J&J teams shine in sprint car racing's biggest week. McKENZIE, TN - Throughout the year, sprint car teams look to the week of the Knoxville Nationals to be at their best. Several J&J teams had great showings during the past nine days including...
J&J teams shine in sprint car racing's biggest week.
McKENZIE, TN - Throughout the year, sprint car teams look to the week of the Knoxville Nationals to be at their best. Several J&J teams had great showings during the past nine days including Donny Schatz, who won the Historical Big One and finished second in the Knoxville Nationals. Daryn Pittman, Lance Dewease, Ed Lynch, Jr., Fred Rahmer, Ricky Logan, Darren Stewart, and Manny Rockhold were all J&J teams competing sprint car racing's showcase event. While many racers were in Iowa racing others remained at their regular tracks and continued to run up front including Keith Kauffman and Mike Kekich.
"We're really proud of all our teams," said Jack Elam, President of J&J Auto Racing. "This is the biggest week of the season and for our teams to do as well as they did makes me awful proud. Some teams used brand new cars and others went with ones that they've been running for quite some time. I'm really happy to be working with all of them.
J&J Teams Recap from last week:
Front Row Challenge at Oskaloosa, IA - J&J had three of the top four finishers in the Front Row Challenge. Fred Rahmer finished second driving the Joe Harz Racing #88h J&J. Daryn Pittman, who took the challenge of giving up his third place starting position and moved to the rear of the field for a chance at an extra $50,000, roared through the field and finished third in the Sher-Don Motorsports #21 J&J just ahead of Lance Dewease in the Al Hamilton #77 J&J.
Knoxville Nationals - Daryn Pittman, Lance Dewease, Ed Lynch. Jr., Fred Rahmer and Skip Jackson carried the torch for J&J in the opener of the 42nd annual Mopar Parts Knoxville Nationals. Pittman, qualified second in the #21 J&J, finished the night as the second highest point receiver after finishing sixth in the feature event. Dewease started on the pole in the #77 J&J and put on late-race charge to catch Steve Kinser and Joey Saldana, but ended up finishing third. Lynch Jr., who came into the race still fresh with his Silver Cup victory in mind, qualified well and ended the evening with the eighth most points. Rahmer finished the feature event 11th while two-time Knoxville Raceway track champion, Skip Jackson, came home 15th in the John Robinson #21 J&J.
Thursday nights program included Donny Schatz in the ParkerStore #15 J&J and Ricky Logan in Mike & Kathy Hulbert's #3s J&J. Schatz qualified ninth, finished fourth in his heat race, and won the 25-lap feature event in thrilling style. He led the race early, but then dropped to third only to return to the top spot and claim his second consecutive preliminary feature win in the Nationals using a brand new J&J car. Logan, who debuted his new J&J on August 2, had an impressive run in the feature finishing second. Schatz ended up being ninth overall in the point standings following the first two nights.
In Friday's program, Schatz again was the headliner for J&J as he finished third in the "A" Scramble and won the Kele World Challenge from 14th starting position and making his winning move in the final corner driving the #15 ParkerStore J&J. In the World Challenge, Skip Jackson finished 10th and Daryn Pittman finishes 12th. Ricky Logan finished third in the "B" Scramble.
Saturday's Mopar Parts Knoxville Nationals provided a great stage for the J&J teams. In the "B" Feature, Ricky Logan finished second, while Skip Jackson ran 11th and Fred Rahmer finished 12. In the "A" Feature, Donny Schatz raced from seventh to second and came up .336 seconds sort of winning the Nationals. Daryn Pittman finished 12th, Lance Dewease finished 14th, Logan came home 22nd and Ed Lynch Jr. finished 23rd.
Lady luck was on Keith Kauffman's side Saturday night August 10 at the Port Royal Speedway. Kauffman inherited the lead with two laps left and went on to win the Aumiller's Insurance Sprint Car feature event in front of a large crowd. It was Kauffman's seventh win of the season at the Juniata County oval aboard the Middleswarth Potato Chips no. 7 J&J and he was followed closely by his teammate, Todd Hestor in the #7m J&J.
Mike Kekich won the feature event at Sharon Speedway on Saturday after finishing the race in second place. Kekich, who drove his #5k J&J, was handed the victory once post-race inspections found the winner to be 22 pounds light.
The sprint cars returned to the Clinton County Speedway for the Friday evening event which was the second race held this week in conjunction the annual Clinton County Fair in Lock Haven, PA. Selinsgrove's Blane Heimbach earned his second victory on the 1/3 mile oval as he topped the field of 16 sprinters. Heimbach started his Middleswarth Bar-B-Q Chips sponsored J&J mount sixth and took the lead by lap nine.
Memphis racer Mike Ward was able to hold off all challengers to earn the win in Benton, MO. Ward drove his #88 J&J to victory in the KFVS 12 Winged Sprint car feature at Auto Tire & Parts Raceway. Ward finished ahead of Lee Dunn, who drove Jim Hall's J&J to the runnerup position giving J&J a one-two finish.
Lewis JenkinsJr., the sprint car feature in his #1 J&J at I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, AR. Robert Jenkins was also in a J&J and ran most of the race in second before slipping to fourth in the final rundown.
Jerry Ski won the Midwest Sprintcar Association Feature at Hales Corners Speedway on August driving his #00 J&J while Jereme Hedrick raced from 17th to fifth also in a J&J sprinter.
Ed Lynch Jr. of Apollo, Pa., captured his third Super Sprint feature win of the season at Tri-City after an exciting duel with Daryl Stimeling in the 20-lap event. Lynch traveled over 13 hours from the Knoxville Nationals in Iowa and ended the win streak of point leader Rod George at four races. "We tinkered with the car at Knoxville, and we took ourselves out of contention in the big race, so we wanted to check out the car tonight," said Lynch while beside his Indy Recycling J&J No. 2L. "We'll sleep well after this one. Daryl ran a great race and the track was fantastic despite all this hot weather and the dry conditions we've been having."