By Brian Liskai
WAYNESFIELD, OH. – The dates have been set for the special racing events at WaynesfieldRacewayPark for 2019. There are currently four races planned with the possibility of more, with three of the races honoring Ohio racing legends and National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductees Rick Ferkel, Jack Hewitt and Bob Hampshire.
There are four confirmed racing dates in 2019 at “The Field” – Sunday, April 7, Wednesday, July 3, Friday, Aug. 2. New Waynesfield Promoter Shane Helms – a former sprint car driver and successful businessman – said he is working on a unique event for sometime in October, eyeing Oct. 12.
“All of the events will have great payouts. We are focusing on events and dates to not hurt other area tracks running 410 sprints. I also wanted these races to honor the guys who helped build our sport not only in Ohio but around the country. Racing is what it is today because of guys like Rick Ferkel, Jack Hewitt and Bob Hampshire…guys I grew up watching and admiring,” Helms said.
“We want to grow Waynesfield and truly make it a ‘field of dreams.’ I want to thank Greg and Tammy Shobe and their team along with my dad, Larry Helms, and Paul Kistler from Kistler Engines and Kistler Racing Products for working with us to keep racing alive at Waynesfield. I feel confident there are great things ahead for the track, race teams and fans,” Helms added
Waynesfield will open April 7 with the FAST winged 410 sprint cars and the National Racing Alliance (NRA) Sprint Invader 360 sprints.
What has grown to be one of the “must see” events in Ohio – the Jack Hewitt Classic – will be held Wednesday, July 3 and will feature the Buckeye Outlaw Sprint Series (BOSS), winged 410 sprints and NRA Sprint Invader 360 sprints.
“I wanted to keep the tradition of this event as Jack raced and won in both winged and non-wing sprint cars. The BOSS group brings a great crop of talent and we’re most likely going to also include the FAST winged sprints for an all sprint car spectacular,” Helms said.
Lee Underwood scored the Hewitt Classic win at Waynesfield in 2018 as the event was hosted by the Buckeye Outlaw Sprint Series (BOSS). The Jack Hewitt Classic has been held at Waynesfield Raceway Park for 10 years.
Hewitt is the only driver to win all four features in one night during Eldora Speedway’s Four Crown USAC Nationals and until 2018 was the all time leader in USAC Silver Crown wins. He is also a former All Star Circuit of Champions titlist.
The Bob Hampshire Classic on Saturday, Sept. 7 will honor the Alvada, Ohio former sprint car owner and mechanic. Hampshire scored an All Star championship in 1985 with Hewitt behind the wheel and was the mechanic on a few of Kody Swanson’s four USAC Silver Crown championships.
Helms is planning to honor “The Ohio Traveler” Rick Ferkel on Friday, Aug. 2 at Waynesfield with winged 410 sprints. Last year Helms helped promote the inaugural Rick Ferkel Classic, sanctioned again by the All Stars, at Atomic Speedway near Chillicothe, Ohio. Cole Duncan scored the win.
Ferkel, who lived in nearby Findlay and Tiffin most of his life, recorded nearly 400 sprint car wins during his driving career. He now helps his son, Ricky, who competes in sprint car racing in Michigan.
“I’m talking to a lot of people in the sport about a unique and exciting event in October something like an Ohio State sprint car championship with other tracks’ champions and stars and regional young up-and-comers,” Helms said.
To keep up on when the special events will be held at WaynesfieldRacewayPark, keep checking in at www.waynesfieldmotorsportspark.com or on Twitter @OfficialWRP and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Waynesfield.Raceway.Park