Story By: SHAWN BROUSE / WILLIAMS GROVE SPEEDWAY – MECHANICSBURG, PA – This Friday’s twin 20s for the All Stars Circuit of Champions Sprints at Williams Grove Speedway will honor late, great, promoter Jack Gunn.
The Jack Gunn Memorial twin 20-lap mains will each pay $4,000 to win with total purses for each feature worth over $20,000 each.
First run in 1983, the Gunn Memorial honors late Williams Grove promoter Jack Gunn, a native of Hancock, Maryland.
The 2022 event will be the 40th annual Jack Gunn Memorial and the winner’s list is impressive to say the least.
Bobby Allen was the first winner in 1983 with additional names on the win list like Frankie Kerr, Jason Johnson, Lance Dewease, Greg Hodnett, Fred Rahmer, Daryn Pittman, Keith Kauffman and many others.
However no driver has claimed more Gunn Memorials over the years than the now retired Don Kreitz Jr.
Jack Gunn was a Hall of Fame Promoter who heralded the speedway as promoter from 1967 until his untimely death from cancer at the age of 48 in 1980.
He began working at the track during the early 1960s as an announcer and honed his skill on the microphone while eventually relaying his talents into the oval’s captain.
It was during his tenure at the helm of Williams Grove Speedway that Gunn rose to prominence on the local and national scene and he took the facility with him.
During his career at Williams Grove, Gunn also promoted with much success at other area tracks.
Gunn’s mark on both Williams Grove and the region itself was to help raise sprint car racing to not only a weekly division but a premiere weekly headline division at that.
Gunn was feted nationally as 1979 Promoter of the Year.
While at the top of his game, he not only stood at the helm at both Williams Grove and Selinsgrove Speedways, but he was also doing the job at Hagerstown, (Maryland) and Penn National Speedways.
In his day, Jack Gunn was known as the most powerful promoter in the East.
And it is that reputation and skill that Williams Grove Speedway will honor yet again this week with the running of the All Stars Jack Gunn Memorial Twin 20s.
Gates will open at 5:30 pm.
Adult general admission is set at $25 with youth ages 13 – 20 admitted for just $10. Kids ages 12 and under are always admitted for FREE at Williams Grove Speedway.
Joe Harz Tribute Race Coming Up September 2nd; Match Race For 358s Also On Program
One of the most notable car owners in Williams Grove Speedway history will be honored at the track coming up on Friday night, September 2 when the oval presents the Hoosier Diamond Series Joe Harz Tribute Race for the 410 sprint cars.
The Harz Tribute Race for the Lawrence Chevrolet 410 sprint cars will pay $6,000 to the winner and time trials will be used to set the heat starting grids.
Also on the program will be the make-up Match Race for 358 sprint cars offering a total purse worth over $20,000.
Harz, owner of the famed yellow No. 88H sprint car for the better part of two decades spanning portions of the 1980s, 90s and 2000s, will be feted prior to the races with a meet and greet in the speedway infield beginning at 5:45 pm.
Interviews with former Harz drivers, mechanics and Harz himself will also be conducted between 5:45 and 6:45.
The interviews will be streamed live on Facebook via BeerHill Gang TV.
Racing action gets underway at 7:30 pm.
After fielding modifieds for several years, Harz launched into the sprint car world in 1984 with Meme Desantis of Temple wheeling the car.
After that drivers such as Kramer Williamson, Fred Rahmer, Richard Lupo, Kenny Adams, Sean Michael, Mike Wagner and Lance Dewease wheeled the car among a few others.
Harz recently turned age 75 and the Elmer, New Jersey native is still going strong, attending races throughout the season and across the nation.
At Williams Grove alone his cars copped 41 main events including victories in the National Open, Summer Nationals, season opener, Early Bird Championship and in the Mitch Smith Memorial.