Exclusive Press Releases are by John Jablonski

September 11, 2009Pittsburgh, PA – 410 Sprint car driver Danny Holtgraver had another solid weekend of racing at Lernerville and Sharon Speedways on September 4th and 5th.  Lernerville was hosting the O’Reilly All Star Circuit of Champions Sprints, while Sharon showcased the 410s in the Sprint Spectacular.

For a young driver like Danny Holtgraver, just making the A-Main in a special event like the All Stars, is an accomplishment in and of itself.  Anything beyond making the A is just icing on the take.  One of his strengths right now is qualifying.  Give the kid an open tacky track and he’ll mash the gas with the best of them!  He proved that again Friday Night by turning the 13th quickest lap of a stout field of just under 40 cars.  The downside of qualifying that well was that the invert gridded him mid-pack.  It looked like Danny was B-Main bound until the last lap when he shot past Sam Hafertepe Jr. on the final lap to steal away the final transfer.  In the A-Main and on a now slick track, Danny raced hard, but could not find a groove the D4 liked.  So instead of pushing the issue, he simply turned laps and logged some invaluable seat time.  When the checkers waved for Randy Hannagan, Danny crossed the stripe 19th.  After the race, he stated “Our goal on a night like tonight is to time well, qualify through the heat and make the A-Main.  Mission accomplished!”

Saturday Night it was off to Sharon Speedway in pursuit of win #3 of 2009.  The night started well as he won his heat.  He started 11th in the feature and rocketed to fourth place by the second lap.  As the race progressed, Danny advanced to third and he began to pursue leaders Rod George and Carl Bowser.  According to Danny, “On a late race restart I moved the wing back, but it was the wrong adjustment and Jack (Sodeman Jr.) got past me for third.”  But despite dropping to fourth, another top five finish was another solid run for Holtgraver and Saturday Night was labeled a success!

Sunday was a different story.  According to Danny, “I went out on the first lap of hot laps, got too high in turn one, hit the wall and flipped.  So that was the end of that!  We’ll have it back together for next weekend!”

To quote Meatloaf, “Two out of three ain’t bad!” 

This weekend, the D4 crew will be heading west to race at Fremont Speedway to race with the FAST boys on Championship Night.

As always, Danny would like to thank his family, crew and sponsors for everything they do to keep him on the track and running with the big dogs in the Western Pennsylvania, and sometimes Western Ohio, 410 sprint car scene.  2009 sponsors and marketing partners include West View Motors, Ti22 Performance, Alternative Power Sources, Kistler Racing Products, Manno’s Automotive, J&J Auto Racing, Frankland Racing Supply, Butler Built Professional Seat Systems, Terry Key Detailing, Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts, D&T Auto Body, Simpson, VRP Shocks, Agip, Spinneweber Auto Sales and Mel Bagley’s Auto Service Center.

 

September 4, 2009Pittsburgh, PA – After a week’s vacation in sunny Myrtle Beach, the Holtrgaver Motorsports #D4 410 Sprinter had another solid weekend with two top fives and a top ten. 

By all indications, Lernerville looked like a rainout last Friday.  But being the final night of points, GM Gary Risch Jr. and crew were bound and determined to get the show in, and boy what a show it was.  Heavy rain earlier in the morning made for a wicked fast racing surface at the Action Track; and Danny was loving it.  “That track was so fast and tacky, it was really a lot of fun.  Maybe our best night at Lernerville yet!”  With Ed Lynch Jr. on the pole, everyone else was running for second, except for Rod George who was running for the Points Championship.  A fast and tacky track saw 25 consecutive green flag laps.  No wrecks, no cautions and Lynch was trying to lap the whole field.  Danny was one of only five drivers who stayed on the lead lap.  He stayed in the gas with his elbows up for 25 laps and worked lapped traffic like a seasoned veteran to finish fourth; tying his best Lernerville finish to date.

Saturday Night it was off to Sharon Speedway for the final points race of 2009.  Jack Sodeman Jr. captured the win and secured the 2009 Points Championship.  Starting eighth, Danny ran a strong race and made it to third, but could not run down Sodeman and Bob Felmlee.  The third place finish locked Danny into a second place finish in Sharon’s 2009 Point Standings.

