York County Racing Club inducts six new Hall of Famers
The York County Racing Club held its 40th Annual Hall of Fame banquet on Saturday at the Wyndham Garden in West York. Former NASCAR racer David Stremme entertained the crowd early in the evening before the awards followed.
The six new inductees into the Hall of Fame are Barry Camp, Williams "Jiggs" Stoner, Jerry Reigle, Jason Covert, Michael Heffner and Frank Williams. Driver Brent Marks and his mechanic Heath Moyle were also honored for their 2022 seasons, Anthony Macri was celebrated as the local sprint car champion and Sharon Williamson was also honored with a special award.
Barry Camp: The always-popular Camp enters the Hall of Fame as the Past Driver inductee. Camp’s career started in 1964 with the bug type racers, and continued through the 1998 season when the cars were sprint cars. Over the years, Camp won two points titles and close to 50 races. In his very first race, Camp finished 14th, which led to all of his own racers carrying the number 14. Of course, Camp also drove for several other car owners during his career, including Luke Bogar, J.P. Russell, Frank Campbell, Bob Fetter, Lloyd Racing Enterprises, Bob Weikert, Al Hamilton, Gary and Patty Beam and Dave Middleswarth.
In addition to race driving, Camp started the B and C Parts Warehouse, which became a Fram Autolite supplier and led to numerous local race sponsorships from Fram Autolite.
Camp was on hand to speak with the banquet crowd, and thrilled all when be pulled out the battered hat he wore around the tracks during much of his career, wearing it to the podium to speak with the crowd.
"Jiggs" Stoner: The Past Owner or Mechanic inductee into the Hall of Fame, Stoner was a part of his family’s Super Sportsman team from its inception in the early 1970s until its final race in 2012. While his brother John was usually the team driver, “Jiggs” also drove for a brief time. Predominantly, he was a co-owner and mechanic for the low-budget team that gained numerous fans and put together a great track record, including the 1996 Silver Spring point title, and the 1999 Sportsman 100 win.
Stoner was on hand to receive his award and explained to the fans that his family gained their interest in the sport when their father provided wrecker service at Williams Grove, Silver Spring and Susquehanna in the early 1960s.
Jerry Reigle: The late Jerry Reigle was named as the Past Miscellaneous inductee into the Hall of Fame. Reigle grew up around the sport and became a columnist for the Harrisburg Patriot News and Area Auto Racing News, where he eventually was named associate editor. Reigle passed away way too soon in 2011 at age 43 after a bout with cancer.
Fellow AARN columnist and close friend Steve Bubb accepted Reigle’s award.
Jason Covert: Newberrytown’s Covert entered the Hall of Fame as the Present Driver. A native of Orbisonia, Covert’s career spans five different decades and has accounted for nearly 150 feature wins. And it all started with a "dog box."
Covert began racing at age 17 in 1987, and his first car was a Mini Stock division Ford Pinto that his father found in the Washington, D.C., area. When Leroy Covert found the Pinto, the lady who had it was using it as a dog box. Jason Covert’s racing and professional career took many steps forward, and his job with communications at three Mile Island brought him to the local area. His racing progressed from the Mini Stocks to the Four Cylinder Late Models, then to Limited Late Models and finally the the Super Late Models, where he still competes today.
Over the years, Covert has amassed 97 Super Late Model wins, 21 Limited Late Model wins, 22 Four Cylinder Late Model wins and two Mini Stock wins. It all started with a very low-budget, family-owned team and a former dog box. Since then, Covert has driven for some top car owners, including YCRC Hall of Fame members Barry Klinedinst and Ronnie Frye.
A shocked Covert was on hand to receive his award and thanked all those who have been a part of his career.
Michael Heffner: The car owner was named as the Present Owner or Mechanic inductee. Heffner has been fielding race cars since 2008 and has already garnered more than 130 feature wins. Best known for his 410 Sprint Cars — where drivers like the late Greg Hodnett, Daryn Pittman, Keith Kauffman, Lance Dewease, Sean Michael, Tyler Walker, Tim Shaffer Ryan Smith and Devon Borden have been his drivers — Heffner has also fielded 360 Sprint Cars, Midgets and SpeedSTRs. He’s also had some top racers in those cars, including Curt Michael, Billy Pauch and Billy Pauch Jr., Steve and Tim Buckwalter, Tomas Messerall, Jerry Coons Jr. and even Bryan Clauson.
In addition to owning local race cars, Heffner has been a race promoter, first with a few Sprint Car shows at Bridgeport NJ, and later as part of the promotional team at Selinsgrove. He still maintains an interest in Lincoln Speedway’s promotional team.
Heffner was on hand to thank all those who have help in his career.
Frank Williams: The Present Miscellaneous inductee, who passed away in May 2022, managed the concessions at a number of local tracks for many years starting with Jack Gunn at Williams Grove and Selinsgrove over 40 years ago. He later handled those duties at Lincoln. When his failing health forced Williams to leave the management position in concessions at Lincoln, he stayed in the sport as a greeter at the Williams Grove skyboxes.
Throughout his career, Williams supported the YCRC and was probably its biggest fundrasing seller. Williams was also always very active in the YCRC’s meal prep at its annual Christmas Party.
A number of Williams’ brothers and sisters were on hand to receive his award.
Special awards: The Kevin Gobrecht Special Achievement Award for the 2022 season was presented to Brent Marks, who put together a tremendous season that saw his lead the nation in earnings in 410 Sprint Car competition. Marks was also named Driver of the Year by the National Sprint Car Poll.
Marks’ mechanic Heath Moyle was named the Ed Stauffer Memorial Mechanic of the Year. He guided Marks to the tremendous season. Included in that season was a PA Speedweek title where the team won a record-tying five races and never finished worst than third in the nine-races-in-ten-days event.
Both Marks and Moyle were on hand to receive their awards.
Sharon Williamson was presented the Paul Miller Memorial President’s Award. The widow of Hall of Fame Sprint Car driver Kramer Williamson has kept Williamson’s memory alive with fans and has always been a great supporter of local racing. She has been undergoing some major health issues herself in recent times.
At the banquet supported by her children Kurt and Felicia, Williamson passed along that a match has been made and she will be undergoing a Kidney transplant in the near future. Her donor is member of Parker Price Miller’s Sprint Car team, showing just how much racing folks stick together.
The final award of the night was the presentation of the Champion Racing Oil PA Sprint Car Series championship laurels to Dillsburg’s Anthony Macri, who won the title for the second year in a row. Macri was the leading 410 Sprint Car winner in the nation in 2022 and was ranked third in the National Sprint Car Poll.
I just want to end this column by noting that this week’s column marks 40 years for me with the York Dispatch.