Track History


UMI Motorsports Park has a long and varied history of speed, beginning as a dirt track in 1970. Many a racing career flourished on that Pennsylvania clay with legends like Clate Husted, Dirty Dave Srock, Tom Merryman and Steve Peles racking up the wins. Wedge cars and 2×2 outlaw late models ran unheard of speeds and thrilled the crowds.

THE DIRT IS GONE

In 1986 a new kid came to town by the name of asphalt. Although the surface was different, guys like Clate, Glenn Gault, Chargin’ Charlie Cragan and Tiger Tom Eriksen continued to wow the crowds. The NASCAR sanction brought in many big names in the asphalt years much to the delight of many of us who grew up watching.

THE REPAVE TO DIRT

A repave in 2000 cranked up the speed until interest dropped and the track was again converted to dirt. From 2004 to 2010, the track now shortened to ⅜ mi, became prominent again. The configuration made it possible for those were brave enough to flat foot an 800hp super late model around there in a blur. Racing, however, is a tough business and the owners closed it down for the 2011 season.

The 2012 season opened with the dirt scraped off (more on that later) and another go at asphalt racing. The year 2012 offered a glimmer of hope with some prestigious asphalt touring series races on The Big Half Mile but the interest just wasn’t there to make a go of it. The track sat mostly unused from 2013-2017 except for a few random test days, one winter enduro and an arrive and drive program. Wind and weather took its toll big time and the track looked like a ghost town complete with tumble weeds and signs hanging from one side of the hinge creaking in the breeze.

During the fall of 2017 we were looking for a way to test cars and a light bulb went off above UMI owner Ryan Kirkwood’s head. Why not build our own test track? And while we’re at it, why not have some fun and give a once prominent landmark back to the community? It was then the vision for UMI Motorsports Park was born. Rockets, Port City’s and Lefthanders were replaced with a supercharged UMI LeMans, Corvettes, Camaros and Mustangs. Small block Chevy’s were pushed aside for 800 hp LS powerplants.

For 2018 and beyond we expect UMI Motorsports Park to host some really cool events on the ⅝ mile roval course, like the upcoming UMI Autocross Challenge and the groundbreaking $10k King of the Mountain. As for that dirt scraped off mentioned above – the “funnest” corner in autocross (an uphill elevation 180 from the infield to oval Turn 2) is built on top of that fast clay scraped off in 2010.

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