Maryland Clay Dirt
March 10, 2012
By Doug Watson
“Darren Alvey Prepared for Winning Season in 2012”
When the first green flag of the 2012 season is waved next Friday night at Southern Md.’s Potomac speedway, one driver in particular will be anxiously waiting for that moment, Darren Alvey.
Entering his second full season in the ever-tough street stock division, Alvey would have to consider himself a legitimate threat for the 2012 championship. In his first full season at Potomac, Alvey scored six heat race wins and nailed down a solid sixth in the final point tally, despite the fact he would be held winless. “Last season was good, and bad, for us last season.” Alvey stated. “The car was good enough to win on most nights, but the we had so many little things take us from races when we ran good, it was frustrating, but I think we’ll be ok once we get started.” Speaking of Alvey’s mount, a Roy Anderson built car carrying Alvey Brothers Farm and Champion Used Auto Parts on it‘s exterior, has seen it’s share of success since it was constructed a few years ago. “The car was Billy Lackey’s when he raced street stocks then he sold the car to Jimmy Gardner, and both of those guys ran well and won in the car, so hopefully my time will come this season.” Alvey plans to contend for the Potomac title, but winning a feature is his true desire. “I want to win in the worst way!!” Alvey bottom-lined. “I know we have good equipment but I know if I can make every race, and finish every race, hopefully I can reward all the sponsors and the people who have helped along the way with a feature win.” Potomac produced nine different street stock winners in 2011, and could find yet another new class winner in Darren Alvey in 2012.
Potomac Speedway Practice Notes-
Despite the rumors, 2009 street stock champion Kyle Nelson, will compete in 2012. “Our car is ready but we don’t plan on bringing it out until next week for the opener. Said Nelson. “ I’m going to race as much as I can but we aren’t racing for points. Money is tight and I have some things planned with my family this summer, so we will be there just to have fun.” Nelson is a 15-time career winner with the street stocks…
Hobby stock racer Jerry Deason, who won his first-ever Potomac main last season, has acquired the former
Mark Guthrie no.117, re-lettered with Deason’s familiar no.24 on its doors…
2006 street stock champion, and 18-time career class winner, Barry Williams Sr. was on hand with his familiar B&W Paving no.5 with all new sheet metal, and looked quite strong in practice. Williams ride is the same car that carried Johnny Smith to the 2000 Potomac championship…Four-time 2011 limited late model feature winner Stevie Long will be racing with the late models in 2012. “We got a good used Cornett (racing engine) from Darrell Lanigan and have decided to race with the late models.” Long explained. “It cost us almost the same to run with the limited class, so we felt the time was right to move up.” Long, who will be utilizing a Rocket chassis, plans to attend all the Potomac events with stops spread between Hagerstown, Winchester and Virginia Motor speedway…
Coming off two consecutive runner-up finishes in late model points at Potomac, Dale Hollidge is primed for a run at the Potomac title. “With only 8-races it’s going to be tough.” Hollidge remarked. “I plan on spending most of my time here at Potomac on Friday nights and Saturday’s at Winchester. We’re not a high dollar team, so we have to be careful with our equipment.” Hollidge’s familiar red color scheme is gone, as all black sheet metal wrap his 2010 MasterSbilt chassis no.0 with Curt Hershey supplying the power…
Second year hobby stock pilot Jonathon Raley, behind the wheel of his family-owned no.92, is poised for a championship assault as well. “We have two motors for here at Potomac and one for VMS.” Raley stated. “We had a good year winning three races in our first season, but we lost our primary motor mid-way through and that killed our chances at the title, we’re better prepared for this season.”…
After returning to the street stock class in 2011, Mike Latham was another driver who looked strong on Saturday, and should be considered a formidable title contender in his own right. “We’re still trying to get back in the groove.” Said Latham. “We were away from the street stock for quite a few years, and even though our car is good, we still have some kinks to work out to run up front every week.” Latham’s Roy Anderson built no.78 was a one-time winner in 2011, upping his career class total at Potomac to 22, which is second to all-time SS winner Ronald Cusic who has 53...2010 street stock champion Kurt Zimmerman plans to contend for a second Potomac title, despite the rumors that he was going to retire from the sport. Zimmerman was a five-time winner last season with his no.9A tying himself for third on the all-time win chart with Tommy Hitt and Rick Schmidt with 21 victories…
Brian Adkins, a two-time hobby stock winner in 10’, sported a “new style” camaro body on his potent no.06 and was one of the best looking cars at the track, despite the fact the car suffered mechanical woes in the one and only practice session it was in…
After missing the second-half of 2011season limited late model driver Ed Pope, steering his Pope’s Welding no.11 appeared to be the fastest LLM at the track on Saturday. Pope scored his only class win to date back in 2010, and if can produce a full season, has to be considered a title contender. Pope is a Potomac champion, as he was the street stock titlist back in 2007...
Even with the sun at full strength the entire afternoon, copious amounts of rain the past several weeks kept the Potomac surface quite racy in spite of the fact that nearly 70 race cars in various classes practiced for a solid three hours. However, the final 40-minutes of practice did see the track starting to take some rubber.
