2011 Western Pennsylvania ‘Team Fully Injected.’
Adam Kekich, Brandon Matus, Scott Priester, Rod George, Kevin Schaeffer, and Danny Holtgraver. (From Top Left to Bottom Right) – Rick Rarer and Cory Stivason Photos.
Even as summer continues to unfold, rain still acts as a major burden. This week for example; the All Star Circuit of Champions have suffered two consecutive rain-outs on the Ohio Sprint Speedweek tour; one being at Millstream and the other tonight at Waynesfield. The KISS/MSCS race at Tri-State Speedway in the heart of Indiana suffered a loss due to weather on Sunday. Even on Friday, during my trip to the upper northwest section of the Buckeye State for the Attica Raceway Park opener of Ohio Sprint Speedweek, racing was pushed back roughly 45 minutes due to a lingering rain shower. It’s an ongoing tale of frustration and hopelessness, but, time will go on and hopefully the weather will not. The season is approaching its half-way mark; and way past that for some, so hopefully the iffy weather clears and the racing begins.
Team Fully Injected had a weekend for the books. Multiple top five appearances for the “FI” team filled the stat charts for the weekend including double top five appearances for Scott Priester and Rod George at the Lernerville Speedway and Mercer Raceway Park. The two sprint car racing veterans and western Pennsylvania natives proved that experience comes with age- as both had great weekends and positive outcomes. Priester was 5th at Lernerville and 2nd at Mercer; while Rod George was 3rd at Lernerville and 3rd at Mercer Raceway Park.
Priester not only had a double top five weekend, but he did it in two different cars. He was the pilot of his own equipment on Friday night at the Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pennsylvania, before jumping ship, and climbing aboard the Dionise #15 on Saturday for the Mercer portion of the weekend.
Adam Kekich, the 18 year old 410ci sprint car rookie from the New Castle area of Pennsylvania, brought home a top five finish on Saturday night at the Mercer Raceway Park in Mercer, Pennsylvania. Kekich started up front and kept the car in the top five; bringing home a 4th place finish. “We are really happy with our finish…” quoted Adam regarding Saturday night’s performance; “You just can’t beat experience.” The second generation driver will try to continue the positive momentum into this week as he will invade Sharon Speedway with the rest of the All-Stars on Wednesday evening for night #6 of Ohio Sprint Speedweek.
Kevin Schaeffer, of Kittanning, Pennsylvania, had a turn-around night on Friday evening at Lernerville Speedway. A long season of “bad pill-pulling” plagued the three time Lernerville Speedway Track Champion until this past Friday night; Kevin started up front in his heat race and pulled away from the rest of field in convincing fashion. The heat race win would only start things off for the local racing hot shoe as he would capitalize on the rest of the night with a top five performance; coming home 4th. Kevin, who works and manages his family tire shop when not racing, will have to sit on the sideline for one week until his motors are returned from being fine-tuned and freshened.
Although not having the best of weekend’s, Brandon Matus of Wampum, Pennsylvania, will look to get a jump start on turning his luck around Wednesday night when the All-Stars invade Sharon Speedway in Hartford, Ohio. The 4th generation driver will try to re-find the momentum that he had at the beginning of the season when he finished in the top 5 for three consecutive weekends.
Lernerville Speedway had repeat winner, Brian Ellenberger, back in victory lane over the weekend for the regular Fab Four event. The Butler, Pennsylvania native and once World of Outlaws regular, almost made a clean sweep of the weekend; but fell short in the closing laps of the A-main on Saturday night at Mercer Raceway Park. Jack Sodeman Jr. claimed the victory at Mercer. Sodeman Jr. was 2nd at Lernerville the evening before.
Gerard McIntyre Jr. took home his first career 410 victory at Williams Grove Speedway over the weekend; while Aaron Ott, the son of popular engine builder, Don Ott, took home the winner’s check at Lincoln on Saturday. After a 3rd place finish at Williams Grove on Friday night, the California Kid and once King of California champion, Tyler Walker, took home the Port Royal Speedway victory on Saturday night over South Dakota native, Justin Henderson. Walker, Henderson, Ott, and McIntyre will now turn their focus to next weekend as Pennsylvania Sprint Speedweek kicks off at Lincoln Speedway in south-central Pennsylvania. 8 races in 9 days will highlight the central PA sprint car racing enthusiast calendar, as the best in Pennsylvania 410 racing will travel across parts of Pennsylvania and Maryland for over a week for at least $5,000 to win per event.
Fred Rahmer continues to lead the Central PA 410 points standings; while Billy Dietrich sits on top of the current Central PA 358 points standings with five wins. The 358 PA title is worth $6,000 and is presented by Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic.
Danny Holtgraver, who is currently on the road with the All-Star Circuit of Champions for the annual Ohio Sprint Speedweek, is currently 2 for 2 in A-main appearances and 2 for 2 in top 15 finishes in Ohio Sprint Speedweek competition. Danny currently finds himself 5th in the Ohio Region All Star points for 2011 as well as being in the top 10 in speedweek points. Danny currently sits sixth in the current Ohio Sprint Speedweek standings; only behind leader Tim Shaffer, Danny Smith, Byron Reed, Stevie Smith, and David Gravel. Gravel is the defending Speedweek champion. The next event for Danny and the rest of the All-Stars is tomorrow night at the Fremont Speedway in Fremont, Ohio.
For most of the Fully Injected team; the plan for this week and weekend includes racing at Sharon Speedway in Hartford, Ohio this Wednesday evening, Mercer Raceway Park on Saturday night, and Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway on Sunday.
The World of Outlaw Sprint Car Series will invade parts of the upper midwest again next weekend. Princeton Speedway and Huset’s Speedway will play host for the ‘Greatest Show on Dirt’ next Saturday and Sunday. Craig Dollansky is currently the man to beat with the traveling outlaws; sweeping both events at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, North Dakota this past Friday and Saturday. Donny Schatz still sits on top of the current World of Outlaw points standings; just ahead of Joey Saldana and Jason Meyers. While on the topic of midwest and Huset’s Speedway news, Mark Dobmeier, a Grand Forks native, found victory lane at Huset’s Speedway this past Sunday evening during a regular weekend event over Lynton Jeffrey, and Gregg Baker. Dobmeier is certainly a name that the Outlaws don’t take lightly when racing at the Brandon, South Dakota facility.
Although the KISS, King of Indiana Sprint Series, may have suffered another rain out this past weekend- a busy double header weekend lies ahead as Jon Stanbrough, Brady Short, and the rest of the best wingless drivers in Indiana will head down the homestretch of the 2011 KISS season. Jon Stanbrough still sits on top of the current KISS standings.
Jonathan Allard was all smiles this past Saturday evening after winning the annual Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup at Skagit Speedway in Burlington, Washington. The win was worth $40,000 and it was over some great west coast 410 sprint car competition. Tim Kaeding, the current King of the West Series points leader, was 2nd- followed by Jac Haudenschild, Sam Hafertepe Jr., and Shane Stewart rounding out the top 5.
Five races in five nights highlights the Fully Injected schedule for this week and weekend; starting at Sharon Speedway in Hartford, Ohio on Wednesday evening for an Ohio Sprint Speedweek invasion. Keep up here at www.fullyinjected.com for all results pertaining to Pennsylvania Sprint Speedweek, Ohio Sprint Speedweek, and all things Fully Injected!
and as always; RACE OPEN WHEEL!