By 4 p.m. on Wednesday, July 10, there will be a long line of stock car haulers reaching from inside the grounds of Delaware International Speedway going down U.S. Route 13 in Delmar, anxiously waiting for the gate to open so they can settle into their pits, unpack and make last-minute adjustments to their race car before competing in the 47th Annual Camp Barnes Benefit Race.
Hosted by Delaware International Speedway in Delmar, the annual Camp Barnes race is one of the region’s stock car racing highlights. They’re known for the quality of their racing program that brings out top racing talent to their show. So they’re expecting the usual large crowd of regional and local racers.
“I think we’re going to do well,” predicted Detective Jeff Hudson, the Delaware State Police trooper who oversees race operations. “Look, if we have good weather, we should be OK. We’ve got a lot of commitments from out-of-state drivers who are coming this year, so I think we’ll have a good crowd this year.’
Also, a hefty $35,000 purse will lure drivers to the race, Hudson noted.
The Camp Barnes race classes include Super Late Models, who will battle in a 25-lap Feature for $3,000 ($250 for taking the green flag). A similarly pursed Big Block vs. Small Block battle is planned, along with a RUSH Crate Late Model Class with a $1,000 purse.
Crate 602 Sportsman drivers will also compete for a $1,000 purse, and pay $100 to anyone taking the green flag. Little Lincolns and Super Trucks will also race that night.
During intermission, Camp Barnes will honor Taylor Ann Messick of Harrington with a special presentation of thanks for many years of support for racing in Delaware.
Gates open at 4 p.m. Racing is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m.
According to their website, “Since 1947, thousands of children from all over Delaware have had the opportunity to attend summer camp at Camp Barnes. Today, Camp Barnes is open to all children who are residents of the state of Delaware and are between the ages of 10 and 13.”
Located on Millers Creek, which is a tributary of Little Assawoman Bay, Camp Barnes is not a camp for children with behavioral problems or juvenile delinquents. Rather, the idea is to provide a typical camp experience for any child living in Delaware, who can attend the camp at no cost to the camper or their family. The camp is in session from early June until August, and accommodates approximately 60 campers per week for six weeks.
Camp Barnes is a non-profit organization that is run and operated by the Delaware State Police. For more information on Camp Barnes, contact Cpl./3 Shawn Hatfield, director of Camp Barnes, at (302) 752-3834.
By Bruce C. Walls
Special to the Coastal Point