Column By: DERICK KRINER / RPW – GRANTVILLE, PA – Heading into the first race weekend of the 2023 season in Pennsylvania, several drivers are looking to carry momentum from strong season ending performances in 2022.
What can we expect to see out of some of the Posse’s top teams and emerging talent?
Our first driver of emphasis is Justin Whittall. A driver that, prior to 2022, had very little experience with running at the front of races and performing on a more consistent basis. The Mid Atlantic Transport 67 showed great speed at the end of the 2022 season in appearances with the All Star Circuit of Champions and the World of Outlaws.
Whittall even took home the Labor Day Classic make-up feature in October at Port Royal Speedway, which could be considered his first big win, next to his 1 career Williams Grove Speedway win. The young New Jersey driver will look to build on that confidence in 2023, and fans should not be surprised to see the 67 of Whittall in victory lane more frequently in years to come.
The 2023 campaign also brings the first full season for the newly formed Shuttlesworth-Stehman Racing 23, with Washington driver, Devon Borden. Borden having several seasons worth of experience in Central PA, now looks to make consistent performances and wins, a regular occurrence.
Showing speed on many occasions in 2022, Borden came up through the field several times at Williams Grove in the Heffner 27 car, and also showed impressively in multiple shows with the Mountain Ridge 23 at several other tracks. A win to open the 168th Juniata County Fair at Port Royal Speedway, showed to former 360 sprint car shoe, could wheel the 410 car to victory in Posse territory.
The team is expected to travel a little more in 2023 to bigger shows and this should give Borden more knowledge to grow his racing craft throughout the year. With an experienced crew with Jim and Chris Shuttlesworth on the wrenches, wins will be an expectation and not a dream for the team in 2023.
Look to see vast improvements and better results from the Borden camp as the season progresses.
As for top talent, drivers like Anthony Macri, Brent Marks, Danny Dietrich, and Lance Dewease all look to continue strong seasons. Keeping the young and rising talent at bay won’t be easy. All four of these drivers had great seasons and produced great results on a regular basis.
Storylines to follow will be if Macri can carry his past PA success to races off the porch, as he and the Macri Concrete 39M look to chase more Outlaw and High Limit shows in the 2023 season. But can they keep the PA success?
Brent Marks, also looks to continue to produce after being the richest driver in 2022. He and the Murray-Marks 19M look to chase the High Limit points championship, as well as carry an Eldora hot streak into the Eldora Million event in July.
Danny Dietrich will again travel more in 2023, but not completely in Gary Kauffman’s 48. Driving for Randy Gass for the High Limit series events this season presents new challenges for the Gettysburg driver. A new team will test the PA aces adaptability.
Finally, the Hall of Fame Dream Team, with Lance Dewease, look to show a little more consistent speed in 2023. A slow start to the 2022 season was turned around by another Williams Grove National Open Championship for the 69K and Dewease. The team will face a “new” challenge with heading back to the world-famous Eldora Speedway for the Eldora Million.
Teams and fans should not count out the blue car even if it hasn’t been to Ohio in quite some time.