Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sprint Car Drivers Race to Find Families

Sprint Car Drivers Race to Find Families
for Adoptive Youths

WILLIAMS GROVE—Diakon Adoption and Foster Care, along with public and private adoption providers, are finalizing plans for an original event that teams children searching for families with the racing community—Adoption Night at Williams Grove Speedway on Friday, Aug. 1.
56 drivers for 410 and 358 teams will show their support for adoption by displaying photos of 81 children searching for a permanent family. The photos will be displayed on a temporary vinyl wing covering on the cars’ top right wing panels. Forty of the featured youths will attend the race to meet the driver displaying their photo and cheer on their respective drivers.

“Not only is this a wonderful opportunity to educate racing fans about the great kids who are searching for a family, it is an evening of fun for these kids,” says Elisa Esh, Diakon Adoption and Foster Care. “They have the opportunity to attend the race but to also meet other youths searching for a family. It helps them to realize that they are not alone.”

In addition, participating adoption agencies will host an adoption fair outside the pit entrance speedway gates to further enhance their efforts to promote adoption awareness. The fair will provide opportunities for racing fans to learn about adoption, meet children searching for a family, as well as help families already in the adoption process to meet and talk with other adoptive parents as well as adoption professionals.

This is the fifth year for Adoption Night at Williams Grove Speedway. Last year’s Adoption Night was a huge success and twenty-two children were matched with adoptive families.
As always, sponsors make this event possible, especially in difficult economic times.

“The economy has greatly affected our ability to fund raise to the level where this event has enjoyed in the past. We have had many long-standing sponsors step up to help us this year and we are most grateful for their support; however, we were still falling short in terms of funding,” says Esh. “Mr. Darrah, Cody and crew chief, Lee Stauffer, have always been supportive of this event and when I reached out to them for help to assure that our event is a success again this year, they were more than willing.”

Adoption Night’s primary sponsors include J & K Salvage and Darrah Motorsports. Other sponsors include The Kevin Gobrecht Memorial Foundation, C&S Landscaping, Inc., Don Ott Racing Engines, Kinard Trucking, Kulp Family, National Open Chili Cook-Off, Wings Unlimited, Winters Performance Products, Alvin R. Beam, Hoosier Tires, J&S Fabrication, Glenn and Nancy Rudisill, Hershey Chocolate, Members 1st Credit Union, and Mr. and Mrs. Roger Hall.

For racing fans, the first 300 children entering the speedway will receive a coupon for a free Frosty from Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers and the first 300 fans will receive a coupon for one game of bowling at ABC West Bowling Lanes, Mechanicsburg.

Adoption Night at Williams Grove is sponsored by Diakon Adoption and Foster Care in collaboration with Dauphin and Montgomery County Children and Youth agencies, Bethanna, Jewish Family Services/Adoption links, NHS Services, Families United Network, and Project STAR of Pittsburgh.

Currently more than 3,400 special needs children wait to be adopted in Pennsylvania. Of those, more than 1,300 children with a goal of adoption do not have a permanent family identified. The majority of the children range in ages from 10 – 18. Most have special needs, special needs vary and can be medical, emotional or physical disabilities. Single or two-parent families can adopt, regardless of race or age. If you think you can open your heart and your home to a child in need or just want more information, please contact Elisa Esh, Diakon Adoption and Foster Care, at 800-723-7038 or visit or .

Sunday, July 27, 2008


With a record standing-room-only crowd on hand to witness the first ever 410 sprint race in track history, Titusville, PA’s Gale Ruth Jr. took the lead from Eric Williams on Lap 12 to put his name in the record books as the first sprint winner. Bellwood, PA’s Dwayne Tanneyhill took home his first Late Model feature win of the season, as did Brent Fields in Enduro action. Brookville, PA’s Rusty Martz wins another Super Stock main in front of the packed stands. Andy and Sherry Watt of Race 1 Speedway provided beautiful trophies for all feature winners.
“It was tough, but I got it done. It worked out better following Eric (Williams) for a few laps” stated Gale Ruth Jr next to his #5X sprint in Horizon Homes Victory Lane after his feature win. “I love it here, I wish we could run here weekly. It’s a real nice track. Thanks to my sponsors RK Virgile Scrap, F5 Designs, my family, my girlfriend, they all help a lot.” continued Ruth.

Ruth drew the #1 spot in the fan redraw, but outside pole sitter Eric Williams took the lead at the drop of the green. With Ruth and 4th starter Bobby Howard in tow. Howard drove under Ruth for 2nd in turn 2, but Ruth fired back down the back stretch and reclaimed the spot in turn 3 while Williams started opening an advantage. Williams caught lapped traffic on lap 4 and Ruth began to close the gap between himself and the leader as Brian Steinman spun in front of the leaders. The field missed the sideways #24S, but the first yellow of the even slowed the blistering pace.

