Camargo, IL (June 16, 2012) When former Eldora owner Earl Baltes, former All Star president Bert Emick, promoter Jean Lynch and a handful of Ohio dirt track promoters sat down over 30 years ago and dreamed up the Ohio Sprint Speedweek, they probably had no idea how popular the event would become. It has often been imitated by other racing organizations in other states, but nothing can match the excitement of Ohio Sprint Speedway.
The 30th Annual Ohio Sprint Speedweek featuring the University of Northwestern Ohio All Star Circuit of Champions will kick off Friday, June 22 and will feature nine straight nights of racing across the Buckeye State. Each event will pay the feature winner $5,000 with the exception of the finale on June 30 at Fremont Speedway, which pays $10,000 to win.
The Friday Speedweek opener at Attica marks the 96th visit of the UNOH All Stars at “Ohio’s Finest Racing” venue since the track opened in 1988. As an incentive for the tough weekly competitors at Attica, the track has put up some bonus incentives. Kistler Engines is offering a $1,000 bonus to the feature winner if that driver is using a Kistler power plant. And, Attica Raceway Park is adding a $1,000 bonus if the winning driver is in the track’s top 10 in points after the June 15 Mid-Season Championship event.
There have been two UNOH All Star events at Attica in 2012, with three time series champion and current point leader Dale Blaney scoring a win with Craig Mintz getting a last lap pass of Blaney to score the other. Blaney and Mintz have both won three features at Attica in 2012 with Bryan Sebetto claiming the only other victory as of June 8.
Attica first began playing host to an Ohio Sprint Speedweek event in 1990. After falling victim to rain outs in 2008 and 2009, six-time track champion Byron Reed scored the speedweek win in 2010 with three time and defending All Star champion Tim Shaffer taking the victory in 2011 on route to the 2011 Ohio Sprint Speedweek championship. Blaney – a four time Ohio Sprint Speedweek champion – has two speedweek victories at Attica.
Defending Attica track champion Dean Jacobs – the 2001 Ohio Sprint Speedweek champion – scored a speedweek victory at Attica in 1998 and has two wins at Fremont Speedway in 2012.
Gates will open at 4 p.m. with racing underway at 7 p.m. Tickets are $22 for adults; $20 for senior citizens; $10 for teens ages 11-15; kids 10 and under get in free. Pit passes will be $30. For more information go to www.atticaracewaypark.com
On Saturday, June 23, the UNOH All Stars move to Waynesfield Motorsports Park (near Lima, Ohio). Last year the Ohio Sprint Speedweek event fell victim to rain. However, traditionally, the one-third mile bullring has provided some of the most exciting racing during Speedweek.
The last Ohio Sprint Speedweek event at “The Field” in 2010 saw NASCAR driver Brad Sweet pick up the win aboard the Kasey Kahne Racing machine. Sweet recently picked up his first ever World of Outlaws win in Iowa.
Pit gates will open at 4 p.m. with grandstand gates open at 5 p.m. and racing underway at 7 p.m. Go to www.waynesfieldmotorsportspark.com for more information.
Sunday, the UNOH All Stars head to Cannonball Motor Speedway near St. Clairsville, Ohio, on the Ohio River.
The newly reconfigured 3/8 mile track located off State Route 40 near the Morristown exit of I-70, has not hosted the UNOH All Stars in many, many years.
Gates will open at 4 p.m. with racing to get underway around 6 p.m. For more information about Cannonball Motor Speedway go to www.cannonballspeedway.com
The fourth leg of the Ohio Sprint Speedweek finds the UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions back at the NAPA AUTO PARTS Wayne County Speedway near Orrville, Ohio. The track has not hosted a speedweek event for a couple of years, but was one of the original speedweek destinations when the concept began 30 years ago.
The NAPA Wayne County Speedway, a 3/8 mile oval with long straights and wide, tight turns, was an important part of the creation of the All Stars in the 1970s. When the All Stars last competed at Wayne County for a speedweek event in 2010, Blaney scored the win.
So far in 2012, winners at Wayne County have included Andrew Palker, Caleb Helms, Danny Mumaw and Sheldon Haudenschild.
