When the JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA opens its gates for the first time in 2016, a special ceremony will take place.

On Wednesday, May 11, as Rich Tobias and Doug Rose celebrate the beginning of their fourth season at the helm of the speedway located on the Kutztown Fairgrounds, they will honor one of the top competitors at the former Reading Fairgrounds half-mile. A section of the Action Track USA grandstands will be named in memory of the late Jim Keppley, one of the most consistent performers to ever twist a steering wheel at the Home of Champions.

Keppley’s wife, Maryanne, will attend the Action Track opener along with other family members and Keppley’s good friend, former ARDC and Modified driver Kim Trout.

Keppley, who lived in Stouchburg, Pa., recorded 17 feature wins at Reading but it was his overall consistency and clean driving style that was admired by fans and competitors alike. When the Fairgrounds closed in 1979, Keppley had more third, fourth, and fifth place finishes than anyone else who had ever raced there. And he trailed only Kenny Brightbill in career top-ten finishes at Reading, with a whopping total of 317 top-tens. He also earned a point championship at Penn National Speedway.

Unfortunately, Jim Keppley succumbed to numerous health issues in 2015. But now his memory will live on at the JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA, and the many fans who called him their favorite driver will be proud to sit in the section of grandstands that bears his name.

On Wednesday night the Rumble Series begins anew, with the traditional Goldie and Elton Meitzler Memorial Season Opener getting underway at 6:15. Gates will open one hour earlier than normal, at 3 p.m., on opening night. The SpeedSTRs, the Hyper Racing 600 Sprints presented by Hyper Fuel Injection Technology, and the NAPA Auto Parts All Star Slingshots will be part of the Meitzler Memorial. The dedication of the section of grandstands in memory of Jim Keppley will take place prior to the races, and his family members will be interviewed at intermission.

The pressing questions will be answered…can Billy Pauch Jr. win a third straight point title in the SpeedSTR division? Will Tim Buckwalter repeat as 600 Sprint Champion? Can someone step up and dethrone All Star Slingshot champ Brett Bieber? Who will be this year’s breakout star in each of the weekly divisions?

* * *The goals for Pocono Raceway are set extremely high, especially when it goes to green initiatives.

That’s why the 2.5-mile raceway has partnered with Penn State University.Pocono Raceway President & CEO Brandon Igdalsky started a project last year with Penn State to make the raceway a “near zero waste” facility. Meaning that a majority of the waste produced during Pocono’s operating season will be diverted from landfills.

Already the first motorsports facility to operate on solar power thanks to its massive three megawatt solar farm, Pocono Raceway is now trying to eliminate waste.

Last year, students from Penn State began a partnership at Pocono Raceway. They surveyed fans, explored materials management, identified persistent patterns in fan behavior and learned about sustainability-related infrastructure.

The students from Penn State worked with businesses in the Poconos as well as NASCAR Green in search of solutions.

Among the immediate changes implemented were additional recycling containers. Working with Pocono Raceway partner Coca-Cola, the raceway is now blanketed with recycling bins.

Pocono Raceway, Penn State and new food and beverage provider Spectra will also focus on the goal of near-zero waste.

Igdalsky, an industry leader in renewable energy, will hire Penn State students to find solutions in his quest for zero waste. A local, regional and national award winner for his work in sustainable energy, Igdalsky has spoken at the Beyond Sport Summit in South Africa and is a board member of the Green Sports Alliance, an organization that represents more than 300 sports team and venues.

Penn State will take lessons learned while pursuing zero waste in its own sports venues, along with lessons from other Green Sports Alliance members, to help Pocono Raceway achieve its goals.

Pocono Raceway will host seven national motorsports events this season starting with the first appearance of the NASCAR Xfinity Series race on June 4 followed on the same weekend with the Axalta 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race on June 5.

Ollie’s bargain outlet will be the entitlement sponsor for the NASCAR XFINITY Series Dash 4 Cash race on Saturday, May 14, Dover International Speedway officials announced.

The “Ollie’s Bargain Outlet 200” NASCAR XFINITY Series Dash 4 Cash race will be the third of four Dash 4 Cash events on the NASCAR XFINITY Series schedule this season. Starting at 2 p.m. on May 14, two 40-lap Heat events will be run, followed by a 120-lap Main event.

The event comes in the middle of the May 13-15 NASCAR tripleheader weekend at the Monster Mile, which includes a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday, May 13 and the “AAA 400 Drive for Autism” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, May 15.

In addition to sponsoring the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet 200, Ollie’s is also one of several supporters of the Monster Mile’s Autism Awareness Day at the Races program, which provides children and families on the autism spectrum with a sensory-friendly environment to watch the “AAA 400 Drive for Autism” on Sunday, May 15. Ollie’s will be contributing toys, games, lounge items and more to the popular program.

“We have had a great relationship with Dover International Speedway for many years, so when they presented the entitlement sponsor opportunity to us, we were excited to jump on board,” said Mark Butler, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet’s chairman, president and CEO. “We are also happy to support our friends at Autism Delaware and their efforts, along with Dover’s Autism Awareness Day at the Races program.”

Ollie’s Bargain Outlet has 208 retail locations in the eastern United States, including one store in Dover, Del.

* * *Grandview Speedway is host to Whelen Engineering Night on Saturday, May 14th at 7:30 p.m. Racing will feature the Modifieds, Late Models and Sports. WNPV-1440AM Radio in conjunction with Pocono Raceway will be giving away more than $1000 worth of tickets for Pocono’s June 4-5 NASCAR racing weekend. Gates open at 5:30 p.m.

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