SWAN LAKE, NY — In addition to the regular round of racing at Bethel Motor Speedway, the local NASCAR-sanctioned quarter-mile oval asphalt track featured the ever-popular Camera Night on August …
SWAN LAKE, NY — In addition to the regular round of racing at Bethel Motor Speedway, the local NASCAR-sanctioned quarter-mile oval asphalt track featured the ever-popular Camera Night on August 26.
During intermission from the fast-paced action, scores of race cars lined up in front of the grandstands. Fans of the drivers had a chance to talk to those drivers and the pit crews, who autographed their photos, mostly at speed.
The track officially opened in 1960.
Over the decades, Bethel Motor Speedway has witnessed a series of owners and flown the checkered flag under various names. White Lake Speedway. Catskill Mountain Speedway. Sullivan County Speedway. Kauneonga Speedway.
But whatever the name, it has seen some serious auto racing action.
Dan Houghtaling is a third-generation racer, and was asked for his take on the younger generation getting involved in auto sports at Bethel Motor Speedway.
He replied, “I think it’s got a lot going for it. The novice class for kids 14 and up to get their feet wet. Mom and Dad build a car, and then come here as a family.
“You get a bunch of teenagers, and as a father, I’d rather have my kids on a Saturday night hanging out at a speedway rather than on the street with all the drugs and everything that’s going on.”
Mackenzie Houghtaling helps her dad work on three race cars, and next year hopes to take to the local track.
“I’m excited because it’s a family thing,” said the 11-year-old future driver. “When I was four years old, I started singing the National Anthem” at Bethel Motor Speedway. Three short racing seasons later, “I decided I wanted to race. I’m really excited for next year, because I have a friend, and she’s going to go racing with me.”
For information about Bethel Motor Speedway, which is located on Lynn Avenue, call 845/319-7908 or visit www.bethelmotorspeedway.com.
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