Travel costs, supply shortages, and force cancellations for Clearfield Motor Racing

Clearfield County, Pennsylvania (WTAJ) – While rising fuel prices and supply chain issues continue to affect Americans every day across the United States, these economic issues are now beginning to affect the world of motorsports.

The effect of the ripple was felt recently at UMI Motorsports Park in Clearfield when they canceled an upcoming race on their track citing high costs and ongoing tire supply chain issues as the reason. The Super Cup Stock series was scheduled to race on the oval asphalt track on Saturday 18th June in an event called “Keystone Twins” which was scheduled to feature two 50-lap races.

The decision to cancel the event was reportedly agreed by the track and series and anyone who purchased tickets or parking for the event was refunded, according to UMI Motorsports Park. Both the track and the series say they plan to revisit the race in 2023.

UMI Motorsports Park spokesperson Rami Womer said many of the series’ racers are not traveling due to the financial pressures of fuel and other expenses. Womer added the current cost of race fuel at $12 a gallon without an increase.

“We have a great relationship with the Super Cup Stock car chain and hope to host it when the economy, supply chain and the state of racing in the Federation are better,” Womer said.

Super Cup Stock Car Series PR coordinator Aaron Creed expanded on the issues the chain had with the race at the weekend, and said several factors lead to the mutual decision to cancel it. He said some teams had to think carefully about their decision to race while others were choosing to stay at home entirely. Creed explained that many of the teams in the chain travel from out of state and use diesel vehicles to tow their trailers and cars.

Teams also faced shortages of various parts and struggled to make repairs to their race cars either from on-track damage and/or mechanical failures that occurred at the start of the 2022 season. Creed says the shortage has also caused some teams to miss some past events in the series.

When I spoke with our series director, Joe Schmaling, there was an interesting point he made. We’ve been promoting ourselves as “Racin’ The Way It Used To Be” since the series was formed in late 2007, in part due to the relative ability to carry The costs as well as the family friendly atmosphere. “There are some things that haven’t been seen before that don’t currently fall into that category,” Creed said. “It used to be that if there was a minor malfunction in a part, or sometimes a major malfunction, the team could call a supplier and get a replacement part or whatever they needed to fix in a matter of days or sometimes even overnight. Currently, in many cases, This is not what most people struggle with if they need to make repairs to get back on track.”

On top of the spare parts shortage, tire supply has also been a challenge for this series. American Racer is the tire supplier for the Super Cup Stock series of cars, an Indiana, Pennsylvania-based company. Creed said the series has been making adjustments throughout the season to accommodate the shortfall and even limited the use of new tires to each event. However, Creed added that the tire supplier has been cooperative and helpful since supply chain issues became a concern last year.

“We needed to make a few adjustments along the way, but we appreciate them very much for their continued communication 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 racing tires will be available before the series’ next race at Jennerstown Speedway Complex in July. The series hopes that the time leading up to the July event will allow teams to regroup and prepare for it.

The Super Cup Stock series raced the last race at UMI Motorsports Park in 2021 which is said to have been the facility’s first oval race since 2015 when it was then known as CNB Bank Raceway Park.

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