally safe venue for this type of racing, according to track officials.

John M. Krupiak, track manager at Maple Grove Raceway, said that there is no fear of the unexpected on the track like there is on the street. There are no children running out into the street, car doors opening or other traffic to be concerned about. In addition the track surface is maintained for racing, which local streets are not.

As opposed to racing on the street, where the car in the next lane could literally be only a foot away, Maple Groveís racing lanes are each 30 feet wide. Assuming both drivers stage in the center of their respective lanes, they would be 25 feet away from each other.

Krupiak also pointed out that the only thing to fear at Maple Grove is a mechanical failure, but as he added, "This is another reason to race at Maple Grove."

At high speeds, mechanical failure anywhere can be dangerous, but on the street it could be catastrophic.

Maple Grove is equipped to deal with emergencies. As per their agreements with the NHRA and also their insurance company, they are mandated to have a Pennsylvania state-certified ambulance manned by two state-certified emergency medical technicians on premises whenever cars are racing on the track.

Beyond safety, another reason to race at Maple Grove is that drivers receive a time slip for each of their runs. The time slip is a record of how fast the drivers reacted to the timing lights, their speed at the 1/8 mile and the 1/4 mile, along with the times it took them to travel 60 feet, 330 feet, 1/8 mile, 1,000 feet and the 1/4 mile.

So when speed and acceleration are the name of the game, make safety a priority and play at Maple Grove Raceway. Donít forget the time slip for bragging rights.