Story By: SHAWN BROUSE / WILLIAMS GROVE SPEEDWAY – MECHANICSBURG, PA – Defending Williams Grove Speedway Lawrence Chevrolet 410 sprint car track champion Danny Dietrich is primed and ready to go for another campaign at the oval in 2020.
His sprint car program is ready and even more importantly to him, he is ready at a personal level.
Fresh off of his first ever track title in 2019 and a banner year of wins, the best of his career to be exact including five alone at Williams Grove, Dietrich feels like he may just pick up right where he left off when the Grove closed its season last October.
“I think we’re very capable of being even stronger,” Dietrich says.
“We got a good car and the same guys coming back to help me. I think we can have a better year this year than we did last year honestly.”
Coming into what would be his first-ever Williams Grove championship season in 2019, Dietrich was prepared for the grind in the race shop but he was even more prepared within himself.
The 31-year old Dietrich made a series of changes to his personal life and to his program that netted him the results he was looking for, both in wins and in a title.
He had built a racecar to be safer for himself because he wanted a racecar to be safer to race in.
But he had also lost about 25 pounds and was fully recovered from some grueling accidents and concussions endured in previous seasons that had caused some unrecognized cognitive effects.
“When you get healthy in your head – people don’t realize because you’re racing and you keep moving constantly – I got beat up really bad. In 2016 I had a really bad crash at the Grove. People don’t realize how bad I really was,” Dietrich reveals.
“There was so much pressure and finally I just focused on getting healthier. And it worked.”
“I’m trying to keep my head right now but it makes you wonder how many (concussions) I had back when I crashed every night and didn’t realize it.”
So for 2020, he’s planning on keeping his self-imposed plan of attack in force.
Eat better, live better, and recognize limits.
“Now I’m just trying to keep being healthy because that helps keep me being smarter in the race car, it truly does,” he says.
“Getting better healthwise – your mind’s in a better place.”
“I really think it’s just personally just getting your mind right. I’m just trying to get healther and I think it’s led to better decision making.”
“When it comes to setting up the race car too the big thing is making the right decisions at the right time and when your heads not right you’re not always making the right decisions either.”
And indeed, the Gettysburg driver of Gary Kauffman’s No. 48 machine has already won the 2020 region lidlifter last week.
But can the kind of season he put together last year at Williams Grove be repeated or even bettered in 2020?
Dietrich says yes, “We’re gonna focus on it.”
“We’ve learned so much at the Grove. I think we can get more dominant, at the correct time. I really think we can even get better when the outlaws come to town,” the champion predicts.
He and the rest of the Pennsylvania Posse will get their first chance to test the 2020 Williams Grove waters when Hoosier presents Opening Day, coming up on Sunday afternoon, March 15 at 2 pm.
Featuring the Lawrence Chevrolet 410 sprint cars in a $4,080 to win event, Opening Day will host sprints only competition with gates opening at noon followed by warm-ups at 1:30 pm.
Courtesy of Hoosier Tires, Hoosier giveaways are slated for the season lid-lifter for both fans and racers alike.
Adult general admission for the season opener is set at $16 with youth ages 13 – 20 priced at $10. Kids ages 12 and under are always admitted for FREE at Williams Grove Speedway.