March 4, 2012
Maryland Clay Dirt
By Doug Watson
“15 Late Model Winners Highlight 1987 Hagerstown Season”
To win a late model feature at any racetrack, especially in the ever-tough Mid-Atlantic region, is without question any race car drivers ultimate goal. To win at Maryland’s Hagerstown speedway is the true epitome of success for any late model driver who straps in and takes on the historic five-eight’s mile oval.
Back in 1987 yours truly was a 17-year-old senior in high school and my father and I made just about every show during that season, that produced 15 different feature winners along the way.
Some 25 years later Hagerstown speedway has not lost it’s reputation as the “capitol of dirt track racing” as just about every season after 1987 the headline late model division has featured double-digit season winners. So once again we’ll stroll down memory lane and take a look at the 1987 Hagerstown speedway season.
Gary Stuhler- At the pinnacle of his hall of fame career, Gary Stuhler would lead the way as he captured 11 feature wins in 1987 wheeling the legendary Ron “Speedy” Hayes no.44. Despite his win total, Stuhler would have to wait until the 1990 season to claim his first Hagerstown track title, a feat he would duplicate again in 2003 as well. Stuhler’s season was highlighted with wins in the Conococheague 100 in July and the summer championship in August. Since his first Hagerstown win in September of 1983, Stuhler continues to win as he was a one-time winner in 2012 upping his all-time career track total to 129.
Tom Peck- In the twilight of his outstanding late model career, Peck would
collect six feature wins aboard his legendary P&W Excavating no.40. The 1980 and
1986 track champion’s season was highlighted with a win in the “big fall
classic” in November. Peck currently sits sixth on the all-time Hagerstown win
chart with 43 career feature wins.
Rodney Franklin- Colorfully known as “The Virginia Leadfoot” clicked for four-feature wins in his Louie Franklin owned no.33. Franklin took wins in the Stanley Scehtrompf memorial in March, The “Big Spring Classic” in April and the “Big Fall Classic” in November. The 1997 and 1998 track champion amassed 115 career Hagerstown LM wins, which is second on the tracks all-time win list.
Booper Bare- Assembled an amazing rookie season in 1987. At the controls of his Fitzgerald Log and Lumber no.00, Bare collected his first-ever Hagerstown LM win in April and would then sweep the twin-twenties program on June 21, for three wins on the season and a solid runner-up in the season long point standings.
Buddy Armel- The “Legend of stock car racing” tallied three feature wins in 1987 in his no.1VP, a car owned by Jerry Smith. Armel took his first Hagerstown title in 1971 and would back that up with titles in 1975, 1976, 1977 and 1989. Armel’s 81 career Hagerstown LM feature wins ranks him fourth on the all-time win list.
Denny Bonebrake- Was the last multiple feature winner of the season with two victory lane appearances aboard his familiar Bonebrake Alignment no.5. Bonebrake, an 84-time career winner at Hagerstown, captured the Shorty Bowers/Bull Durham memorial in May, an event he’s won three times. Bonebrake is a six-time Hagerstown LM champion with his first coming in 1969 and his last in 1984.
Jeff Robinson- The “Shadygrove Slingshot” would only produce one feature win in 1987 behind the wheel of his unmistakable Fry‘s Stables no.3, but he would use consistent finishes to claim his second-career Hagerstown championship. Robinson’s first came in 1985. During his illustrious Hagerstown career, Robinson drove to 38 career wins at the track, which is seventh all-time.
Single event winners- 1987 limited late model champion Nathan Durboraw scored his first-ever LM win at Hagerstown during the season in a car owned by Charlie Tabor. Over the next decade and a half, Durboraw would add 71 more LM feature wins and 8 track titles to his impressive Hagerstown accomplishments…Butch McGill captured his one and only Hagerstown win to date in the July running of the Johnny Roberts memorial in a car owned by the late Bobby Allen…John Mason scored one of his six career Hagerstown wins in the first annual Ronnie McBee memorial in October…Denny Chamberlain rolled to his biggest, and only, Hagerstown LM win as he was triumphant in the All-Star Circuit of Champions event in October with his WRC race cars no.31...1984 limited late model champion Les Hare also became a first-time Hagerstown LM winner with his win in his Bob Hynes owned no.95...Bob Croop, a 69-time LM winner up north at Selinsgrove would also add his name to the Hagerstown win list in 1987. The win would be the only of Croop’s career at the track…Then Western Pa. standout Davey Johnson, who was just 23 at the time, won his first of what would be three in a row in the highly coveted Hub-City National Open in November in his familiar no.1J…Another western Pa. runner Ed Feree, was the feel good story of the season as he wheeled his DLK Performance no.4 to his first-ever Hagerstown feature win in the “Big Spring Classic” in April. The win would be the only of Feree’s Hagerstown career.
