BECHTELSVILLE, PA?~ One way or another Craig Whitmoyer was planning to race at Grandview Speedway in 2012. When it was announced that Sportsman stock cars would be a weekly attraction, along with NASCAR 358 Modifieds and Late Models, Whitmoyer was ecstatic.
The first tripleheader show of the 2012 season, kicking off the 50th anniversary season, takes place on Saturday, April 7th at 7 p.m. A free-to-the-public practice session is set for Saturday, March 31st at noon and is open to all divisions of competition.
?My plan was to race 358 Modifieds at Grandview and that would have been quite expensive,? said the Hamburg, PA racer. ?Now that they are running Sportsman I can race there weekly and it will cost me a lot less money.?
Whitmoyer is one of the top talents in Sportsman racing with a total of five wins in 2011 with one coming in a special midweek event as part of the Thunder on the Hill Series at Grandview.
?Now I will have the opportunity to gain some much needed experience at Grandview while racing the Sportsman and then switch to the 358 Modifieds in 2013,? said the 36 year old married father of three (two boys and a girl). ?I have a lot of Modified equipment ready but this will allow me to build up more equipment and be ready for the Modified effort next season.?
Whitmoyer, who lost a hand in a work related accident when he was 17, has always liked Grandview and has enjoyed racing there a few times over the years.
?I think it is a good idea to have Sportsman at Grandview,? Whitmoyer commented. ?I just hope they keep a close eye on the beating and banging on the track and keep it under control.
?None of us can really afford to do it (racing) and we seem to lose our minds when it comes to spending to do it. Less beating and banging on the track would make for better racing and more affordable racing.?
Whitmoyer pretty much operates his racing team out of his own pocket. He is employed as an operations manager for Green Acres Outdoor Living with locations in Whitehall and Easton. He figures that it will cost him $300 a week to race the Sportsman and is hoping that prize money will offset the expenses but things don?t always work out that way in auto racing.
Sponsorship support comes from friends and relatives who have businesses such as Engle?s Frame & Body in Ephrata, Roadrunner Race Fuels in Mohnton, Premium Mechanical in Sinking Springs, Dave Dissinger?s Oak Hill Farms, Hoffman Speed Supply in New Tripoli, Shiley Fabrications and Snyder?s Web Design.
Whitmoyer will be fielding a 2007 Bicknell racer with power coming from a Morgantini Race Engine. He has a few good people to work on his race car, all volunteers, including Matt Strunk (not related to Jeff Strunk), Jake Warnich, Kody Sites, brother Brandon and his dad Mike.
His plan at present is to start out the season running Sportsman at Grandview and at Big Diamond Speedway on Friday nights. He wants to switch over later in the season to racing a 358 Modified at Diamond.
Craig will also be spending time with his 8 year old son Devon who is quite an accomplished PeeWee Kart racer at Shellhammer?s Speedway. He had eight wins in the 2011 season.
Whitmoyer will be one of the top talents to watch in the Saturday night Sportsman racing action at Grandview Speedway. The list of racers planning to be part of the Sportsman competition continues to grow as the season moves closer.
Racers planning to be part of the Sportsman action, and have not done so already, are asked to be in touch with Tina Rogers at TMMO327@DEJAZZD.COM with car number, home town, e-mail address and transponder number. This will make opening day run a lot smoother.
Again in 2012 Jeff Strunk will be shooting for another title in the NASCAR 358 Modifieds, his 10th, and Chuck Schutz will be shooting for