J&J Auto Racing Teams Eye National Open Crown at Williams Grove Speedway McKENZIE, TN (SEPTEMBER 29) - The 2004 sprint car season has been another success for J&J Auto Racing and its teams. With a majority of the sprint car racing season in the...
J&J Auto Racing Teams Eye National Open Crown at Williams Grove Speedway
McKENZIE, TN (SEPTEMBER 29) - The 2004 sprint car season has been another success for J&J Auto Racing and its teams. With a majority of the sprint car racing season in the books, a select number of prestigious events remain in 2004 and this weekend's Williams Grove National Open tops the list of major races still up for grabs. A large contingent of sprint car teams utilizing J&J Auto Racing sprint cars will vie for the $30,000 first place prize in the two-night World of Outlaws Sprint Series sanctioned event.
With 14 wins at the track in 2004, J&J Auto Racing founder and president, Jack Elam, is optimistic about the chances of a J&J sprint car finishing first in the National Open.
"We are lucky to work with such great teams and I'm really looking forward to being at Williams Grove to see a lot of them in action," said Elam. "There are so many solid teams that compete weekly in Central PA in our race cars and then you factor in the Outlaw guys, we feel really good about this weekend. It comes down to having a quality team and driver working together. That's what makes a winner."
Current Williams Grove Speedway points leader, Fred Rahmer, has been the class of sprint car racing in 2004. In a season that included his 300th all-time sprint car win and 400th overall racing victory, the pilot of the Joe Harz Racing #88h J&J leads the nation in victories with 32. He has won track championships at Lincoln Speedway, Selinsgrove Speedway, and Susquehanna Speedway Park. He also won 2004 PA Speedweek crown and Thunder on the Hill points championships Rahmer has seven wins at the track this season including a triumph over the World of Outlaws on May 27.
Lance Dewease, the three-time defending track champion, will be in contention in Al Hamilton's #77 J&J. Dewease defeated the Outlaws on July 23rd and has 59 wins at the half-mile in his career. Dewease is a three-time National Open winner including back-to-back wins in J&J's in 2001 and 2002.
Keith Kauffman was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame this J une and is still searching for his first National Open title. Kauffman piloted the Middleswarth #7 J&J to victory at "The Grove" on May 21st. Kauffman also captured the track championship at Port Royal Speedway.
Kenny Jacobs, the 1988 National Open winner, has been a stout addition to the Pennsylvania scene driving the Sandy and Jim Kline owned #22 J&J wrenched by Moon Byers. Jacobs won on June 18th and July 30th at the Grove and also claimed a front row starting spot in the Knoxville Nationals.
Another Williams Grove winner this season, Doug Esh, will be looking for his first National Open in the Leach Motorsports #30 J&J. Cris Eash has a pair of late season victories for J&J including last Saturday's Lincoln Speedway feature in his #17g J&J and Craig Keel, the former World of Outlaws regular, in the #9 J&J has a pair of victories this season at Port Royal Speedway. Todd Hestor, Kauffman's Middleswarth teammate, will be in competition driving the #7m J&J.
Donny Schatz, the 2000 National Open Champion, leads the World of Outlaws Sprint Series to the legendary half-mile oval. After winning his first career feature at the Grove (the 2000 Open), Schatz has reeled off six more wins while driving the ParkerStores #15 J&J including last year's National Open preliminary feature. He recently had a four-race WoO winning streak taking the prestigious Gold Cup Race of Champions at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, CA and One-Third Mile Short Track Nationals at Eagle Raceway in Eagle, NE.
Daryn Pittman is another World of Outlaws regular capable to scoring a major victory. The 2003 Historical Big One winner will race the #21 Pepsi J&J in the National Open in search of his first career win at Williams Grove.
"The competition is certainly at an all-time high," said Elam. "We are really pleased with the success of our 2004 chassis design. We've seen a lot of our teams win races in brand new cars and ones that have more than 30 nights on them. It's great for everyone at J&J that builds these cars to see our teams and drivers so successful. A National Open win would cap another solid season for all of us as we look forward to 2005."