December 1, 2013
KENNY PETTYJOHN TOPS HAGERSTOWN’S LATE MODEL SEASON
HAGERSTOWN, MD: Hagerstown Speedway, under the reigns of Frank Plessinger since 1980, has official concluded its 66th season with announced changes already in the works for the Maryland oval in 2014.
Meanwhile, in a no repeat season, there were five new drivers posting first ever track championships. Drivers received their monetary rewards and trophies during the final events.
One season after taking the late model title at Winchester,
Kenny Pettyjohn of Millsboro, DE was rewarded with his efforts to chinch Hagerstown’s title in the Buchanan Auto Stores Late Model Series by 73 points over Jason Covert. The late models competed in ten sanctioned higher purse and prestigious events plus the finally completed Brawl in the Fall. The Roberts Memorial and Conococheague events were lost to rain.
Pettyjohn picked up a single triumph, his first ever posted at Hagerstown, in a May 24th Three State Flyers event. He later moved atop the standings on June 21 to remain the man to beat during the second half of the season. He posted five top ten finishes.
Covert, of York Haven, Pa., was the only driver to repeat wins during the season. He posted his first in the March 30th opener, a Three State Flyers event and followed up on June 1st with the Appalachian Mountain Late Model Speedweek event. He competed in one less event when a family function took precedence during April’s Lucas Oil Schetromph Classic and ended with seven top ten finishes.
Marvin Winters trailed Covert by only eight points while D.J. Myers was separated from Dan Stone by four points to complete the first five in the standings.
J.T. Spence ended sixth by just six points over Jerry Bard. Tyler Hershey, Gregg Satterlee and Jeremy Miller rounded out the top ten.
There were six additional drivers posting wins and included Jimmy Owens, who also scored his first Hagerstown win in the Schetromph Classic; Jamie Lathroum, who won the Hagerstown/ Winchester Shootout event and Spence, the 6th Annual Red Nininger Memorial Shootout winner. Mark Pettyjohn also was a first time winner after taking honors in the 33rd Annual Ernie D’s Shorty Bowers Bull Durham Championship/ 48th Annual Johnny Roberts Memorial sanctioned by the Three State Flyers. The event was combined following the Roberts event being rained out. Jeremy Miller was the winner of the season’s fourth Three State Flyer event, the 28th Annual McBee/Hays Championship.
Gregg Satterlee won the race that was delayed 11 months, the Brawl in the Fall, which was weathered out twice during 2012 and also twice at the beginning of 2013, to be rescheduled as an add on at the end of the season.
Coming from the quarter midget ranks and a rookie in 2010 with his career first win in the Hoosier Tire Mid Atlantic late model sportsman division, second generation driver Justin Weaver was the champion in 2013 with three wins which included the Run What You Brung and Small Car Nationals events.
Weaver, of Williamsport, Md., had a phenomenal season with 12 top four place finishes and one ninth, coming in the Bill Bowman Classic.
Finishing 147 markers behind was Baltimore’s Paul Cursey. Cursey posted his first win anywhere during the April 7th opener
Besides the win, Cursey posted eight top tens which included a pair of seconds.
Mike Walls had a strong season to finish third over Scott Palmer while last year’s champion, Wayne Walls Jr. ended fifth..
Terry Flaherty was a single time winner and finished sixth followed by Courtney Shreiner, Chad Myers, Kyle Lee and Frankie Plessinger.
Besides Weaver, there were six other winners and included Andy Anderson, who won five of his seven times competing with first time wins to Gene Knaub and his Steel Block Bandit triumph, Chad Myers and Billy Farmer.
W.Walls, Cursey, James Lichliter (2), Palmer, Anderson (2), Fred Harden, Weaver and Andy Fries all were Liberty Auto and Tire Hard Chargers during the season.
The RUSH Crate Late Models made two visits with Rick Singleton and Mike Pegher Jr. victorious in those events.
In the Ernie D’s pure stocks, Berkley Springs, WV’s Darrin Younker took the top honor in his 25th year of racing aboard the racer owned by Dave Hessong. Younker had 12 top fives and one top ten with three wins including the 18th Annual Cornett Tribute.
It was a last race effort with the championship won by six points over Kevin Boyer. Boyer, of Harpers Ferry, WV, posted four wins and also had 12 top fives.
Drew Fitzsimmons was third with a single win followed by Charlie Pensinger and Nick Dibella who recorded his career first win.
Rick Stouffer, last year’s champion Tony Catlett (2 wins), Frank Dibella, Dave Stouffer Jr (1 win), and Mike Warrenfeltz completed the top ten.
Other winners were Steve Kent and Lane Hessong, their career firsts; Kenny Dillon, Bill Henney, the Run What you Brung winner and Mike Corbin, the Small Car Nationals winner.
The Ecton and Son Service and Repair Hard Chargers were Boyer (5), Pensinger (2), Younker (2), Brian Miller (2), Danny Beavers, Brian Duffey, Fitzsimmons and Hessong.
