Reclamation projects underway, Weight rule for sprints upped to 1,400-pounds

As part of a reclamation effort by the current Juniata County Agricultural Society Fairboard, one of the most identifiable structures around the venerable Port Royal Speedway and historic fairgrounds was recently upgraded.

The fairgrounds Floral Hall, dating to the late 1880’s and built when the oval was carved into the earth, received an entirely new roof during the week of December 20.

The effort is one of many currently being identified around the grounds and tentatively slated for completion during 2011 and the coming years.

Thanks to board member JoAnne Heckert of Port Royal, monies were derived and accrued from various Floral Hall repair fundraisers conducted over the last several years.

And a recent effort spearheaded by new management of the Agricultural Society saw the board receive a quote some 25-percent lower than previous bids for the project that allowed it to come to fruition.

In racing news, it is announced that Port Royal Speedway will follow suit with other area tracks and national circuits in 2011 by upping the minimum weight for 410 sprint cars to 1,400- pounds, including driver.  The mark previously stood at 1,375.

“I think it’s a good move to further encourage safer materials and parts on the cars,” said Port Royal Promoter and PRS Promotions team leader Steve O’Neal of the decision.

“And I don’t think it will be that much of an inconvenience to the regular Port Royal cars.”

Also, crews in charge of the track surface spent portions of December successfully identifying clay sources for the upcoming season.

Although poor and adverse weather conditions have plagued newly installed track officials since being named to the positions in late-November, the procurement and application of new clay remains a priority with the 2011 season looming.

However, crews are being forced to wait until suitable weather conditions allow for the project to move forward.