By Jennifer Pauly
Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce
The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce Ransomville Speedway is the recipient of the 2019 Ransomville Business of the Year Award. The honor is given to a business or organization that has showed dedication and service to the community.
Ransomville Speedway has developed into a major family and tourist attraction through the years, creating an economic impact that is positive for the region.
Is there a better way to spend a Friday night than at the “Big R”? Ask any of the hundreds of racing fans in the stands and crews in the pits, and they would tell you there is no better place to be on a summer night to experience dirt-track racing!
Ransomville Speedway has been a featured attraction in the Town of Porter for the past 62 years. The original speedway was built behind Ed’s Service Garage on Youngstown-Lockport Road in the mid-1950s. In 1958, Ransomville Speedway opened up at its current location, 2315 Braley Road, by a group called the Ransomville Slo-Pokes.
In December of 2015, the Atwal family purchased the track and immediately started renovations. The family made improvements to the concession area, restrooms, Jumbotron, suites, tech barn, pit pads, office and novelty building, and created a new logo.
The Big R racing season begins in mid-April each year with approximately 50-60 employees, while Jennifer Martin, general manager, works year-round. Everyone works as a team to prepare for the May opening. This year, opening night is Friday, May 3. The season runs until mid-September and provides a positive economic impact during the season for the local businesses and restaurants.
Thursday nights consist of the popular go-kart program, while Friday nights feature modified, sportsman, street stock and novice sportsman cars. Racing careers have progressed at Ransomville Speedway from the go-kart program to the Friday night program with drivers going on to race all over the United States. Many of the drivers/teams and fans are from Western New York and Southern Ontario.
The World of Outlaws Sprint Car series made an appearance at the track in July 2018, and will return again in 2020.
The Big R atmosphere is fun and affordable. Concessions are also available at the track with family deals, including entry and food. The concession area is known for its fresh cut fries and flat dogs.
Attendees from throughout the area fill the stands and a number of suites are available to rent. There are many opportunities to support the Big R, including attendance, marketing options and sponsorship. Special event nights have been planned for the 2019 season, including First Responders Night, Scout Night, and company-sponsored nights.
The Miss Ransomville contest is held each spring at the annual Fashion Outlets of Niagara Mall racing show. Miss Ransomville goes on to volunteer each Friday night and help promote the speedway at events and parades. Up-to-date information and a full schedule of the 2019 season is available online at www.ransomvillespeedway.com.
The Atwal family has continued to keep the speedway a family-friendly location and a highlight of Friday nights in Ransomville. They contribute passes to local schools and fundraisers, and help support many nonprofits in the community. Their goal is for the Big R to remain a safe place for fans and racers, and they reinvest in upgrades to the track.
Thursday and Friday nights are definitely the place to be from May through September!
The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce and the Ransomville Business and Professional Association proudly congratulate Ransomville Speedway, the 2019 Ransomville Business of the Year.
The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual Gala Awards dinner from 6-9 p.m. Thursday, May 9, at the Niagara Falls Country Club.
The event begins with a cocktail hour followed by a sit-down dinner and awards program. The chamber board of directors will then present awards for Business of the Year and Citizen of the Year honorees from the Lewiston, Youngstown, Ransomville and Sanborn communities. In addition, a silent and basket auction will take place throughout the evening.
Tickets are available at the Chamber of Commerce office (895 Center St., Lewiston) for $100 per person.
The Chamber of Commerce will honor businesses and individuals in the following categories:
For more information, visit www.NiagaraRiverRegion.com.