Hesston Speedway Awards Banquet report

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Old Fashioned Dirt Track Racing

Hesston Honors Region’s Top 50 Racers

Hesston, PA– Three of the five 2001 Hesston Speedway champions admitted that the will defend their Hesston titles in 2002 at the Eight Annual Hesston Speedway Awards Banquet Saturday night at the Lakemont Casino at Altoona.

The top ten drivers in each of Hesston’s five divisions were honored at the awards banquet and despite a major snowstorm the majority were able to attend. More than 400 filled the Casino to capacity to feast and enjoy the vibrant songs of Marie as Reba McEntire.

The nation’s top Reba impersonator thrilled the festive crowd with her music and performance style, and she told them that in the near future she will appear on The Weakest Link television program. Following the awards presentations the racing crowd danced to the music of Second Edition.

Promoters Butch and Linda Grubb presented a 2002 tentative schedule with the track opening Saturday, April 13, for the first of two no-points races and then the regular points racing starting April 27 and continuing through Sept. 14. Pit Steward Mike Grubb unveiled new rules for all divisions that include important engine rules changes for the street stocks and four-cylinder pure stocks.

Stultz and Brown Limited Late Model champion Brad Houck of Waynesboro said that after winning four Hesston championships in eight years he is thinking of relaxing his grueling schedule in 2002 and giving someone else a chance at the Hesston title. Houck started every 2001 points race and won three of them. He finished second once, third three times and fifth once and he also won four heat races. He finished in the top ten in 12 of 14 races for 447 points.

In presenting the Limited Late Model awards, Tim Brown of Stultz & Brown said that the Huntingdon and Tyrone dealership will return as the division’s title sponsor in 2002 and that he is very pleased with the growth and development in the big, fast cars.

Grubb Lumber 305 Sprint champion Vince Snyder of Lewistown said he will definitely be back to defend his title in 2002. Snyder won features on May 12 and July 7 and finished second in three points races. He won four heat races. He made all but one race and his worst feature finish was ninth with six of eight feature finishes in the top five for 267 points. The 305 PA Sprinters will again race every other week in 2002.

Shellbrook Stables V-8 Street Stock champion John Bookwalter of McConnellstown said he will return to defend his title in 2002 and try hard to win three championships in a row, something that has never been done at Hesston. John Bookwalter had four feature wins including the no points season opener and also 12 heat wins in 16 races. In those 16 features he had three seconds, two thirds, two fourths and finished all but two in the top ten for 493 points.

Metzler Brothers Transport Four-Cylinder Pure Stock champion Ron Beam Jr. of Blairs Mills said that after beating out his dad and defending 2000 champion Ron Beam Sr. with 519 points to his dad’s 486, he plans to concentrate on racing his limited late model in 2002. Ron Beam Jr. won six 2001 features and ten heat races. He had one second and three thirds and finished all but two features in the top five. He finished first or second in all but two heat races and he also had a top ten finish in his limited late model.

Jason Grove of Chet Grove’s Cars Unlimited announced that the Huntingdon car dealer will again sponsor the Cars Unlimited Hobby Stocks in 2002. He said the entry-level budget V-8 class of full size stock cars continues to grow every season and with rookies and veteran drivers racing together provides the fans with all the thrills they can handle.

Cars Unlimited Hobby Stock champion Robbie Goss of Alexandria said he will be back in 2002 to seek his third championship in five years.“ We didn’t need to do anything to the car after the final feature and it’s ready to go,” Goss said.

In addition to trophies taller than some of the drivers, and season points money, the champions all received jackets from John Goshorn of Goshorn Racing Supply, and Butch and Linda Grubb presented both the champions and their wives with custom gold watches to commemorate their Hesston championships.

After recognizing and thanking all of the division sponsors, race night sponsors and trophy night sponsors, the Grubb family thanked all of the Hesston racers for providing a fine season of thrilling family entertainment. Hesston concessions manager Shelley Grubb Weyandt distributed more than 100 door prizes to conclude the awards program.

The Hesston Speedway is located just north of Route 26 opposite to the Seven Points access to Lake Raystown. It's about five miles south of Route 22 in Huntingdon and 45 miles north on Routes 30W and 26 from the Breezewood Exit 12 of the PA Turnpike. For information call the track at 814-658-2823.

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Series Sprint , Stock car