Gary Proctor of Big Pool, Md. was at the forefront in the winners column nearly every week, taking seven overall triumphs in the D & D Auto Recycling hobby stock cruisers which included the Small Car Nationals to win his first championship while being chased by defending champion Kenny Thomas of Greencastle, Pa who ended 33 points behind with a single win. Proctor had 12 overall top fives while Thomas had 11.
Joe Rogers, Dylan Welsh and Tom Caravello were next in the final standings.
Other winners were Dustin Proctor, Tom Caravello (2), Jason Sarver and Jamie Zentmyer who was the Run What You Brung winner
The Kline’s Auto Body and Towing Lucky Seven winners were Jamie Mills, Danny Holmes, Dave Shatto, Sarver (3), Michael Hyatt, Justin Hansberger, Thomas (3) and Dylan Welsh.
The National Speed Supply/Dave Padula Motorsports four cylinders were included on this year’s schedule with six events plus the Run What You Brung and Small Car Nationals events.
Ryan Laye of Ft. Loudon, PA played the winning hand and had three wins, three fourths and a sixth to earn the championship by 47 points over Middletown, PA’s John Stoll Jr. who had four top fives and two top tens. Kevin Thomas, Austin Stover and Bryan Neff completed the top five.
Cody Kershner, who finished sixth, posted four wins including the Small Car Nationals while Richard Gwizdale picked up a single win.
Getting the J&S Salvage Hard Charger awards were Gary Newell, Kurt Knepper, Ed Gageby, Kershner, Gwizdale and Stoll.
The 410 sprints had two events on the schedule as NASCAR’s Dave Blaney took the Pennsylvania Sprint Speedweek triumph while Donnie Kreitz Jr. collected the long delayed Brawl in the Fall victory.
The super sportsman were on the schedule for the first time since September 2010 with Chad Criswell posting the win while Adrian Shaffer was victorious in the Brawl 358 sprint feature. Veteran Brett Hearn again had no trouble picking off the big block modified portion of the Brawl.
Brooks Coleman and Kevin Palmer each posted wins in the All American Outlaw Series while Matt Wallace won the Classic Racing Series event.
Promoter Plessinger and the speedway staff wish everyone a safe and very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and look forward to race fans rejoining the speedway in 2014 under the Dirt Capital LLC group of Rick Jones and Ernie Davis along with General Manager Keya Davis.
The Plessinger family will still operate the speedway for the Hub City Classic AMA Motorcycle event, the Monster Truck Jam, PA Sprint Speedweek and the Hagerstown Firefighter Bonanza Extravaganza.
Final details on any rule changes plus the 2014 schedule is soon to be announced on the speedway’s website at www.hagerstownspeedway.com.. Also follow the speedway on Twitter and Facebook.
Hagerstown Speedway 2013 Final Point Standings
Buchanan Auto Stores Late Models: 1.Kenny Pettyjohn, 1354; 2.Jason Covert, 1281; 3.MarvinWinters, 1273; 4.D.J.Myers, 1165; 5.Dan Stone, 1161; 6.J.T.Spence, 1159; 7.Jerry Bard, 1153; 8.Tyler Hershey, 1132; 9.Greg Satterlee, 1073; 10.Jeremy Miller, 1044
Hoosier Tire Late Model Sportsman: 1.Justin Weaver, 2055; 2.Paul Cursey, 1908; 3.Michael Walls, 1888; 4.Scott Palmer, 1832; 5.Wayne Walls Jr,’1757; 6.Terry Flaherty, 1732; 7.Courtney Shreiner, 1631; 8.Chad Myers, 1557; 9.Kyle Lee, 1510; 10.Frankie Plessinger, 1507
Ernie D’s Pure Stocks: 1.Darrin Younker, 3155; 2.Kevin Boyer, 3149; 3.Drew Fitzsimmons, 2946; 4.Charlie Pensinger, 2933; 5.NickDibella, 2794; 6.Rick Stouffer, 2481;, 7.Tony Catlett, 2252; 8.Frank Dibella, 2209; 9.Dave Stouffer Jr, 1813; 10.Mike Warrenfeltz, 1741
D & D Auto Recycling Hobby Stocks: 1.Gary Proctor, 2453; 2.Kenny Thomas, 3.Joe Rodgers, 2375; 4.Dylan Welsh, 2259; 5.Tom Caravello, 2159; 6.Justin Hansberger, 2058; 7.William Crook, 2000’ 8.Jason Sarver, 1541; 9.Joe Daywalt, 1311; 10.Dave Shatto, 1226
National Speed Supply/Dave Padula Motorsports Four Cylinders; 1.Ryan Laye, 1332; 2.John Stoll Jr., 1283; 3.Kevin Thomas, 1240; 4.Austin Stover, 1208; 5.Bryan Neff, 1193; 6.Cody Kershner, 1106; 7.Gary Newell, 853; 8.Kurt Knepper, 845; 9.Jeremy Ott, 757; 10.Ed Gageby, 549
November 5, 2013
ERNIE DAVIS – RICK JONES TEAM TAKE HAGERSTOWN INTO 2014
HAGERSTOWN, MD: Following 34 years of operation by Frank Plessinger, news has spread quickly of the regime change at Hagerstown Speedway. Initially reported and then confirmed at a meeting held by the new co-promoter team, the Maryland facility has been leased and will be operated by Ernie Davis and Rick Jones for the 2014 season.
