By Nick Graziano
MECHANICSBURG, PA — Sept. 29, 2020 — Williams Grove Speedway’s rich history will add a new chapter this weekend with the Pennsylvania track hosting the largest Sprint Car event of 2020.
When the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series returns to the half-mile speedway, Oct. 2-3, for the Champion Racing Oil National Open, $10,000 will be up for grabs on Friday and a staggering $75,000 will be awarded to the winner on Saturday – the largest Sprint Car winner’s purse of the year.
To win the crown jewel, the stars of the World of Outlaws will have to compete against the local PA Posse and an all-star list of outsiders. However, the Posse has been shutout of a Series win for the last seven races at their tracks by the Outlaws and outsiders.
The two-day event will also play an important role in the 2020 World of Outlaws title hunt with only nine races remaining. Five drivers are still in contention for the driver championship and six teams are in contention for the team championship.
If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch all of the action live on DIRTVision.
Here are the top storylines to follow this weekend:
GRAVEL AT HOME IN PA: David Gravel and Jason Johnson Racing tasted victory again for the first time since August at Lernerville Speedway – Gravel’s second win in PA this year. His first came during the Summer Nationals at Williams Grove Speedway in July.
This weekend, the Watertown, CT driver will be on the hunt for his eighth Series win at Williams Grove and his second National Open victory – his first came in 2014. Along with winning, points will also be in the back of his mind as JJR sits second in the team championship points – 26 points behind Kasey Kahne Racing.
SWEET IN FAMILIAR TERRITORY: Brad Sweet, of Grass Valley, CA, left Lernerville Speedway with a 40-point lead over Donny Schatz last year and went on to win his first World of Outlaws championship. Last weekend, he left Lernerville with a 40-point lead over Logan Schuchart. He and his Kasey Kahne Racing team have nine more races to try and maintain that gap to get their second consecutive title.
At times, many would look at Williams Grove as an Achilles heel for Sweet. But with four top-10 finishes in the last four races at the track and a third-place finish there during the Summer Nationals, Sweet could be a contender to get his first win at the track.
SCHUCHART ON THE HUNT: Logan Schuchart, of Hanover, PA, will be on the hunt for his first World of Outlaws win in his home state this weekend and to make up ground on Brad Sweet for the championship.
He went from being eight points behind Sweet to 40 points behind the defending champion in three races last week. He stopped some of the bleeding at Lernerville by finishing fourth, while Sweet finished sixth. Schuchart already knows how to get the job done at a crown jewel event this year by winning the Jackson Nationals in June.
SCHATZ FINDING STEAM: After going winless for two months, 10-time Series champion Donny Schatz, of Fargo, ND, returned to Victory Lane at Plymouth Speedway last week – his fourth win of 2020. He’s now two wins away from earning his 300th career World of Outlaws win. A sweep of the weekend at Williams Grove could get that done.
There’s a good chance he could accomplish that feat, too, with 20 Series victories at the Williams Grove – five of them National Open victories. He was a prime contender to win the Summer Nationals this year before suffering a part failure. A strong performance this weekend would also help propel him closer to the title hunt. He’s currently 98 points behind Sweet in third.
GIVING HIS ALL: Sheldon Haudenschild, of Wooster, OH, has been one of the most impressive drivers on the tour the last two months. He’s picked up six wins and led more than 100 laps in that time. He nearly swept the tripleheader weekend if it wasn’t for a broken shock at Plymouth Speedway and a blown tire at Lernerville. Haudenschild did get a hometown win at Wayne County Speedway, though.
Williams Grove could be a test for he and his Stenhouse Jr.-Marshall Racing on if they can keep their hot streak going. Haudenschild has yet to win at the historic track and has had up and down performances each time. He finished 10th and 20th there in July.
PITTMAN SICK OF SECOND: Daryn Pittman, of Owasso, OK, has six Series wins at Williams Grove but has yet to win the National Open. Last year was his fifth time finishing second at the event. After a solid debut week in the Heffner Racing #72 car, he’ll be poised to end that streak this weekend.
Pittman returned to Heffner Racing last week – after a year and a half of driving for Roth Motorsports – and progressed each race with the team. They finished 14th at Plymouth, 10th at Wayne County and third at Lernerville. In his 20 previous World of Outlaws starts with Heffner, Pittman picked up a win at Williams Grove in 2011.
INDY PARTS BULLET: The Indy Race Parts #71 car has a solid history at Williams Grove. Gio Scelzi earned his first career World of Outlaws win in the #71 at Williams Grove and Shane Stewart parked it in Victory Lane at the track again in July.
Stewart has performed well all year behind the wheel of Bernie and Betsy Stuebgen’s #71 ride – recently finishing second at Plymouth. He’ll look to carry that momentum into the National Open weekend.
POSSE TERRITORY: The PA Posse haven’t won against the World of Outlaws in Pennsylvania for seven Series races. The last of the group to do so was Lance Dewease at Williams Grove in May of 2019. The Fayetteville, PA driver has the best record of all Posse drivers at Williams Grove. He has 99 wins in total there and finished second at the Summer Nationals this year.
