Autocross event proposed for this year’s Salem Super Cruise

SALEM – Aside from details, a big part of the 8th Annual Salem Super Cruise checklist met with approval during Wednesday’s meeting while an additional event was proposed.

The Super Cruise will be held the weekend of June 20-23 and is in its fourth year under city management.

Fourteen people attended the meeting.

Dominic Righetti and his father, Mark, presented the idea for an autocross, a speed but mostly skill event in which drivers race against the clock on a short enclosed course.

It’s a race around cones, Dominic Righetti said and Ken Kenst, the service safety director managing the Super Cruise, asked about a course size.

Righetti mentioned Walmart or the high school parking lot as far as that went, and Tom Hall, a co-coordinator of the Show ‘n Shine, wondered about liability noting that it was an issue a couple of years ago when “kiddie rides” were proposed for the east side.

Mark Righetti said autocross “is a bunch of cornering … and more about controlling your vehicle.”

Judy Sicilia said, “I think it’s a good idea … it brings in a whole different type of people …”

Dominic Righetti said it could work as long as “you keep track of the people” in response to a question about registration.

He thought an outside organization like the SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) could run it.

Mark Righetti said that Salem would give them the opportunity.

“Salem would just give them the space,” he said.

Kenst said it wouldn’t infringe on any activities and Super Cruise consultant Jim Bonfert wondered about an entrance fee and prizes.

Dominic Righetti said it would probably be better without an entrance fee and Kenst asked that Righetti check into it further.

Concessions, entertainment, advertising, sponsors, parking and

communications were all discussed. Kenst said the Salem Amateur Radio Association expressed an interest in helping out with communications “especially for the parking.”

He also noted that Steve Rouse of Salem Area Websites offered to create a website for no charge for the 2013 Super Cruise. A graphic designer, Rouse will design a T-shirt for the cruise too.

Also, Kenst said Kyle Cranmer, co-owner of Salem Tire, the Goodyear tire retailer, was pursuing the Goodyear Blimp for the event.

“There are still some things we’re working on,” Kenst said, but the up front things “are really on the way.”

Sam Sicilia said he had contacted Cody Roth of “Rat Fink” fame to attend this year but his schedule was too tight. Roth is the stepson of “Big Daddy” Roth, the creator of the icon hot rod character “Rat Fink” and others.

Hall said the Show ‘n Shine is set for Sunday at the city lot across from Timberlanes from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. He said sponsorship was still unresolved. Expert Tire has sponsored the event in the past.

Roe Haskin asked about approaching Summit Racing for overall event sponsorship and Kenst said that Bonfert “worked that real hard last year.”

Bonfert said Summit still sponsors its NHRA event at Norwalk a couple of weeks later but has provided T-shirts and hats.

The next meeting will be held at 7 p.m. March 27.

Larry Shields can be reached at