Monticello, NY --- When Monticello Raceway presents its 13th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Pace, a race which features the talents of African-American drivers on Tuesday afternoon (Jan. 22), last year’s champ, Bobby Williams, Jr., will be back to defend his title.
The Dr. King Pace is not only Monticello Raceway’s annual tribute to the great civil rights leader but the race will be the first leg of the track's 2013 Heritage Drivers Series.
On Jan. 17, 2012, Williams, known to his friends as ‘Boonie,’ scored a 2:01.2 victory with Mt. Vernon Hanover after stalking the odds-on favorite and then rallied to his victory in the Dr. King Pace. And although Williams has competed in all of the Dr. King Paces since the race's inception in 2001, last year was the first time that he was victorious in the event.
When the horses line-up behind the mobile starting gate on Jan. 22, Williams won’t be the only former champion back in action. Also slated to participate is Cedric Washington, a three-time winner of the Dr. King paces, who won the inaugural event and then was triumphant again in 2003 and 2011, George Polk, Jr. (2010) and Dennis Watson (2008).
“However, we will still need eight drivers to have a full field in the Dr. King Pace and we’re still a couple short so we have some room for other drivers of African-American heritage who might be interested in competing this year,” noted Eric Warner, the track's director of racing.
Any driver with a full or provisional license who is interested in competing in this season's Dr. King Pace is urged to contact Warner in the racing office at 845.794.4100, ext. 557, or they can contact the track's publicity department at ext. 455.
It should be noted that, like post positions, drivers will be assigned to their mounts via a lottery drawing. The entry box for the upcoming Dr. King Pace closes at 9 a.m. on Thursday (Jan. 17).