Brent Marks, of Myerstown, PA, is one driver many will have their eyes one. He won the National Open as a World of Outlaws driver last year but returned to his PA Posse roots this year, driving for CJB Motorsports. He’s currently second in points at the track with one win there.
PA young guns Anthony Macri, of Dillsburg, PA, and Freddie Rahmer, of Salfordville, PA, will try to throw their names into the mix. Macri finished third during the opening night of the Summer Nationals in July and Rahmer is the current points leader at the track with three wins.
Danny Dietrich, of Gettysburg, PA, is the defending Williams Grove track champion but he’ll have to make big improvement from his Summer Nationals performance, finishing 16th both nights, if he wants to compete for a win this weekend.
THIS WEEK AT A GLANCE
WHEN & WHERE
Fri., Oct. 2 and Sat., Oct. 3 at Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, PA. Event Info / Tickets
ABOUT THE TRACK
Williams Grove Speedway is a semi-banked 1/2-mile track.
Online – WilliamsGrove.com
Track Record – 16.140 sec. set by Brian Paulus on April 26, 2002
1/2-MILE WINNERS IN 2020
There have been 11 races on 1/2-mile tracks in 2020.
Volusia Speedway Park: Donny Schatz won on Feb. 7, Brad Sweet won on Feb. 8 and Logan Schuchart won on Feb. 9
Knoxville Raceway: David Gravel won on May 8 and Aug. 14, Kyle Larson won on June 12, June 13, Aug. 13 and Aug. 15
Terre Haute Action Track: Logan Schuchart won on July 12
Williams Grove Speedway: Shane Stewart won on July 24 and David Gravel won on July 25
Devils Bowl Speedway: Logan Schuchart won on Sept. 19
WILLIAMS GROVE SPEEDWAY PREVIOUS WINNERS
2020 – Shane Stewart on July 24, David Gravel on July 25
2019 – David Gravel on May 17, Lance Dewease on May 18, Tim Shaffer on July 26, Donny Schatz on July 27, David Gravel on Oct. 4, Brent Marks on Oct. 5
2018 – Lance Dewease on July 20, Gio Scelzi on Sept. 28, Lance Dewease on Sept. 29,
2017 – David Gravel on May 19, Shane Stewart on May 20, Brock Zearfoss on July 21, Greg Hodnett on Sept. 28 (makeup from 7/22), David Gravel on Sept. 28, James McFadden on Sept. 29, David Gravel on Sept. 30
2016 – Lance Dewease on May 20, Daryn Pittman on July 22, Lance Dewease on July 23, Danny Dietrich on Oct. 14
2015 – Donny Schatz on May 15, Danny Dietrich on July 24, Stevie Smith on July 25, Stevie Smith on Oct. 4
2014 – Daryn Pittman on May 16, Daryn Pittman on May 17, Greg Hodnett on July 18, Lance Dewease on July 19, David Gravel on Oct. 4
2013 – Donny Schatz on May 17, Donny Schatz on July 20, Don Kreitz Jr. on Oct. 4, Fred Rahmer on Oct. 5
2012 – Fred Rahmer on May 11, Steve Kinser on May 12, Cody Darrah on July 21, Paul McMahan on Sept. 28, Donny Schatz on Sept. 29
2011 – Daryn Pittman on May 13, Greg Hodnett on July 22, Jason Meyers on July 23, Jason Meyers on Sept. 30, Jason Meyers on Oct. 7
2010 – Chad Layton on May 13, Fred Rahmer on May 14, Lance Dewease on July 23, Greg Hodnett on July 24, Greg Hodnett on Oct. 1, Sammy Swindell on Oct. 2
2009 – Greg Hodnett on May 14, Greg Hodnett on July 24, Greg Hodnett on Oct. 3, Cody Darrah on Oct. 3 (Completion of July 25 event)
2008 – Steve Kinser on May 15, Daryn Pittman on July 18, Donny Schatz on July 19
2007 – Donny Schatz on May 17, Donny Schatz on May 18, Donny Schatz on July 19, Brian Leppo on July 20, Donny Schatz on July 21, Donny Schatz on Sept. 29
2006 – Fred Rahmer on May 26, Fred Rahmer on May 27, Terry McCarl on July 20, Craig Dollansky on July 21, Daryn Pittman on July 22, Jason Solwold on Sept. 29, Doug Esh on Sept. 30
2005 – Craig Dollansky on May 26, Steve Kinser on May 27, Jason Johnson on July 21, Paul McMahan on July 23, Fred Rahmer on July 23, Donny Schatz on Oct. 1
2004 – Fred Rahmer on May 27, Don Kreitz Jr. on May 28, Lance Dewease on July 23, Danny Lasoski on July 24, Mark Smith on Oct. 1, Donny Schatz on Oct. 2
