Faisons gear up for new dirt track

Silo Speedway owner Ron Faison of Felton and his son, C.J. Faison of Seaford, push one of the cars that C.J. hopefully will be driving at the new Felton dirt track next spring. (Delaware State News/Dave Chambers)

Silo Speedway owner Ron Faison of Felton and his son, C.J. Faison of Seaford, push one of the cars that C.J. hopefully will be driving at the new Felton dirt track next spring. (Delaware State News/Dave Chambers)

FELTON — Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to start your engines.

The quarter-mile Silo Speedway will debut in April, bringing opportunity for drivers who have outgrown go-karts and aren’t yet ready for Modifieds and Super Late Models.

An interest meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. today at the Delaware Auto Exchange just north of Felton on U.S. 13, and owner Ron Faison encourages anyone intrigued by the new speedway concept to stop by.

Many of today’s top NASCAR drivers’ roots are buried in dirt tracks, from Cup champions Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart to Ryan Newman and Kasey Kahne and rising star Kyle Larson.

Local driver CJ Faison, son of Ron, has parlayed his dirt success to races on asphalt, including races at Dover International Speedway in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.

Silo Speedway owner Ron Faison of Felton, sitting inside his Delaware Auto Exchange office Thursday afternoon, shows off the plans for the dirt track. (Delaware State News/Dave Chambers)

Silo Speedway owner Ron Faison of Felton, sitting inside his Delaware Auto Exchange office Thursday afternoon, shows off the plans for the dirt track. (Delaware State News/Dave Chambers)

“The plan is to create a facility that a family can go to, be competitive in racing, and not break the bank,” Ron Faison said Thursday.

To do that, smaller framed Mod Lites, Quarter Midgets, Tobias Slingshots and USAC SpeedSTRs, among others, will fill the lineups in races designed to run with several vehicles side by side, not in a long line of leader and trailing cars.

“It’s just so economical to run these classes,” Mr. Faison said. “The parts, the cars don’t cost as much.

“Everyone is using the same tires, shocks and springs, the engines are sealed and all the motors are sealed.”

With no souped up speedsters able to run away from more ordinary vehicles, race finishes will be decided by the skill of the driver, not construction of the car, Mr. Faison said.

Construction of the dirt track is scheduled to begin next week, with a layout that includes high banks and wide turns designed to “make the actions on the track that fans will enjoy, which is what it is all about,” he said.

Perhaps there will even be a Bristol Speedway-like hill to drop a blanket and watch the action below, Mr. Faison said.

When the Friday night races begin, Mr. Faison anticipates crowds up to 600 arriving, which would approximate attendance at past mixed martial arts and professional wrestling events held at the Delaware Auto Exchange at 10182 S. DuPont Highway.

Silo Speedway owner Ron Faison of Felton and son C.J., 22, pose in the field next to Delaware Auto Exchange Thursday afternoon — the future site of Friday night dirt track racing in Felton. (Delaware State News/Dave Chambers)

Silo Speedway owner Ron Faison of Felton and son C.J., 22, pose in the field next to Delaware Auto Exchange Thursday afternoon — the future site of Friday night dirt track racing in Felton. (Delaware State News/Dave Chambers)

The project will cost between $150,000 to $200,000 in construction, which includes aluminum grandstands, LED lighting for exact brightness at night, part of what Mr. Faison describes as a “well-manicured facility.” On Oct. 28, Levy Court issued a certificate of use, he said.

Most importantly, Mr. Faison said, a “real” bathroom for the ladies will have heating and air conditioning, proper lighting and a top notch interior, situated by the grandstands for easy access.

Thoughts of the project have been three or four years in the making, and Mr. Faison said he’s “living the dream” as the reality of construction nears.

“The time is right to make this happen,” he said.

When the racing begins, CJ Faison, 22, will serve as an on-track liaison and coach for everyone participating. Although he’s not only driven in the K&N Pro Series East but also set the track record at Rockingham, North Carolina, in 2012, he remembers starting as a go-kart driver before progressing up to races at Dover and Rockingham, among others.

“There are so many people in Delaware and on the Eastern Shore and they need a place like this to race,” he said.

“There’s an abundance of interest in this and a lot of fans to support it as well.”

For more information, visit the Silo Speedway website at www.silospeedway.com/home/ or call (302) 381-3852.

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Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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