Johnson: Holtgraver a star in weekend racing series

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Danny Holtgraver knows that sometimes things just go your way.

Holtgraver, a North Hills resident, humbly downplayed an impressive performance in the All-Star Circuit of Champions race at Lernerville Speedway.

"I don't even know what to say," Holtgraver, 22, said after the race.

"Everything went our way all night," Holtgraver said before someone mentioned a mishap in the heat race. Then Holtgraver added, "Well, it did at feature time."

Holtgraver, the 2010 Lernerville champion, started fourth and avoided a problem on the opening lap when Paul McMahan lost his brakes and nearly took out Holtgraver.

After following the leaders for several laps, Holtgraver realized it was time to make a move.

"I kind of stayed right with them, following, and then I said I have to go right now," he said.

Having won the week before at Lernerville, Holtgraver knew where the grip was and turn 2 was like a launching pad for the seven-year veteran.

"It did feel like getting shot like a rocket," he said.

Holtgraver passed Brian Ellenberger for the lead on lap 10 and never looked back.

Holtgraver followed that victory with a second-place finish Saturday in a 40-lap All-Star feature at Attica Raceway Park.

But he wasn't done there.

He followed that with another win on Sunday night at Wayne County Speedway in Orrville, Ohio. That finish might have been the most impressive of the three-race weekend as Holtgraver came all the way from the 15th starting spot to pick up his second All-Star win in three nights.

He says his team got better when Brian Kemenah, a five-time All-Star mechanic of the year, became available. Kemenah worked with Greg Wilson for the first part of the season.

"He sees exactly what I feel," Holtgraver said.

Holtgraver, who credits his success this season to his crew and family, has nine wins, six second-place finishes, 19 top-five finishes and 30 top-10 finishes in 45 races.He has four wins and two runner-up finishes in the past six All-Star features.

The fact that he has done this with three different teams is what is amazing.

No doubt.


Today, Motordrome Speedway in Smithton kicks off the Piney V race weekend with practice for the TBRA Late Models and features for the support divisions. On Saturday, it's the Piney V 100-lap feature for the TBRA Late Models with over-35 drivers fighting for 28 spots in the area's largest event on pavement for the late models. ... On Saturday, Pittsburgh's PA Motor Speedway will feature drag racing on dirt at the Monster Half-Mile. A drag strip will be set up on the front stretch for cars, trucks and semis. There also will be monster trucks, quad stunts and figure eight racing. ... Also on Saturday, Lernerville Speedway hosts its annual Autumn-Motive Fest Sportsman Spectacular.


DJ Johnson:


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