News Release, Potomac Speedway,
By Doug Watson
“RUSH Crates, Late Models, E-Mods Headline Schedule”
Mechanicsville, MD- Southern Maryland’s Potomac Speedway is set to embark on their 46th season with an aggressive 24 race schedule. The track, which hosted it’s first ever stock car event back in 1973, will kick off it’s season on Saturday March 23. In all, nine 9 different classes will appear throughout the season, with many special events along the way.
The 2019 event line up also includes many “kid friendly” shows including, kids ride in race car night, candy scramble and a visit by the Easter bunny in April. General manager Denise Hollidge summed up the tracks schedule. “We just want to try some different things this year.” Denise stated. “I think we’ve come up with one of the better schedules we’ve had in a long time and we’re really excited to get the season underway.” With the tracks schedule posted, let’s take a long at whats in store for the 2019 season.
Late Models- Eight events have been inked for the class this season which will make their season debut on April 5th. The season ending “Larry Hills Memorial” will again be contested on the first Saturday in October. Last years event drew a season high 22 cars for the $3000 to win show.
Defending, and four-time track champion, Jason Covert will lead the charge as he looks to equal David Williams as a five-time Potomac champion. Former track champion Dale Hollidge, Kyle Lear and Ross Robinson, all who were feature winners in 2018, are all legitimate title contenders. Throw in veterans Jamie Lathroum and former class champs Kenny Moreland and Daryl Hills and it could be another slugfest for the track title.
RUSH Crate Late Models- This burgeoning division will see action in 22 events. Highlighting their season will be the “Battle of the Bay” RUSH tour event in April with $3000 going to the winner. A RUSH manufacturers night will be held in May along with the season ending Southern Maryland Nationals in October for a $1000 to win contest.
Defending track champion Chuck Bowie took his first career RUSH title by just 28-points over 2017 champion Darren Alvey which wasn’t decided until the final point race of the season. Former champion Logan Roberson lead the way with 4 feature wins and is in sole possession of first on the tracks all-time win chart with 16 victories. Darren Alvey and Jamie Sutphin each scored 3 wins last season with 2014-15 champion Ben Bowie taking 2 victories in limited starts. Chuck Bowie, 2018 Delaware International champion Matt Hill and Late Model ace Dale Hollidge each drove to solo wins last season.
Limited Late Models- The competitive class that saw 6 different winners in the 11 races run will dot the schedule 15 times in 2019. Tyler Emory scored 4 feature wins and collected his second consecutive and third career division championship last year. Former track champion Derick Quade and Veteran Bruce Kane each took 2 victories last season with single event wins going to Delaware’s Robbie Emory, Kurt Zimmerman and former class champion Paul Cursey. Tyler Emory is set to defend his crown but will have some stiff competition.
Derick Quade ran well in sparse appearances with his new Black Diamond chassis and Kurt Zimmerman is rumored to have a new car for the season as well. Point runner up Billy Tucker, second year pilot Jonny Oliver and Brandon Long will make this seasons title chase interesting indeed.
Street Stocks- This class boasted the fewest winners in division history. Eventual champion Ed Pope Jr. and Jeremy Pilkerton combined for 14 wins out of the 15 events held. Only Sam Archer was able to sneak in a mid season feature win. Pope drove to 6 feature wins on the season and secured his second career class championship. Pilkerton rolled to 8 checkered flags, but will not return to the class next season as he will be at the controls of the family owned Crate Late Model after his father Jeff called it a career at the end of the season.
Pope, however is set to return and is a favorite to repeat as champion. Former Hobby Stock champion Jonathan Raley has moved up the Street Stocks for next season and could give Pope a run for his money. The class will occupy 23 dates on the schedule.
Hobby Stocks- The fan favorite division will be on the tracks schedule 23 times in 2019. Sophomore sensation Mikey Latham romped to 5 feature wins, including the coveted Southern Maryland Nationals, and would claim his first-ever Potomac championship. Two time winner Greg Morgan, who lead the points for much of the season, fell 39-points shy of the title and will be a contender next season.
Latham took the most wins with 5, Jonathan Raley scored 4 times, 2 time winners were Greg Morgan, Matt Randall, and Jonathan Knott. Solo victories went to Tommy Randall and Buddy Dunagan. Even though they went winless last season. Stevie Gingery, Ray Bucci and Hilton Pickeral are all legitimate championship contenders entering the new season.
U Cars- The entry level division enjoyed a great season with weekly double digit car counts and 10 different feature winners. This is the only class that will appear in every event in 2019. The question remains, who can stop Savannah Windsor? A 5-win campaign propelled Savannah to her third-straight track championship.
Her 5 win season now has her tied with Mikey Latham atop the tracks all-time win chart with 18 feature wins. Virginia native Larry Lamb also enjoyed a career season capturing 5 wins and is more than ready to dethrone Windsor as track champion. Only Windsor and Lamb scored multiple victories as single event wins went to Ryan Quade, Stephen Suite, Dustin Arnold, Jason Wilkins, Kevin Oates, Billy Smith, Matt Worley and Chris “Tippy”Martinez.
Strictly Stocks- These full-bodied monsters will see action 23 this season. Veteran John Hardesty scored 4 feature wins and would claim his 4th career championship in the process. Jeff Bloch had a breakout season as he triumphed 3-times and took a third in points. Bloch is more than capable of a championship run in 2019. Ed Pope Sr., Greg Mattingly and Nabil Guffey each took 2 wins with Johnny Hardesty scoring once during the season.
Pope’s two win campaign upped his career total to 27, which is first all-time. The only thing Pope has not done in the class is win a championship, however 2018 may have been his last behind the wheel.
E Mods- Flying under the Mid-Atlantic Modified Series banner, will see action on Memorial day and Labor day. The series had two shows inked last season, but one was lost to rain.
The Labor day show was run and brought a solid 22 car field to the high banks with Michael Altobelli Jr. taking the win in a season that saw the Pennsylvania native score over 20 feature wins at 7 different speedways.
Extra’s- After a successful inaugural event last season, the Dirt Drags have been scheduled for two events this season, both of which will be run under the lights. The event was a very unique event featuring truck from the street to full blown race trucks and was a very popular addition to the schedule. Last, but not least, the XCel 600 cc Modifieds will visit Potomac speedway for the first time ever on April 12.
A small scale version of their Big Block Modified counterparts primarily run events in Pennsylvania,but will now travel to Maryland and should be a hit with the fans.