News / Special Events
“The Bullring” Is Making A Mark On Florida Dirt Racing
One of the best kept secrets in Florida dirt track racing is finally beginning to get some recognition as the tiny facility affectionately known as “The Bullring” is making a mark on the state’s racing scene. Many racers have taken notice, and now fans are beginning to realize that Ocala Micro Speedway offers a worthwhile night out for almost anyone, and a great atmosphere for a night out.
Like the much larger facility just over a mile up North Gainesville Road, Ocala Micro Speedway has gone through several reincarnations before becoming what it is today. Some were more successful than others, but the big difference this time around is the total dedication of the newest owners to make the place family friendly, and the best facility that their current budget will allow. Families already fill the pit area at the track on every race night, and more families are taking advantage of low admission prices to come and watch the action on the little track as well.
Some of the biggest changes and improvements made at the facility have been to the track itself, increasing the size and length of the racing surface dramatically and increasing safety precautions for fans and racers alike. The entire backstretch has been moved backward and a new wall and other barriers installed, plus the old dirt berm that used to line the frontstretch has been replaced with an actual wall. Some metal seating has been added along the frontstretch, but most fans still prefer to park their trucks and SUV’s along the fence out of turn 4, drop the tailgate or open the rear door, and watch the action.
The biggest advantage for fans is the admission, with a $10 ticket admitting each fan to full access to the pit area where they can freely mingle with the racers, or they can choose to stay outside of the hustle and bustle and watch from the frontstretch. And the fans can see a wide variety of action on the track, as the facility hosts everything from karts to micro, mini, and midget sprints. Plans are also in the works to possibly add full bodied race cars to the schedule, with races featuring mini stocks or possibly 4 cylinder bombers.
Fans who want to see wingless sprint car action on dirt in Florida currently have only one option outside of one yearly visit to the area by USAC each winter, and that is the Lightning Sprint Series at “The Bullring.” While the series is designed for and allows 1100cc midgets to run, most of the competitors are running 750cc wingless mini sprints, and many of the racers hail from the winged Florida Mini Sprint Series. The little dirt track’s layout has a reputation for providing a level playing field for whatever each team chooses to run, and the smaller engines are very competitive with the larger ones as long as the racers understand how to set up their machines and attack the testy little track.
Ocala Micro Speedway is still a work in progress as the current ownership drives to attract new racers and fans to the little speedway tucked away in the woods. As more profits accumulate, they are fed back into the track as a program of continuous improvement keeps adding facility upgrades and new ideas. So the secret has now begun to sneak out and both racers and fans are catching on. At present it is a great family value in tough economic times, offering a less expensive way for speed junkies to go dirt racing and for fans of all ages and persuasions to watch while they do it.