Monticello, NY --- The actual birthday of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is Jan. 15, although America will celebrate his accomplishments on Monday (Jan. 20) in order to have a three-day weekend. And even though Monticello Raceway recently added Jan. 20 to its racing schedule, the track will still go with its tribute to the great civil rights leader on Tuesday (Jan. 21) as had been previously advertised.
The 14th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Pace will feature the talents of drivers of African-American heritage and will be the first leg of the Mighty M’s Heritage Drivers Series 2014.
“We are proud to honor the memory and accomplishments of the great Dr. Martin Luther King (Jr.),” said Eric Warner, the raceway's director of racing. “Again this year we seem to have plenty of interest and we expect that our 14th edition (of this event) will be just as good, or even better, than the ones we have previously presented.”
Slated as the 12th race on the 13th race Tuesday card, the event will feature four previous Dr. King Pace winners in Dennis Watson, Cedric Washington, Bobby “Boonie” Williams, Jr. and Jim King Solomon.
Watson, a two-time Dr. King Pace winner, is the defending champion, having won last year’s MLK Pace with Ally’s Delight in 2:04.2 on a cold and windy afternoon. Watson, in from Freehold Raceway, also won the Dr. King Pace in 2008 with BJ’s Jetstream in 2:00, which is still the fastest winning time in the event. On Tuesday, Watson will handle Lakers Vett and start from post position three.
Mighty M regular Cedric Washington has been victorious in the MLK Pace three times, having won the event in 2001, 2003 and again in 2011. This year he has drawn Four Star Tommy and they’ll leave from post position six.
Another local driver, Bobby “Boonie” Williams, Jr., won this event two years ago with Mt Vernon Hanover in a 2:01.2 clocking. He has drawn Scare Tactics N and they’ll start on the far outside from post eight.
And Jim King Solomon is making his first appearance since winning the Dr. King Pace with Blackjack Magic in 2:00.4 during the 2008 campaign. Coming in from the Freehold, N.J., area, Solomon will handle Shando Hanover when they start from post position seven.
Rounding out the field of drivers are Paul Moore, Dennis Washington, James O’Farrow and George Newell, Jr.
First post on Tuesday will be at 12:25 p.m. with the Dr. King Pace going off at approximately 4:15 p.m.