Woodhull Raceway Loses 8th Race Event In 2021 After Historic Flood Cripples Steuben County
State of Emergency still remains in the area
Story by Kenny Shupp Jr.
(Woodhull, NY) If you have seen the National, Regional or Local News over the past few days, you’ve either watched or read a lot regarding Woodhull, NY and it wasn’t good news.
After torrential rains on Wednesday, August 18 up to 5 inches in some areas on top of already saturated grounds it created massive flooding in the greater Woodhull, Jasper and Addison areas of the Southern Tier of the Upstate Region. Downtown Woodhull along with several outlying areas received devastating high water with roads, bridges, homes and businesses in ruins. Several roads have been closed and still are due to washing and debris. Families have been dislodged from their homes and with all the chaos the ownership of the Woodhull Raceway made the decision early Friday morning to cancel the Saturday, August 21 event.
“This area has been hit extremely hard, stated track owners, Terry and Niki Brewer. All the downtown area is a total loss. Numerous major highways are closed, and a State of Emergency is still in effect. The Patriot Sprint Tour was scheduled to be here and they travel from great distances, but with a cloud of uncertainty surrounding the night we had no choice but to cancel. On top of everything the pit and parking areas at the track are totally saturated.”
The Woodhull Raceway has been knocked out on seven other occasions in 2021 including nights where the event was cancelled due to wet grounds. Record rainfall all summer has been a nemesis to most every track in the Southern Tier Region.
“In July alone we had fourteen inches in this area and August could very well top that the way things are going.” It has just been one of those years. Last season we hardly had a drop. It has been crazy”!
Another determining factor that played into the decision to cancel was the fact that many of the employees at the track have been affected by the flooding either directly or thru family and friends. Plus, the track depends on local fire and rescue personnel plus EMT’s to be on site each week to fulfill insurance regulations.
“Like every other business we have found it extremely hard to find anyone that wants to work on race day. Every week I’m posting on Facebook that help is wanted, but few if any takers. The government has made it to easy for people to sit home it would appear. In addition, the local fire departments and EMT’s have been stretched to the limit this week. Between fighting water, debris, pumping cellars, cutting trees and distributing food and water to residents and volunteers, these folks have been working around the clock serving our communities. I’m sure this racetrack is the furthest thing from their minds right now.” That, again according to the Brewer’s.
This is not the first time as previous Woodhull Raceway promoters have had to make a similar decision regarding cancelling due to major or minor flood damage even when it has not directly affected the track.
“Woodhull is in a very rural area with only I major NYS highway in Rt. 417 running thru the area. When it goes down travel is then diverted to County and Town roads many of which have posted weight limits and Restricted bridges. 417 is still closed due to flooding and debris.”
Representatives of the track are in communication with Mike Emhoff of the PST for a potential make-up if there is an open date that will work for both parties.
With that all said, the track is now down to its final two-point races with the Regular Season Point Championship night on September 4 when all class champions will be crowned. Following that date, on September 11 fans will see the annual running of the Lyle Sherwood Memorial and the season curtain call is set for September 18 with Full Fender Night featuring the Joe Willcox Performance Street Stock 100 as well as the only appearance of 2021 for the GRIT Sportsman. Several other classes are included on the card as well.
For a complete look at the remainder of the “21” schedule of events, the current point standings, rules and much more go to www.woodhullraceway.com
For up to the minute information including most information pertaining to the August 28 show as well as the nightly race agenda go to www.facebook.com/WoodhullRaceway/