The announcement was made covering the Friday, October 25th agreement with further information relayed to speedway employees and later to competitors, owners and others at a meeting at Wilson Ruritan Club on Wednesday October 30th.
Employees of the speedway first met with the Davis – Jones team while later, the club building, located just east of the speedway, filled to capacity to listen to proposals the new team has in store for the facility.
Jones of Westminster, MD along with Davis, Martinsburg, WV, are former drivers themselves and familiar faces around Hagerstown and other area tracks for years. Jones has formerly promoted Potomac and most recently Allegany County (Cumberland) for the last a number of years and is currently an owner of Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex in western Pennsylvania.
“We’re not here to chop up Hagerstown Speedway, “Davis said. “We’re here to make things better and hope we do better. Maybe we won’t do as good as they did. We’re going to give it 150%. Everyone gives 100%; we’re going to do better.”
McConnellsburg Pa’s Plessinger made Hagerstown a facility known for its late models with competition always the most competitive around and any driver wanting to be able to win at Hagerstown to have that on their resume.
Drivers like overall feature winner, Gary Stuhler plus Rodney Franklin, Nathan Durboraw, Denny Bonebrake, Tom Peck, Jeff Robinson, Dick Warrenfeltz, Jeremy Miller, Ronnie McBee, Sam Nally, Marvin Winters, Rick Eckert and Roy Deese Jr., all with more than 20 career wins, made that hard to do on many occasions.
With so many changes over the years affecting the rising costs of operation of the track along with the stale economy, it was decided some changes were needed.
His daughter, Lisa Plessinger, who has been the business manager at the track for many years, is enthused that Jones and Davis have made the move to continue the operation of the speedway and taking on the challenge.
“Rick is going to take the most of it, handling things when it comes to talking about the races and handling stuff on working with the employees, “Davis said. “I don’t know, I’ve never run a speedway before. (Former employee who was in charge of track maintenance and pits) Randy Grove will be beside me at every race. He knows more about racing than I’ll ever know in my life. He’s my main constituent.”
“There are a lot of devoted people here,” Davis said to the employees gathered. ”That’s the kind of people needed and we have to work together as a team. I’m not going to criticize Lisa, Frank or anybody or any race track in the country. I see things I’ve done wrong in racing and I know a lot of other people have done the same thing.”
“I’d like to thank the Plessinger’s for giving us this opportunity,” Jones said.” We hope to make it a lot better, nobody knows. I know it’s the people behind you that make a facility better or worse. My main goal is everyone has a job; everyone gets paid to do a job. The flagmen are the head of our race track. If everyone does their part, we’ll get along fine. My people are number one.”
Jones informed those gathered that the plans are to run the same classes that were run before with a lot of big shows.
“We want to get back to basics, the roots of Hagerstown Speedway, and come back up that way,” he said.
“Kids, they are the next generation, “Jones said. “They become racers and the whole works. We need to get the family aspect back into it.”
Davis’ daughter Keya Davis has been names General Manager and will be handling the administration duties. She initially informed the drivers, owners and others on some of the proposed changes and then opened the floor to numerous questions from those in attendance.
Some of the proposals announced were double file restarts, pill draw replacing the point average system for heat and feature line-ups, a marked fourth turn area for green flag starts, green and red lights at the scales to signify whether the car meets the required legal weight or not so there are no questions, kids in the pits along with others.
“We plan on running classes as close to what has been run in the past, but we are going to have more late model races,” Keya Davis said. “We’ve been working with Lucas, World of Outlaws, Winchester Shootout, Appalachian Speedweek and looking at a Winchester, Roaring Knob and Hagerstown weekend event. We could have some Sunday night races but they will be open tires. Other classes on a Sunday will run under small car national rules. We’re also looking at a big end of the year race, something similar to the format at Charlotte.
Drivers and others then began tossing numerous questions and concerns.
“If we don’t have answers, I’m going to write questions down and we’ll have answers for you later,” she said. “We also have a suggestion box and we’d like you to use that.”
“That suggestion box back there means a lot,” Ernie Davis said. “It only takes a few minutes for everyone to write their suggestions down. We’re not God; we have to listen to you too.”
“We’re here to listen,” Keya Davis said. “We’re open to your opinions and suggestions. We need you to be patient, we can’t change everything. We need to work together to make things better.”
“We’ll be trying to work as quickly as possible to get answers to everyone,” Keya Davis said. “As soon as we have anything we’ll be posting it on the website, www.hagerstownspeedway.com and Twitter and Facebook.