It began with the first-ever Media Day, giving everyone a glimpse at the renovated and reconfigured clay oval that is nestled in a corner of the Kutztown Fairgrounds. It continued with the first actual racing event on May 22, and now another piece of history will be written when the JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA returns from its three-week hiatus on Wednesday evening, July 10.
Not only will the speedway host its first PA 600 Speedweek event, but this will also be the very first time in the seven year history of the series, that the 600cc Micro-Sprints compete for Speedweek points and cash without wings bolted to the top of their rollcages.
While this season’s Kioti Tractors PA 600 Speedweek features three wingless programs (and two races with wings), the event at Action Track USA has the distinction of being the inaugural race on the tour to be run in non-wing fashion.
Joining the Pioneer Pole Building Wingless 600’s on the 10th of July will be the Sunoco USAC Championship SpeedSTR’s and the NAPA Auto Parts All Star Slingshots. Warm-ups begin at 6 p.m., with racing to follow immediately after the hot lap sessions. The 270cc Micro-Sprints will have the night off on Wednesday.
So far this season, the Wingless 600cc competition has been nothing short of sensational, with two and three-wide action common throughout the field and several oh-so-close finishes where the winner was not determined until he flashed under the checkered flag - and several times the margin of victory has been measured in inches, not in car-lengths.
With a guarantee of $1,000 going to the winner of the PA 600 Speedweek A-Main and a hefty purse paid to every driver who takes the green in the big race - along with all important Speedweek points, the enticement is there for outsiders to come in and challenge the large and talented group of wingless warriors who already call the Action Track USA their Wednesday night “home”.
Coplay’s Kyle Lick, a two-time winner at the JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA this season, has indicated his interest in obtaining the 2013 PA 600 Speedweek Championship, which is worth $1,000 to the driver who accumulates the most points on the five race, week-long tour.
Lick is certainly a proven commodity in wingless style, but he’s also run well in past Speedweek series with a wing atop his Micro-Sprint. Given his early season blasts around the top side of the progressively banked Kutztown oval, and those two victories, and Lick has to be considered a favorite when the Speedweek gauntlet of competition rolls into the fairgrounds across the street from Kutztown University.
Brian Carber, Pipersville, Pa., also has a pair of wingless triumphs at Action Track USA this year. Carber has proven to be quite adept behind the wheel, no matter if there’s a wing above his helmet or not. While his URC Sprint Car commitments may keep him from entering all of the 600 Speedweek programs, Carber will certainly be out to pick up the $1,000 offered to the winner in Kutztown.
Jeff Hartman, Flagtown, NJ, is a three-time track champion at the Berks County oval. And Hartman also knows what it feels like to be crowned as the PA 600 Speedweek Champion...he captured that honor in 2011. He mostly campaigns without a wing now, and in the most recent explosion of wheel-to-wheel competition at Action Track USA on June 19, Hartman gave up his normal inside groove and put on a rim-riding exhibition that carried him to a runner-up finish behind Lick.
Jeff’s brother, Jay Hartman, notched the Action Track triumph on May 29, and he’s run near the front of the pack in each of the six feature races completed to date. Jay is currently the northeast’s top winner in Micro-Sprints, with a total of six victories at area race tracks so far this season. He’s on a roll and ready to challenge, not just for the Action Track USA win, but for the overall Speedweek title as well.
PA 600 Speedweek regulars expected to visit Kutztown include Hyper Racing’s Mike Dicely, who has several series victories but no championship, and a two-time champion of the 600 Speedweek tour, Manheim’s Heath Hehnly. They will lead a stellar group of invaders to the JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA in an attempt to steal the loot and Speedweek points from the Action Track posse.
The Wingless 600’s will take part in a dual-heat race format, with a passing points system used to determine who moves on and who will be shuffled into a last-chance B-Main as drivers try to race their way into the Kioti Tractors PA 600 Speedweek A-Main.
The five-race series is comprised of events at Lanco’s Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway on July 6; the Greenwood Valley Action Track on July 7; Kutztown’s JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA on July 10; Linda’s Speedway on July 12; and Hamlin Speedway on July 13. The first two races will be contested with wings, the remaining three will take place in wingless fashion.
American Racer Tires and Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic are teaming up once again to provide the PA 600 Speedweek point fund. The overall champion of the five-race series will earn $1,000 from that point fund, and the top 15 in points will be paid.
The July 10 event will also award points toward the Pioneer Pole Buildings Wingless 600cc track championship.
Wingless 600cc drivers should take note: PA 600 Speedweek rules stipulate a certain right-rear tire be used; it can be either American Racer or Hoosier, but must be of a specific compound in order to be legal. Exact rules for the series can be viewed at www.pa600speedweek.com.
U6SA engine rules will be utilized for all PA 600 Speedweek events.
This will also be the final tune-up for the NAPA Auto Parts All Star Slingshots before the Kutztown Komet 100 on Wednesday, July 17. The All Star Slingers will battle in a 100-lap feature race on the 17th, the first of its kind in the modern era of auto racing at the Kutztown Fairgrounds.
Past Champions of PA 600 Speedweek:
2012: Shane Lewis
2011: Jeff Hartman
2010: Heath Hehnly
2009: (Tie) Heath Hehnly & Shane Lewis
2008: Brent Marks
2007: A.J. Bast
Current Top-Five in Points at the JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action Track USA:
Pioneer Pole Buildings Wingless 600cc Micro-Sprints:
1.Brian Carber...720; 2.Kyle Lick...640; 3.Jeff Hartman...585; 4.Jay Hartman...584; 5.James Morris...536.
Sunoco USAC Championship SpeedSTR’s:
1.Kenny Brightbill...665; 2.Billy Pauch Jr...660; 3.Rick Eckert...490; 4.Brandon Rahmer...485; 5.Paul Lotier Jr...430.
NAPA Auto Parts All Star Slingshots:
1.Brett Bieber...590; 2.Larry Raifsnider...574; 3.Danny Buccafusca...558; 4.Chris Kurtz...535; 5.(Tie) Cody Kline & Donny Hockman...495.
Winged 270cc Micro-Sprints:
1.Jarid Kunkle...630; 2.Ross Perchak...590; 3.Tommy Kunsman Jr...565; 4.Bobby Butler...520; 5.Pete Skias...400.