So who really goes to a Lucas Oil Late Model Series race for the scenery? Well, to be quite honest you should!
The likes of Jimmy Owens, John Blankenship, Earl Pearson Jr and the rest of the Lucas boys will be invading the area Saturday night at Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex to take on some pretty stout local competition, more on that later.
But first, a little about the place....
Built in the late 1990's, "the Knob" is situated on top of a substantial hill between Uniontown, PA an the Maryland border on US highway 40. And the view is simply fantastic. In 360 degrees you can see some picturesque scenery. The facility almost looks as if it was airbrushed into the hillside. It's a steep place, be prepared to go up and down but if you'd rather just stay in the car, the park and watch area offer great views of the action.
The drive up for most is impressive too. If you have the time to travel out early and you're a history buff, be sure to check out Fort Necessity as you climb the passes on US 40. By the way for those going home towards Uniontown, the drive down the mountain is as good as some roller coasters. There's also quite a bit to do near Nemacolin Woodlands Resort just a few minutes ahead of the track approaching from the north west. If you want make a real weekend out of it and you've got some cash to burn, it'd make a great weekend getaway.
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort
Once you get closer you'll discover that many of the buildings are all painted red with green roofs and almost resemble log cabins. The same goes for the track's buildings too, even down to the concession stand. There's a children's play area and a go kart track on site too. And for those that love to camp, it's a bit chilly this weekend so be prepared. But if you love the sight, sound and smell of a campfire after watching a full night of racing, it's recommended.
Oh, about that race this Saturday...
When: Saturday April 26; Hot Laps at 6:45, Racing at 7:15 or thereabouts
Tickets: $32 for grandstands; $45 for pits; $25 for park and watch (first come first served)
Also on the Card: RUSH Late Models and Street Stocks
Weather: As of now, it looks good, but check @RacewayWeather on Twitter or click Raceday Weather To stay up to date.
So what we have here is actually a good chance for some local/regional drivers to earn a nice payday. There'll be a strong contingent of competition for the Lucas tour regulars to face including Gregg Satterlee, Dan Stone, Kenny Pettyjohn, Austin Hubbard, and Jamie Lathroum. Although it's a standard $10,000 to win purse, there's a little added incentive this week as a bonus of an additional $1,000 will be awarded.
From lucasdirt.com "Promoters Ernie Davis and Rick Jones have also added a $1000 bonus for this weekend’s events. The highest finishing driver in the LOLMDS event at Hagerstown Speedway that participates in both LOLMDS events this weekend and has competed at least twice at either Hagerstown Speedway or Roaring Knob Motorsports Complex will earn an additional $1000 cash."
The track itself is unique. It's a 3/8 mile clay surface with an uphill front stretch and a downhill back stretch. And while turns 1 and 2 offer a wide entry as you build momentum, turns 3 and 4 are just a bit tighter as you carry that force downhill.
Past winners include Scott Bloomquist, twice, and most recently Jimmy Owens. Reigning Lucas Oil Series champion Jimmy Owens currently finds himself in 5th place in the early season standings and might be primed to break out of a mini slump by his standards.
However, Dan Stone has been impressive in competition at the Knob before, setting the quick time in 2011, and Lathroum has taken down some stacked fields there in 3 State Flyers action and is more than capable of dealing with the top Lucas entries.
Here's what we have for expected drivers so far. (not a guarantee of appearance) We'd expect a good field of possibly 35-40 cars or more
Lucas Oil Drivers;
Earl Pearson Jr
Eddie Carrier Jr
Scott Bloomquist *yes we know he may or may not chase the whole thing
Dennis Erb Jr
Top Regional/True Outlaw Competition:Gregg Satterlee
So there you have it, get to the Knob this Saturday and make a day of it! You'll be glad you did.
Bold Predictions:1. Big Brother Dan Stone winds up on the podium
2. Don ONeal will not bend any steel this weekend as he's kept his nose clean so far in 2014
3. Scott Bloomquist continues his strong season with a win
4. DARKHORSE: Kenny Pettyjohn, and if he wins, here's a good bet a nice chunk goes back to the wounded warrior project!