SUPRS Racers Waiting on Punxsutawney Phil to Determine Their Fate
Goshen, IN – January 29, 2016…The world’s most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, will not only decide if spring is coming soon or not, but will also decide the fate of the The Supermodified Ultimate Pavement Racing Series, (SUPRS), racers when they head to Derry Raceway Park in Maine to run the 12th Annual Groundhog Day Derby.
The SUPRS Groundhog Day Derby has always been one of the most interesting and unpredictable races on the schedule and the race format is decided by a weather forecasting groundhog. Letting Punxsutawney Phil determine the format for the night may sound a bit odd, but SUPRS likes to keep the sim racing fun and letting a groundhog decide the race format always keeps things as dubious as trying to judge what the weather will do, even for Phil!
The racing at Derry Raceway Park is so unpredictable in fact, that it took 11 years for a driver to win the race more than once. Last year three former winners battled each other in trying to become the first two-time winner. Ray Sand, Jr. , Myles Maxon and Steve Callahan lapped the rest of the 11 car field but it was Sand, Jr. who drove across the finish line first with Maxon latched his rear nerf bar a scant 0.064 seconds behind. Callahan finished in third, nearly six seconds back, after being caught in lapped traffic in a 50 lap race that took just over 10 and a half minutes to run.
Part of the challenge of winning this race lies in the unusual layout of the racetrack. Derry Raceway Park features two completely different ends with turn one and two having a good deal of banking and turn three and four being almost off-camber creating a great challenge to racers lap by lap.
Some are better on the banking and can sling-shot under another driver off turn two, but often find it hard to get a good line through the flats of turn three and four. Other drivers are better suited to making a pass coming from turn four and racing down the wide front stretch hoping that they don’t slide too far up the banking in turn one when they get there.
The fun and unpredictable Groundhog Day Derby begins on February 2, 2016 with the cars taking to the track at 8:00pm for practice. Depending on whether Phil sees his shadow, Time Trials could start at 8:30pm. Racing is always at 9:00pm.
Here’s a look at the Supermodified Ultimate Pavement Racing Series Groundhog Day Derby History:
- 2005 Groundhog Day Derby Winner: 71jr.-Bud Flath (No TT)
- 2006 Groundhog Day Derby Winner: 2-Sean Gibbs (TT)
- 2007 Groundhog Day Derby Winner: 54j-Mike Jackson (TT)
- 2008 Groundhog Day Derby Winner: 66-Tom Heveron (No TT)
- 2009 Groundhog Day Derby Winner: 79-Myles Maxon (N/A)
- 2010 Groundhog Day Derby Winner: 58-Keith Powell (N/A)
- 2011 Groundhog Day Derby Winner: 37-Dave Biro III (TT)
- 2012 Groundhog Day Derby Winner: 55-Steve Callahan (No TT)
- 2013 Groundhog Day Derby Winner: 23-Chris Meyers (TT)
- 2014 Groundhog Day Derby Winner: 18-Ray Sand, Jr. (No TT)
- 2015 Groundhog Day Derby Winner: 18-Ray Sand, Jr. (No TT)
Current Track Record: Derry Raceway Park: Steve Callahan 12.459 sec. Set 02/02/11
See the full format and schedule of events on the SUPRS SCHEDULE page.