Gates will open Monday at 3 p.m. with racing underway at 7 p.m. For more information go to www.waynecountyspeedway.com
Sharon Speedway, another of the tracks that was part of the first Ohio Sprint Speedweek 30 years ago, will play host to the Tuesday, June 26 UNOH All Star event.
The 3/8th mile oval will host the 410 sprint cars for the first time in 2012 for the Speedweek event. After a five year absence, Ohio Sprint Speedweek returned to Sharon in 2010 Shaffer took the win, while last season Dale Blaney scored the victory.
NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Dave Blaney, one of the owners of the track, is expected to compete as is Sharon’s all-time winner Ed Lynch Jr. who has 50 victories at the track.
Advance tickets are on sale, which will admit ticket holders into the facility for preferred seating at 3 p.m. – one hour before the tickets go on sale and the gates open. An order form for tickets is available by going to www.sharonspeedway.com, click “fans” and then tickets. Gates will open at 4 p.m. with racing under way at approximately 7:30 p.m. Adult admission is $22 with kids 13 and under free and pit passes at $35.
Wednesday, June 27 will find the UNOH All Stars making the first of two Ohio Sprint Speedweek stops at the historic Fremont Speedway. It will mark the 102nd visit of the UNOH All Stars at “The Track That Action Built,” since 1980.
At the two All Star shows at Fremont this season, Dale Blaney swept the Memorial Day weekend double-header for his third and fourth series wins of 2012, to run his career total to 88, second on the All Stars all-time win list behind Kenny Jacobs (98 wins).
Last year, Fremont was set to host two stops during Ohio Sprint Speedweek, but the Tuesday night event fell victim to rain. On the $10,000 to win Saturday finale, Shaffer would claim the top prize.
So far this season, Shane Stewart, Dean Jacobs (two wins) and Blaney (two wins) have posted victories at Fremont.
For more information go to www.fremontohspeedway.com
On Thursday, June 28, Hilltop Speedway near Millersburg, Ohio, will host the UNOH All Stars for night #7 of Ohio Sprint Speedweek. The 3/8th mile high banked oval last hosted a speedweek event in 2010 with hometown driver Rob Chaney getting a last lap, last corner pass of David Gravel, the 2010 Ohio Speedweek champion, to score the win.
Hilltop has held one 410 sprint race in 2012 with Lee Jacobs scoring the victory.
Pit gates will open at 3 p.m. with general admission gates opening at 4 p.m. and racing underway at 7 p.m. For more information go to www.hilltopspeedway.com
The high banked quarter-mile of Limaland Motorsports Park will host the Friday, June 29 Ohio Sprint Speedweek stop.
Last year, Kyle Sauder would score his first ever All Star win during the Limaland speedweek event. Sauder would go on to claim the track championship that year. In 2010, David Gravel would score his first ever All Star win during the speedweek event at Limaland on route to picking up the 2010 Ohio Sprint Speedweek championship.
Pit gates will open at 4 p.m. Friday with spectator gates opening at 5 p.m. and racing getting under way at 7:30 p.m. For more information go to www.limaland.com
The 30th Annual Ohio Sprint Speedweek wraps up with the $10,000-to-win, 50-lap finale at Fremont Speedway. It will mark the 103rd visit of the UNOH All Stars to the one-third mile fairgrounds’ facility. There is a rain date of Sunday, July 1 if needed.
Gates will open at 4 p.m. with racing underway at 7 p.m. Go to www.fremontohspeedway.com for more information
Ohio Speedweek always draws in the best talent from the Midwest, western Pennsylvania, along with the All Star regulars and usually a few surprises. Last season NASCAR Sprint Cup stars Tony Stewart and Kasey Kahne competed at several speedweek events. Look for some of Pennsylvania’s best such as Lance Dewease and Stevie Smith and don’t be surprised to see a couple of others join in. Western Pennsylvania’s Danny Holtgraver, the 2010 Lernerville Speedway champion, along with Pete Miller III, have followed the All Star tour as much as possible the last two seasons.
After a slow start this season, Shaffer of Aliquippa, Pa. has picked up momentum with his first win at Mercer Raceway Park on May 12 followed by another victory at NY’s Utica-Rome Speedway. Blaney meanwhile has already won four All Star features this season and has racked up 88 in his career! Blaney also leads both the National and Ohio Region points for the All Stars.
For more information go to www.allstarsprint.com.