The IHRA World Nationals, set to debut at the brand new Mansfield Motorsports Park, has been rescheduled for September 21-23, 2007. While the track is still planning to open in June, IHRA and Mansfield Motorsports Park officials made the decision to move the event to the fall to ensure that every detail of the project met the standards that the racers and fans expect.


Governmental issues prevented construction from taking place in the unseasonably warm fall and early winter months Ohio experienced. The project was still well ahead of schedule until the February snow and cold halted progress.


“The plan was to get a jump on construction and stay ahead of the timeline,” Mansfield Motorsports Park owner Mike Dzurilla said. “Delays have put us in a situation where everything would have to go perfectly from now on for us to be ready for the race. Quite honestly I don’t want to welcome anyone to our first IHRA national event without having everything perfect. I know a lot of racers and fans are counting on me to build a facility every one can be proud of and I don’t plan on disappointing them.”


IHRA President Aaron Polburn echoed Dzurilla’s feelings.


“Mike has already proved he can build a fan and racer-friendly operation with Mansfield Speedway and proved he knows how to deliver a first class event to competitors, sponsors and fans with his Craftsman Truck race,” Polburn said. “I agree with Mike that we only get one chance to make a first impression, so every blade of grass must be in place, every building painted, every road paved before we welcome World Nationals fans to Mansfield Motorsports Park.” 


In the past, IHRA has put on events in facilities that were not quite ready for prime time and could not deliver the customer experience that had been expected.


“There is nothing more disappointing for a racer, sponsor or fan than to be excited about a new facility only to park in the mud or to find an amenity not fully functional when they arrive,” Polburn said. “We have learned from the past and promised racers that attended those events that we would not put them in that position again. What everyone needs to understand is that this is a long term partnership with Mike and his team at Mansfield and we are prepared to wait the extra three months to ensure our customers have an experience that exceeds their expectations.”


The Nitro Jam event will return to its June date in 2008.


The Summit Racing Equipment Pro-Am Tour presented by Mr. Gasket event originally scheduled for the September 21-23 weekend at Mansfield will be postponed until 2008.


“Fortunately, the way the schedule worked out this year, Division 3 racers have the luxury of having seven other ‘in division’ events this season on the schedule so hopefully this move will have minimal impact,” IHRA vice president of racing operations Skooter Peaco said.  “We apologize for the schedule shuffle, but with seven months notice, our Summit Pro-Am competitors can adjust their schedule to maximize their season and take advantage of the double event weekends at some of the other host facilities until we can get Mansfield on the schedule for 2008.”