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Countdown to opening night and Aaron Hudgeons Benefit


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Texana Raceway Park Sets Sights on Opening Night, March 28th

by: Monty Chamberlain


To most people, the generally cooler months between October to February mean a little hibernation and staying indoors more than usual. But, for dirt track racers across the country, that same five month period is a short window of opportunity to perform all of the off season maintenance on their cars or build new cars to be debuted at one of the tracks across the country.


While the racers are working on their cars for the 2009 season, the work is being wrapped up for another year of enjoyment of America’s largest spectator sport (automobile racing) at Texana Raceway Park in Edna. Texana Raceway Park is Jackson County’s largest regularly attended event, drawing in racers and fans from across the gulf coast and central region of Texas. On Saturday nights from March – September when it is race night, the little town of Edna comes alive and gets a shot of stimulus money from the more than 1,500 total visitors to the city (racers, teams and fans) who make purchases from stores and restaurants enroute to or departing from the well know dirt jewel of Texana Raceway Park.


This year’s opening night at Texana Raceway Park on March 28th will be one for the history books. While the first night of racing is always an exciting night, this year’s first racing event will also serve as a benefit event for a dirt track living legend, Aaron Hudgeons. Hudgeons who was track champion at Texana Raceway Park in 2006 and 2008, as well as a fan voted Favorite Driver in 2006, was recently diagnosed with cancer and is currently undergoing treatments in his battle against the disease. Hudgeons has numerous victories to his credit, not only at Texana Raceway Park, but at several other tracks as well. According to track owner Bruce Tesch, “When you have a driver that has done as much for our track as Aaron and his family has as well as what he’s done to help many other drivers, it was a given that we’d want to do this benefit for him during this difficult time in his life. Basically, we wanted to give a little to someone who has given a lot of his time and talent to so many others in dirt track racing”.


The combined season opener and Aaron Hudgeons Benefit will kick off at 7pm as opposed to normal start time of 7:30. The night will start with opening ceremonies including the Parade of Champions / Salute to the Fans. This has become a tradition at Texana Raceway Park where all of the nights racers bring their cars on the track to salute the fans. Additionally, during the opening ceremonies all of the 2008 class champions, favorite drivers, most improved award winners, and 2008 Rookie of the Year award winner will be recognized. And, then the night rolls into the racing program anticipated to get underway near 7:30.


For the Aaron Hudgeon’s Benefit, the track has a number of items planned. First off, the track will make a donation to Hudgeon’s to help offset his medical expenses. Second, the track will be cooking up and selling delicious shrimp plates while they last, thanks to the generous donation by Mr. Bill Pittaway of CD Electric. Every cent of the proceeds from those plates will be donated to the cause. Third, racers will have the opportunity to donate any winnings they receive for the night if the desire. Finally, the track will ask a few interested drivers to head into the general admission stands during intermission to “pass the helmet”, and receive donations from any fans who would like to donate to this cause. “We’re hoping that with all of the things we have planned, we’ll be able to end the night with a notable contribution to Aaron and his family towards his medical expenses” said Tesch.


A night that will be somewhat bitter sweet with a dose of reality for everyone as we recognize that cancer doesn’t discriminate against anyone; not even Track Champions. But, at the same time spirits will be high as the teams rally together to help one of their own and everyone will be on queue to provide the dirt track performance that the fans in Edna have come to expect.


Don’t miss it, March 28th, 2009. The Texana Raceway Park 2009 Season Opener / Aaron Hudgeons Benefit.

Below is a photo of Aaron's 2008 track champion limited modified which he recently sold to one lucky purchaser. Photo courtesy of Dancer Motorsports Photos / Brenda Dancer



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