In less than one month, Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek will kickoff at Williams Grove Speedway. The 10 race gauntlet is the most highly anticipated racing event on the calendar each year.
In its 31st annual event, the stakes keep getting higher. This year there’s over $315,000 on the line over 10 consecutive nights of racing.
“There’s nothing really like it,” said 410 driver Chase Dietz. “We don’t see it very often. It brings in a big crowd, it brings in some more racers from outside of the area. Just the prestige of [PA Speedweek] is definitely the biggest thing.”
Anyone who has raced the entirety of PA Speedweek will say the event is a marathon, not a sprint. Drivers encouraged to race all 10 races this year with a $20,700 point fund. The top point finisher overall will win $6,000.
“It’s a great time of year for the [drivers] because you can really make your season on this ten day stretch,” said PA Speedweek organizer Alan Kreitzer. “There is more racing in Speedweek than there is in a month of normal racing, however, the payoff is twice as much because all the races are higher paying.”
Full 2021 Schedule
|Friday, June 25||Williams Grove||$6,000 to win|
|Saturday, June 26||Lincoln Speedway|
*22nd Annual Kevin Gobrecht Memorial
|$9,200 to win|
|Sunday, June 27||BAPS Motor Speedway||$7,000 to win|
|Monday, June 28||Lincoln Speedway||$7,000 to win|
|Tuesday, June 29||Grandview Speedway||$10,000 to win|
|Wednesday, June 30||Port Royal||$7,000 to win|
|Thursday, July 1||Hagerstown Speedway||$6,000 to win|
|Friday, July 2||Williams Grove|
*Mitch Smith Memorial
|$15,000 to win|
|Saturday, July 3||Port Royal Speedway|
*3rd Annual Greg Hodnett Classic
|$10,000 to win|
|Sunday, July 4||Selinsgrove Speedway||$7,500 to win|
But all that money on the line also means a grueling stretch of consecutive nights of racing at the highest level possible.
“We run nine to ten races and typically we would run that in about a month. We’re putting all that in a week and a half,” Dietz said. “It requires a lot of time and a lot of hard work. We put a lot of work into it just in general on a regular basis, but to do that every single night [is hard]. To have the long nights at the track and then the car wash and to get back up early and do it again at the next track, it can be brutal. But that’s why we love it and that’s why we do it.”
It’s one of the most difficult tests a 410 race team can put themselves through.
“It’s the brutal part but it’s the allure of it,” Kreitzer said. “To be able to have a team that is up to that challenge, and that you can run all those races, and do well and still have your team, your sanity and your equipment in tact is quite an accomplishment.”
2020 Highlights, Kyle Larson dominates
DIRT TRACK TUESDAY: Kyle Larson dominates @PASpeedWeek winning four of the last five races to take the title.— Allie Berube (@allieberube) July 8, 2020
He finished 323 points ahead of @dannydietrich.@abc27News @abc27Sports @KLRteam @WilliamsGrove pic.twitter.com/8OVKNos0aG
Competition level elevated
The challenge is so great it has attracted NASCAR drivers Kyle Larson, Tony Stewart and Christopher Bell to the Midstate. The competition level elevated by the All Star Circuit drivers who come into town on their off week. The intrigue raised by drivers from across the country and across the world like California’s Rico Abreu.
It really could be anyone’s race to win come June 25 at Williams Grove to kick off PA Speedweek.
“There’s just so many people [who could win],” Kreitzer said. “I think here at Lincoln Speedway this year, we’ve had nine different winners in 10 races. I think that speaks to how Speedweek could be. You could really have a different winner each night. It will be extremely interesting to see what happens.”
Still the recipe to success in Speedweek hasn’t changed: have a fast car and extra parts, qualify well and race as many of the 10 races as you can (hopefully all of them).
“I would have to say that Anthony Macri and Brent Marks are going about as good as anybody and would have to be the favorites for the series title,” Kreitzer said while trying to predict the PA Speedweek 2021 winner. “However, you have Lance Dewease. When big money is on the line the super team of Lance, Donny [Kreitz] and Davey [Brown] really gear up for it. Danny Dietrich, if he gets going a little bit better, he’ll be tough. Freddie Rahmer is starting to run a lot better.”
2019 highlights, Lucas Wolfe wins big
PA SPEEDWEEK RECAP: Most tracks saw their biggest crowds of the season across the 8 races in the 2019 @PASpeedWeek!— Allie Berube (@allieberube) July 9, 2019
Do I get any props for correctly picking the top 3?
(I may have had some help… 😉)
🏁🏁🏁#sprintcar #PAPosse @LucasWolfe5w @dannydietrich @LDmotorsports pic.twitter.com/k8tSqP77yD
With less than four weeks until the start of the 31st annual Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek, there’s little left to do for drivers and organizers.
“It’s more of trying to get dialed in,” Dietz said. “[We’re trying to] get as close as you can before we get that long week coming in. It’s more being on top of your preparation and continue to obviously working as hard as you can but its more coming down to getting more organized, stepping up your preparation even more and simply run your heart and soul into the entire deal.”
For more information on PA Speedweek, you can go to their website by clicking here.
For more Dirt Track Tuesday coverage, watch abc27 news at 6 pm every Tuesday. You can also find abc27’s coverage here.