Feb. 26, 2012
Maryland Clay Dirt
By Doug Watson
“The Magic of Opening Day at Lincoln Speedway”
On a day where most racetracks wouldn’t even have considered running a race on a cold/windy day in late February, that’s exactly what Pa.’s Lincoln speedway did. The one thing race teams and fans alike can count on, is that Lincoln will press on with their scheduled events, despite outdoor conditions.
The scheduled season-opener, the “Icebreaker 30”, and its hefty $3500-to-win winner’s payday went off without a hitch even though temps hovered in the upper 30’s with a stiff wind that came from off the third turn that would eventually last the entire event. As per Lincoln norm, the fans came out in droves and a quality field of 29 410 sprint cars attempted to qualify for the show.
The “stand-alone” sprint car event offered three 10-lap heat races a 10-lap consolation and the 30-lap main event. The first heat race took to the well manicured Lincoln surface promptly at 2:00 and the feature was checkered roughly at 4:00 making it quite an entertaining show indeed, despite the blustery conditions.
Hats off to the Lincoln staff as they kept the show moving forward all afternoon and to Wayne Harper, who in my opinion is the best local announcer in the area, as he kept the Lincoln faithful well informed during the course of the program.
“Icebreaker 30” notebook-
As I stated above, track-prep guru Fred Putney, had the Lincoln surface as good as I have ever seen it for a daytime event as the track was multi-grooved and offered plenty of passing even though the track was starting to take rubber during the end of the feature…
2011 Lincoln champion and defending “Icebreaker” winner Brian Montieth had a solid day aboard his Jerry Parrish owned no.21 as he would come from the 13th starting spot to finish fourth in the main…
Brian Leppo, who was making his first start in the Keen Transport no.17, drew the fourth starting spot for the feature. Unfortunately, Leppo spun on one of the three aborted starts prior to the race getting underway and would be forced to the rear of the field, where he would come back to finish a quiet 14th…
Danny Dietrich had an interesting afternoon with his Gary Kauffman owned no.48. A heat race altercation with Cody Darrah knocked the front wing from his mount, however he would still take fifth in the event to put himself in the re-draw for the feature. Tempers between Darrah and Dietrich flared in the pit area until track security was called to divert the situation. Dietrich then drew the 15th starting spot for the feature, and the real fun would begin. Dietrich was putting on a passing clinic late in the feature as he got as high as fourth before he spun on the 28th lap forcing him to the rear of the field. In just two-laps, Dietrich would rally back to finish 11th, Whew!!!…
2007 track champion Doug Esh was one of only a handful of drivers that utilized the very slick topside of the speedway as he carried his Dick Leach owned no.30 all the way from his 21st starting spot to garner fifth at the checkered…
Noticeably absent from the event were 10-time Lincoln champion Fred Rahmer, Greg Hodnett and Daryn Pittman as they were still competing in Florida, but are expected to be back for next weeks event…
Alan Krimes was another driver who salvaged a good day after a rough start. A heat race crash wounded his Conestoga Valley Garage no.87 forcing him to the consolation where he would finish second, earning the 20th starting spot for the feature. Krimes would keep his nose clean the entire 30-lap grind and come home with a solid sixth place feature effort…
Race winner Adam Wilt’s opening day feature win would be his career second at Lincoln, with his first coming back in May of 2010...
JJ Grasso was part of the opening day festivities as he was behind the wheel of the C and B Mushroom farms no.92, the same mount Justin Collette drove last season. Grasso ran well as he qualified through his heat race and would then draw the tenth starting spot for the feature. However, Grasso’s luck would end in the feature as he was caught up in an early race incident sending him to the pits with a disappointing 23rd place finish…
Brent Marks would have to consider himself a legitimate title contender this upcoming campaign as he ran very well in the feature with his TJ’s Body Shop no.19M, as he came from 8th on the grid to collect runner-up honors behind race winner Adam Wilt…
Journeyman Kevin Nouse lead the first seven-laps of the feature, before fading late, but he would still hold on to collect third in the event with his no.14...
Consolation winner Cory Haas, a Lincoln winner in 2011, survived an early race spin with his Michael Barshinger owned no.11C, and would rally from the back of the pack to post tenth at the finish…
ARDC midget star Steve Buckwalter was on hand, taking in the show as a spectator…
The 410’s will be back next week for another “stand alone” show, while the 358 sprints and the thundercars will be on hand for a practice session only.
Maryland Clay Dirt
Feb. 5, 2012
By Doug Watson
“Pa.’s Thunder Valley Raceway Alive and Well, Looking Forward to 2012”
Central City Pa.’s Thunder Valley Raceway has established itself as one of the premiere race venues in the mid-Atlantic region. Late models, semi-late models, pure stocks and four-cylinders are the featured Saturday night attraction at TVR, which is nestled in the Laurel Highlands of Western Pa.
The headline late model division was as competitive as ever in 2011, as eight different drivers reached victory lane, and for four of those drivers, it would be their respective first-ever feature win at the track.
