Stars And Cars Lining Up For The 16th OCFS Nostalgia Night
It started out as a simple concept. Have a race night a week during the season when the weather was warmer and have some of the greats from the long history of the Orange County Fair Speedway return for a night. Fans would get to see and talk with these drivers and owners and they would spend hours talking over past times with their fellow competitors.
Over the years, OCFS's Doug Dulgarian has become one of the most knowledgeable about the track's history. Since 2007, Doug has been the main driving force in what is one of the most anticipated and beloved events of the season, the OCFS Nostalgia Night.
This season's event takes place this coming Saturday, June 4th.
"It has been called Nostalgia Night since 2007 when I started it," Doug said. "Prior to that, it was done sporadically and called Old-Timers Night."
Doug has had a great assist over the years with the event's organization from his friend and another who has a big interest in OCFS history, Joe Mezanko.
"Joe has been my right hand man from the beginning."
Over the years, Doug and Joe have done an outstanding job organizing the night. The guests are treated well and there is always an outstanding piece made by the speedway for the fans to have signed during the huge autograph session. Posters and banners are hanging up all through the guests area and so many like to check out the historic photos. The atmosphere is fantastic.
Many times, this writer has left a Nostalgia Night thinking that there was no way to improve it. But time after time, the event has just gotten better.
This year's event is honoring the career of Rich Eurich. Rich started racing in the Limited Sportsman division in 1967. The year 2022 makes the 56th consecutive year that Eurich has raced at the speedway. After collecting 15 career Sportsman wins and the 1970 Limited Sportsman championship at OCFS, Eurich moved up to the Modified division.Through the years, he has collected 50 wins, which is 4th on the all-time OCFS Modified win list. He captured 3 Modified championships in 1981,82 and 88. And many long time fans remember how this weekend racer dominated the best in the business in the 1988 Eastern States 200.
In addition to Rich, there will be plenty of other drivers participating in the autograph session. This list will continue to grow, but as of this writing, the list consists of Tighe Scott, Gary Balough, Brett Hearn, David Reutimann, Kenny Brightbill, Leroy Amy, Del Buss, Larry Brolsma, Joe Romer, Donnie Elliott, Dave Farber, Tommy Allen, Rich Ricci Sr., Rich Ricci Jr., Allison Ricci, Carl Reynolds, Mr. Del George, Hank Goranson Jr., Chuck McKee, Jimmy Horton, John Strupp, Bob Schmidt, Nick Illobre, Eddie Redner, Anthony Ferraiuolo, Randy Filopowski, Jim Bowen, Gary Palmer, Scott Goodrich, Carl Pittenger, Eddie D'Angelo, Gary Edwards Sr., Harry Shortway, Keith Majka, Bob Dini, Jim Weed, Bill Wilson, Kirk Horton and Bill Tanzosh.
One of the most popular people at Nostalgia Night, Russ Meyer, has been recovering from hip surgery, but he is hopeful of making it. The OCFS Racing family has you in their thoughts sir.
Doug has a message for any driver/owner who has been a participant of Nostalgia Night in the past.
"Anyone driver/owner who has participated in the open wheel Nostalgia Night in the past has an open invitation to come and join us on June 4th. Contact me on my email, email@example.com or phone the track during business hours, (845) 342-2573."
One of the things that really adds to the atmosphere of Nostalgia Night are the vintage tribute/throwback cars that their owners bring to the track to display. Cars scheduled to appear are Will Cagle's #24, Jimmy Horton's Statewide #3, the Ferraiuolo 73, the Batmobile driven by Gary Balough #112, the Leroy Amy/Jerry Wildrick #27, the Marinelli M1 of Kevin Collins, Ken Brenn's #24, Howie Cronce's #9C and Bob Schmidt's #333.
In addition, the Atlantic Coast Old Timers (ACOT) will have many of their cars on display. It is always fascinating to see the cars and equipment from the past and how it compares with what we see today.
A big thank you goes out in advance to the drivers and those bringing cars up to Nostalgia Night. We all know the difficult economic climate that we currently have with the much too high fuel prices. It is much appreciated the effort and expense that you will be putting forth to attend.
It has been reported that some race teams will be adding their own touch to the festivities by sporting a tribute/throwback scheme for the race night. That's something that the fans will enjoy seeing.
And while there will be all the festivities going on behind the grandstands, there will also be racing taking place. The United Rentals DIRTcar Big Block Modifieds will have their usual show with heats and a 30 lap feature.
In order to move the racing program along so that all in the pits can join in the festivities, there is a plan in place to move the racing program along quickly. The H.O. Penn Small Block Modifieds and Arkel Motors Sportsman will be having non-point features only. The field has been set to the top 24 in each of those divisions with some alternates listed. The lineups can be found on the track's Facebook page.
The Precision Hydraulic and Oil Rookie Sportsman will also be having a feature event.
The pieces are falling into place for it to be a great night at OCFS on June 4th. Grab a friend and come check out the festivities at the House Of Power.