If you put a label on the Sprint Car season, it would be the year of Donny Schatz's dominance over the sport. It's Schatz and everyone else running a distant second. But that isn't the only headline. Schatz will have to share the marquee with the up-and-coming drivers in the sport.
Names like Rico Abreu, Christopher Bell, Carson Macedo and now Ryan Smith. These are just a few of the drivers that have made 2014 the "Year of Youth" and have proven to be the next stars of Sprint Car racing.
Here is a quick look at some of these rising standouts in the winged ranks. Criteria is age (26 or younger) or limited years in the sport.
World Finals Will Mark as Final Event of 2014 for '59' Team
Pittsburgh, PA (October 29th, 2014) - After a long weekend in southern Ohio competing in the 'Open Wheel Championships' at the Atomic Speedway near Chillicothe, Ohio, Danny Holtgraver and Phoenix Racing will take the upcoming weekend off to begin preparations for the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series 'World Finals' near Charlotte, North Carolina. Holtgraver, who pilots the Phoenix Racing, Auto Electric of Jupiter, Southern Pacific Farms, no. 59 '410' sprinter, will join some of the greatest sprint car drivers in the world next Thursday, Friday and Saturday, November 6th, 7th & 8th; aiming to conquer The Dirt Track at Charlotte (NC) and earn that elusive first-career World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series main event win.
Ryan Smith is still pinching himself, wondering if his march to a World of Outlaws victory at Port Royal was a dream. It was definitely real.
Smith has been making the rounds since the upset. One of those stops was PennLive's Sprint Car Unlimited podcast in which he talked about the win, the influence of Don Kreitz Jr. and his future.
Danny Lasoski also joined the show. The Sprint Car legend finished second in last week's Open Wheel Championship at Atomic Speedway and talked about reuniting with crew chief Guy Forbrook and his desire to still win.
PETERSEN MEDIA- Returning to the World of Outlaw STP Sprint Car Series after a week in California, David Gravel and his Roth Motorsports team scored a 13th place finish during the series first appearance at the Port Royal Speedway since in 2004 season.
"We qualified okay, but not winning the heat race put us a littler further back than we would have liked to be, and it was tough to get moving forward," Gravel explained.
Iconic open-wheel franchise set to race June 20, 2015
NEWTON, Iowa (October 28, 2014) - Iowa Speedway today announced the addition of the United States Auto Club (USAC) Silver Crown Series to its action-packed 2015 schedule. The legends of open wheel racing return to "The Fastest Short Track on the Planet" on Saturday, June 20, 2015. The event will mark the first USAC Silver Crown Series event at Iowa Speedway since the 2012 Casey's General Stores USAC Challenge race.
"The Silver Crown Series has a long, rich tradition in this region and we're extremely pleased to have them back in central Iowa," said Iowa Speedway President Jimmy Small. "We want longtime fans to reconnect with the excitement they experienced seeing former USAC racers such as Mario Andretti, A.J. Foyt, Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman and Don White from Keokuk, Iowa as they raced in these beautiful machines.
At the recent United Racing Club's board meeting it was decided that WRT Speedwerx will become the official photographers for the 2015 racing season. WRT SpeedWerx is an exciting compilation of some of Central Pa's best photographers. By utilizing the talents of these fine photographers under a common banner, WRT SpeedWerx is able to provide the best and most comprehensive library of race images found anywhere in Central Pa. By working cooperatively, WRT SpeedWerx is able to capture more angles, more pit shots, and more amazing racing action than any other single photographer.
The next Wednesday Night Test & Tune for any type of racecar will be on Wednesday, October 29. The gates will open at 5:00 p.m. with practice sessions rotating for each class from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The cost is $12.00 per person for pit passes and a $20.00 fee for each racecar entering the pit area ($32.00 per car & driver combination). Each session will be 4-6 laps per session depending on car count.
Still the man.
It doesn't seem to matter whether it's the All Star Circuit of Champions or Renegade Sprints Series, Dale Blaney owns Ohio. That was evident again last week. Blaney continued his torrid pace this season by passing Danny Lasoski to claim the Open Wheel Championships at Atomic Speedway Saturday night and add another $15,000 to the war chest. If not for Donny Schatz's exploits in dominating the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Series, Blaney would be the No. 1 ranked driver in the country in 2014.