A tad off the beaten track as far as late model venues are concerned, Thunder Valley held it’s own during the 2011 season averaging roughly 18 cars per event, despite the rough economy. Under the leadership of Joe Padula III, the track is pointed in the right direction. Speaking of Padula III, he will be quite a busy young man when the 2012 season opens as he will also be the new promoter of the Bedford Fairgrounds speedway, a facility his father Joe Sr., promoted successfully for many season’s. Here’s a look at the 2011 TVR late model feature winners.
April 30 would serve as the official season opener for 2011 and found Clate Copeman, in victory lane. It would be his first-ever TVR late model win and his only score of the season…John Britsky would find himself in the TVR winners circle on May 7. It would be his 10th career win at the track and his only feature win of the season…Jared Hawkins became the third different winner of the season as he was victorious for the first time in his TVR career on May 21. Hawkins victory came in the UFO sanctioned “Shawn McGarvey shootout” and it would come over the largest field of the season as 40 cars entered the program…Tom Decker Jr., who had accumulated only one TVR late model win prior to 2011, produced a career season at the track. Decker took his first win of the season on June 4, would win again only two-weeks later with a June 25 win and would cap-off his stellar season with his final feature win of the season on August 13... Chuck Clise became the fifth different winner in the first five races with his win on June 18. It would be the only win of the season for Clise and his fourth career LM win at TVR…Greg Fetters, who would go on to claim his first-ever track title at TVR, scored two mid season feature wins (July 9 & 23) for his most productive season ever at TVR. Fetters was one of only three all season long to score more than one win in 2011...If not for a slow start to the season, Chris Rhodes, certainly would have been a championship contender. Rhodes was without question the hottest driver at TVR during the second-half of the season as he would win four of the final seven races on the schedule. Rhodes scored his first on July 16, backed that up with another win on July 30 and would then become the only driver of the season to do the trick as he would take back-to-back wins on August 20 and September 13...Veteran Wayne Johnson etched his name in the TVR record books with his first-ever late model win on September 16, which was also the final event for the class for the season. The limited/358 late models made four appearance during the season. Once a weekly fixture at TVR, the class was dropped at the end of the 2007 season, but still make limited appearances. Kyle Merkel was the winner of the first-ever “Steel-Block-Bandits” event held at the track on May 28. It would be a night to remember indeed for the Merkel family as Kyle’s brother, Sean, would finish third in the race…Daniel Cornman scored his first-ever TVR limited late model win on August 26 during the running of the “4-20’s program”…Rick Singleton (Sept.16) and Rance Garlock (Sept. 17) would also score TVR limited late model wins to close out the 2011 season…Only one driver who was currently in the top-ten in career LM wins at TVR prior to the 2011 season opener would win and it was John Britsky…
The 2012 Thunder Valley Raceway schedule is posted and several special for the late models have been announced. The “Shawn McGarvey Showdown” and its $2000 winners check will take place on May 19. The 5th annual “Willie Will Tribute” (30-laps $2000-to-win) will be contested on July 6 and the “Three State Flyers” will be on hand for one event (Friday, August 3) as they will compete in the 4th annual “Laurel Highlands Classic” which is a 35-lap, $3000-to-win event.
Maryland Clay Dirt
Jan. 29, 2012
By Doug Watson
“Twenty-Nine 410 Sprint Car Dates Highlight Busy Lincoln Schedule”
Abottstown Pa.’s Lincoln Speedway is gearing up for what looks to be another stellar season in 2012. The mighty 410 sprint cars, the featured weekly attraction at Lincoln, will dot the schedule 29-times during the course of the season. Known for it’s racy track surface and overwhelming crowds at each event, Lincoln produced 14 different winners in the 410’s this season, with only five drivers earning more than one win in the division this past campaign.
Lincoln’s schedule will be highlighted with a return of the World of Outlaw’s sprint cars as they will invade the speedway for a one night appearance on May 9. Many other special events for the 410’s have been inked on their schedule as well. The Keystone Cup series will be on hand for the sixth straight season with their event on May 26 and the All Star Circuit of Champions will make one stop on June 9. Lincoln will also once again host the PA Speedweek opener(June 30) which will also serve as the 13th annual Kevin Gobrecht memorial. Other notable memorial events such as, the Weldon Sterner, Hank Gentzler, Daryl Gohn/Glen Gohn Sr. and the Kenny Weld/Hilly Rife events will all see their respective spotlight on the Lincoln schedule. Lincoln’s opener is set for Saturday, February 25, as the 410’s will compete in the annual “Icebreaker 30” which will carry a nice $3500 winners payday. With the stage set for what looks to be a busy 2012, lets take a look at the 14-different 410 sprint car winners Lincoln produced last season.
