After watching countless weather reports and outlook predictions for the weekend, it was a safe bet that it was going to be picture perfect; and none the less- it was.
Preparation for this past weekend began early on in the week. Attica Raceway Park and Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio was the game plan and it couldn’t have happened on a nicer weekend. With Attica being so close to Sandusky and Cedar Point, its hard to not take advantage of a racing/theme park double header weekend. Sunny skies and temperatures near 80 degrees allowed for the first cloudless weekend in- I can’t remember how long?
Taking into consideration that the weather might finally cooperate and allow for a packed house on fans in search of some open wheel action, I took the time to order reserved seats for the World of Outlaws event at Attica Raceway Park. I’m glad I decided to spend the two extra dollars and sit in the reserved section because the place was like a sardine can. People were packed everywhere with literally no room left to spare. In one situation, security was actually called to the one specific section of the grandstands to force people to sit closer to allow for more spectators to fit. Suffice it to say, the weather was beautiful, the pit area was packed, the crowd was large, and the racing was great.
58 World of Outlaws sprint cars packed the 1/3 mile oval pit area on Friday night. The only driver not present which sort of shocked me in one perspective was Sammy Swindell. The Big Game Treestands, Craig Dollansky teammate was not present at the Attica bullring. The racing at Attica is always exciting and left no expectations unanswered. Donny Schatz was basically untouchable the entire evening; winning his heat, finishing 3rd in the Dash, and eventually winning the A-Main, which was his first of the 2011 season, over Craig Dollansky and Tim Shaffer. Donny was 16th quick out of the 58 entries. Tim Shaffer was the evening’s hard charger – coming forward 20 positions.
Daryn Pittman continues to find himself in victory lane in Pennsylvania. The Owasso, Oklahoma native won a big one against the World of Outlaws last Friday night at Williams Grove Speedway during the Spring Nationals opener, before coming to western Pennsylvania and winning two nights in a row at Lernerville Speedway and Mercer Raceway Park this weekend. Lernerville Speedway had just short of a full field of cars on Friday night, while Mercer had 45+ entries.
The annual Pennsylvania ‘Keystone Cup’ mini series, featuring Pennsylvania Posse 410ci sprint cars, kicks off Wednesday night at the Grandview Speedway and ends Memorial Day at the Big Diamond Raceway in northeast Pennsylvania. Central Pennsylvania’s best sprint car drivers, best known as the Pennsylvania Posse, will be hitting the six race mini series in hopes to knock off defending champion and current hot shoe, Daryn Pittman. The series has its own point and money fund and provides central PA with the most competitive sprint car competition all Memorial Day weekend long! The schedule consists of Grandview, Port Royal Speedway, Williams Grove Speedway, Lincoln Speedway, Selinsgrove Speedway, and Big Diamond Raceway- in that order – (Wednesday through Monday). One interesting note; from what I understand, Brian Montieth will be heading to Lernerville Speedway on Memorial Day to compete with the Amsoil USAC National Sprint Cars instead of finishing out the Keystone Cup. According to the updated schedule on his website, “The Edge” has both Big Diamond and Lernerville on the list. Hopefully he chooses to head to Sarvertown. That would make things extremely fun and interesting come Monday evening. Daryn Pittman was 2010’s Keystone Cup Champion behind the wheel of the Heffner #27.
Western Pennsylvania also has a lot to look forward too this weekend; 4 possible nights of action will be taking place all around western Pennsylvania starting Friday night at Lernerville Speedway and ending Monday at Lernerville Speedway. Team Fully Injected, featuring Rod George, Brandon Matus, Scott Priester, and Kevin Schaeffer, will most likely be attending or racing at a few, if not all, of the racing possibilities this weekend. Lernerville Speedway will kick things off Friday evening with a Fab Four event while honoring the Armed Forces. Saturday night, racers will head back to Mercer Raceway Park to compete in the rescheduled charity event paying $5,000 to the winner. Tri-City Speedway in Franklin, Pennsylvania will host the 410ci sprinters on Sunday evening for the first time in 2011 with the event paying $3,000 to win. It will act as a warm up to the upcoming Midwest All Star Series event at the facility in July.
To cap off the action packed Western Pennsylvania Memorial Day weekend, the Amsoil USAC National Sprint Cars will be stopping at the Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pennsylvania on Monday evening. Fully Injected is sponsoring the Fast Timer award that evening; awarding the evening’s fastest qualifier with $250 and a custom Fully Injected hat. Pictures of the hat will be posted soon!
Speaking of USAC; Lernerville kicks off the much anticipated 2011 Eastern Storm in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The traveling non-wing pro’s will be venturing into the heart of Pennsylvania and New Jersey next week in hopes to come out on top of the USAC National points standings. The traditional sprint car professionals will be racing at Lernerville on Monday, Grandview Speedway on Tuesday, Lincoln Speedway on Wednesday, and New Egypt Speedway in New Egypt, New Jersey on Thursday. Friday will act as a regrouping day for the series before capping off the tour Saturday with a stop at Port Royal Speedway in Port Royal, Pennsylvania. Some interesting notes: besides Brian Montieth taking the wing off, World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year contender, Bill Rose, will also be taking the wing off to compete with the USAC National Sprint Car Series in the first three events of the storm. Bill has already been in victory lane this year in a non wing sprint car; picking up a non wing win at the Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, California. The USAC Eastern Storm will conclude with just enough time for the boys to head back to the state of Indiana to prepare for USAC Indiana Midget Week. That would be quite the entertainment! More on that next week.
The All Star Circuit of Champions and World of Outlaw Sprint Car Series have a some-what busy weekend ahead. The All-Stars will be staying in Ohio this weekend; competing at the Fremont Speedway for 2 consecutive nights of action. Fully Injected’s Danny Holtgraver will be heading to Fremont, Ohio for both nights of action in hopes to place himself back into the points race. The Pittsburgh native will be with he All Stars on Saturday and Sunday evening.
The World of Outlaws will be racing at the Dirt Track at Charlotte on Friday, before returning back to the I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, Michigan on Monday. That event was rained out this past Saturday night. Joey Saldana still holds the current point lead.
The King of the West Series will stop in wine country this weekend for two nights; Calistoga Speedway in Calistoga, California hosts the traveling 410 California heard lead by Tim Kaeding in the Roth 83 for two nights of competition. These shows will mark as race 8 and 9 on the 2011 calendar for the series.
As far as my personal plans for the weekend, the schedule looks to consist of Williams Grove on Friday, Mercer on Saturday, and Lernerville on Monday. Sunday night may have to be left open for some fishing and camping. I make an annual Memorial Day and Labor Day stop at a near by campground to visit some friends and family; so Sunday will probably consist of that.
Thanks for stopping by www.fullyinjected.com Don’t forget to check back later this week for another edition of Behind the Scenes.
and as always- RACE OPEN WHEEL!