Enjoy an Evening at the Dirt Track Races in Fulton & Brewerton
Last weekend I did something I hadn’t done in about twenty years – watch dirt track races. I had forgotten how much I love it! That’s when the tomboy in me comes alive and – much to everyone’s surprise – I get very amped up about which car will win. Plus, it’s one of the most budget-friendly activities to do on the weekends in Central New York. With multiple speedways in the area, there are plenty of events to choose from. Here’s your guide to a night at the races in Fulton, Brewerton, and Oswego.
What To Know Before Going to the Races
First of all, both Fulton Speedway and Brewerton Speedway are dirt tracks. So be prepared to get dirty! You definitely don’t want to wear your nicest clothes. Jeans with a t-shirt and hoodie will be perfect. Also, most of the concessions at the racetracks are cash only. (Brewerton has one stand that accepts credit cards.) There are ATMs onsite, but plan ahead to avoid unnecessary fees.
Dirt Track Race Ticket Prices
Most races at Fulton & Brewerton Speedways are $20-$25 for adults. The best part? Children 18 and under are completely FREE with a paid adult.
If you’re looking for a more in-depth experience, you can purchase a ticket including a pit pass for $35-$40. ALL ages require a pit pass if they plan to go into the pits before the races, and minors need a parent or guardian to sign a waiver.
Tickets can be purchased at the gate with cash or card.
Fulton & Brewerton Race Schedules
At Brewerton Speedway, races are on Friday nights beginning around 7:30pm. At Fulton Speedway, races are typically held on Saturday nights and begin at 7pm. Both tracks finish between 9:30 and 11pm depending on the line-up.
While the races don’t start until later, both tracks offer general admission seating and the gates open two hours before racing starts. The pits open an hour before that. A typical night at Fulton has pits opening at 4pm, gates open at 5, hot laps (practice) at 6, and racing begins at 7. Brewerton is the same, just half an hour later.
Parking at the Speedways
Parking is FREE at both speedways. And if you’re interested in spending the night? Campers can park for free overnight (no hookups provided).
What can you bring to the racetrack?
Surprisingly, quite a bit. That’s what makes the races so budget friendly. While you aren’t allowed to bring most outside food and alcohol, you can bring bottled water and snacks. Additionally, here are some other things you can bring into speedways to make your night more enjoyable:
- a camera
- a stadium seat
- a jacket
Just remember that if you have a bag, it will be searched at the gate.
Food at the Speedways
Considering these are dirt tracks, don’t expect gourmet food. The concessions have your standard meals: hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken tenders, french fries, and fried dough. But for just a few dollars, you can get a pretty decent dinner. Most sandwiches and sides are between $3 and $6. Truly a bargain.
Throughout the season at both tracks, a wide variety of both open wheel and modified race car classes compete. Most of these racers are there with their cars every week, competing to get the most points over the season. Of course most cars are sponsored by car dealerships, auto body shops, and auto parts companies, I love looking for the unusual sponsors. At the most recent races, I learned that Jeff Taylor, who owns The Wild Animal Park in Chittenango, also drives a car sponsored by the park. I also cheered on the cars from Ashley Lynne winery and 13th Hour Rising Haunted Hayride. (When all else fails, I choose the car with the best colors and design – or the girl!)
The highlights of the season are the special events. Demolition derbies, trailer pulls, boat races, monster trucks… While some of those nights start with the usual races, they all end in a disastrous mess of dirt and debris.
I grew up going to demolition derbies every Labor Day when the fairgrounds still had their dirt track. As a person who is all about cleanliness and efficiency, I found a strange joy in watching the old cars beat each other up. There’s just something about cheering on the mutilated vehicles struggling to get moving again.
(Please note that there are several safety measures in place for these events.)
Other Speedways in Oswego
Originally a horse-racing track, Oswego Speedway was established as a dirt track in 1951. A year later the track was paved into a 3/8 mile oval, which was enlarged to 5/8 mile a decade later. The speedway has held races weekly for over 70 years, boasting some of the most famous races in the country.
If you’re looking for something a little different, check out the motocross races at Thornwood MX. The track is open for practice for members, and holds races a few times throughout the season. Check their schedule for when races are.
Dirt Tracks in Nearby Counties
Located a little further east, the Utica-Rome Speedway is another great option for enjoying the races. The track hosts a variety of race car classes, motocross, and even monster trucks.
Another track that was started in the 1950s, Weedsport Speedway has evolved over the years. The track has hosted everything from race cars to snowmobiles and motorcycles. Check out the events they host throughout the year.