ALLSTAR: 2000 season review

Kenny Jacobs Wraps up third consecutive All Star title on the All Star Sprint Tour 2000 By Scott Hall PONCE INLET, FL - For Kenny Jacobs, the 2000 season started out slow on the All Star sprint tour, but after eight months and 44 events,...

Kenny Jacobs Wraps up third consecutive All Star title on the All Star Sprint Tour 2000
By Scott Hall

PONCE INLET, FL - For Kenny Jacobs, the 2000 season started out slow on the All Star sprint tour, but after eight months and 44 events, Jacobs was once again crowned the series' champion car owner and driver, winning his third consecutive driver's point title in the Jacobs/Honecker Motorsports Kriner-Chevy powered No. 6, wrenched by Aaron Hammer and Barry Jackson. Along the way Jacobs captured six feature wins and pulled away from points runner-up Rodney Duncan after July's Ohio Speedweek series. Jacobs was also the Ohio Speedweek champion and the Commercial Truck and Trailer Dash champion for the season. With support from series’ corporate sponsors General Motors Powertrain Division, TW Metals and Commercial Truck and Trailer, the season was a great success on all fronts.

Among Jacobs’ accomplishments were 29 top ten finishes, 13 fast times, a pair of Dash wins, ten heat race wins and three B Main wins. He also leads the series in all time feature wins, with 90 for his career.

Duncan scored a single feature win in the Harrison Trucking machine wrenched by Andy Potter but a series of strong finishes showed Duncan atop the series points chase from the beginning of the season through Ohio Speedweek. After that point, some bad luck and mechanical malfunctions allowed Jacobs to take over the points lead and pull away for the title. In the final rundown, Duncan recorded 32 top ten finishes, one Dash win and three heat race wins.

Ohio's Chad Kemenah, who ran the entire All Star tour for the first time in his career, scored a trio of feature wins in Jim Harble's Gambler, ending up third in the points chase. Kemenah's wins came in both Lernerville events and at Attica Raceway Park on Labor Day. Kemenah also captured the Western Pa. Speedweek crown. He recorded 28 top ten finishes, one quick time, three Dash wins, five heat wins and a lone B Main checkered.

Jerrod Hull drove Guy Webb's Eagle to fourth place in the points, with several strong finishes during the campaign. Hull’s log showed a second, a pair of thirds and 15 other top five finishes in addition to two quick times and five heat race victories. Central Pennsylvania's Todd Gracey, in the Ken Cooper No. 25 wound up fifth in points and was crowned the KSE Racing Rookie of the Year for 2000. Gracey recorded a pair of thirds and a fourth, plus eight other top tens. He also captured 10 heat race wins.

Kelly Kinser, with a pair of wins and 26 top tens, Greg Wilson, who won nine heat races, three-time winner Danny Smith, Daryl Stimeling and Barry Ruble completed the top ten in the final points rundown.

Danny Lasoski dominated the traditional Florida Speed weeks in February, sweeping the four Volusia Speedway Park events and capturing three of four at East Bay Raceway, bringing home the 24th annual East Bay Nationals crown and $10,000 in the Vern Massey/Tony Stewart machine. Gary Wright was the only driver to defeat Lasoski, capturing the Friday night East Bay round.

April's calendar saw three events, with Craig Dollansky winning Attica's Coors Nationals, Jacobs scoring his first win of the season at Sharon Speedway and Kasey Kahne, taking a short hiatus from the U.S.A.C. midget ranks, won the K-C Raceway show.

May opened with a trip to Central Pennsylvania, where Jacobs led wire-to-wire at Lincoln Speedway, and Butch Schroeder's strong performance came to an end with a flat tire, handing a Selinsgrove win to Central Pa. driver Todd Shaffer. Attica was up next, with another Jacobs win, followed by a return to K-C where Duncan scored an exciting win. A first time visit to Ransomville, NY Speedway saw Kelly Kinser ride home the victor, then a trip to Fremont Speedway the next night saw Danny Smith score his first win of 2000, earning $6,000.

June opened up with the eighth annual Western Pa. Speedweek series swinging into action at Mercer Raceway Park, where Mark Keegan picked up the win. The next night, action moved east to the Port Royal Speedway, with Sean Michael capturing his first career All Star win in the Zemco No. 1. Friday night action moved into Lernerville, with Kemenah the winner and Saturday's action at Pittsburgh's Pa. Motor Speedway saw Jacobs score the win. Sunday night's Tri-City action was washed out, making Kemenah the Speedweek points champion.

The 18th annual Ohio Sprint Speedweek took to the track next, with seven different winners in seven nights of action. Jeff Shepard invaded Attica Raceway Park to win the Sunday night opener, with Byron Reed taking his lone win of 2000 Monday at Wayne County Speedway. Tuesday, Speedweek returned to Fremont Speedway where hometown favorite Frankie Kerr scored his final of 53 career All Star wins. As the four-time champion was traveling to Wednesday's round at K-C Raceway, his team was involved in a highway accident with their tow rig. Kerr missed Wednesday's action, and after a couple of days of consideration, he decided to retire from sprint car racing, going out on top after winning his last race.

