CAMARGO, Ill. – Every season the University of Northwestern Ohio All Star Circuit of Champions race teams make progress in breaking the strangle hold the Pennsylvania Posse teams have on the tough Central Pennsylvania tracks. And this year the tide may be turning.
The UNOH All Stars will head to the legendary Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa. on Friday, April 25 and then to equally tough Port Royal Speedway on Saturday, April 26. Both events are part of the UNOH All Star Eastern Region points system. So far there have been three points events for the Eastern Region – all in Florida – and Kerry Madsen, Dave Blaney and Joey Saldana have picked up the victories with David Gravel leading the points over four time series champions Tim Shaffer and Chad Kemenah.
Shaffer currently leads the UNOH All Star National Points as he seeks to become the first five time champion in series’ history. Four time and defending All Star Champion Dale Blaney is second in the national points while another four time series champion Chad Kemenah is third.
No UNOH All Star has ever won an All Star sanctioned race at Williams Grove Speedway. The first All Star event ever contested at the big half-mile oval in 1970 was won by Bobbie Adamson. Last year’s All Star shows at the track were taken by Posse drivers Don Kreitz Jr. and Danny Dietrich.
However, the UNOH All Stars have progressively become very competitive against the Posse. And this year’s roster of All Star drivers will challenge the Posse like never before. Besides Kemenah and Shaffer – who picked up a non-sanctioned win this past Friday at Attica Raceway Park – Dale Blaney will head into the weekend with a ton of momentum. The Low Rider, who scored his 100th career All Star win earlier in the month at Attica, has recorded non-sanctioned wins at Fremont Speedway (April 12) and at Port Royal Speedway (April 20). Throw in Pennsylvania native Danny Holtgraver who won this past Friday at Lernerville and Saturday at Mercer, along with Jac Haudenschild, and young chargers Caleb Helms and Andrew Palker and the UNOH All Stars have a shot at defeating the Posse.
No driver has beaten the All Stars more often at Williams Grove over the decades than Lance Dewease, who has bested the band a total of five times. Dewease has won the UNOH All Star Eastern Region championship twice.
Single UNOH All Star wins of note at Williams Grove through the years have come with an upset by Barry Camp, a close race to the finish for Jim Siegel and a romp by Steve Buckwalter.
Gerard McIntyre Jr. opened the season at Williams Grove Speedway with a win on March 28 over Stevie Smith who is piloting the Fred Rahmer owned machine at the Grove, Brian Montieth, Ryan Smith and Rick Lafferty. This past weekend Dough Esh took the win over Pat Cannon, Smith, Greg Hodnett and NASCAR Sprint cup driver Dave Blaney.
Friday’s 30-lap feature winner will earn $5,000. The ARDC Midgets are also on the card with racing slated to begin at 7:30 p.m. For more information go to www.williamsdrove.com or www.allstarsprint.com
The weekend wraps up with the prestigious $10,000 to win Bob Weikert Memorial at Port Royal Speedway on Saturday, April 26.
Each lap will pay $100 to lead with heats paying $50 to win courtesy of Packers Concessions and fast time will pay at least $400 in memory of Port Royal Weikert fan Raymond Jacobs.
Also, Weikert’s Livestock will be giving the first 400 fans entering the grandstands a free Weikert hat or can cooler. Plus, 20 five-pound packages of prime beef will also be given away to general admission fans and five girls and five boys will get bicycles (for kids ages 11 and under).
Fans can meet former Weikert #29 drivers Paul Pitzer and Len Krautheim III behind the grandstands from approximately 5-6 p.m. Danny Dietrich will also be in attendance for the autograph session along with his replica #29 sprint car that he will campaign in the event. Also on display will be a restored Weikert #29 driven by Pitzer.
Bob Weikert was one of the most prolific sprint car owners in the United States and the Port Royal Weikert Memorial has become a cornerstone of the track and Central Pennsylvania yearly schedule. Last year’s packed grandstands witnessed three race leaders including Brad Sweet, Shaffer and finally Doug Esh who took the victory.
Winners so far at Port Royal in 2014 include Blane Heimbach over Chad Layton and Mike Erdley on April 5; Rick Lafferty over Lynton Jeffrey and Mike Wagner on April 12; and Dale Blaney over Greg Hodnett and Justin Barger on April 19. Hodnett leads the track point chase over Heimbach, Layton, Mike Wagner and Lafferty.
General admission gates open Saturday at 4 p.m. For more information visit www.portroyalspeedway.com