By JEREMY ELLIOTT, The Patriot-News
on October 24, 2012 at 6:04 PM, updated October 24, 2012 at 6:27 PM
It’s official: Central Pennsylvania is going Hoosier.
Williams Grove Speedway will announce Thursday that it has inked a deal with Hoosier Tire to become the official track tire for the 2013 season. Lincoln and Port Royal Speedway announced that they were going the same direction Wednesday night.
“We’ve had three great years with Goodyear, but Williams Grove is proud to have Hoosier back for the 2013 racing season,” said Justin Loh, track manager/race director.
“We thought Hoosier had the quality we needed at Williams Grove and was customary with the tires we have raced before.”
Williams Grove Speedway held tire tests for American Racer and Hoosier, and multiple tests were held at Lincoln Speedway. When it came down to making a selection, the local speedways felt Hoosier was the better overall product.
“We did a significant amount of testing and felt Hoosier was best suited for our competitors and provided the best racing for our fans,” said Alan Kreitzer, co-owner of Lincoln Speedway.
“We never did this much testing, and we thought the right rear and left rear package was best suited for what we are doing here. We feel very comfortable with our decision and are ready to move forward.”
Said Port Royal Speedway promoter Steve O’Neal, “We weighed everything out. American Racer is a good company, and I appreciated their efforts.
“I’m glad it’s over, and we are moving forward. I think it’s a good deal. We worked with Hoosier in the past and look forward to working with them the next couple years.”
The major concern for competitors was quality and cost. According to Bob Wirts, General Manager of Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic, the cost of right rears will be under $200.
That number appealed to the local speedways. But the main objective was that all three tracks go with the same brand.
“Cost wise, this was a good thing,” O’Neal said. “It really helps the divisions underneath the 410s to grow. I think this is a positive move to make sprint car racing around here stronger in the future.”
There are still details to iron out, and more development will take place. Decisions concerning specific compounds and how many different compounds will be available to teams is forthcoming.
“This is very much in the beginning stages,” Wirts said. “Things haven’t been totally finalized. We are still relying on input from outside for direction. We are looking to do what is best for racing.
“We are thrilled. We have been doing business there for years, and we’ve had a good relationship with them since Day 1. I grew up in that area with 410 sprint cars. I cut my teeth there, so I’m thrilled not only from a business standpoint but also for sentimental reasons.”
Williams Grove, Lincoln and Port Royal join Knoxville Raceway and other tracks around the country in the Hoosier Tire camp.
Tom Deery, Chief Operating Officer for the World Racing Group, indicated in late September that the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series was ready to sign a deal with American Racer. He also stated that the situation would be re-evaluated after tracks made their selections.
ELLIOTT ON TWITTER: @jelliottpnco