By Mike Leone




(Markleysburg, PA)…Back in January when it was discussed about Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex hosting a Sprint Car event, no one quite knew what the response might be. At little more than three months since the announcement of the “410 Showdown in the Laurel Highlands,” the show has quickly become one of the must-see events in the region! The anticipation level is now at an all-time high for this Sunday’s (May 5) event, which will get underway with time trials at 6 p.m. followed by racing at 6:30. The STAR’s Mod Lites will also be on the card racing for $500 to-win presented by Newt’s York Bar. A rain date of Sunday, May 19 has been set.


The event has brought back memories of days gone by when drivers from all over would show up for these true “outlaw” type high-paying events. While there’s no official entry list, over 40 different racers have expressed interest to compete since this history-making event was announced back in January. Drivers from all over Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, New Jersey, and Indiana are expected to participate in this rich event boasting a feature purse of $18,000 with $4,000 going to the winner and $350 to-start. Non-qualifiers will receive $100. The complete payoff is posted below.


Now just days away from the fire-breathing, mudslinging, winged warrior Sprint Cars turning their first ever laps at the scenic Markleysburg, Pa. 3/8-mile facility, who will etch their name in the annals of western Pennsylvania Sprint Car history as the very first winner at Roaring Knob!?


Some of the best of the “PA Posse” are expected like Lance Dewease, Danny and brother Billy Dietrich, Logan Schuchart and several others. Western Pa. will have its best represented such as Ed Lynch, Jr., Brian Ellenberger, Danny Holtgraver, Jack Sodeman, Jr., Carl Bowser, Mike Lutz, Brandon Spithaler, and many more. All Star and Ohio drivers Danny Smith, Cole Duncan, Sheldon Haudenschild, and Cap Henry are planning on competing.


South Dakota’s Justin Henderson, who drives the famous Rick Ferkel #0 on the All Star trail, is a possibility as is another All Star racer in Caleb Helms. Also don’t count out western Pa. great Rod George, who won the first ever Sprint show at Dog Hollow Speedway two years ago!


Roaring Knob is located off historic US Route 40 in Markleysburg, Pa. The scenic area in Fayette County is about 70 miles southeast of Pittsburgh and just minutes from the West Virginia and Maryland borders. While there is grandstand seating, fans may want to bring lawn chairs or blankets for the spacious grassy area or take in racing from one of the drive-in viewing spots from high above the speedway!


Roaring Knob is a relatively new speedway opening its gates in 1998, but over the past 15 years has never hosted a Sprint Car event let along the high-horsepower 410s. During that time, Roaring Knob has contested events for most every division in the region, while holding steadfast to its headlining Super Late Models with national events for the Lucas Oil Series.


“When Rick Jones talked about wanting to do some type of Sprint Car show I felt the 410s would be the best avenue for Roaring Knob,” stated Race Director Mike Leone. “The key was finding a conducive date, a purse that was attractive for all race teams, and of course good weather with really no cars within an hour of the speedway. I think we hit on that as once we announced it, the interest and excitement has been tremendous. I’m really looking forward to this event and so are a lot of race fans and teams! The weather for Sunday is looking great!”


“I’ve always enjoyed the Sprint Cars,” acknowledged Jones. “I haven’t been in 410 Sprint Car country with the tracks that I’ve promoted over the years, but always wanted to try a show. It’s great to see so much interest generated for this event. Even a lot of Late Model fans and racers are looking forward to seeing the Sprints at the Knob. We’ll give them a good track to race on and it should be an awesome show seeing the Sprints fly around the outside of the Knob.”


30-lap feature payoff ($18,000): 1. $4,000 2. $2,000 3. $1,300 4. $1,100 5. $1,000 6. $900 7. $800 8. $700 9. $600 10. $500 11. $425 12. $400 13. $375 14. $370 15. $365 16. $360 17. $355 18-24. $350. $100 to non-qualifiers.


For Sprint Car teams, there will be no weight, muffler or tire rule nor will any entry/registration fee be charged. RACEceivers are required. The PA Speedweek format will be used, which includes time trials. Eddy Esposito Automotive Group Parts in Grove City, Pa. has put up $100 for the fastest qualifier.


Pits open at 3 p.m. and the grandstands at 4. A drivers meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Engine starts for Sprints will be at 5:45 p.m. followed by warm-ups and then time trials. Racing will begin at 6:30 p.m.


Push trucks and wreckers are welcome. You and a guest will be admitted at no charge.   For event info contact Mike Leone at 724-967-2363,, or on Twitter @mikevleone. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Rick Jones for more information at 410-259-6297.


Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex is a 3/8-mile clay oval located near Markleysburg, Pa. just off of scenic Route 40 at 380 Fearer Road (look for the road sign) just seven miles east of Nemacolin Woodlands on the right, one mile west of Yough Lake on the left. Check out the website at or call 410-857-3821 (office) or 724-329-0306 on race day.