Building off the confidence of back-to-back top five finishes at his home tracks, Danny and the D4 crew made the haul to Millstream to battle an unsanctioned, but All Star loaded field.  He started third in his heat, but got together with Tim Shaffer and hit the wall.  After a ride to the pits courtesy of a tow truck, the D4 crew got to work, fixed the fuel cell and replaced the front end in time to start the B-Main.  He raced his way to a fourth place finish and a transfer to the A-Main.  He started the A in 19th and despite the loaded field, Danny battle his way to a respectable seventh place finish at a track he has only run a handful of times.  Of the top ten finish, Danny stated, “I’m really proud of my team and appreciate how hard they worked to get me back out there for the B, then into the A.  We turned a bad night into a pretty good night all things considered!

This weekend Holtgraver Motorsports has three special shows on their schedule.  The All Star show at Lernerville, the Sprint Spectacular at Sharon on Saturday and to Hilltop on Sunday for another tilt with the All Stars.

As always, Danny would like to thank his family, crew and sponsors for everything they do to keep him on the track and running with the big dogs in the Western Pennsylvania, and sometimes Western Ohio, 410 sprint car scene.  2009 sponsors and marketing partners include West View Motors, Ti22 Performance, Alternative Power Sources, Kistler Racing Products, Manno’s Automotive, J&J Auto Racing, Frankland Racing Supply, Butler Built Professional Seat Systems, Terry Key Detailing, Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts, D&T Auto Body, Simpson, VRP Shocks, Agip, Spinneweber Auto Sales and Mel Bagley’s Auto Service Center.

 

August 20, 2009Pittsburgh, PA – Over the past two weeks, 410 Sprint Car pilot Danny Holtgraver has had a mixed bag of results.  Saturdays have been better than Fridays, but over an 8 day span, Danny and the D4 crew made the tow to five different tracks across three different states.  All of this before departing for a family vacation to Myrtle Beach.  On this five track, three state rendezvous, Danny Holtgraver got stuffed into the wall by an eventual feature winner, tried to knock down a different wall at another track, had the hauler break down and celebrated another feature win.  To say that the last two weeks have been a mixed bag of adventures would be a bit of an understatement!

Two weeks ago, Danny and his father Dan decided to hit the road and tow west to battle the FAST drivers at Attica and Fremont in Western Ohio.  Friday Night meant a night of racing at Attica Raceway Park.  Danny started sixth in his heat, but raced his way to third.  He started 10th in the feature, but the track slicked off more than they had expected.  As a result, Danny ran the bottom of the track and stayed out of harm’s way, but dropped back to finish 14th.

Saturday morning, they made the short trip to Fremont, but heavy rains and more in the forecast resulted in a detour to Ohio Valley Speedway, a fast little bullring deep in the heart of West Virginia.  Despite racing for the first time on a foreign track with foreign drivers, Danny finished second in his heat after starting on the pole.  He started fifth in the feature and was running third, when eventual winner Jim Stinson basically stuffed Danny into the wall on his way to the front.  Danny stayed in the gas and kept racing.  When the checkers waved for Stinson, the D4 crossed in sixth.  “That track is awesome, real small, but it stayed heavy all night with a big cushion like Lernerville used to have!  We’ll definitely go back down there to race again someday!”

Last weekend, they stayed closer to home, as the family prepared for a vacation after two nights of racing.  Friday Night started bad and ended worse.  The hauler wasn’t up for the task when they tried to go pick up the trailer, so they had to haul the racecar to the track with the motor home.  It started to get better during the heats, when Danny had a solid run to third place.  Things looked even better in the feature, when he was running in the top five.  That is until he jumped the cushion in turn four and slammed the front stretch wall, destroying the read end of the race car.  But the D4 crew stayed up late and got the car back together in time to race at Sharon Speedway on Saturday Night.

A lesser motivated driver and team may have simply cut their losses and fixed the car when they got back from vacation, but not the Holtgravers!  They fixed the car, towed to Sharon and ran a masterful race to win their second feature of the 2009 season.  Danny was flat out dominant Saturday Night.  He won his heat race by half the track over Scott Bonnell.  Then he started on the outside pole for the feature alongside Bob Felmlee and led all 25 laps of the feature.  At one point, Danny stretched out the lead to a full straightaway before catching lapped traffic.  Felmlee made up ground as the final laps ticked off, but coming to the checkered flag, Holtgraver abandoned his top groove and slid low through turns three and four, nullifying any chance Felmlee had of stealing away the win.

