Jennerstown Speedway is not afraid to push the limits and try something new from year to year.
The speedway became NASCAR sanctioned again, prior to the start of the 2022 racing season. General Manager Bill Hribar and company created a sixth division of racing a year ago, which is already having great success. They have packed a tremendous six-division racing program in every Saturday night, leaving fans on the edge of their seats.
This weekend, the speedway will crank it up another notch with a two-night racing spectacle which has been coined “Double Down Weekend.”
Jennerstown Speedway will host six-division racing both Saturday and Sunday. The Katelyn Rose Band will perform after racing on Saturday, with a fireworks show slated for Sunday after the completion of the weekly program. It is just a part of Jennerstown Speedway pushing the envelope to show why it is one of the best tracks in the country.
“For quite some time we wanted to explore a Sunday race,” said Hribar. “We’ve never done one with our local drivers. We wanted to see how it would be received by the fans, and we thought the holiday weekend would be the best opportunity because drivers could still travel home Monday if they need to.
“When we decided on July 3, I said, ‘Let’s do two nights. Let’s run two complete nights of racing.”
Becoming NASCAR sanctioned again has allowed local drivers to collect regional points for those finishing in the top 14 each week. By racing two nights, Jennerstown Speedway drivers gain an extra race which will allow them to earn more points in the standings.
The season has been memorable already with first-time winners finding Victory Lane, thrilling late-race passes for victories and special events held. Hribar is trying to build on a hot start to the racing season with a more relaxed racing experience on Double Down Weekend.
“A lot of drivers are going to be sticking around all weekend, whether they are camping or hanging out,” Hribar said. “I think fans are going to see a laid back atmosphere at the track this weekend. That is what we are going for. I also think a lot of fans will be camping at the speedway this weekend as well.
“This weekend is not going to be all business and racing, but fans will see some comradery as well. The racing community is a tight-knit group and it can be extremely competitive, but guys also like to have a good time as well. “
The One Stop Auto Sales Pro Stock division is the newest division to Jennerstown. Last year, teen sensation Will Hemminger stole the show and captured the inaugural points championship in the division.
This season, six different drivers have found Victory Lane. Kyle Burkholder is the only multi-time winner this year with two victories.
“I think the Pro Stock division is stealing the show right now,” Hribar said. “` These men and women are just incredible to watch. It is extremely competitive. You cannot predict a winner before the race because eight or nine cars believe they can win. It has been great. They are rubbing fenders and not even bringing out cautions . They keep racing. Hats off to that division. “
In the Somerset Trust Fast N ‘Furious 4’s, Johnathan Haburcsak earned his first career victory a week ago at Jennerstown. He leads the Northeast Regional season-long points race, despite having only one victory.
Teammates Samantha Osborn and Mike Sweeney both claimed victories two weeks ago. It was Osborn’s first at Jennerstown while Sweeney found Victory Lane for the second time this season.
A trio of veteran drivers each have three wins this season in their respective divisions. Barry Awtey, the winningest driver at Jennerstown Speedway, leads the Martella’s Pharmacies Late Model division. Stephen Singo has three wins to lead the Farmer’s Union Co-Op Chargers division while John Fama paces the field in the Stoystown Auto Wreckers Modified division.
The largest lead in any division is held by Greg Burbidge in the Ron’s Collision Center Street Stock division. He holds a 52-point advantage over Harold Meyers.
“All of the racing has been extremely competitive,” Hribar said. “There is a lot of feel-good stories at Jennerstown Speedway.”
The grandstands open at 4 pm both Saturday and Sunday. Hot laps will be held from 4 to 5:10 pm Opening ceremonies are set for 5:50 with heat races to begin at 6 pm and features to follow.
Adam Ripple is the Daily American sports editor. He can be reached at 814-444-5926. Follow him on Twitter @ARipple_DAsport. Follow Daily American Sports on Facebook and @dailyamericanmedia on Instagram.