Tobias, a name that is such a part of racing history, will echo through the hills of Berks County when the USAC Eastern Storm kicks off its thirteenth tour at the Grandview Speedway on Tuesday night, June 11.
This event also marks the first race of the NAPA Auto Parts 30th Anniversary season for the Thunder on the Hill Racing Series. Some of the greatest names in racing came through the ranks of USAC, including Lebanon, PA driver Dick “Toby” Tobias, a recognized star not only at the Reading Fairgrounds where he enjoyed great success, but at every track where he took the green flag.
When the Eastern Storm opens at Grandview on Tuesday night, the Tobias name will again be threaded into history at the LNB Motorsports #7 non-wing sprinter takes on the USAC field with driver Timmy Buckwalter. This car is co-owned by Paul Lotier Jr, the grandson of the legendary Dick “Toby” Tobias and the son of Sprint Car Champion Paul Lotier Sr. Paul Jr is the third generation of the Tobias Family to be involved with USAC.
The highlights of “Toby” include being USAC’s 1970 Rookie of the Year, he garnished a USAC win at Reading in 1971, in 1978 he won the televised Tony Hulman Classic and he was recognized and inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame. Toby displayed such versatility going from the stock cars, to bugs, sprints and modifieds winning over 300 features in his career. Toby lost his life in a racing accident while competing with USAC at the Flemington Speedway in 1978. We lost a legend that day and someone who had an enormous impact on racing that is still present today.
Paul Lotier also enjoys a successful career as a driver, owner, mechanic and fabricator and his highlights including being a two time winner of the Turkey Derby at Wall Stadium in a midget, he is a National Speedstr Champion and a multiple track champion as an owner.
So the name, the success the tradition returns to the local scene as Timmy Buckwalter and Paul Lotier Jr look to add their name to the USAC win list, joining their notable hero, Dick “Toby” Tobias.
There big chance will come as the AMSOIL Non Wing USAC Sprint Car National Championship returns East with stops at the Grandview Speedway, Bridgeport Speedway, BAPS Motor Speedway, Port Royal and Weedsport Speedway’s. The five race swing, in keeping with tradition will open with the NAPA Auto Parts Thunder on the Hill signature event at the Grandview Speedway. The Tuesday night, June 11 show will boast the USAC $10,000 to win Jesse Hockett Classic joined by the 358 NASCAR Modifieds with racing getting underway at 7:30 PM. This year also marks the 30th Anniversary of the Thunder on the Hill Racing Series.
Like the Tobias name, the USAC National Championship is rich in history with some of the greatest names in racing parking in the coveted USAC victory lane. Drivers like Tommy Hinnershitz, Johnny Thomson, A.J. Foyt, Roger McCluskey, Jim Hurtibise, Jud Larson, Johnny Rutherford, Bobby Unser, Eddie Sachs, Ronnie Shuman, Pancho Carter, Lee Osborne, Greg Weld, Lee Kunzman, Larry Dickson, Gary Bettenhausen, Bruce Walkup and of course, Toby Tobias are just a few of the legends to compliment even a longer list of current day USAC racing stars.
The Berks County one-third mile high banked Grandview Speedway is just the perfect setting for a USAC National Non-Win Championship event. USAC time trials at Grandview are usually more exciting than the main divisions elsewhere, so don’t miss time trials. USAC first raced in Berks County at the Reading Fairgrounds in 1956 and it was Oley, PA driver Tommy Hinnershitz who won the first three USAC events on the Reading half-mile. The USAC/Berks County tradition continued until April 1979 when Paul Pitzer took the win at what would be the final USAC event in Berks County, following the closing of the Reading Fairgrounds.
Advance tickets may be ordered for the Tuesday, June 11 USAC Sprints & Modified show by calling 443 513 4456. Please speak slowly and clearly when leaving a message and be sure to leave your name and number of tickets you will need. Feel free to leave your phone number as well. Tickets may be paid for and picked up at the WILL CALL Window on race night after 3:30 PM. These tickets will entitle you to enter the grandstands at 4:30. Adult admission tickets are $30, children 6 to 11 $10 and children five and under will be admitted for free.
This event is dedicated a “classic event” to honor all-time sprint car great Jesse Hockett. Many us remember that special night on the hill, when Jesse won both twin 20 lap USAC features, thrilling the Grandview fans in 2009. In 2010, just prior to the Eastern Storm, Hockett succumbed to injuries suffered in a race shop accident. Levi Jones won the first Jesse Hockett Classic in 2010.
The NAPA Auto Parts Thunder on the Hill Racing Series is sponsored by NAPA Auto Parts, Levan Machine and Truck Equipment, and Galco Business Communications.
Grandview Speedway Contact Information
GPS USERS: 43 Passmore Road, Bechtelsville, PA 19505
Located less than a mile off Route 100, 10 miles north of Pottstown, PA
Speedway Phone: 610-754-7688
Thunder on the Hill Racing Series Phone: 443-513-4456
Series Website: http://www.thunderonthehillracingseries.com
Track Website: http://www.grandviewspeedway.com
About Thunder on the Hill Racing Series
The brainchild of Grandview Speedway owner Bruce Rogers, special events promoter Bob Miller, and local driving star Dave Kelly, the Thunder on the Hill Racing Series celebrates 30 years of the most anticipated events of the racing calendar year after year. In 132 events, over $4.6 million dollars has been divvied up among the area's fastest racers. What started as a single 410 Sprint Car event in 1990 has blossomed to feature a variety of racing action including 358 Modifieds, USAC Wingless Sprints, All-Star Circuit of Champions, 360 & 410 Sprint Cars, Sportsman, Late Models, Midgets, Legend Cars, DIRTcar and ROC Modified events. The 2019 30th Anniversary Series of Thunder on the Hill is dedicated to Bruce Rogers.
About Grandview Speedway
Grandview Speedway is a high-banked one-third mile clay oval, celebrating their 57th Anniversary season in 2019. The facility offers free parking, quality food at reasonable prices (be sure to try the french fries), a program book, Grandview Speedway and Thunder on the Hill racewear and great viewing from every seat in the house. Race fans may take part in the Inside/Out promotion, where you can sign up (no charge) to watch warm-ups from inside turn four. Race fans are also invited to victory lane following the racing program and, race fans may enter the pits after the races to meet the drivers. Be ready to enjoy the spine-tingling fireworks salute on the feature event parade lap.