The Tradition Continues Ohio Sprint Speedweek Features 8 Races Over 9 Days
Monday, 13 June 2011


ImageBy Brian Liskai

(Camargo, IL)
It can make or break a championship run. The heat, dirt, travel, late nights and early mornings can take its toll on man and machine. It’s an event like no other in sprint car racing. It’s the 29th Annual Ohio Sprint Speedweek featuring eight nights of racing over nine days across the Buckeye State.

The O’Reilly Auto Parts All Star Circuit of Champions will kick off the “must-see” speedweek on Friday, June 17 at Attica Raceway Park and concludes on Saturday, June 25 with a $10,000-to-win event at Fremont Speedway.

And, to make it even more exciting, NASCAR Sprint Cup super star Kasey Kahne will strap into a 1,400-pound, 900 horsepower sprint car and compete during the first six speedweek events. The Enumclaw, Washington native drives the Red Bull #4 Toyota in NASCAR and owns two teams that compete in the World of Outlaw sprint series – Joey Saldana and Cody Darrah – and co-owns another car that is driven by Paul McMahan. And, on occasion, fellow NASCAR driver Brad Sweet – who competes in the Camping World Truck Series – climbs behind the wheel of one of Kahne’s sprint cars during speedweek.

“Speedweek is just one of those events fans trek to from all over the Midwest. Last year we had six different winners over nine events and handed out over $240,000 throughout the week,” said Guy Webb, President/CEO of the All Stars. “Having Kasey competing at the first six shows will bring in new fans which will add to the excitement of speedweek. He is a fan favorite and usually sticks around after the races to sign autographs for several fans.”

ImageLast year, Connecticut native David Gravel celebrated his 18th birthday during speedweek with his first All Star win coming at Limaland. His consistent finishes throughout the week would bring him the 2010 Ohio Sprint Speedweek Championship.

Two-time and defending All Star champion Tim Shaffer would grab three wins during the week – including the $10,000 finale at Fremont – to finish just three points behind Gavel in the speedweek championship battle. Four time speedweek champion and current National and Ohio Region point leader Dale Blaney would finish third in the speedweek points, recording two victories during the week. In fact, Blaney has not finished out of the top five in speedweek points since 2002. Multi-time Attica and Fremont champion Byron Reed would take the win at Attica during speedweek with Rob Chaney (Hilltop) and Sweet (Waynesfield) taking the other victories during the week.

Last year, the average car counts over speedweek were in the mid-30s with Attica having the high car-count of the week at 42. There were 86 different drivers who competed during the nine nights of racing.

On a little bit of a sad note, the 2011 Ohio Sprint Speedweek will not see Mark Keegan in competition, marking the first time in the event’s 29-year history the Fremont, Ohio native hasn’t raced in at least one speedweek event. Keegan retired after the 2010 season.

The All Star tradition begins Friday, June 17 at Attica Raceway Park in Northern Ohio, then heads south to KC Raceway near Chillicothe on Saturday, June 18. Then its north to one of the original speedweek tracks – Millstream Speedway near Findlay – on Sunday, June 19. Monday finds the All Stars travelling down I-75 to “the Field,” Waynesfield Raceway Park, followed by the first of two stops at the historic Fremont Speedway on Tuesday, June 21. Wednesday, June 22 fines the All Stars at another of the traditional speedweek stops – Sharon Speedway near Hartford, Ohio. Everyone collects their breath on Thursday before finishing out speedweek on Friday, June 24 at Limaland Motorsports Park and the finale at Fremont Speedway on Saturday, June 25.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 15 June 2011 )