By Shawn Brouse
Mechanicsburg – The champion of the 1987 Williams Grove Speedway National Open, Joey Allen of Hanover will be the guest of honor and honorary starter for the 60th Anniversary event coming up on Saturday, October 1 at the oval.
Allen will unfurl the green flag on the $75,000 to win, 40-lap Williams Grove Champion Racing Oil National Open sanctioned by the World of Outlaws.
The younger Allen brother will also sign autographs and meet fans at the Champion Racing Oil hospitality tent in the infield from 5:45-6:15 pm.
Back in the day when the now 62-year old Allen won his Open, the outlaws didn’t frequent the event and wouldn’t do so until 1989 but Allen wouldn’t have known it considering the drivers he had to beat back then.
“I do remember working my way up and I remember overtaking Wolfgang big time! ‘Cuz you know Wolfie was the one to beat. He was the man to beat,” Allen recalls.
The “Wolfie” he speaks of was none other than national terror Doug Wolfgang of Sioux Falls, South Dakota who was in the midst of another massive season driving for Bob Weikert in the No. 29 in 1987.
Wolfgang had won the race three years running by the time the ’87 version rolled around and he was eyeing up his fourth in a row when Allen got his chance aboard his brother Bob’s No. A1.
“I was stuck in the middle and I could run wide open. The top was giving up and I could run right through the middle. That’s why I won the race,” Allen says.
But it took more to overtake Wolfgang than just a good run though the middle lane.
“I had my hands full toward the end ‘cuz the motor started overheating and I found out my fuel was shutting off so I drove one handed for about 15 laps ’til I had a yellow flag and then I was able to find a piece of tape and tape the fuel shut off on so it wouldn’t come loose.”
“So then I was able to drive the last 10 laps without having to drive one handed,” he says.
After starting eighth in the field, Allen would win the 75-lap main worth $13,600 over Wolfgang, Dave Blaney, Kenny Jacobs and Stevie Smith.
It was the biggest win of his sprint car career that lasted until the late 1990s.
His brother Bobby scored the prestigious event once, in 1975.
Action at the October 1 Champion Racing Oil National Open begins at 7:30 pm.
Friday night’s preliminary event, paying $10,000 to win, also gets underway at 7:30.
Keep up to date on all the latest speedway news and information by visiting the oval’s official website located at www.williamsgrove.com and by following the track on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.