Brian Montieth- Driving for car owner Jerry Parrish, Montieth, colorfully referred to as “The Edge”, was on his “A”- game once again in 2011. Scoring the win on opening day gave the Lincoln faithful a glimpse of what they would see quite often during the season, Brian Montieth in victory lane. “The Edge” would go on to claim five more Lincoln feature wins (upping his career total to 24 at Lincoln) as he would also claim his fourth-straight track championship in the process. Montieth joins, Fred Rahmer (10-time Lincoln champ) and Steve Smith (9-time Lincoln titlist) as the only driver in Lincoln’s 410 sprint history to win four-straight championship’s. During his banner season Montieth scored wins in the Weldon sterner memorial, the Keystone Cup event and the Kenny Weld/Hilly Rife memorial. Danny Dietrich- Wheeling his Sandoe’s Market, Delco Signs no.48, came within 20-points of his first-ever Lincoln 410 title. Dietrich was able to rack-up four feature wins along the way, making him the second most productive driver in the division. Dietrich’s biggest triumph of the season was the All Star event on June 11. Brian Leppo- Aboard his Floyd Swope no.71, the eventual third place point-man, was triumphant twice during the season including the Spring Championship event in April. Brent Marks- Steering his familiar TJ’s body shop no. 19M, was victorious on two different occasions during the season as he would also wrap-up 8th in the final point tally. Greg Hodnett- Was a two-time Lincoln feature winner with his Trone Outdoor no.39. Hodnett’s two win campaign upped his career total at Lincoln to 25, tying him for tenth on the tracks all-time win list with Steve Siegel. Cory Haas- The last multiple feature winner of the season. Haas, at the controls of his York PB Truss no.11C found victory lane twice during the season with the biggest win of his Lincoln career coming in the annual PA Speedweek/Kevin Gobrecht memorial in June. Alan Krimes- The “quiet giant” scored one Lincoln win this past season, his 9th career win at the speedway, coming in his Krimes racing engines no.87. Brad McClelland- A multi-time Lincoln speedway 358 sprint/micro-sprint winner etched his name in the Lincoln record books with his first-career 410 feature win with his infamous B&D Truck Hoist no.6 and a solid fifth in the final point rundown. Aaron Ott- Drove to his second-career Lincoln 410 feature win in the Daryl Gohn/Glen Gohn Sr. memorial during the summer. Ott’s win came in the legendary Al Hamilton owned no.77 with power supplied by his equally- legendary father Don Ott. Bill Stine- Truly the feel good story of the season. Stine, at the controls of his Baker Door no.71X, wired the field for his first-ever Lincoln 410 feature win on July 30. Jimmy Siegel- the second-generation racer scored his lone Lincoln feature win, and seventh of his career, on September 3, with his N-Line Marketing no.59. Mike Bittenger-
Continued the list of new winners as he scored his second-career Lincoln 410 feature win on April 2. Oddly enough, Bittenger rolled his KC Automotive no.12 after the checkered flag and had to be towed to victory lane. Gerard McIntyre Jr.- also became a two-time career 410 winner at Lincoln with his win on July 16. McIntyre’s win was unique like Bittenger’s win as he did a 360-spin with his Meadowbrook Auto sales no.85 during the feature but came back to win. Doug Esh- The 2006 Lincoln track champion scored his lone feature win on March 12, and would be held winless at Lincoln the remainder of the season. Esh’s win was his 24th career at Lincoln and it would come in his Leach Motorsports no.30. 2011 Lincoln Oddities- This would be the season that saw Fred Rahmer, All-time Lincoln winner (166) and 10-time track champion, go winless the entire season. Also, even though Greg Hodnett would score two wins moving him into a tie for tenth on the all-time winner’s list with 25 victories, no driver currently in the top-ten in career wins at Lincoln would win a feature during the season.
Maryland Clay Dirt
By Doug Watson
Jan. 22, 2012
“Winchester Late Models Racing for Increased Purse in 2012”
Third-year Winchester (VA) speedway owner/promoter Greg Gunter has announced that his headline late model division will race for an increased purse this upcoming season.
The late models will headline 26-events on the 29-race 2012 schedule at the popular Virginia oval. Regular 30-lap events will now pay $2000 to the winner and $200 to take the green flag, a significant increase from 2011. Winchester’s opener is set for March 24 with a five division program of late models (35-laps $2500-to-win), limited late models, pure stocks, four-cylinders and u-cars which will also serve as the track’s first points race of the season. Here’s a look at what’s in store for the Winchester speedway in 2012.
URC/ARDC ready for action- The mighty United Racing Club sprint cars will make a return to the speedway after nearly a two decade hiatus. They have one e scheduled date coming on June 23. Then for the second consecutive season, the ARDC midgets will invade Winchester for two shows. The first coming on May 19 then another visit on August 18. Both ARDC shows will have the late models on the card as well.
$600-to-win, $100 to start- That’s what the Winchester limited late model drivers will be racing for in regular shows for 2012. The LLM, just like the late models, will be on hand for 26 of the 29 shows this season. The class will host several special events including the Tommy Armel memorial paying a whopping $2500-to-win, the Bob Carter memorial. A $1000-to-win race, and two Potomac/Winchester challenge events each paying $1000-to-win.
Improvements continue- In an effort to make Winchester one of the premiere tracks in the mid-Atlantic, Greg Gunter and company continue their efforts to upgrade the facility. New for 2012 is an all new concrete wall that will encompass the inner portion of the track. The old guard rail has been taken down and crews are taking advantage of the warmer than usual winter weather conditions to complete the project. Also, new lighting has been installed and the public address system, that was under much scrutiny last season, has seen upgrades in its own right.
