Kris Kurzweg is a regular at Maple Grove Raceway, taking part in the track's weekly series, the Sunoco Race Fuels Money Trail.
Saturday during Rich Christensen's Armdrop Live, Kurzweg outraced a contingent of locals to win the Group 4 class. Kurzweg took his 1979 Chevy Malibu to Victory Lane, and a $1,800 prize, by outracing fellow Maple Grover Brock Moshier in the final.
Armdrop Live, which uses the same format of Christensen's TV show ' 'Pinks' ' drew 200 racers to The Grove on a hot and humid day that saw no wet weather until the very end as rain washed out the day's Quick 8 class final.
The only difference between the shows is the only video recorded are from the fans' cameras. Ever the showman, Christensen used his trademark 'armdrop' style of starting each elimination race and then gave a play-by-play narration as the cars raced down the quartermile.
Since 'Pinks' style of racing requires the drivers to simply go as fast as they can with the first over the line winning the race, no times or speeds were officially recorded.
The cars that made eliminations faced the extra challenge of running 'hot laps,' meaning, they had to get right back to the starting line without getting time to cool down. That's certainly what Kurzweg (Honey Brook, Pa.) and Moshier (Lititz, Pa.) faced in the Group 4 final.
With raindrops starting to fall, Christensen called both cars to the line for an immediate start, even though Moshier's pit crew just popped the hood. Kurzweg just ran his semifinal against another Maple Grove regular ' Adamstown's Tina Orth ' and had barely returned to the start when Christensen had his arms raised.
However, the lack of downtime didn't affect either driver as Kurzweg crossed first just ahead of Moshier's '71 Vega.
Other drivers thriving in the hot lap environment included motorcycle driver Daniel Witmer, who took his '05 Kawasaki to the win Group 3, beating the '73 Nova driven by Eric Wesner (Bethel, Pa.) and winning $1,800.
Randy Mehefko (Zionsville, Pa.) took Group 2 and $1,800 by outrunning Doug Sylvester (Laurel, Del.).
A large cheering section of family and friends helped P.J. Thomas (Westville, N.J.) take the $500 prize in Group 1. He defeated Joe Grippo (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.) in the final. Grippo was perhaps the luckiest racer of the day, moving up the bracket when one competitor crashed into the retaining wall and two others fouled on the starting line. However, he couldn't outrun Thomas' '91 S-10 pickup.
John Fisher (Palmerton, Pa.) and Ron Riegel (Fairless Hills, Pa.) each took home $250 as the Quick 8 finalists.
(Note: no times or speeds recorded)
Group 1: P.J. Thomas, '91 S-10, def. Joe Grippo, '69 Fairlane.
Group 2: Randy Mehefko, '72 Demon, def. Doug Sylvester, '84 S-10.
Group 3: Daniel Witmer, '05 Kawasaki, def. Eric Wesner, '73 Nova.
Group 4: Kris Kurzweg, '79 Malibu, def. Brock Moshier, '71 Vega.
Quick 8: Final not run due to rain.