Dirt Track Racing Returns To Mansfield Speedway

Dirt Track Racing Returns To Mansfield Speedway

Gateway Dirt Nationals Promoter Sees Mansfield Motor Speedway as Perfect Destination For Major National Events

MANSFIELD,OH. — The long history of racing in Mansfield Ohio is deep, rich and dates back to 1959 when the original track (Mansfield Raceway) first opened as a 3/8 mile dirt track.  It was converted to an asphalt track in 1999, renamed (Mansfield Motorsports Speedway) and has remained asphalt ever since.  The speedway seen its pinnacle moments from 2004-2008 where it held NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events and drew standing room only crowds of over 20,000 in attendance. 

Although there has been many ups and downs at the facility, different promoters, different names and major changes, no group has ever transformed the venue back to its original roots as a dirt track racing facility…until now.

Mansfield Motor Speedway is excited to announce it will be transforming the .44 Mile oval into a full blown dirt racing track and will host some of the biggest short track events across the country, amongst other entertainment for the Mid-Ohio region.

In 2013, Local business man Grant Milliron bought the race track in hopes of allowing it to become what it once was, a motorsports fan destination, local economic powerhouse and for the hope to live up to the name it created “The Racing Capitol of Ohio”.  

Since 2013, the speedway has tried several different routes, of which have not been able to stabilize themselves into long-term success stories.  Cody Sommer, the President of the new dirt racing venture, Mansfield Motor Speedway, believes that changing back to a dirt track has massive upside and long-term potential that both he himself and Milliron desire.

“Dirt racing in Ohio is strong and overall across the country it is in a much better situation than asphalt.  Mansfield is located in the heart of some of the best racing in the country and with a venue as nice as this (Mansfield), it is a shame it has not been put back on the map like it deserves” Said Cody Sommer.  When talking about the venue opening as a dirt track in spring of 2017, Sommer does not hold back on expectations and plans “We know that this facility once was nationally ranked in the top 5 of greatest race tracks and I don’t see any reason why it cannot return back to that very quickly.  We will have the only dirt track I am aware of with safer barriers, we have 12 luxury suites, a complete race control room, 7,000 aluminum bleacher seats with 1,000 of them having a chair back, it’s just overall an unbelievable venue and dirt racing fans are going to be blown away” Said Sommer.

Mansfield Motor Speedway will transform with many changes and upgrades and open in the spring of 2017.  Sommer has agreed to terms with the speedway’s owner Grant Milliron for a 3 year deal, which includes a purchase option of the Mansfield Ohio property.  A deal which clearly supports the long term expectations, goals and vision of the Mansfield Motor Speedway, Sommer and Milliron. 

“Cody and his team have big plans and great vision.  He is in this for the long haul and is willing to put in the resources and time the facility needs to be successful.  I look forward to seeing this facility change for the good and get back to the economic powerhouse it once was” Said Milliron.

Sommer has been involved in racing for 15 years and grew up in central Illinois where he drove dirt race cars at a variety of tracks in the Midwest, before re-locating to Charlotte North Carolina to pursue a full-time racing career in the NASCAR racing industry.  In 2011, Sommer started a brewery outside of Charlotte and quickly built the company across 30 states and with a distribution network of over 170 wholesalers from coast to coast.  In motorsports, Sommer has a wide variety of projects under his belt including a variety of events, a motorsports trade show and management of multiple NASCAR teams.  Cody is known for producing big events that draw large crowds and national attention.  He held the Carolina Crown, which is still the largest dirt race in the history of South Carolina.  He promoted the Indy Invitational at the Banker’s Life Fieldhouse with 8,000 fans attendance, an event that drew NASCAR names like Ricky Stenhouse and Kyle Larson. 

Sommer is also responsible for the VP Racing Fuels Gateway Dirt Nationals, an event that concluded this December and is being considered by many as one of the greatest short track racing event achievements of all time, as well as a strong candidate for 2016 race of the year.  It quickly became one of the most talked about events in history since Sommer announced it in February speedweeks in early 2016.  Then later delivered a quality product as promised to race fans this winter.  The future of the event looks to be very bright and it could become the most iconic event in all of Dirt Track racing over time.

Mansfield Motor Speedway is heavily in the process of putting together a calendar of events which cater to not only the hardcore motorsports fan but also to the Mid-Ohio resident, their families, their hobbies and interests.  MMS will be releasing continued news, information and schedules on their official online home www.MansfieldMotorSpeedway.com.  Mansfield Motor Speedway suggests fans connect with them directly on social media to stay up to date on news, announcements and schedules as well at www.Facebook.com/MansfieldMotorSpeedway and Twitter @RaceMansfield.  MMS has an information line at 419-465-RACE, where fans will be able to call for tickets, news and even sign up for text alerts and updates. 

About Mansfield Motor Speedway:  Mansfield Motor Speedway (MMS) is a 170 acre entertainment complex and motorsports destination, featuring a .44 Mile banked dirt oval race track.  The venue has state-of-the-art features including safer barriers, 12 luxury suite boxes, aluminum seating for 7,000 with 1,000 seat backed.  MMS hosts some of the country’s biggest dirt track racing events as well as a variety of events that cater to the Mid-Ohio attendee.  MMS can be found online at MansfieldMotorSpeedway.com  On social media at Facebook.com/MansfieldMotorSpeedway Twitter @RaceMansfield and via phone at 419-465-RACE    

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