2003 – Don Kreitz, Jr. on July 24, Donny Schatz on July 25, Donny Schatz on July 26, Donny Schatz on Oct. 3, Steve Kinser on Oct. 4
2002 – Steve Kinser on May 16, Danny Lasoski on July 25, Joey Saldana on July 26, Greg Hodnett on July 27, Lance Dewease on Sept. 28
2001 – Donny Schatz on May 17, Donny Schatz on July 26 (completed May 18 event), Donny Schatz on July 26, Don Kreitz Jr., on July 27, Tim Shaffer on Sept. 28, Lance Dewease on Sept. 29
2000 – Mark Kinser on May 18, Fred Rahmer on May 19, Lance Dewease on July 27, Sammy Swindell on July 29, Steve Kinser on Sept. 29, Donny Schatz on Sept. 30
1999 – Mark Kinser on May 27, Steve Kinser on May 28, Mark Kinser on July 29, Mark Kinser on July 30, Cris Eash on Oct. 1, Mark Kinser on Oct. 2
1998 – Mark Kinser on May 21, Johnny Herrera on May 22, Stevie Smith on May 29, Kevin Gobrecht on July 31, Mark Kinser on Oct. 2
1997 – Sammy Swindell on May 22, Mark Kinser on May 23, Jac Haudenschild on May 30, Mark Kinser on July 31, Mark Kinser on Aug. 1, Sammy Swindell on Oct. 3, Sammy Swindell on Oct. 4
1996 – Johnny Herrera on May 24, Mark Kinser on May 25, Steve Kinser on May 31, Steve Kinser on Aug. 1, Mark Kinser on Aug. 2, Lance Dewease on Oct. 4, Lance Dewease on Oct. 5
1995 – Steve Kinser on May 26, Dave Blaney on Aug. 3, Mark Kinser on Aug. 4, Mark Kinser on Sept. 29, Mark Kinser on Sept. 30
1994 – Dave Blaney on May 26, Steve Kinser on May 27, Andy Hillenburg on June 3, Jeff Swindell on Aug. 4, Sammy Swindell on Aug. 5, Lance Dewease on Sept. 30, Steve Kinser on Oct. 1
1993 – Dave Blaney on May 27, Don Kreitz Jr., on May 28, Dave Blaney on June 4, Steve Kinser on Aug. 5, Steve Kinser on Oct. 1, Don Kreitz Jr. on Oct. 3
1992 – Mark Kinser on May 21, Don Kreitz Jr., on May 22, Don Kreitz Jr., on May 29, Steve Kinser on July 30, Steve Kinser on July 31, Keith Kauffman on Oct. 2, Steve Kinser on Oct. 3
1991 – Steve Kinser on May 23, Steve Kinser on May 24, Sammy Swindell on May 31, Mark Kinser on Aug. 1, Steve Kinser on Aug. 2, Sammy Swindell on Oct. 4, Stevie Smith on Oct. 6
1990 – Steve Kinser on May 24, Steve Kinser on May 25, Sammy Swindell on June 1, Steve Kinser on Aug. 2, Steve Kinser on Aug. 3, Steve Kinser on Sept. 28, Steve Kinser on Sept. 29
1989 – Bobby Allen on May 25, Sammy Swindell on May 26, Bobby Allen on June 2, Bobby Davis Jr., on July 27, Bobby Davis Jr., on July 28, Stevie Smith on Sept. 29, Stevie Smith on Sept. 30
1988 – Bobby Davis, Jr. on May 26, Bobby Davis Jr., on May 27, Mark Kinser on June 3, Cris Eash on July 28, Steve Kinser on July 29
1987 – Ron Shuman on May 21, Steve Kinser on May 22, Steve Kinser on May 29, Steve Kinser on July 30, Steve Kinser on July 31
1986 – Doug Wolfgang on May 22, Doug Wolfgang on May 23, Bobby Allen on May 30, Jac Haudenschild on July 31, Bobby Allen on Aug. 1
1985 – Keith Kauffman on May 24, Steve Kinser on May 31, Sammy Swindell on Aug. 1, Doug Wolfgang on Aug. 2
1984 – Steve Kinser on May 24, Steve Kinser on May 25, Sammy Swindell on Aug. 1, Brad Doty on Aug. 2, Steve Kinser on Aug. 3
1983 – Bobby Davis, Jr. on May 26, Bobby Davis Jr., on May 27, Steve Kinser on Aug. 4, Sammy Swindell on Aug. 5
1982 – Sammy Swindell on May 13, Bobby Allen on May 14, Bobby Allen on May 21
1981 – Steve Kinser on June 5, Steve Kinser on June 12
1980 – Sammy Swindell on May 16, Bill Stief on July 25, Keith Kauffman on July 26
1979 – Lynn Paxton on July 27
1978 – Kramer Williamson on Sept. 24
ON THE INTERNET
World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series
Twitter – Twitter.com/WorldofOutlaws – @WorldofOutlaws
Instagram – Instagram.com/WoOSprint – @woosprint
Facebook – Facebook.com/WorldofOutlaws
YouTube – YouTube.com/WorldofOutlaws
DIRTVision – Dirtvision.com – Get your Fast Pass to watch all races LIVE for only $39/month
Twitter – Twitter.com/DIRTVision – @DIRTVision
Facebook – Facebook.com/WatchDIRTVision