Williams had a great restart and took a big lead into turn 1. Ruth continued hounding the leader before getting loose in turn 2 on lap 6. Ruth regained control of his mount without losing a spot, but Howard was quickly on Ruth’s back bumper. Andy McKisson, making his first start on 2008 came from his 10th starting spot to take 4th from John Schyler on lap 9 as Williams was running his own race out front. 11th starter Craig Folmar was engaged in a battle for 7th with Daryl Stimeling as 12th starter Scott Lutz snuck past the pair for the spot on lap 10. Williams caught the back of the field again on lap 11 as Ruth reeled in the leader. Ruth drove under William’s #76 in turn 4 for the lead as the halfway flags were displayed, but a caution for Jeff Taylor erased the lap.

Williams lined up on point for the restart and lead into turn 1, but Ruth got a terrific run off the bottom of turn 2 and took the lead down the back stretch. Once in front, Ruth immediately began opening a lead on Williams and Howard, who began a battle for 2nd. Williams had his impressive run come to an end with a spin in turn 2 on lap 14 after his car appeared difficult to steer. Once his car was pointed in the right direction, Williams refired and tailed the field for the restart.
Ruth lead his first restart of the event and used it to his advantage by opening a big lead on Howard. McKisson was now 3rd and began pressuring Howard for the runner up spot as Schyler and Stimeling were 4th and 5th. 9th starting Jeremy Ohl began closing on Stimeling as the leader was shown 5 laps to go. McKisson went high in turn 2, allowing Schyler to take the 3rd spot still on lap 20. McKesson’s #0 began to slow down the back stretch before bringing out the final yellow with a flat and heading to the pits. While under caution, Williams’ car came to a halt in turn 2 with a broken front axle. McKisson returned under yellow, but Williams was done for the night.

When racing resumed, Ruth had another good restart and put distance between himself and Howard. Schyler and Stimeling were battling for 3rd as Ohl joined the fight with Folmar watching from 6th. Stimeling took 3rd on lap 21 as Ohl grabbed 4th, sending Schyler to 5th. As the two to go flags were displayed, Howard closed on Ruth and was a car length behind the leader in turn 2. Ruth powered down the back stretch and opened a slight lead heading to the white flag. Howard tried one last time to close on the leader on the last lap, but Ruth once again put more breathing room between himself and Howard’s #49 as the checkered flag was in the air. Ruth crossed the line first, followed by Howard, Stimeling, Ohl, and Schyler. Folmar, Lutz, 19th starter Troy Vaccaro, McKisson, and Bill Jones Jr completed the top 10. Howard, Lutz, and Williams picked up heat race wins over the 19 car field. The record crowd showed their appreciation to the sprints as the field did a 4 wide salute prior to the feature event.

Next on the Thunder Mountain schedule will be a regular show of steel block late models, super stocks, pure stocks, RWD 4 cylinders, and enduros on August 1. Also on the program will be the first mechanics races of the season. Crew members of Late Models and Super Stocks will get their shot to try the wheel of the race cars they turn wrenches on weekly. Gates open at 5:00 with racing commencing at 7:30. General admission will be $10 with pit passes $20. Family passes are available for 2 adults and up to 3 children ages 12-16 for $25. For the latest information, visit the track’s web site at

410 SPRINTS: (19 Cars)
1. 5X-GALE RUTH JR (Titusville, PA), 2. 49-Bobby Howard (Enola, PA), 3. 30-Daryl Stimeling (Lewistown, PA), 4. 5-Jeremy Ohl (Jersey Shore, PA), 5. 3T-John Schyler (Jamestown, NY), 6. 81-Craig Folmar (Phillipsburg, PA), 7. 33-Scott Lutz (Fredricksburg, PA), 8. 7T-Troy Vaccaro (Castalia, OH), 9. 0-Andy McKisson (Strattanville, PA), 10. 12J-Bill Jones Jr. (Irvona, PA), 11. 17-Mike Dehner (Clarion, PA), 12. 8K-Mike Kaminski (Ford City, PA), 13. 52-Jeff Weaver (Lock Haven, PA), 14. 5V-Vern Wasson (Jersey Shore, PA), 15. 1R-Gale Ruth Sr. (Pleasantville, PA), 16. 24S-Brian Steinman (Lucinda, PA), 17. 76-Eric Williams -DNF (Greenville, PA), 18. 17T-Jeff Taylor -DNF (Cherry Hill, NJ), 19. 71C-Jack Helget -DNF (Franklinville, NJ).
HEAT WINNERS: Howard, Lutz, Williams.