Enduro’s back for second consecutive season- This class was new to the speedway in 2011 and was quite a hit with the fans a drivers alike. Very similar in appearance to the pure stocks with various rule modifications, the enduro cars will dot the Winchester schedule 13-times this season. The first-year class found 23 different drivers competing during the season, with seven drivers reaching victory lane.
Eleven classes featured in 2012- In an effort to give, not only the seasoned die-hard’s, but the first-time fans a diverse schedule, no less than 11 classes of race cars will see action at Winchester in 2012. Late models, limited late models, pure stocks, four-cylinder’s, U-cars, Enduro stocks, ARDC midgets, URC sprint cars, All-American outlaws, classic cars and the EMMR vintage cars will all be in action at the track this season.
High-profile LM events- Even with a slew of regular 30-lap $2000-to-win events, the late models will see their fair share of special events this up-coming campaign. The one and only World of Outlaw’s late model series will make one stop on August 25, The Appalachian Mountain dirt late model speed week event will return with a $5000 to win race on Sunday, June 3, The highly coveted Winchester 200, and it’s $8000 winners payday, is on tap for September 22 and for the third straight season the Raye Vest memorial another $8000-to-win event will host as the tracks season finale on October 20. Other notable events are the Paul Johnson memorial, The Mike Clore memorial, the Red Ninninger memorial, the Lee Stultz memorial and the Raye Vest qualifier.
U-Cars back for more- This is without question the class that has taken Winchester by storm. The class is made up of practically stock front-wheel-drive four cylinder cars, with safety modifications. The class serves as a stepping stone for up and coming drivers and allows the budgeted racer an affordable class to race in. The u-cars have become quite popular with the fans and drivers alike and will see action 26 times during the season.
Jan. 14, 2012
Maryland Clay Dirt
By Doug Watson
“Potomac Speedway Gearing-up for Busy 2012 Season”
Even though we are in the heart of winter, tracks, race teams and fans alike are gearing up for what looks to be a tremendous 2012 season. One track in particular has set it’s sights on the up-coming campaign, Southern Maryland’s Potomac speedway.
Nestled in the far reaches of St. Mary’s County, Potomac is set to swing back in action, as the track will open for the 39th consecutive season. March 16 will serve as the track’s season-opener with a full program of limited late models, street stocks, hobby stocks, IMCA-style modifieds and strictly stocks
Even though no major rule changes have been announced, only the four-cylinder stock cars, have been dropped from the Potomac schedule. However, open-cockpit racing will return to the speedway as the ever-popular United Racing Club (URC) sprint cars will invade Potomac for a one-night appearance on June 22 and the ARDC midgets will make two stops (May 18 & Aug. 17) giving Potomac speedway one of the more diverse schedule’s in the area.
Twenty-one events will be contested during the season with seven classes of race cars (Late models, limited late models, street stocks, hobby stocks, modifieds, strictly stocks and u-cars) all competing on a rotating basis as the compete for divisional championships. Here’s a quick peek at the upcoming 2012 Potomac speedway schedule.
Late Models- The high-powered division will see action eight times this season. David Williams, the 2011 track champion, will once again be behind the wheel of his Pete Cameron and Roland Mann owned Rocket no.72 as he seeks his unprecedented fifth-straight Potomac late model crown. However, Williams will have his hands full as 2010-11 LM point runner-up Dale Hollidge who is hungry for his first Potomac title, plus a slew of other drivers that will contend for the crown. The division will see it’s first race on March 23 and will also have dates in April, May, July and August with the point finale slated for September 2.
Limited Late Models- This class produced seven different winners in the first seven races of 2011 and will be on hand for 12 shows this season. The LLM division schedule will be highlighted with two Potomac/Winchester challenge events (July 20 & Aug 24) and they will once again see action in the season-ending Southern Maryland nationals in October. Defending track champion Ben Bowie is set to defend his title. Tommy Wagner Jr. (3-time class champ), Derrick Quade (07 Champion) and Stevie Long (4-time 11’ winner) are all perennial Potomac title contenders.
Street Stocks- Without question the strongest class Potomac has produced over the last decade. They will be on hand for all 21 Potomac events this season and along the way they will compete in two Potomac/Winchester Challenge events (June 1 & July 3) and will once again be the featured attraction in the season-ending Southern Maryland Nationals in October. Nine different drivers scored a win with the class last season and 2011 track champion, Troy Kassiris, will be back to defend his championship. Stephen Quade, (4-wins), Darren Alvey (Six-heat wins) and Mike Latham (22-career class wins) should make the title fight quite interesting.
Hobby Stocks- Just like the street stocks, the Hobby stocks will be on hand for all 21 events on the schedule. Car counts were up in 2011 and new drivers are making plans to race with the class this season, giving them the opportunity to be one of the stronger classes at the track this season. Seven different drivers reached victory lane last year and defending track champion Bud Pickerall is seeking a second-straight Potomac title. The class will have one, 20-lap championship event, slated for August 3.
