The C.K.G. Billings Harness Driving Series kicks off its 32nd season at Monticello Raceway on Wednesday, June 5 followed closely by a contest  at Scioto Downs on Friday,  June 7th . Then, almost weekly, there will be races for amateur drivers at various racetracks through late October.


Again the Billings will be run under the auspices of the Delvin Miller Harness Drivers Association.


The series which began in the early 1980’s is considered the Grand Circuit of Amateur Racing.  Known for its constant traveling sideshow, over the years some of the best amateur drivers in North America compete, or have competed, in it.


This year the amateur driving series takes on a new look.


“We have changed to five divisions of short series instead of having a seven-month year long event,” noted Billings Series president Tony Verruso. “We think now the series format will be more attractive and easier for many of the members to participate.”


According to Verruso the Eastern Regional and the Midwest Regional will each have two short series and there will also be a Travel Series. All will have a series ending finale.


Obviously, the eastern divisions will encompass racetracks in the east while the western divisions will feature races at tracks in the Midwest.  The travel division will have events in both east and Midwest as well as races in Canada on Prince Edward Island. And at the end of every divisional series a final event will be contested.


“The beauty of this format will allow everyone to race in any division. However, the points earned in each division will be calculated in that division only,” Verruso explained. “And the European Point System will again be used to tally each participant’s points.”


Despite the new format there still will be Billings Gold and Silver Cup finals at the end of the season and will take place at Harrah’s Philadelphia on November 24th.


As usual, only drivers can be nominated to the Billings Series; horses have to meet the series criteria.


A complete listing of conditions and nominating costs can be had by contacting  Verruso at sulkyracer@hotmail.com  or one can check out the Delvin Miller Harness Driving Series  on the USTA website under amateur racing.


But remember, nominations close on May 30th,. However, late nominations can always be made but at an additional cost.