MECHANICSBURG, Pa. -- The 49th annual National Open for sprint cars has been rescheduled for Friday, October 7th with qualifying set to begin at 7:30.
The race, which was rained out on Saturday, will be sanctioned by the World of Outlaws and the winner will earn $50,000.
The World of Outlaws race at Williams Grove this past Friday drew an impressive field of 53 cars, which represents the highest car count of the year at the historic Mechanicsburg half-mile -- and even more are expected to enter this week’s National Open.
World of Outlaws champion Jason Meyers will enter Friday night’s event as a heavy favorite based on his performances at Williams Grove this season. Meyers, 32, of Clovis, California, had been trying for ten years to win a race at the Grove and he finally got it done in July with a $20,000 score in the Summer Nationals finale. He backed up that performance with a wire-to-wire victory last Friday night and served notice that he is the man to beat for this week’s $50,000 prize.
Former Williams Grove champions Greg Hodnett and Fred Rahmer chased Meyers across the line on Friday and should be in contention again this week. Hodnett won the 2009 National Open. Rahmer, who is the speedway’s career win leader, has never won this event. The eight-time track champion would certainly like to make Pennsylvania’s richest and most prestigious sprint car race his 86th victory at Williams Grove.
Other drivers who could be in the hunt this week include Joey Saldana, Sammy Swindell, Steve Kinser, Donny Schatz, Lance Dewease and Daryn Pittman.
Saldana is coming off two recent WoO victories after missing much of the season with serious injuries. He finished fourth last Friday. Swindell won last year’s National Open. Schatz and Kinser are 4-time winners. Dewease is a three-time National winner and is the current point leader at Williams Grove. Pittman owns four victories at the speedway this season including one in World of Outlaws competition and set fast time last Friday.
There will be no 358-sprint racing on October 7. The 358s will return along with the sprint cars on October 14. The 358 feature rained out on September 4 will be added to the October 14 program.
Information used in this story was provided by Williams Grove Speedway. Video used in this report is courtesy of www.SportsPlusVideo.com and Lynn Schaeffer Productions.