DUBLIN — If there is a Saturday night not to miss at Dublin Motor Speedway, this one is it — the annual Oren Taylor Memorial Race, which will be held during the Limited Late Model competition on June 18.
“This is always a special weekend for Dublin Motor Speedway,” said Denise Taylor-Bridgers. “We have had huge crowds at this event and last year was one of the largest attended races the track ran. A lot of folks loved Oren Taylor and his ‘hobby’ of loud, fast vehicles and that memory helps draw a crowd.”
Taylor passed away in May 2007 and the next year the race track promotors asked about doing a memorial race for him since he was the founder of the track.
“He loved that place so much,” Bridgers said. “He was one of the hardest working men I know in all the family businesses but his passion was Dublin Motor Speedway. He and my mom spent weekends running races from go-carts, stock cars to motocross. They loved them all and felt the racetrack was a place that families could come to enjoy themselves with great entertainment.”
And the response from the community, especially lately, has been nothing short of tremendous. Especially for the Memorial Race.
“There has always been several classes that run each Saturday night, but the ‘big’ race that draws the most attention has always been the Limited Late Model and that is the featured event every year for the Oren Taylor Memorial Race,” Bridgers said. “The last few years, we have added our Taylor Employee Appreciation Day to this event by inviting all of our employees and their families to a cookout and entertainment under the VIP Tent prior to the race.
“(But) we have had huge crowds at (the main) event and last year was one of the largest attended races the track ran,” she added. “Sponsors from within the community have helped to build the winner’s purse to at least $3,000 plus additional money for the other finishing places which helps draw the top competitive drivers. The bigger the purse, the more cars will compete and the larger crowd it will draw.”
The fact that the Memorial Race falls on the calender the same weekend as Father’s Day makes the weekend that much more special for the Taylor family.
“My daughter suggested it last year when the date was available and she thought there would be no better way to honor ‘Pops’ than to have it Father’s Day weekend,” Bridgers said. “I was thrilled that the track’s schedule could accommodate Father’s Day weekend again this year. I miss him terribly and feel this is one way me and my sisters get to still feel like daddy’s girls surrounded by a group of people who love the same things he did.”
And with Saturday’s weather expected to be hot, things won’t cool off when the sun goes down since some of the region’s top drivers are expected to be at the track to go after that Limited Late Model winner’s purse — which Bridgers said “could increase significantly by Saturday night.”
In addition to the feature race, Dublin Motor Speedway will also host Crate Late Model, Open Wheel Modified, Super Street, Pure Stock and U-Cars races.
The pits open at 4 p.m., grandstands open at 5 p.m. and practice begins at 6:30 p.m.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.