There have been a few off season changes in the Sprint car ranks that should make for some excitement next season.
Brian Leppo was hired by Jesse Keen to pilot the Keen Motorsports No. 17 Sprint car next season in Central PA. The team will compete for the Williams Grove Speedway track title and pick and choose their Saturday night races depending on which track has the bigger show. Leppo has spent the last five seasons driving for car owner Floyd Swope, who will no longer own a Sprint car team. Swope will sponsor the Keen team.
Kevin Nouse will drive the C.C. Dietz Motorsports No. 14 Sprint car at Lincoln Speedway in 2012. The car was formerly driven by Doug Dodson, and Brent Marks drove it part of last season.
JJ Grasso will be a regular Saturday night competitor at Lincoln Speedway in 2012 aboard the John and Karen Pinter owned No. 92 sprinter. Grasso is a several-time URC champion and got seat time in the 410 car last season at Lincoln when the Pinter team lost drivers Justin Collett and Nouse.
The only ride not secured with a driver yet for 2012 is the John and Peewee Zemaitis owned Zemco sprinter that was vacated by Stevie Smith at the end of the season. Smith will be going on the World of Outlaws tour in a team car with Outlaw champion. However, Smith’s car will be owned by Chad and Jenn Clemens, the owners for Fred Rahmer’s team as well. The Zemco team has a poll on its Web sites asking fans for their votes on a driver. I’m not sure I’d go with a fan vote for my Sprint car team! So it will be interesting to see who ends up in the seat of the car in 2012.
One final note is February 25, 2012, will be interesting as that is the Lincoln Speedway season-opener and the finale for the Eastern All- Star Circuit of Champions event in Florida. Several local teams competed for the All Star East title in 2011, and I am sure things will be the same in 2012, which will keep some of the top names in Florida while Lincoln possibly opens, weather permitting, of course.
Disappointing ending to the season for PSU in Madison. Was really hoping a better effort would be put up with so much at stake. Until next time, have a good one!