Indianapolis, Indiana – The University of Northwestern Ohio All Star Circuit of Champions will travel to central Pennsylvania this weekend in an early season test against the always tough Pennsylvania Posse teams.
It starts Friday, April 24 when the All Stars invade the historic Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa. and continues the next evening at Port Royal Speedway for the prestigious Bob Weikert Memorial. Friday’s 30-lap feature at Williams Grove will pay the winner $5,000 while the Weikert Memorial 40-lap feature Saturday at Port Royal pays the victor $15,000.
The All Stars versus PA Posse battle will mark the first appearance of the traveling group under the new ownership of NASCAR champion, Tony Stewart.
Friday’s race at Williams Grove is the second leg of the 2015 Diamond Series at the track after Stevie Smith took last week’s Tommy Hinnershitz Memorial Spring Classic race at Williams Grove.
Greg Hodnett has established himself as the early season point leader at Williams Grove after last week’s program. Hodnett already has a UNOH All Star win in 2015, that coming in February at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida. He has 19 career All Star wins and 56 career wins at Williams Grove.
Throughout the history of the All Stars, the Williams Grove regulars have remained stalwart defenders – no UNOH All Star has ever won a sanctioned race at the speedway. The first All Star event ever contested at the historic oval was in 1970 with Bobbie Adamson taking the win.
Two UNOH All Star events slated last year at Williams Grove fell victim to rain.
No driver has beaten the All Stars more often at Williams Grove over the decades than Lance Dewease. Dewease has recorded five of his 30 career All Star wins at “The Grove” and has 81 career checker flags at the track.
Feature winners thus far at Williams Grove in 2015 include Danny Dietrich, Rodney Westhafer and Stevie Smith.
However, the UNOH All Stars bring a great mixture of accomplished veteran drivers and a new crop of exciting young stars. In fact, the first two point races of the new UNOH All Stars have produced first time winners in Pennsylvania native Ryan Smith at Ohio’s Attica Raceway Park, and most recently, 16-year-old Indiana driver Parker Price Miller at Ohio’s Wayne County Speedway.
With two straight podium finishes, West Lodi, Ohio’s Andrew Palker leads the All Star points over Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania resident and former Lernerville Speedway track champion Danny Holtgraver. Price Miller sits third in the series points followed by five time and defending All Star champion Dale Blaney who sits atop the all-time win list for the series with 115 victories. Four time All Star champion Tim Shaffer sits fifth in the points followed by Pennsylvania native Cody Darrah, Ryan Smith, four time series champion Chad Kemenah, two time All Star champ Greg Wilson and hall-of-famer Danny Smith.
Also on Friday, the Williams Grove portion of the 50/50 drawing will be donated to Med Star Dirt Track Rescue. Med Star travels the country, providing training and seminars to local dirt track rescue crews in an effort to have every track adequately staffed and prepared for emergency situations they may face on race nights.
Adult general admission for Friday’s All Star show is set at $18 with youth ages 13-20 admitted for $10 while ages 12 and under are always admitted free.
Racing gets underway Friday at 7:30 p.m. and the 358 limited late models are also on the racing card.
BIG MONEY UP FOR GRABS AT PORT ROYAL
Saturday’s event at Port Royal is just that – AN EVENT. It will honor the memory of the Hall of Fame car owner. And, another famous name will be on hand to help celebrate.
A hall of fame inductee himself, Ohio native Jack Hewitt will be making an appearance in Pennsylvania with his ride-along sprint car and will be offering three chances for fans to take a ride with him around the historic oval.
But before taking to the track for the rides, Hewitt will be meeting and greeting fans and signing autographs from approximately 5 to 6 p.m. behind the main grandstand.
Raffle tickets for a chance at one of the rides with Hewitt will be offered for just $1 each or six for $5 with proceeds going to benefit the Central Pennsylvania chapter of the National Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The LLS has been chosen as the recipient of the proceeds in honor of Weikert, who succumbed to a long battle with Leukemia in 2003.
Also honoring Weikert in the event will be Gettysburg driver Danny Dietrich, who rode to a third-place finish on April 18 at the track. Dietrich will carry the famous Weikert No. 29 number and colors on his car for the special event. Limited edition Dietrich/Weikert Memorial shirts are also expected to be on sale.
Nearly $50,000 in total is on the line at Port Royal including $15,000 to win the 40-lap feature to go along with $100 to lead a lap, $100 to win heats and the dash, $300 to set fast time and a $200 hard charger award.
Hodnett would defeat the invading UNOH All Stars to take the Bob Weikert Memorial win in 2014. He would follow that up with another Port Royal All Star win in September for the Tuscarora 50. Stevie Smith would win the night before the Tuscarora for one of his 16 career All Star victories.
So far in 2015 at Port Royal, winners include Aaron Ott, Hodnett (who started 13th!) and Lucas Wolfe, who leads the track points. At “The Port” you can never count out Lance Dewease who sits second on the track’s all-time win list with 97 victories. Hodnett has 36 career wins at Port Royal.
The PA Posse has done well to defend home turf at Port Royal as well. However, Dale Blaney has held up the All Star reputation very well at the track and new All Star competitor Ryan Smith upset the World of Outlaws at the historic half-mile last fall!
Saturday’s racing action gets underway at 7 p.m. with gates opening at 4 p.m. Competition includes the econo late models and the xtreme stocks.
Adult general admission is $25 with students ages 12-18 at $7.
The first 450 fans entering the main grandstand will receive either a FREE Weikert’s Livestock hat or can cooler. Also during the night 20 five-pound packs of ground beef will be given away off of adult general admission wrist bands. In addition, five girls and five boys bicycles will be given away to registered youth ages 12 and under.
Williams Grove Speedway is located at 1 Speedway Drive, just off St. Rt. 15 south in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Ticket and event information is available by calling 717-697-5000, visiting www.williamsgrove.com or Facebook.com/williamsgrove.
Port Royal Speedway is located at 308 West 8th Street, two miles south of US Rt. 322 just off of PA Rt. 75 in Port Royal. Pit entrance on Fourth St., General Admission on Sixth and Eighth St. Ticket and event information is available by calling 717-527-2303, visiting www.portroyalspeedway.com or Facebook.com/portroyalspeedway.
The UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car Series is the original winged sprint car tour. Follow the All Stars during their 50 plus race season on Twitter.com/@ASCoC, www.facebook.com/AllStarCircuitofChampions and www.Instagram.com/AllStarSprints using the hashtag #TheNewAllStars. An all new website has been launched at www.AllStarSprint.com.
-ASCoC Press Release. Photo Credit: Williams Grove Speedway