Of the victory, Danny emphatically stated, “I want to thank my dad and crew for their hard work.  This is an excellent way to cap our weekend!”  He then dedicated the win to Tanya Flinner, whom died tragically last week, “The entire Flinner family is in our prayers.”

The D4 will be parked this weekend as the family vacations in Myrtle Beach, but Danny is looking forward to returning to Lernerville and the pursuit of his first career feature win at the Action Track on Friday August 28.

As always, Danny would like to thank his family, crew and sponsors for everything they do to keep him on the track and running with the big dogs in the Western Pennsylvania, and sometimes Western Ohio, 410 sprint car scene.  2009 sponsors and marketing partners include West View Motors, Ti22 Performance, Alternative Power Sources, Kistler Racing Products, Manno’s Automotive, J&J Auto Racing, Frankland Racing Supply, Butler Built Professional Seat Systems, Terry Key Detailing, Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts, D&T Auto Body, Simpson, VRP Shocks, Agip, Spinneweber Auto Sales and Mel Bagley’s Auto Service Center.

 

The following night, Danny went to Ohio Valley Speedway in West Virginia. After finishing second in his heat race, Danny seemed poised for a good run in the feature. He lined up in fifth place and made his way up to the top three before making contact with the wall. Holtgraver continued to press foreward, only losing three spots after the mishap to finish sixth.

 

The Dirt on Danny Holtgraver: August 5, 2009 – Pittsburgh, PA – 410 Sprint Car pilot Danny Holtgraver continues to have success on the track when Mother Nature decides to let some races occur!  Last Friday July 31, Lernerville Speedway was hit by a fast-moving, but soaking downpour of rain around 4:00PM canceling the night’s racing program.  Saturday Night presented an interesting decision as both Mercer Raceway Park and Sharon Speedway ran 410 sprints. 

Danny and the D4 crew chose Sharon Speedway, where Danny has already won once this season!  He started and finished his heat race in third place, then started on the outside pole of the feature.  But Danny hit a rut on a very slick track and spun out on the second lap, forcing him to restart from the tail of the field.  Undeterred by the early misfortune, Danny charged back through the field and clearly had one of the fastest cars on the track. 

When the checkered flag waved for Jack Sodeman Jr., Danny crossed the finish line in sixth place.  A strong finish from the tail; albeit a little bit disappointing for how well the car was running.  “We tried something new with the car at Sharon and it worked out really well,” stated Holtgraver.  “We feel like we had a good enough car to win with, but spinning out early put us behind the eight ball.” 

Danny and D4 crew plan to head west this weekend and race with the FAST boys at Attica Raceway Park on Friday Night and Fremont Speedway on Saturday Night.  “We wanted to travel more this summer, but the weather and the economy has made it tough.  So as long as the weather looks good, we’re going out to race at Attica and Fremont this weekend.”

As always, Danny would like to thank his family, crew and sponsors for everything they do to keep him on the track and running with the big dogs in the Western Pennsylvania, and sometimes Western Ohio, 410 sprint car scene.  2009 sponsors and marketing partners include West View Motors, Ti22 Performance, Alternative Power Sources, Kistler Racing Products, Manno’s Automotive, J&J Auto Racing, Frankland Racing Supply, Butler Built Professional Seat Systems, Terry Key Detailing, Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts, D&T Auto Body, Simpson, VRP Shocks, Agip, Spinneweber Auto Sales and Mel Bagley’s Auto Service Center.

 

Holtgraver shines during the Silver Cup: July 24, 2009 – Pittsburgh, PA – Danny Holtgraver, driver of the #D4 410 Sprint Car, was looking forward to a big four race swing in a five day period last weekend.  That would not come to pass as Lernerville succumbed to rain Friday Night and again Tuesday Night.  He did, however, get three races in the books over a five day period starting Saturday Night at Mercer.  Sunday Night he joined the O’Reilly All Stars at Tri-City and ended on a high note at his home track at Lernerville Speedway on Wednesday for the postponed Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup.

 

After the rainout on Friday, it was off to Mercer Raceway Park Saturday Night.  The night started out with a disappointing wreck in the heat, but the D4 Crew got the car back together for the feature.  Danny rolled off the starting grid 18th and raced his way to 13th on a tough track. 