The versatile Mr. Bell.
There might not be a more versatile driver in the country than Christopher Bell. At least this season. This young star added to his 2014 resume last weekend, when he captured a pair of events during the Short Track Nationals at I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, Ark. The crown jewel of the run was a victory in Saturday's finale that netted Bell $15,000. It was Bell's 24th win overall this season. The Norman, Okla., ace has 15 midget wins but has also beaten the World of Outlaws, the stars of the ASCS Series, won a non-wing event and even captured an asphalt late model main.
Ryan Smith is a rising star.
Anytime you can beat Donny Schatz and the World of Outlaws, you are going to garner plenty of attention. But that isn't the only reason Ryan Smith, who beat the traveling band at Port Royal Saturday night, is a rising star in Sprint Car racing. Smith is smooth and doesn't get in scrapes. Smith's mentor was Don Kreitz Jr., which means he knows his way around a Sprint Car as far as taking them apart, putting them together and setups. It will be interesting to see how Smith progresses moving forward after his big win.
Wrapping up Port Royal.
Ryan Smith's win Saturday night was his first in World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series competition. He is also the 23rd different winner on the tour this season and sixth first-time winner. Lucas Wolfe set quick time for the 40-car field with a lap of 16.012. Smith, Ryan Taylor, Paul McMahan and Steve Buckwalter won heats. Shane Stewart was the hard charger in the 30-lap feature, advancing eight spots to finish eighth. Donny Schatz just has to sign in at the World Finals to clinch his sixth World of Outlaws championship.
PETERSEN MEDIA: Lance Dewease and his Dietz Motorsports team have been putting together some strong runs as their 2014 season comes to a close. Though they did not have the run they were hoping for on Saturday night at Port Royal with the World of Outlaws, the entire team is looking forward to closing out their season in Charlotte, NC in two weeks. "It was not the best run we could have had to end our season in PA, but we made the show with the World of Outlaws, and we will look to better ourselves at the World Finals in a couple of weeks," Dewease explained.
at Open Wheel Championships
Inside Line Promotions - CHILLICOTHE, Ohio (Oct. 27, 2014) - Danny Lasoski had a strong debut for Big Game Motorsports last weekend during the $15,000-to-win Open Wheel Championships at Atomic Speedway. Lasoski kicked off the Renegade Sprints season finale on Friday by qualifying fourth quickest out of the 53 competitors at the high-banked track. "I left a lot on the table," he said. "I didn't attack turns three and four like I should have. It was a fine line from hitting it right and disaster."
JOHNSON LEADS SOUTHWEST SPRINTS TO ARIZONA SPEEDWAY
Arizona Speedway is the next target for USAC's Southwest Sprint Cars as drivers R.J. Johnson, Josh Pelkey and Charles Davis Jr. continue their battle for supremacy in one of America's most hotly-contested motorsports series.
All three combatants have fared well at the one-third dirt oval at ET Motopark southeast of Phoenix. Johnson has three wins, a fourth and a fifth in the five previous appearances there. Pelkey has a win, a second, two thirds and a sixth, while Davis has a win, two seconds and two fourths.
Johnson's point lead stands at 116 points over Pelkey so his position at the top of the standings won't change Saturday, but the margin could. A total of 74 points are available at each event and, with four points races remaining on the 2014 calendar, things could change quickly.
SPEEDWAY MOTORS/CHAMPION RACING OIL CENTRAL PA SPRINT CARS Presented by HOSEHEADS
with associate sponsors; ButlerBuilt Seats, Conroy "Pneu" Control, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic, Maxim Chassis, RAACE, Schnee Chassis and Winters Performance Products.
Ryan Smith Wins Port Royal World of Outlaws
The Speedway Motors/Champion Racing Oil Central PA Sprint Cars had only one race schedule over the weekend and it was at Port Royal Speedway. Saturday night the World of Outlaws were back in Central PA at Port Royal and Ryan Smith beat the 2014 World of Outlaws champion Donny Schatz for his 1st ever World of Outlaws victory and 2nd Speedway Motors/Champion Racing Oil Central PA Sprint Cars win of the year. The series is off now for three weeks until the final show of the 2014 season at Susquehanna Speedway Park on Saturday November 15th.
