Weedsport, NY — May 27, 2010 – By Herb Anastor, Northeast Modified Hall of Fame Selection Committee
*Hugh Snyderman Photo
For over 20 years, Judy Snyderman has been a fine example of the unselfish people who do the behind-the-scenes work that keep dirt track Modified stock car racing going.
Due to her loyalty and endless commitment to motorsports she will be recognized alongside track officials Tana Robinson and Buffy Swanson as a co-recipient of the 9th annual Gater Racing News “Outstanding Woman in Racing” award during the 2010 Northeast Modified Hall of Fame ceremonies Sunday, May 30 on the Cayuga County Fairgrounds held in conjunction with the annual Memorial Day Weekend holiday show at Weedsport Speedway.
Judy first got involved with racing back in 1987 when she ran her husband Hugh Snyderman’s old photo stand at Bridgeport (N.J.) Speedway. In 1998, when Bridgeport’s then-owner Ed Kelly selected Hugh to be the track’s race director, the Broomall, Pa., resident picked up a camera and over the next five years became a rather accomplished racing photojournalist, herself.
“I liked that [being a racing photographer],” Judy said without hesitation.“I think being close to the cars and feeling their energy as they went by on the track was an awesome experience for me. When the cars are in the pits idling, that is one thing. But when they are out on the track there is just a different vibe that they give off and I really enjoyed it.”
Although Judy had a great time shooting racing action from Bridgeport’s infield, she’s not the kind of person to turn down an interesting opportunity. So when starter Gary Buzby needed an assistant on Friday nights at the track’s quarter-mile infield oval, she climbed up into the starter’s stand for that duty, and that led to some corner flagging chores on Saturday nights at Bridgeport’s 5/8-mile oval.
“I like the flagging, too,” she said as she talked about that important aspect of racing. “You still have to pay attention to the cars, like you do when you are taking pictures, but your prime concern here is with driver safety.”
Don’t think, though, that Judy’s most recent roles have only been right in the thick of the racing action as the popular Bridgeport staffer has also spent time selling tickets to spectators, handling sign-in at the pit gate and even directing the competitor traffic at the quarter-mile track’s pit access gate as it entered and left that racing surface.
“I’ve just done whatever they’ve needed me to do,” added the personable mother of the Snydermans’ two children, daughter Amiee and son Sam, who are both students at Penn State University. “If anyone needs help, I gladly volunteer because that is part of the fun of being involved with racing.”
Judy’s racing-related activities, however, have not just been limited to what takes place on or at Bridgeport Speedway.
For 20 years, she was on the staff of the Reading Racing Reunion and Car Show, which is held annually at the site of the old Reading (Pa.) Fairgrounds. She has also worked at the Bridgeport Speedway Show at the Granite Run Mall in Media, Pa., the IROC Dirt Track Heroes Car Show at the Phillipsburg (N.J.) Mall and she handled some of the special fan activities that took place at the “Thunder On The Hill” Sprint Car and Modified racing shows at Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville, Pa.
She is also proud of the work that she has done with the Checkered Flag Fan Club, which provides monetary assistance to those CFFC members in need through its Injured Drivers Fund.
But what puts Judy Snyderman in a special category is that all of the things that she has done in and around racing have been for the betterment of the sport and not for any other reason. And, because of that, she is genuinely humbled and greatly surprised to be so honored.
“I would have never thought that something like this would have come to me,” the unassuming award winner said when asked how she felt about being selected for this recognition. “When [DIRTcar Racing Northeast Public Relations Director] Tom Skibinski called to tell me about it, I thought that he was kidding. I was in shock. I would have thought that something like this would have come to Hugh.”
“Honestly,” she admitted, “I’m just speechless.”
DIRTcar Racing Northeast main office is located in Weedsport, New York on the Cayuga County Fairgrounds, home of DIRTcar All-Star Weekend in July. DIRTcar Northeast’s crown jewel event —Super DIRT Week at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse runs annually in October featuring Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Championship Series events for Big-Block Modified, 358-Modified, Sportsman and Pro Stock divisions. Ticket and schedule information is available by contacting the Weedsport office (315/834-6606) during the day or logging into www.allstar100weekend.com and www.superdirtweekonline.com anytime.
The Big-Block Super DIRTcar Series is brought to fans across the Northeast by several sponsors and partners, including series sponsors Hoosier Racing Tire www.hoosiertire.com and VP Racing Fuels www.vpracingfuels.com. Promotional partners include the University of Northwestern Ohio www.unoh.com and Chizmark & Larson Insurance www.chizmarklarson.com, and contingency sponsors are Bicknell Racing Products www.bicknellracingproducts.com, Bilstein Shocks www.bilstein.com, KSE Racing Products www.kse-racing.com, Motorsports Safety Systems www.motorsportssafetysystems.com, MSD Ignition www.msdignition.com, Penske Shocks, www.penskeshocks.com, Racing Electronics www.racingelectronics.com, Vicci Racing Apparel www.vicci.com and Wrisco Industries www.wrisco.com.