Kevin Huntley, who picked up a ride with the Denny Ashworth No. 92 team after the April Sharon show, scored his first win of the season Wednesday at K-C, while Ed Lynch, Jr. scored his only All Star win of 2000 Thursday at Sharon Speedway. Phil Gressman turned in an impressive run Friday at Limaland for his first career All Star win in Dwight Reidling's No. 9, earning $6,000. Jacobs, the all-time All Star feature winner at Eldora Speedway, added $10,000 to his bank account in the Speedweek final at Eldora, outrunning Lynch to earn the Ohio Speedweek championship.

Kelly Kinser scored another Attica win later in July, and Gressman captured his second win of the season in the lone New 96 Speedway visit for 2000.

The month of August opened up with Craig Dollansky's win two nights before the Historical Big One at Eldora Speedway, and then it was on to the sixth annual Thunder Through The Plains tour in mid-August. Monday night's Thunder event marked the series' first visit to the Thunder Hill Speedway in Mayetta, Ks, with Jacobs taking home another win. Action moved to State Fair Speedway in Sedalia, MO on Tuesday, with Tulsa's Mike Goodman the victor for his second career All Star win. At Salina (KS) Speedway on Wednesday, Danny Smith again visited victory lane with Gary Wright winning the final two tour stops at 81 Speedway Friday and Tulsa Speedway Saturday. Another Central Pa. swing closed out the month of August, with Fred

Rahmer dominating at his home track, Lincoln Speedway and Cris Eash capturing the King of the Hill Championship, worth $6,000, at Grandview Speedway.

Labor Day weekend saw four events on tap, starting with the Earl and David Bauman Memorial at Lernerville, where Kemenah earned $6,000. Jeff Shepard earned $5,000 for his Sharon Nationals opener win on Saturday, but it was Phil Gressman earning $10,000 and the Sharon Nationals title with an impressive win on Sunday. Kemenah capped off the weekend with his Attica Ambush win on Labor Day evening.

The final two events of the season saw hometown favorite John Ivy get his first All Star win at Fremont Speedway on Frankie Kerr night, earning $6,000, and Danny Smith returning to the track he started racing at, Lawrenceburg Speedway, where he pocketed $10,000 for the Hoosier Fall Classic win. The traditional points finale at Eldora was awash and the season was declared complete, showing 22 different feature winners in 44 races. Also logged into the All Star record book were 82 different heat race winners, 18 Commercial Truck & Trailer Dash winners, 31 different Georgia Marketing & Promotions B Main winners and 20 fast qualifiers, who set seven new track records throughout the season out of the 340 different drivers who competed with the series in 2000. This breaks down to an average car count of 36 per event over the season.

New for 2000 were the All Stars 1,200 pound minimum weight rule, and live Internet audio broadcasts of seven shows over RSBN.net. The weight rule was well received, with the intention of cutting costs and equalizing the competition, which was successful on both fronts.

The All Stars are looking forward to the 2001 campaign, with the Florida Speedweeks events at Volusia and East Bay already on the schedule for February 10-13 and Feb. 16-19, 2001. Several other major events are already in place for 2001, including Western Pennsylvania Speedweek June 13-17; Ohio Sprint Speedweek July 1-7; Thunder Through the Plains August 13-18; the Sharon Nationals (Hartford, OH) on Labor Day weekend plus the Lawrenceburg Hoosier Fall Classic on September 15th. For the first time ever, the All Stars have been invited to be a part of East Bay Raceway’s Open Wheel Florida Fall Nationals in early November.

Also new for next season are the hiring of two additional staff members, Randy and Lisa Hammer, to assist the All Star team of President Bert Emick, Vice-president Brigitte Emick, Competition Director Bill "Barn" Lyle, pit assistants Bear Shue and Nicole Hull, publicist Scott Hall, Speedweeks coordinator Jean Lynch and videographer Jeff Kristenson.

Final 2000 All Star Sprint Driver Points: 1. Kenny Jacobs, 3262; 2. Rodney Duncan, 3065; 3. Chad Kemenah, 2829; 4. Jerrod Hull, 2803; 5. Todd Gracey, 2685; 6. Kelly Kinser, 2384; 7. Greg Wilson, 2247; 8. Danny Smith, 2040; 9. Daryl Stimeling, 1930; 10. Barry Ruble, 1782; 11. Kevin Huntley, 1568; 12. Byron Reed, 1563; 13. Phil Gressman, 1205; 14. Mark Keegan, 830; 15. Brian Ellenberger, 671; 16. Ed Lynch, Jr., 632; 17. Jason Dukes, 377 and John Ivy, 377; 19. Jim Nier, 369; 20. Butch Schroeder, 335.

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Series Sprint
Drivers Tony Stewart , Danny Lasoski , Kasey Kahne , Craig Dollansky , Kenny Jacobs , Greg Wil , David Baum , Chad Kemenah