Grandview owners to be inducted into EMPA Hall of Fame
Late Bruce Rogers, wife Theresa being honored on Jan. 13
Two of the most respected people in the short track auto racing business will be honored by the Eastern Motorsport Press Association on January 13th. Theresa Rogers along with her late husband Bruce will be inducted into the EMPA Hall of Fame joining other major figures in the sport.
The EMPA is made up of members of the media ( print, broadcast, photographers) that cover motorsports throughout the nation. I am proud to say that I was one of the founders of EMPA back in 1969.
Bruce helped his father, Forrest, build the one- third- mile, banked Grandview Speedway which opened in 1963. The popular track will be kicking off its 56th consecutive season of stock car racing with the running of the first annual Bruce Rogers Memorial on Saturday, April 7th. That event, a 50 lapper for Big and Small Block racers, will pay $ 7500 to win and is expected to attract a huge field of top Modified talents wanting to support the memory of the late track operator.
The track has come to be recognized as one of the most successful short track racing facilities in the nation and continues their relationship with NASCAR that goes back to 1992.
“I can remember when I was first hired to handle publicity for the track,” said track marketing director Ernie Saxton. “The first visit to the track caught me by surprise. Bruce’s mom was selling tickets off a kitchen table for $ 2 each. It has been a fantastic journey for me. It is over 50 years that I have been with the Rogers family. It is so great to see them being honored by a press organization that I helped start many years ago.”
The Bechtelsville racing facility is operated by Tina and Ken Rogers with Tina’s son Brad, who is quickly learning the ropes. Theresa backed off the day- to- day involvement but can still be found in the track office on race nights.
“I know Bruce would be as thrilled by this honor as I am,” said Theresa Rogers. “It has always been our goal to present the best possible racing and keep the cost of racing and the cost for fans attending under control.” Unfortunately Theresa will not be able to attend to accept the award as she will be re- covering from an operation. Tina Rogers will be in attendance to accept the award.
Also being inducted into the Hall of Fame at the EMPA Convention taking place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in King of Prussia, PA will be IndyCar owner and former driver Michael Andretti, drag racer Shirley Muldowney, NASCAR standout Randy LaJoie and retired Sprint car racer Fred Rahmer who was also a standout Modified racing talent at Grandview Speedway.
The track is in good hands and the future looks bright at the popular speedway with NASCAR sanctioned stock car racing being presented each Saturday night. In addition there at a number of special events presented as Thunder on the Hill promotions in partnership with Bob Miller.
First on the Thunder on the Hill schedule is a Sunday, May 27th 21st Annual Traffic Jam Big Block/ 358 Modified show carrying NASCAR points along with Sportsman and Mid- Atlantic Sprint Series 305 Sprints. That show gets the green at 7: 30 p. m.
Over the years the well- respected track has seen the likes of A. J. Foyt, Richard Petty, Kyle Petty, Michael Waltrip, Ken Schrader, Rusty Wallace, Geoff Bodine, Harry Gant, Jimmy Spencer, and a few other wellknown names in the sport perform.
Kicking off the season at Grandview officially will be a March 24th doubleheader featuring the always exciting Enduro racers along with the Blast From the Past Vintage Racers. Action starts at 1 p. m. The Vintage cars give fans the opportunity to see what racing was all about some years back.
When legendary Sprint car racer Steve Kinser announced his retirement last season after racing in an Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions event at Lebanon Valley, New York Speedway it caught most by surprise. Kinser, winner of 876 Sprint car feature races during this career, will be talking about his retirement and more when he appears at the Pioneer Pole Buildings Motorsports 2018 Racecar and Trade Show Fueled by Sunoco and Distributed by Insinger Performance at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks on Saturday, January 20. The popular show runs January 19 through 21st.