Modifieds- Rumors of the class not returning in 2012 have been silenced and the class will dot the Potomac schedule 11-times this season. The diversity of the class and close racing made them quite popular at Potomac last year despite lower than expected car counts. Tony Quade became a first-time Potomac champion last season with the modifieds, but it’s rumored he’s getting a late start to the season, which could possibly take him from title contention, leaving drivers like Rich Marks (3-wins) and Brian Maxey (2-wins) as legitimate title contenders.
Strictly Stocks- In an attempt to bolster car counts, management has decided to put this class back where it was a few years ago. 50-lap events will make up a majority of their 14-race schedule with the season finale a 100-lap affair. However, the class will run under traditional “enduro” rules as their will be no yellow flags just green and red race conditions, a move that should be quite popular not only with the drivers but the fans as well. John Hardesty is the defending and two time class titlist and is seeking a third-straight Potomac crown. He will, however, face some stiff competition from Ray Bucci (4 wins), Johnny Oliver (1 win), JJ Silvious and possibly the return of Kyle Vantassel, once a class dominator, to run for the championship.
U-Cars- Comprised of basically stock front-wheel-dive four-cylinder cars, the u-cars will be on hand 17-times during the course of the season. This will be the third-straight year the class has been on the Potomac schedule and as 2011 drew to a close the classes’ car counts seemed to improve as well. Five drives scored a feature win in the six races run for the u-cars last season and produced another new track champion, Justin Bottorf. The number of events on the schedule will only help to attract new cars as Bottorf looks to repeat as champion. He will have his hands full with 2010 u-car champ Brian Lederhouse (2 wins), point runner-up Chris Maxey and one-time division winner Vin Wroble in his quest for the championship.
Odds and Ends- Even with the plethora of race events of the schedule, several other specials deserve attention. The Lucas Oil East Coast Pullers tractor pull will have one date at the track this season coming on April 28 and the ever-popular Silver Hill Lions club sponsored demolition derbies will occupy four dates with two coming in June and two in September.
Maryland Clay Dirt
Jan. 8, 2012
By Doug Watson
Thirteen Late Model Winners Highlight Tremendous Winchester Season”
What a season it was indeed at Greg Gunter’s Winchester (VA) speedway in 2011. The all-mighty dirt late models were once again the featured attraction every Saturday night at the Virginia bullring, producing 13 different winners along the way.
I was fortunate enough to make one visit to Winchester this past season and was really impressed with the overall facility and the quality race programs, and for the track to produce 13 winners in it’s premiere division, was really no surprise. I for one, look for even bigger things at the “action track” in 2012. Here’s a look at the 2011 Winchester Speedway late model feature winners.
DJ Myers- Behind the wheel of his Gunters Honey, PPM chassis no.70J, Myers left little doubt he was the man to beat this season as he would go on to rack-up a division-leading 7 feature wins and secure his first-ever Winchester title in the process. Myers would win the second week of the season (April 2) giving the Winchester faithful a glimpse of what the would seen quite often during the season. It would be a personal-best season for Myers as he would add three late model victories at Potomac (MD) speedway and he was also a two-time feature winner at Winchester with the limited late models.
Jason Covert- When the big money was on the line, Covert and his Barry Klinedinst owned Rocket no.43A, seemed to be at their best. Covert scored his first victory on May 7 which was the Lee Stultz memorial. His second would come on June (26) in the Red Ninninger memorial with his third and fourth wins coming in July (9,17) during the Paul Johnson and Mike Clore memorials making him the second-leading winner of the season despite limited appearances.
Josh Richards- The eventual 2011 WoO late model series point runner-up scored his first of three feature wins on April 9. Richard’s would have to wait until June (5) to win again, but it would be a big one as he won Winchester’s speed week event for the second season in a row. Richards’s final win came later in the month (June 18) and it would be a milestone in Richards career as it was the WoO event which was Richards 29th with the touring series, making him the series most prolific winner. All three of Richards victories came aboard his Ernie and Connie Davis owned Rocket no.25.
Ronnie DeHaven Jr.- Without question the hottest driver at Winchester at the end of the season. After debuting a brand-new MasterSbilt no.1D at Hagerstown in August (An event he would win) DeHaven would take his first Winchester win on September 3. Then during the highly coveted “Winchester 200” DeHaven would win his 25-lap qualifying feature and then take the checkers in the tracks most prestigious event on September 24. Keeping his form, DeHaven would close out the season with another 25-lap qualifying feature win during the running of the Raye Vest Memorial program on October 15.
Keith Jackson- After finding a home at Winchester mid-way through the season, Jackson responded well as he captured his first win of the season on July 17. Steering a Rocket owned by Jack Bland, Jackson, would only have to wait two weeks to repeat as he took his final Winchester win on July 30. Jackson also was a LM feature winner at Potomac.