 

Sunday Night Danny went back up North to Tri-City Speedway to compete with the O’Reilly All Stars.  Danny blazed the big half mile with the third quickest time of the night, but lost the brakes in the heat and had to go to the B-Main.  He started on the pole for the B and crossed the stripe second.  With the baffling All Star feature lineup process, Danny started 11th in the feature.  He advanced as high as seventh place before settling back in 11th.  Of his All Star performance, Danny stated, “It was a little disappointing to drop back late in the feature, but we turned a great lap in qualifying, fought back from the brake issues and ran well the rest of the night against a lot of really good cars.  It definitely boosted my confidence back up going into the Silver Cup!”

 

Tuesday Night it was off to Lernerville Speedway to battle the World of Outlaws for the Don Martin Silver Cup for Twin 30-lap features.  But rain won out and the race was rescheduled for Wednesday Night; which did not look any more favorable weather-wise.  Wednesday afternoon, Lernerville Speedway PR Director Eric Westendorf came down to the D4 hauler and stated that the rain was tracking northwest and he was hopeful they could get the show in.  His prediction turned out to be spot on and somehow the rain missed the speedway allowing the World of Outlaws and Lernerville Speedway officials to get the entire show in.  The field was 44 cars deep and loaded with the best sprint cars from the World of Outlaws, All Stars, PA Posse and Lernerville Speedway. 

 

Danny once again had a great qualifying effort, turning the 13th best lap of the night with a time of 13.035 seconds.  Unfortunately, the time put him in a loaded heat race against Tim Shaffer, Danny Lasoski, Jason Sides, Greg Hodnett, Fred Rahmer and Jac Haudenschild.  But starting on the pole, Danny led the first lap and held his own against some of the best sprint car drivers in the country by finishing fifth in the heat and qualifying for the Twin 30s.  “It was a dream come true,” stated Danny about his heat race accomplishment.  “Qualifying into the A from the heats was our goal, running the B-Main, you never know what will happen!  We’re thrilled to be in the show!”

 

The wait for the A-Main to roll off was made briefer by the fast pace of the program in hopes of beating the rain, but Danny could not wait to roll off in the four wide formation for the first time in a World of Outlaws feature.  “Getting into the four-wide salute was almost surreal, I’ve been waiting to do that my whole life!  They should pipe Johnny Gibson into the Raceceivers for us!” said Danny.

 

When the green flag waved for the first 30-lap feature, Danny mashed the gas and passed three cars in the opening laps.  As the race wore on, the experience of the other drivers started to take hold and Danny began to fade a bit.  To his credit, Danny held off Two-Time Outlaws Champion Donny Schatz for two or three laps before he got past!  He stayed on the lead lap for the entire race and was in line for a front row starting position, but leaders Danny Lasoski and Jason Sides passed him with three laps to go, leaving him out of the invert.  Lasoski went on to win the first feature and the Silver Cup.

 

But missing the invert did not dampen Danny’s spirits.  Instead, he went out in the second feature starting 22nd.  By the midway point of the race, Danny was battling Ed Lynch Jr. and Kraig Kinser for 15th place.  But as adrenaline started to give way to exhaustion and the leaders zoomed past on a track that was actually faster than it was in the first feature, Danny got shuffled back.  When the checkered flag waved for Stevie Smith, Danny crossed the stripe a lap down and in 23rd place.  After the race, Danny stated “I wish we could’ve finished a little better, but it was like a dream come true. Just to make the show and to race with those guys was incredible!  I wanna go back out there and do it again!”

 

Tonight it’s right back to Lernerville Speedway for another night of Fab Four Racing, then off to either Fremont or Mercer tomorrow night, weather permitting of course!

 

As always, Danny would like to thank his family, crew and sponsors for everything they do to keep him on the track and running with the big dogs in the Western Pennsylvania 410 sprint car scene.  2009 sponsors and marketing partners include West View Motors, Ti22 Performance, Alternative Power Sources, Kistler Racing Products, Manno’s Automotive, J&J Auto Racing, Frankland Racing Supply, Butler Built Professional Seat Systems, Terry Key Detailing, Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts, D&T Auto Body, Simpson, VRP Shocks, Agip, Spinneweber Auto Sales and Mel Bagley’s Auto Service Center.