From Inside Line Promotions
FINDLAY, Ohio (January 23, 2018) – Bob Hampshire is a face of sprint car racing at Millstream Speedway.
Hampshire has owned a race car since 1979 and has earned numerous feature victories at the half-mile oval, which is being run by Larry and Shane Helms beginning with the 2018 season.
The Helms Family is putting on a trio of Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions races at the semi-banked track with the first show honoring one of the local heroes.
“We want to pay respect to some of the greats this area has seen and Bob Hampshire is right up there,” Shane Helms said. “It was a no-brainer to name our first show the Bob Hampshire Classic.”
The marquee event is slated for May 27, which is the Sunday during Memorial Day Weekend.
“It’s quite an honor,” Hampshire said. “I’ve raced a lot at Millstream over the years. I’ve seen it progress from way back when to what it is now. It has a lot of history for me. My cars won there a lot. We won with Jac Haudenschild, Greg Wilson, Jack Hewitt, Johnny Beaber and Larry Helms. Brad Doty drove for me there, but I think we ran second or third.”
Hampshire, who now resides in Alvada after growing up in Findlay, scored an All Star championship in 1985 with Hewitt behind the wheel. While Hampshire said he wasn’t sure how many total wins his cars earned at Millstream Speedway in the last four decades, he estimated visiting Victory Lane at least 20 times.
“I think it’s great (the Helms are running Millstream Speedway) and they are the only ones who can do it right because they have the experience and the equipment,” he said. “And they have the racing knowledge of how to race and run a race track.”
The Bob Hampshire Classic will be the first race as the track reopens in 2018.
“Watching races at Millstream was one of the reasons I wanted to race my Uncle Bob’s race car,” said Wilson, who drove for Hampshire from 1998 to 2005. “When I got that opportunity it was a little kid’s dream come true. The first race I drove for him was at Millstream. I’ll never forget it. I was sitting at home on the couch on a Sunday morning. I got a phone call and he asked if I wanted to run the car. I hung up the phone and started bawling. I don’t know if he’ll ever know how much he’s meant to me and what I’ve done in my career. He’s a huge part in some of the decisions I make today because I trust him so much.
“He deserves that honor. The man has done so much for our sport, so much for our area, so much for Millstream Speedway. It’s a tremendous way to open back a track. For anyone to win that race, it should be an honor.”
The All Stars will also visit Millstream Speedway on June 23 for the $10,000-to-win Rick Ferkel Classic during the final night of Ohio Speedweek and on Sept. 3 during Labor Day Weekend.
Start times, ticket prices and information about support classes will be released in the near future.