Jonathon Davenport- Was the big winner at the end of the season as he would collect a 25-lap qualifying win and then the 50-lap Raye Vest memorial, which would be the final event on the Winchester schedule on October 15. Davenport’s Winchester scores came in his Barry Wright Race Cars no.49
Single Main Event Winners- 2011 Potomac track champion David Williams added a Winchester speedway win to his impressive season with his victory on September 10 in his Cameron/Mann owned Rocket no.72. Roy Deese Jr., who would go on to score his 8th career Hagerstown LM title took the win on opening day (March 26) in his Deese trucking, Rocket no.05. Unfortunately, this would be Deese’s only 2011 feature win anywhere. 2007 Hagerstown speedway LM champion JT Spence endured a frustrating season, but would persevere to score his lone Winchester win of the season on August 13 in his Champion Auto Sales, Rocket no.91. 2010 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series champion Scott Bloomquist won the tour’s only stop at Winchester on September 16. The win was Bloomquists 12th Lucas win of the year. CS Fitzgerald made his return to full-time late model competition complete as he took his only feature win of the season on May 21 with his Rocket no.100. Jeremy Miller continued the list of different winners with his solo Winchester score on August 24 with his trusty Miller Fabrication, MasterSbilt no.1M. Jamie Lathroum, a multiple Winchester LM winner the season prior, was fast more often than not with Three Mules Welding Supply, MasterSbilt no.6, but it would take him nearly the entire season (October 14) before he would finally reach victory lane.
Maryland Clay Dirt
Jan. 1, 2012
By Doug Watson
“358 Standout Trever Feathers, Branching Out for 2012”
The Mid-Atlantic region is blessed with a plethora of quality racetracks, and an even stronger base of veteran and up-and-coming young drivers. Tracks such as Hagerstown (MD), Winchester (VA), Bedford (PA), Potomac (MD) and slew of other quality area venues are the places these racers have to show their talents on a weekly basis.
Drivers like Gary Stuhler, Jeremy Miller, Jason Covert and Bo Feathers have all made a name for themselves at these places as their win totals and championships speak for themselves.
As the 2012 season draws near, another talented young throttle stomper, is ready to make his mark on the local scene, Trever Feathers. Trever, who just turned 19 in September, has compiled quite an impressive resume in just three full years behind the wheel of a 358 late model. As a rookie in 2009 Feathers won his first-ever limited late model feature at Winchester in July of that year and would back that one up with another late season score at Winchester as well. Proving the third generation racer was for real, Feathers would enjoy a break-out campaign in 2010. Feathers would steer his family-owned Warrior Race Cars no.27 to eight feature wins and the 2010 Winchester limited late model championship. Making it a true family affair at Winchester that season Trever’s dad, Bo, would go on to claim the late model championship, which would be his fifth at the popular Virginia oval. With high expectations set for 2011, Feathers did not disappoint. Feathers, now behind the wheel of a Barry Wright race cars chassis would win four features this past season as he would take two wins at Winchester, the “Small Car Nationals” at Hagerstown and he would end his season with a big win at Virginia’s Natural Bridge speedway. Feathers wins at Hagerstown and Natural Bridge would be his first-ever feature wins at those facilities. Even with his win total down from 2011 Feathers not only proved to everyone else, but himself as well, that he had the ability and equipment to win races at other racetracks.
So, with 14 career feature wins at three different tracks and a track title in his back pocket, What’s next for Trever Feathers?? “Well my plan is to race late models next season.” Feathers said. “The only problem that I have is that my mom (Lisa) wants me to stay with the 358’s and my dad (Bo) is kind of on the fence about me running with the late models.” Feathers said with a laugh. “I feel as though we’ve proved ourselves with the limited car, and the time is right to move up.”
Even with his confidence brimming, Feathers looks at the new endeavor as quite a challenge. “Even though they look the same, the late model car and the limited car are totally different.” Feathers stated. “I drove dad’s car some towards the end of the season and let me tell you what, it’s different. As a driver you have to adjust to the added horsepower these late models have, and my driving style has had to change a bit as well, but the more I drove it the better I felt.”
Feathers will utilize a 2011 Barry Wright race cars chassis and a fresh power plant from Roger DeVenny of DeVenny’s racing engines. “Even though I have my mind made up to race with the late models, I want this to be a team decision.” Feathers surmised. “Roger (DeVenny) Mom, Dad and all the guy’s who help with the car will make the final decision. I’m pretty sure we’ll be with the late models but I just want everyone on the team and in the garage to be on the same page. I want to get better as a driver, but we want to have fun doing it along the way, that’s what its all about.”
Tentative plans will see the youthful Feathers and his familiar no.27 at
place like Hagerstown, Winchester, Natural Bridge and other area venues. “We’re
also contemplating running all the “Three-state-Flyers races, that’s what my
father has mentioned anyhow, but it doesn’t matter much to me, I just want to
race and hopefully we can have the same success in the late models as we did
with the limited car. I know it will be a lot of hard work, but I’m lucky to
have mom and dad and a great group of people supporting me each week, and I just
can’t wait to get going!!” With a proven record of success, one would have to
think the name Trever Feathers will become a household name on the local late
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