Mechanicsburg – Williams Grove Speedway will present the 59th annual Champion Racing Oil National Open for World of Outlaws sprint cars coming up this Friday and Saturday, October 1 and 2, at 7:30 pm each night.
The fantastic Champion Racing Oil National Open weekend will wrap up the 2021 season at Williams Grove Speedway with Saturday night’s 40-lap main event paying $75,000 to win.
Friday’s 25-lap National Open Preliminary will pay $10,000 to the winner.
The prestigious Williams Grove Speedway Champion Racing Oil National Open has long been revered as the biggest sprint car show in the East and as one of the big three across the nation, oft mentioned to measure up in stature with the Knoxville Nationals and Kings Royal.
Anyone who is anyone in sprint car racing in the United States will be at Williams Grove this week for the two-day affair. The races will offer pit-bursting car counts laden with talent and desire.
The race will bring out the cream of the sprint car crop as contenders from near and far compete for the prestige, the title and the cash that flows through the Open.
But only a few can be counted as pre-race favorites.
California’s Brad Sweet is the leader of the World of Outlaws point standings with 16 series wins to date this season but again he will enter the weekend as somewhat of an underdog having yet to master the wily Grove oval in his career. He struggles at Williams Grove. Always has. Still, as the leader of the pack, he is a contender.
Connecticut’s David Gravel, second in series points, is a two-time National Open champion with titles in 2014 and 2017. Pretty simply put, he knows how to get around Williams Grove in all kinds of weather! And it’s highly likely he’s prepared to snag a third title on Saturday, especially with the confidence and momentum behind him coming from his 10th win of the season on Saturday night at Lernerville Speedway. He is the defending preliminary night winner.
Third in points as the Open dawns is Carson Macedo, a Californian at the helm of the Jason Johnson racing No. 41. Macedo too knows how to get around the Grove and has won there. But the 40-lap distance will test the ability and Grove know-how of this relative newcomer to the Grove and outlaws scene.
And lurking fourth in points coming into the National Open is none other than the winningest driver in the 58-year history of the event, Donny Schatz of North Dakota. Schatz is the defending $75,000 champion and that win was his unprecedented sixth in the race after taking his first in 2000. This time of the season is when Schatz and his program shines and his star usually burns bright at Williams Grove. He will be there with Gravel to compete for a W on Saturday.
Coming from Williams Grove, Lance Dewease will enter the weekend with the good fortune to be able to focus solely on winning the event(s) and that means the world to his approach. He has already clinched the 2021 track title that he wanted. His famed mechanic Davey Brown owns eight career National Open victories and his car owner counts one as a driver/owner and another as an owner for Dewease in 2018. No one has been better at Williams Grove this year than the now seven-time track champion and he is by far the front-runner for a win by a member of the Pennsylvania Posse.
Third in Grove points currently, Anthony Macri from nearby Dillsburg has gotten hot of late at Williams Grove, scoring his first two career 410-sprint mains at the track since August after leading dozens of laps before that only to be denied late. And the kid does know how to run on and win on a slickening track as he’s proven elsewhere the last few seasons. And the Open track will be slickening for sure. Plus, he’s fresh off of another $20,000 win at Selinsgrove on Saturday give him 11 overall on the year and again, that breeds momentum and confidence.
Danny Dietrich has been hot and cold this season and is still trying to win one at the Grove this year as he sits fourth in oval points. He’s won everywhere else in 2021 with six overall scores and he’s won the Open before in 2016. He can adapt to a changing surface and recently seems to have rediscovered his mo-jo, so an Open win is within reality, if he can put a whole night together starting in time trials.
The wild cards for wins this year: Brent Marks and Kyle Larson. Marks will compete. But will Larson?
Marks has quite simply been a threat to win ever since leaving the outlaws trail very early this season. He came home, he regrouped, he hit the track running to wins - many wins in fact, now numbering 11, including a score in the World of Outlaws Summer Nationals at Williams Grove in July. Marks won the Open in 2019. And he could very easily romp to another this week. He has the speed, the desire and something to prove.
For his part, Larson would surely love to score the tri-fecta this year aboard Paul Silva’s No. 57. He got the Kings Royal in July and the Knoxville Nationals in August. But will the current NASCAR point leader be able to make it happen, if he can find the time? If he enters, there’s a better than 75% chance you can throw out every other race prediction with the bathwater.
And don’t forget about Oklahoma’s Daryn Pittman. He’s finished second in five National Opens since 2005. His Kevin Swindell SpeedLab entry is fully capable of finally getting the job done this year. Besides, sooner or later this sprint car nice guy who spent may seasons as a Grove regular has gotta’ break through! Call it the law of averages….
Adult general admission for October 1 is set at $35 with youth ages 13 – 20 priced at $15. Adult admission for October 2 is $40 with youth priced at $20.
Kids ages 12 and under are always admitted for FREE at Williams Grove Speedway.