Gallagher chooses Haggenbottom for URC 2003

Haggenbottom and Gallagher are teaming up to run for 2003 URC Sprint Championship. KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa., Jan. 10 - Prominent sprint car owner Bill Gallagher of King of Prussia, Pa., announced today that 2001 United Racing Club (URC) sprint car...

Haggenbottom and Gallagher are teaming up to run for 2003 URC Sprint Championship.

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa., Jan. 10 - Prominent sprint car owner Bill Gallagher of King of Prussia, Pa., announced today that 2001 United Racing Club (URC) sprint car champion Mike Haggenbottom of Levittown, Pa., will drive his sprint cars this season in the URC Advance Auto Parts series sponsored by Bar's Leak.

The team plans to campaign for the 2003 driver and car owner championships using two different Maxims. Chevy engines prepared by Don Ott power both sprinters. The cars are painted green and carry the number 5G.

The team has two primary sponsors: Valley Forge, Inc. and GEI Enterprises. Both businesses are based in King of Prussia, Pa.

Valley Forge, Inc. is a clean fill site which accepts Department of Environmental Protection-approved clean fill and sells Pennsylvania Department of Transportation-approved 2A stone along with screened topsoil, mulch and recycled concrete.

GEI Enterprises specializes in road construction, paving, snow plowing, milling, sweeping and site clearance.

In addition to being a team sponsor, Valley Forge Inc. sponsored the 2002 Pennsylvania State Sprint Series, which consisted of seven URC races in the Keystone State. It will sponsor the URC Pennsylvania series again in 2003. The company will also encourage the young talent in URC when it again sponsors the third annual special non-winners' race this year. The date for that event will be announced later. The company also sponsors another URC car, the number 23 driven by Todd Rittenhouse Jr.

Gallagher's team's associate sponsors include Montgomery Brothers Auto Body of Conshohocken, Pa. and W.D.B. Landscaping of Morrisville, Pa.

Todd Rittenhouse Sr. of Norristown, Pa., who is a former sprint car driver himself and has over 42 years of racing experience, is the team's chief mechanic. Other crew members include Billy Gallagher, Joe Gallagher, John Haggenbottom, David Love, Dave Youtzy, Jason Sasnoski, Frank Caprio, Tony Matti and Jesse James. The cars are based at Rittenhouse's shop in Norristown.

Haggenbottom is delighted with his ride and is anxious to tackle the entire 2003 schedule. He won one URC feature in 2002 before being forced to sit out the rest of the season due to injuries he suffered on Aug. 11 at Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville, Pa. during a Sprint Car Racing Association (SCRA) non-winged heat that was part of a SCRA/URC doubleheader. Haggenbottom suffered two fractures of his clavicle, a concussion and a badly bruised back and neck that night when his sprinter flipped 13 times down the backstretch and through turn three.

"I'm all healed up and ready to go, and I'm very excited to be driving for Bill Gallagher and working with a veteran crew chief like Todd," said Haggenbottom, who works full-time as a mechanic for Bruce and Bev Thompson at Thompson Motor Service in Penndel, Pa.

"Mike is a dedicated team player, experienced winner and a proven champion," Gallagher said. "Our goal for the upcoming season is simple: win the URC championship."

In addition to doing just that in 2001, Haggenbottom was the New Jersey point champion that year and also the recipient of the club's Hard Charger award. He has five career URC feature victories. The 33-year-old father of four has been racing since he was 5, getting his start in quarter midgets. He entered his first small block modified race at the age of 17 and won a feature in that division that year at the famed Flemington Fair Speedway in Flemington, N.J. He entered his first sprint car race in 1988 but wasn't able to run full time until 1991, when he won one feature and finished seventh in points. Prior to his banner season in 2001 he was also the URC/Empire Super Sprints Challenge champion in 2000.

Ironically Gallagher got his start in the sport at the same age that Haggenbottom started, 5, and also by trying his hand at driving quarter midgets. Gallagher worked on various pit crews as he got older, and he's been a sponsor through his businesses since 1978. He bought his first sprint car in 1989. He won the Delaware State championship with Todd Rittenhouse Sr. in 1990 and Dave Ely in 2002, and he's been a feature-winning car owner thanks to both Todd Rittenhouse Sr.; Todd Rittenhouse Jr. and Ely.

In addition to the sponsors previously listed, Gallagher's team also receives assistance from the following companies: Mets Tool Sales, Kelly Industrial Supply, Filters Plus, B & B Oval Track Products, Top Flite Wings, Design 500, PPG Paints, FK Rod Ends, VRP Shocks, Maxim Chassis, Sanders Engineering, Hanks Performance, PhillyRacing.com, ATL Fuel Cells and Outlaw Brake Products.

For more information see www.MikeHaggenbottom.com and www.urcsprints.com. <pre> The 2003 URC schedule, which is subject to change, is as follows:

April 12        Bridgeport Speedway, Bridgeport, N.J.
April 19        Bridgeport Speedway, Bridgeport, N.J.
April 26        Delaware Int'l Speedway, Delmar, Del.
May 3           Orange County Fair Speedway, Middletown, N.Y.
May 4           Grandview Speedway Thunder, URC/ESS Challenge, Bechtelsville, Pa.
May 10          New Egypt Speedway, New Egypt, New Jersey
May 17          Selinsgrove Speedway, Selinsgrove, Pa.
May 23          Penn Can Speedway, Susquehanna, Pa.
May 24          Fonda Speedway, Fonda, N.Y.
May 30          Big Diamond Raceway, Minersville, Pa.
May 31          Delaware Int'l Speedway, Delmar, Del.
June 7          Grandview Speedway, Bechtelsville, Pa.
June 14         Lincoln Speedway, New Oxford, Pa.
June 21         Bridgeport Speedway, Bridgeport, N.J.
June 28         Delaware Int'l Speedway, Delmar, Del.
July 5          Mercer Challenge, Mercer Raceway Park, Mercer, Pa.
July 12         Bridgeport Speedway, Bridgeport, N.J.
July 18         Big Diamond Raceway, Minersville, Pa.
July 19         Delaware Int'l Speedway, Delmar, Del.
July 25         Autodrome Granby, Granby, Quebec
July 26         Drummond Speedway, Drummondville, Quebec
Aug. 2          Delaware Int'l Speedway, Delmar, Del.
Aug. 9          Tournament of Champions, Knoxville Raceway, Knoxville, Iowa
Aug. 10         Tournament of Champions, Knoxville Raceway, Knoxville, Iowa
Aug. 15         Williams Grove Speedway, Mechanicsburg, Pa.
Aug. 16         New Egypt Speedway, New Egypt, N.J.
Aug. 23         Bridgeport Speedway, Bridgeport, N.J.
Aug. 30         Delaware Int'l Speedway, Delmar, Del.
Aug. 31         Grandview Thunder, Bechtelsville, Pa.
Sept. 5         Bully Hill Nationals, Black Rock Speedway, Dundee, N.Y.
Sept. 6         Bully Hill Nationals, Black Rock Speedway, Dundee, N.Y.
Sept. 13        Bridgeport Speedway, Bridgeport, N.J.
Sept. 20        Delaware Int'l Speedway, Delmar, Del.
Sept. 27        Bridgeport Speedway, Bridgeport, N.J.
Oct. 11         URC/ESS Challenge, Rolling Wheels Raceway Park, Elbridge, N.Y.
Oct. 18         Grandview Thunder, Bechtelsville, Pa.

-mh/lm-

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers David Love , Jesse James
Teams Williams