A figure of the Northwest auto racing scene as the ASCS Northwest Regional Director from 2008 to 2011, Greg Burgess has, in just over a year, become one of the most respected promoters in the southwestern United States as the Director of Operations at Cocopah Speedway just outside Yuma, Arizona.
Looking for a change of scenery when he relocated to the deserts of Arizona, he certainly got it. “It is really tough to promote races in the Northwest because of weather and rain-outs. It can be done, it just wasn’t for me” said Burgess.
The change in weather wasn’t the only thing that drew Greg Burgess to Arizona. It was also the facility he would ultimately take over.
Now a part of the Cocopah Speedway for just over a year, Burgess has completed his first full season and already embarked on his second as the Director of Operations. In that time, improvements to the already pristine facility have highlighted his vision for the Cocopah Speedway’s future.
Overseeing several of those improvements during the very short Arizona off-season, the biggest and most notable change is the all concrete main grandstands that now line the front straight-a-way. According to Burgess, “The track now has more seating than ever before and it is clean, safe, and comfortable.”
Asked about other improvements to the facility, Burgess replied, “We’ve expanded the concessions and construction is still underway on a new pit store that will feature concessions, apparel, and parts as well.”
In anticipation of the Cocopah Cup Challenge presented by Cocopah Casino, the pits are currently being expanded. “It’s not done yet but we are working on it” said Burgess with a chuckle in his voice.
Asked about the surface that makes up the Cocopah Speedway, Burgess was outspoken on the uniqueness of the clay, “I was the Regional Director for the Northwest [Region] and ran races at many of the tracks up there and I have to say, I have never seen so many green-to-checkered finishes. I think most, if not all, of our big shows in 2012 ran green-to-checkered or very close to it. We have a uniquely smooth surface that seems to create great racing with multiple grooves almost all the time.”
Giving great praise to the Cocopah Casino and the Cocopah Tribe that support the facility, it is clear when asked about the inspiration behind the Cocopah Cup Challenge that all involved believe the event can grow to something great, “The Tribe in really behind the Speedway. We live in a real motorsports oriented community and we want to build a signature event that can grow year after year. Something similar to events like the Short Track Nationals and Knoxville Nationals.”
The Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by MAVTV American Real will grace the Cocopah clay on Friday, Mar. 1, which offers up a $3,000 to win purse before prior to Saturday, Mar. 2 which will see a driver earn a $10,000 payday. A four race series that sees the Lucas Oil ASCS presented by MAVTV American Real return on Friday, Nov. 8 and Saturday Nov. 9 for the series season finale, the final events will pay $3,000 and $20,000 along with a $5,000 bonus to any driver who can sweep the Cocopah Cup Challenge.
“We want to build a long stable history, if not in the nation, for sure in the southwest. We want to be a home for the ASCS” explained Burgess. “ASCS produces some of the best racing for Winged Sprint Cars and I think our track fits it [ASCS] perfectly.”
Events at the Cocopah Speedway will be preceded by a press conference and Fanfest that will be happening Thursday, Feb. 28 on the lawn of the Cocopah Casino. Fanfest will include meet and greet with the drivers as well as live music and drinks.
Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by MAVTV American Real
March 1 – Cocopah Speedway – Somerton, Arizona – Cocopah Cup Challenge (Round 1)
March 2 – Cocopah Speedway – Somerton, Arizona – Cocopah Cup Challenge (Round 2)
November 8 – Cocopah Speedway – Somerton, Arizona – Cocopah Cup Challenge (Round 3)
November 9 – Cocopah Speedway – Somerton, Arizona – Cocopah Cup Challenge (Round 4)
Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by MAVTV – A Look Ahead:
February 22 – Tucson International Raceway – Tucson, AZ
February 23 – Tucson International Raceway – Tucson, AZ
March 1 – Cocopah Speedway – Cocopah Cup Challenge – Somerton, AZ
March 2 – Cocopah Speedway – Cocopah Cup Challenge – Somerton, AZ
Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by MAVTV on the web:
All Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series national events are broadcast live on www.racinboys.com for anyone who is unable to attend the races live. Official results, points, and race notes are posted at www.ascsracing.com. The Lucas Oil ASCS presented by MAVTV can also be found on Facebook and Twitter @LucasOilASCS.
The 2013 season marks the twenty-second year of sanctioning Sprint Car racing for the American Sprint Car Series, which brings the best of Sprint Car racing to dozens of different tracks throughout the nation and into Canada. Anchored by the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series, ASCS also consists of nine different Regions throughout the nation.
Lucas Oil Products is the title sponsor of the American Sprint Car Series. More information can be found on Lucas Oil Products at www.lucasoil.com. MAVTV is the presenting sponsor of the American Sprint Car Series. Log onto www.mavtv.com for information regarding availability and listings in your area.
Associate sponsors for the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series presented by MAVTV include: Hoosier Racing Tire and Brodix
Team Lucas Sponsors for the American Sprint Car Series consist of Protect the Harvest, Geico, E3 Spark Plugs, and General Tire.
Product and Contingency Sponsorship provided by: K&N Filters, PitstopUSA.com, Engler Machine and Tool, Roush Yates Racing Engines, FSR Radiator and Racing Products, Schoenfeld Headers, Driverwebsites.com, Weld Wheels, Fuel Safe, Saldana Racing Products, SBI Fuel Bladders, Maxwell Industries, Print Place, Xtreme Accu-Tach, Simpson, LeJoie Seating, Ti 22 Performance, Wesmar Racing Engines, Hinchman Indy Racewear, Brown and Miller Racing Solutions, DMI Rear Ends, Rod End Supply, Smiley’s Racing Products, Speedway Motors, and Hilborn Injection Systems.
Additional information regarding the American Sprint Car Series is available at www.ascsracing.com as well as Twitter (@LucasOilASCS) and Facebook. News and information can also be sent to you with the ASCS E-News by texting ASCS to 22828 with any mobile device.
by Bryan Hulbert