Rolling Wheels to boost entertainment value, local appeal for 2011 season

Rolling Wheels Raceway Park, on Briarwood Lane in Elbridge, plans to pack more punch into its racing events this season. Opening day is May 29.

"We've decided to focus on fewer events and make those events bigger," said Rolling Wheels Raceway General Manager Jeff Hachmann, now entering his second season at the raceway.

He said the move is strategic, not budgetary.

"It's a strategic business plan to elevate the level of dirt car racing through special events, instead of spending money just to have an event."

Rolling Wheels has six big events planned for 2011, starting with its third-annual DIRTcar All-Star Weekend, which opens at 7 p.m. Sunday May 29. This marks the beginning of the Super Dirtcar Series.

"Most dirt track venues have weekly racing," Hachmann said. "Rolling Wheels Raceway is set up for six special events, so these events are of larger magnitude than a weekly event."

For the first time, Rolling Wheels will offer live music at its events.

"There's always racing at the track," Hachmann said, "but we're trying to [give it more] entertainment value."

Beyond the racing there will be live music, a bounce house for kids and a variety of food at the concession stands, Hachmann said. "And then we have some great racing. Some of the best drivers in the country race at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park at these events."

Hachmann worked in marketing for NASCAR for 18 years; he compared his plans for Rolling Wheels to a NASCAR event.

"It's a festival, and oh, by the way, there's a race going on," he said.

Hachmann expects the increased entertainment value of this year's events to boost ticket sales, as the non-traditional race fan will now be able to participate.

He said Rolling Wheels' relatively new management staff is focused on reaching out to the community. He hopes regular event-goers and families looking for something to do on the weekend will choose dirt car racing.

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