- The Enterprise
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National, local stock car drivers striving at Potomac Speedway, track prepares for URC Sprints
By AJ MASONStaff writer
Usually on Friday nights in the summer at Potomac Speedway in Budds Creek, friends and family enjoy the sport of stock car racing.
But tonight, many will get to see that and more as the United Racing Company Rislone Sprint Series will make a stop at Potomac and will feature many drivers from all over the country.
It’s been about 15 years, according to Potomac Speedway general manager Denise Hollidge, since the URC sprints has made its way to Budds Creek, which will make the summer event even more exciting for fans in the area.
Pit gates open at 5 p.m., warm-ups are at 7:30 p.m. and racing action kicks off at 8 p.m.
Joining the URC’s drivers will be the classes of Coors Light Street Stocks, Quality Auto Body & Collision Hobbystocks, the B & B Welding Strictly Stocks and The Gunters Honey U-Cars.
While the national event kicks off tonight in prime fashion, Potomac Speedway has been in racing mode with its own traditional stock car national racing season in 2012.
Potomac Speedway, the high-banked 3/8th-mile clay oval, has drawn top drivers from Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia and can hold nearly 4,000 spectators in the grandstands plus an additional 1,000 plus in the pit area.
Drivers often race in classes that consist of Super Late Models, Limited Late Models, Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks, Modifieds, Strictly Stocks, and 4-cylinders.
Thus far in the Super Late Class, Great Mills resident Darryl Hills is in the top spot in the overall standings with 653 points and has one win on the season in the 35-lap event.
Second to Hills is Kenny Moreland of Waldorf with 642 points, and four-time defending Super Late Model champion David Williams of Mechanicsville is one point back of Moreland in third.
“I haven’t cracked the winners circle yet, but I’m still working on getting my first win of the season,” said Williams, who has finished in the top five in most of his races this season. “In our class anybody can win, we have a lot of drivers.”
Williams, who has been racing for 20 years, is looking for his fifth-straight Super Late championship.
“It’s all about getting in the right position,” he said. “We have a lot more races to go, so we will be what happens.”
Hollidge’s son Dale sits in the fourth spot with 618 points.
“This year the Super Late class is as a competitive as it has ever been,” Dale said. Hollidge is a Mechanicsville resident. “You have to stay on top of your game. Racing on the Potomac Speedway track means so much, I started nine years ago and have moved up in the ranks. This season I just want to make a better push.”
In the Limited Late class, Ben Bowie, the defending Limited champion from Brandywine, leads the overall field with two wins on the season in the 20-lap event. He has a total of 866 points, 201 points more than runner-up Dave Adams of Hollywood.
“We should be able to win another championship,” said Bowie, who has been racing since 1999. “My team does a great job of preparing my car and Potomac Speedway is a great track to race on.”
Kurt Zimmerman of Pasadena, who has been racing since 2008, is the current leader in the Street Stocks class with 1,603 points but is looking for his first win of the season.
Mike Latham from Chaptico, who is second to Zimmerman with 1,565 points overall, has the most wins on the season with four.
“I’m in the lead, but I’d rather get in the win column,” said Zimmerman, who races a 1986 Monte Carlo. “That means the most to me. This year hasn’t been a good year for me, but everything will fall in place.”
“After he wins a race, he won’t think of it as he did a good job,” Zimmerman’s wife Roseann said. “He will be riding home talking about how good his crew chief and crew members did such a great job and it made it possible for him to win. If he loses, he blames himself and no one else. I’ve been with him for 34 years and I love him more every day.”
On July 3, drivers will be back in action as Potomac Speedway and Ken Dixon Automotive will host the racing events.
The Super Late Models will run the Firecracker 35, paying $2,000 to win and $200 to start. Also on tap for the night’s events will be the Potomac/Winchester Street Stock Challenge, the Hobby Stocks will run two feature events and the Strictly Stocks will also be on hand.
The track will host a fireworks display after racing has concluded. The action begins at 7:30 p.m.