Sarver,PA (April 18,2018) Let there be dirt! The sights, sounds and adrenaline will be in good supply on Friday night as we open our 2018 slate of race nights with a five division show that promises to provide an entertaining evening for all in attendance. There will be new faces in some divisions, familiar drivers everywhere, and a brand new series making its debut on hand as the Peoples Gas DIRTcar Sprints are joined by the Diehl Automotive DIRTcar Big Block Modifieds, Millerstown Pic-A-Part DIRTcar/RUSH Pro Stocks, RUSH Late Models and the RUSH Sprint Cars.
Last year, opening night saw Logan Wagner, Mat Williamson, Corey McPherson take three out of the four feature wins with the final feature going to RUSH Sportsman Modified driver Kole Holden. They’ll be making their way to The Action Track later on in the schedule this season as the RUSH Sprint Cars take their chance to join opening night action this year as will the RUSH Late Models who will fill the open spot of the Precise Racing Products DIRTcar Late Models who will be off with several drivers competing in action at Sharon Speedway on Friday night.
So what’s changed this season? A couple of noteworthy things. Firstly, we welcome back Terry Bowser Excavating to victory lane once again as they will serve as our victory lane sponsor in 2018, and secondly, fans may want to notice that the banking in turns three and four has been reduced somewhat, providing for a more racier portion of the oval.
Flick Set To Defend Sprint Car Championship
AJ Flick was a model of consistency last season in taking his second career championship and will be looking to add more wins in 2018. The Apollo, PA driver put his car in the top five in all but one race night which actually happened to be opening night.
Behind him, Dan Shetler kept his forward momentum going once again in 2018, competing for the title right up until the final night of competition. Like Flick, Shetler garnered just one feature one last season and would be looking to improve upon that total. Both Shetler and Flick have been active in the early season in central, PA action thus far in 2018.
Gary Kreiss Jr. rounded out the podium in 2018 and came very close to finding victory lane on more than one occasion last season. The veteran pilot was present at our Test and Tune session on April 11 and looks to have picked up right where he left off in terms of his competitiveness.
Diehl Automotive DIRTcar Big Block Modified Title Will Be Wide Open in 2018
Mat Williamson will be on hand on Friday night, but the four time champion looks to be giving up the title in 2018 as he has been tapped to travel more and follow the Short Track Super Series southern division this year. Williamson made it look easy once again last season winning all but two feature events during the regular season.
So with the top spot seemingly up for grabs, expect Jeremiah Shingledecker and Brian Swartzlander and potentially Rex King Jr. should his schedule allow, to be battling for the title in what looks to be a very even and competitive battle. Expect Garrett Krummert to build off some confidence from some promising Modified Tour performances during the past two seasons as he looks to be taking another step forward in his development while Dave Murdick, Steve Feder and Rick Regalski to be in the thick of the top five by the season’s end.
Will McPherson Add To Impressive Totals in 2018?
Cory McPherson will be seeking his fourth consecutive track championship in a row starting Friday night and will be once again very difficult to overcome. McPherson wound up with six regular season feature wins last year and a very impressive performance in the annual Autumn-Motive Fest where he defeated a formidable pack of open stocks to take home the big check.
Behind him, the youth movement of Tyler Dietz, Aaron Easler and Joey Zambotti will be giving it their best shot this season as they took home top five finishes in the final point standings while earning one feature victory apiece. Meanwhile, Joe Kelley, Brett McDonald and a quickly improving Noah Brunell will be looking for a feature win that evaded them in 2017.
RUSH Late Models Join Opening Night Roster
The RUSH Late Models normally put on a very entertaining show and Friday night should be no exception. Last year, Russ King and John Waters took home the two events held at The Action Track and looked impressive in doing so. Waters managed to take his win in the Steel City Stampede while King crossed under the checkers first during the annual BOSS Wingless Sprint special night in June, while some area cars are competing in weekend long touring series events towards the east coast, the stable of area cars are a deep one and should see some top running entries stopping by as part of our opening night.
RUSH Sprint Cars Make Series Debut
And now for something entirely wingless. The Rush Sprint Cars should provide tremendous racing action and have received a great deal of interest thus far in their inaugural campaign. As many of 20 cars are said to be completed or nearing completion which is an outstanding number for a start up division. They’ll be part of our upcoming RK Virgile Wednesday Night Mayhem Series starting in May and should provide a very entertaining brand of racing. Early participants that have some name recognition include former Gale Ruth Jr., Arnie Kent, Mike Lutz and former Late Model driver Chad Ruhlman.
Pit gates will open at 4 PM on Friday night with grandstands opening at 5 PM. Adult general admission will be $15, seniors 60 and older $12, students aged 11-17 $10 and children 10 and under are admitted free. Pit passes will be available for $25 for DIRTcar Members and $30 for non members.