At a meeting on Thursday Oct 23, 2014 the United Racing Club continued working toward its return to racing in 2015. The club named its new President Bill Gallagher and Vice-President Robbie Stillwaggon. In 2015 the board members will be Mark Bitner, Rick Weller, Jamie Bodo, Dave Betts, Kenny Eldreth, Jeff Fithian, Billy Gallagher and Curt Michael. Mimi Caruso will be secretary and Billy Gallagher was named treasurer and Handicapper. Billy will have the books available at every club meeting. A long time club supporter Pat Palladino will take on the tech inspector duties. The club is also talking with others that are interested in being pit officials.
Kressley Wins Sportsman Mod Feature on Saturday in 10th Annual J&K Salvage Candy Bowl at SSP
Newberrytown, PA (October 25, 2014) – The 10th Annual Candy Bowl at the Susquehanna Speedway Park presented by J&K Salvage of York on Saturday, October 25. Brett Kressley of Orefield won the exciting 20-lap Sportsman Modified feature. Tyler Reeser of Orwigsburg took the victory in the 20-lap PA Sprint Series feature event. Dover's Aaron Spahr was the ACMS 600cc Micro Sprints Candy Bowl winner by claiming the 20-lap feature event. East Berlin's Bob Stough won the 20-lap Legends Cars feature over a hard charging Jacob Feltch. Austin Quick of Etters to the checkers in the first 12-lap Sidewinder Sprint Car feature. Rohan Beasley of Carlisle won the second 12-lap Sidewinder Sprint Car feature.
- Ryan Smith Scores a Port Royal Win for the Posse
- Blaney Bests Stout Field to Claim $15,000 Renegade Sprints Open Wheel Championships
- Ryan Smith Beats Schatz For Port Royal Outlaws Loot
- Ryan Smith holds off Donny Schatz for first World of Outlaws win
- Smith Sets Quick Time to Kick Off Renegade Sprints Open Wheel Championships
- LARSON MARKS RACING RETURNS TO PORT ROYAL
- Renegade Sprints Welcomes Hilltop Speedway in Millersburg to 2015 Schedule
- A Decade Later: Kraig Kinser Returns to Port Royal Speedway
- At A Glance: Darrah Has The Experience at Port Royal
- UNITED RACING CLUB PARTNERS WITH DRIVER WEBSITES
- Stevie Smith back with Rahmer-Pritchard for 2015
- SCHATZ KEEPS WINNING, SEVERAL J&J DRIVERS 2014 CHAMPIONS
- 6TH "WINTER DIRT GAMES" FEBRUARY 18-21 AT OCALA
- Lance Dewease Sixth at Williams Grove Fall Fest
- Rico Abreu, Rick Rogers and more on Sprint Car Unlimited
- BUCKEYE CHARGE: McMahan Marches Forward at Fremont Speedway
- UNITED RACING CLUB RETURNS TO ORANGE COUNTY IN 2015
- Kemenah unloads responsibility, can focus on driving ability with Hunter Sprint Car team
- Renegade Sprints Set for Several Shows at Millstream Speedway Next Season
- Haas gets feel-good win, Ryan Smith liking new chassis, more central Pennsylvania Sprint Car notes
- Schatz's run should be appreciated, Croft claims Trophy Cup, more national Sprint Car news
- The Next Wednesday Night Test & Tune is on October 22
- Renegade Sprints Conclude Inaugural Season This Weekend at Atomic Speedway
- Big Game Motorsports and Danny Lasoski Aim for Renegade Sprints Triumph
- USAC NEWS 10-20-14
- Speedway Motors/Champion Racing Oil 410 Sprint Car Points Update 10-20-14
- Cory Haas Ends Williams Grove Speedway Season with 'Fall Fest' Victory
- DREVICKI WINS IT ALL IN ARDC ACTION
- Mike Erdley decides to race, looking for the right situation in 2015
- World Of Outlaws Invade Port Royal Speedway For Oval Finale This Saturday