The 2022 sprint car racing season could look very different around Central Pennsylvania, with multiple drivers limiting their schedules or simply not racing at all. Both the rising costs for motor parts and tires, combined with the loss of sponsorships from many small businesses, means some drivers may not have enough financial support to race the full season.
Longtime 358 sprint car driver Ashley Cappetta is one of those drivers. Without serious help from a new sponsor or fundraising efforts, she worries she’ll have to cut back on her plans to race in 2022. This would be her 10th season racing spring cars in Central Pa.
Cappetta says the small businesses that typically sponsor her car are struggling themselves. She says some bottom lines were impacted by shut downs due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Businesses have to use extra money that would typically go to support her nine month racing season, to pay their employees or make up for lost revenue during the pandemic.
“I think a lot of people lost a lot of money through the pandemic,” Cappetta said. “I know there’s a lot more small businesses that I’ve noticed, a lot of people selling online, so I think a lot of people are hurting.”
According to Cappetta, the issue is compounded by the rising cost of fuel and motor parts due to supply chain issues. She says just this winter she’s noticed the increased cost of sprint car wings and paint for the car bodies.
“I’m a lot more tight with my money than I was three years ago,” she said. “You just don’t know if it’s going to stop here.”
Ashley is hosting a fundraiser to try to raise enough money to compete this season. The event is on Saturday, Feb. 12 at the Irishtown Fire Company in New Oxford. Fans can get tickers on her Facebook page by clicking here.