Young defends Valvoline Cup at Path Valley

Valvoline Champion Jim Young returns to Path Valley. Spring Run, PA_ National Valvoline Cup champion Jim Young of Johnstown will return to the Path Valley Speedway Park to race his new ...

Valvoline Champion Jim Young returns to Path Valley.

Spring Run, PA_ National Valvoline Cup champion Jim Young of Johnstown will return to the Path Valley Speedway Park to race his new #8 Predator micro sprint every Friday in 2003, and despite the tough competition he hopes he can defend his national title.

To win his $4,000 national championship for 2002 Young had two feature wins at Path Valley, three at Marion Center, five wins at Allegheny Mountain, one at Shippensburg and one at Okeechobee, FL.

Each of some 84,000 drivers could count their top 15 finishes toward the national points championship in 31 different classes, and Young had to count four second place finishes because his four other wins were at Blanket Hill Speedway which did not participate in the Valvoline Cup awards.

A veteran racer at Path Valley since 1989, Young said that he only plans racing in the 600cc sprints in 2003. He raced both his 600 and a 270cc sprint in the 2002 season, and counted results from both in his season total.

Path Valley Promoter Ken Geesey said, "We are tremendously proud of Jim Young and his success in the Valvoline series. Jim is one of the cleanest, safest drivers we have and we wish him better luck on the track in 2003." This is the second straight year, Geesey noted, that Path Valley has produced a major national champion. In 2001 Harry Garber won the INEX national championship in Legends Cars racing primarily at Path Valley.

"It was close all season long, and most weeks I'd lead by one point or that guy from Columbus Ohio, Ryan Pendleton, would lead by a point or two," Young said. Young finished with 157 Valvoline points to Pendleton's 156 and Robert Clements of Wirtz VA took third with 147 points.

"I like the 600 better, and my new Predator is ready for the pre-season races in Florida in February," Young said. "I plan to make all of the Path Valley races again and also race some events at Trailways and Shippensburg since all three tracks have adopted the new universal engine rules.

"My new Predator only needed a few changes for driver comfort and the engine is another Yamaha with only a little fine tuning I did myself to comply with the new rules. I talked Ed Paul at Predator and his son Gregg, who helps me in the pits, into building me a new chassis in 2001 and I got one race on it before going to Florida for the early season 2002 races. I won all the heats down there and had a win and a third place in my second to fifth times in the car. That was a good start, but the competition at Path Valley is the toughest in the country."

Young won five of seven races in the 270 class at the new Allegheny Mountain raceway near Kane and said the small, tight, slightly rough track "suited the way I drive." Marion Center, where Young has won most of his track championships, is not racing micro sprints in 2003.

Young is sponsored only by Predator, which builds his chassis as a house car, and Lias Tires American Racer tire distributors. He works as a heavy equipment operator for PennDOT and does all of his own work on his sprinter as well as selling micro sprint wings.

He looks forward to an even more competitive 2003 season. "With the uniform 600cc rules and with Trailways switching to Saturday night racing, I expect ten or a dozen more sprints in each class at Path Valley. We should have at least a full field in the 600cc class and more than 40 in the 270 class," he said, "and with guys like Jim Callahan and Jim Brookens and Terry Peters and a dozen more great drivers in the 600's it's sure to be a great season."

He suggested that defending his Valvoline Cup national title is going to take the hardest work and smartest racing he has ever done because he is racing against the very best in the country at Path Valley. The race teams are the best of friends and do all they can to help each other in the pits, but on they track they are there only to win.

According to Valvoline, each of the 31 Valvoline Cup national champions will receive a prize package valued just over $4,000, which includes $1,000 cash, Campbell Hausfeld equipment award, Valvoline Racing products support package for the 2003 racing season, Campbell Hausfeld and Valvoline branded merchandise, Valvoline Cup champion's jacket, and a deluxe Valvoline Cup trophy. Drivers placing second, and third, will also receive cash prizes, in addition to merchandise from Valvoline and Campbell Hausfeld. Drivers placing fourth through thirtieth will receive award certificates, in addition to product rebates from Valvoline and Campbell Hausfeld. The remaining top finishers in the top 30 in each class will receive an award certificate and various product and merchandise items.

There are no Valvoline Cup program rules with respect to the cars, tracks and racing. The rules of the tracks and sanctioning organizations under which each driver competes will govern that driver and the car. The Valvoline Cup will be a measure of the success of a driver within his or her racing program relative to the success of other drivers in similar cars within their program.

For the Valvoline Cup, 2002 marked the inaugural season of a national championship, that embraces all forms of motorsports competition among its 31 classes. In order to compete, drivers simply registered at their local track, or on www.ValvolineCup.com, at no cost, and then submitted their racing results after each racing event they competed in throughout the season. At the end of the racing season, each driver has been awarded points based on the best 15 event finishes.

The Path Valley Speedway Park is located in Spring Run PA a mile north on PA Route 641 from the intersection with PA Route 75, halfway between Port Royal and Hagerstown. It is five miles east from the Willow Hill Exit 14 of the PA Turnpike. The new phone number at the track for promoter Ken Geesey is 717-349-7111. For information on the 2003 schedule and rules, race teams and fans can consult the website at www.pathvalley.com or they can email Two Wheel Promotions at twp@pathvalley.com.

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