Impressive Career Of Owner Joe Harz To Be Celebrated Friday At Williams Grove

410 and 358 sprints to be in action

Mechanicsburg - September 2 will find Williams Grove Speedway honoring the career of one of the most notable sprint car owners in Williams Grove Speedway history when the oval presents the Liberty Excavators Inc., Hoosier Diamond Series Joe Harz Tribute Race for the 410 sprint cars.

Meme Desantis was Joe Harz’s first sprint car driver.

The Harz Tribute Race for the Lawrence Chevrolet 410 sprint cars will pay $6,000 to the winner of the 25-lap main and time trials will be used to set the heat starting grids with Fast Tees Screenprinting presenting a $300 bonus to the driver who sets quick time.

Harz, owner of the famed yellow No. 88H sprint car for the better part of two decades spanning portions of the 1980s, 90s and 2000s, will be feted prior to the races with a meet and greet in the speedway infield beginning at 5:45 pm.

Interviews with former Harz drivers, mechanics and Harz himself will be conducted between 5:45 and 6:45.

Slated to appear along with Harz are drivers Fred Rahmer, Meme Desantis, Richard Lupo and Mike Wagner along with mechanics Tim Elwell and Don Ott.

The interviews will be streamed live on Facebook via BeerHill Gang TV.

A specially restored Harz No. 88H Fred Rahmer sprint car will also be on display for the night thanks to owner Lee Sanders of Canandaigua, New York.

After fielding modifieds for several years beginning in 1979, Harz launched into the sprint car world in 1984 with Meme Desantis of Temple wheeling the car.

After that drivers such as Kramer Williamson, Fred Rahmer, Richard Lupo, Kenny Adams, Sean Michael, Mike Wagner and Lance Dewease wheeled the car among a few others.

After competing for some 18 seasons on the circuit, Harz’s cars scored 169 total sprint car wins including 41 at Williams Grove alone where the Elmer, New Jersey native currently sits seventh on the all-time oval owner win list.

Harz copped Williams Grove track titles with driver Dewease in 2001 and Rahmer in 2004 and in 2005.

His mounts captured the Williams Grove National Open in 2001, the Summer Nationals in 2005 and the National Open Preliminary in 2005.

Other prestigious Grove wins came in the season opener, the Early Bird Championship and in the Mitch Smith Memorial.

His cars also bested the All Stars Circuit of Champions, World of Outlaws and the World of Outlaws Division II Series over the years.

Harz also owns numerous other track titles in the area along with five Pennsylvania Speedweek series crowns and one URC Sprint title.

Harz recently turned age 75 and the Elmer, New Jersey native is still going strong, attending races throughout the season and across the nation.

Racing action gets underway at 7:30 on Friday night.

The Match Race for 358 sprints is also on the racing program along with fireworks.

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