YORK HAVEN, Pa.: BAPS Motor Speedway’s season ended three weeks ago, but it’s still been busy at York County facility.
Light poles have come down, holes have been dug, and cement has been poured. The offseason projects are in full swing.
Track owner Scott Gobrecht, general manager Kolten Gouse and a team of workers are putting the finishing touches on adding six Musco Lights as part of a six-figure offseason renovation project to improve safety for drivers and the overall racing experience for fans.
“From Day 1, we’ve made a constant effort to improve and make things better for our fans and teams,” Gouse said. “This season, we were able to come across some Musco Lights, and we felt it was necessary to take a swing and elevate our light project at the speedway by lighting up the entire frontstretch and Turn 1 and Turn 4.
“The lights are behind the grandstand, which will also make things a lot safer for people going up and down the stands and also for kids.”
This move is as much about safety as it is cosmetic and upgrades a long-standing problem at the speedway.
Some drivers have complained about dark spots on the racetrack over the years. The six poles, which will hold seven to 10 light fixtures, will rectify problems at key points on the speedway.
“Dark spots on a racetrack are difficult,” Gouse said. “It’s not good for fans, and it’s not good for drivers. We all know lighting has been difficult at BAPS Motor Speedway over the years. This is a state-of-the-art project and by doing this, it changes a lot of things.
“Some of the complaints we’ve heard from drivers are about dark spots out of Turn 4 and down the fronstretch. That’s a critical area to begin with because this is where we start our races. This project should fix that problem.”
Said Gouse, “We also have a lot of older people who attend our races, and anytime you can light up the main grandstand for people to get up and down stairs, especially when it’s raining, it elevates safety.”
Musco Lights aren’t the only project on the list of things to complete before the 2019 kicks off in March.
Management is also putting up an 850-foot catch fence on the fronstretch, which continues the Turn 1 and 2 fence that was installed last offseason. Plans are also in place to put a gate similar to the one at Eldora Speedway and Knoxville Raceway across the Turn 1 entrance to the pit area.
“The 850-foot catch fence and pit gate are major deals,” Gouse said. “A lot of it comes down to weather. Our light project will be pretty much complete next week, and I’m 90 percent sure the fencing will be done next week. The engineering plans for the gate are already taking place.
“Those are the big things we wanted to address in the offseason, but if the weather stays nice, we’ll do what we’ve done in past years and tear into other stuff. Obviously, weather is a big part of that. At the end of the day, we still got to get stuff back together to race in March.”