Behind the scenes: Jennerstown Speedway in photos
By Brandon White | Wednesday, May 25, 2022
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Jennerstown Speedway, a half-mile paved oval in Jennerstown, Pennsylvania, recently rejoined the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series.
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Jennerstown has undergone numerous changes in its nearly 100 years of operation, but the facility has maintained a vibrant short track culture that sees the best drivers in the region battle each other for a shot at a track championship.
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Nearly every weekend from May to September features some form of on-track activity at Jennerstown. Along with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, the track’s 2022 schedule also includes monster truck events and prestigious races like the Motor Mountain Masters and CRA Fall Brawl to close out the year.
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Constructed on the site of the old Jenners Fairgrounds, Jennerstown was subjected to a variety of different iterations before a major revitalization project in 1967 transformed the track into one of the fastest half-mile dirt ovals in the United States.
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Twenty years later, owner Piney Lanksy elected to turn Jennerstown into an asphalt track. This decision quickly brought NASCAR and other major touring series to the facility, where drivers like Ricky Craven, Steve Park, Johnny Sauter and Mike Stefanik all found their way to Victory Lane.
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From a local standpoint, Barry Awtey has been one of the most consistent Late Model drivers at Jennerstown with six track championships, the most of any driver. Other competitors that have multiple Jennerstown titles include Garry Wiltrout and Steve Peles, who briefly co-owned the facility during the early 2000s.
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The brief closure of Jennerstown from 2009 until 2013 did little to impact the popularity of the track, as drivers from across the country regularly make the trip up to Pennsylvania for an opportunity to compete at the historic half-mile facility.