Williams Grove III: J&J Auto Racing National Open preview

J&J Auto Racing teams look to capture final big payday of 2002. McKenzie, TN (SEPTEMBER 25) - This weekend's 40th annual Williams Grove National Open sponsored by Cleveland Brothers is the final "big money" race of the year for the Pennzoil...

J&J Auto Racing teams look to capture final big payday of 2002.

McKenzie, TN (SEPTEMBER 25) - This weekend's 40th annual Williams Grove National Open sponsored by Cleveland Brothers is the final "big money" race of the year for the Pennzoil World of Outlaws and many of the top sprint car drivers in the country as they chase the $30,000 prize.

J&J Auto Racing teams collected two of the bigger paydays already this season when Ed Lynch, Jr. took the Don Martin Memorial victory at Lernerville Speedway piloting his #2L J&J to the $35,000 win and a few weeks later when Donny Schatz dominated the 10th annual Historical Big One at Eldora Speedway racing his #15 ParkerStore J&J to the $100,000 victory.

The National Open is one of the most prestigious races in the East and several J&J teams enter the two-night program with victory on their minds. Defending National Open and 2001 track champion Lance Dewease, Fred Rahmer, Keith Kauffman, and Todd Hestor have visited victory lane at the historic speedway already in 2002, while World of Outlaw stars Schatz and Daryn Pittman also come in ready to challenge.

Dewease, who has all but wrapped up the 2002 track championship in his first season driving for Al Hamilton, will be looking to win his third National Open. Dewease has four Williams Grove wins this season and 14 top five finishes in the Hamilton Motorsports #77 J&J and is the all-time feature winner at the track with 54 feature wins. With a victory, Dewease will help his car owner become the all-time winningest owner at Williams Grove. Hamilton, who has three National Open victories and now seven track championships, currently has 81 wins at the facility and is tied with Bob Wiekert.

Rahmer has been dominant lately at "The Grove" winning four of the last six feature events on the half-mile oval. Rahmer, who has 52 career wins at Williams Grove Speedway, will be driving the #88h J&J owned by Joe Harz, who claimed last season's National Open.

Middleswarth Potato Chips team cars of Keith Kauffman (#7 J&J) and Todd Hes tor (#7m J&J) both have raced to victory lane at The Grove this season. Kauffman has been to victory lane 47 times at "The Grove" and again claimed the track championship at nearby Port Royal Speedway. Hestor surprised many with his victory on June 28, and also has been impressive during the World of Outlaws visits.

Donny Schatz will lead the World of Outlaws J&J troops into the National Open. Schatz won the 2000 National Open and also won three feature events at "The Grove" in 2001. He finished third in last year's race driving his #15 ParkerStores J&J. This season, he's raced from 23rd to seventh in May and from 12th to fourth in late July.

Daryn Pittman has five WoO victories this season in his #21 Sherdon Motorsports J&J winning all five at tracks where he had never won before. Pittman, who is searching for his first win at Williams Grove, has qualified well all season and should be a factor in Saturday's 40-lap "A" feature.

"We have a great group of teams using our racecars and other products," said Jack Elam, President of J&J Auto Racing. "They are all capable of pulling off a win or two this weekend. We just wish our guys the best and hope we can repeat last year's win with another one on Saturday night."

-j&j-

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Donny Schatz , Daryn Pittman
Teams Williams