Williams Grove & All Stars To Stage Tommy Hinnershitz Memorial Spring Classic Friday

Story By: SHAWN BROUSE / WILLIAMS GROVE SPEEDWAY – MECHANICSBURG, PA – Williams Grove Speedway will present the annual Tommy Hinnershitz Memorial Spring Classic coming up this Friday, April 16 at 7:30 pm, sanctioned by the All Stars Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars.

The All Stars Circuit of Champions Sprints will be on hand to compete for a 30-lap, $6,000 top prize.

Adult general admission for the April 16 racing program is set at $25 with students ages 13-20 admitted for just $10.

Kids ages 12 and under are always admitted for FREE at Williams Grove Speedway.

Gates will open at 5:30 pm.

Sponsored by Hoseheads.com, the first 150 youth passing through the main frontstretch grandstand gate will receive a free chocolate Easter treat!

The season debut of the HJ Towing & Recovery 358 Sprints is also on the racing program including a 20-lap main event.

Tommy Hinnershitz, known as “The Flying Dutchman,” from Oley, Pennsylvania, holds the distinction of winning the first ever race held at historic Williams Grove Speedway back on May 21, 1939.

Williams Grove will honor his legacy with Friday’s Tommy Classic, pitting the All Stars travelers against the Pennsylvania Posse for the first time this season.

The All Stars vs Posse match-up will be the 41st such contest in Williams Grove history dating back to 1970 when Bobbie Adamson won the first ever All Stars show at the oval.

It took until August, 2019 for an All Stars warrior to finally break into Williams Grove victory lane at an All Stars event in the form of Aaron Reutzel.

Ironically, Reutzel has since gone on to win events twice more at the speedway, keeping all other comers at bay and cementing himself as the only true All Star to claim All Stars checkers at the historic speedway.

Kyle Larson, a true independent last season, is the only other non-posse driver in history to score a Grove All Stars victory and that came in the 2020 version of the Tommy Classic.

The All Stars invasion this week finds Indiana’s Justin Peck returning to the track as a circuit regular after already taking an unsanctioned win at the oval in March.

Peck went on to win the All Stars point season opener a few weeks later in Ohio.

Peck and a field of 11 committed All Stars should be pitside for the show including former Williams Grove regulars Brent Marks, Lucas Wolfe and Kyle Reinhardt.

Other invaders will be Tyler Courtney, Indianapolis, IN.; Ian Madsen, Des Moines, IA.; Cory Eliason, Visalia, CA.; and Hunter Schuerenberg, Sikeston, MO.

Friday’s Tommy Classic will be the first race in the 2021 Hoosier Diamond Series of races at the oval.

Hinnershitz Legacy Honored Friday At Williams Grove

This Friday’s All Stars sprint car show at Williams Grove Speedway is meant to honor its original winner. He was the first. He had one of the most recognizable names in motorsports history dating back to the 1930s.

On tap at Williams Grove on Friday will be the annual Tommy Hinnershitz Memorial Spring Classic, honoring the late, great racer from Oley that holds the distinction of winning the first ever race held at the brand new Williams Grove Speedway back on Sunday, May 21, 1939.

Hinnershitz won the race in what was called a “hard and heady” event to best the famed Joie Chitwood.
Hinnershitz’s death in 1999 left behind an auto-racing legacy worthy of note by any standards.

During his 30-year career spanning 1930-1960, “The Fying Dutchman,” as he was known, amassed seven AAA/USAC Eastern Big Car Championships, taking titles in 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1955, 1956 and in 1959.

He had garnered 103 total AAA/USAC feature wins with 19 taking place at Williams Grove.
Hinnershitz set 43 AAA track records during his tenure and would compete in three Indianapolis 500s.

At the time of his death, the 87-year old was ranked second behind Steve Kinser on the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame’s Top Sprint Car Drivers of All Time list.

Back in 1939, when Hinnershitz passed Chitwood for the lead in that maiden race at Williams Grove, the duel was billed as “one of the most thrilling bits of driving ever witnessed on a Pennsylvania speedway.”

It was said that when Hinnershitz passed Chitwood, “the Big Chief was met with acclaim from the crowd.”

And Williams Grove will bestow even more worthy acclaim in the Big Chief’s honor this Friday night.

Adult general admission for the April 16 racing program is set at $25 with students ages 13-20 admitted for just $10.

Kids ages 12 and under are always admitted for FREE at Williams Grove Speedway.

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