January 5, 2014 — via press release — Julia Johnson photo — MERTZTOWN, PA — At age twenty-eight, Josh Weller will start his eleventh season of sprint car racing this coming April, and he’s more excited about 2014 than any of his prior racing seasons.
“The Wild Child” from Mertztown, PA has been tapped to take over the seat of the Eldreth Construction 360 sprint car, the 2013 Rislone URC Sprint Series championship winning ride driven by J.J. Grasso and owned by Kenny Eldreth.
“We’re excited about the team and our goal is to go out and win races and hopefully, the championship will follow,” Weller remarked excitedly. “I really want to get Kenny back-to-back URC Owner’s titles.”
Weller has been racing a long time, starting in quarter midgets in 1994. He earned the nickname “The Wild Child” on his way to some eighty-six quarter-midget victories. He advanced into micro-sprints where he enjoyed success and in 2003, moved into the 360 sprint cars with URC. That year, Weller was URC’s Rookie of the Year.
Josh has six URC 360 sprint victories and his talent was further demonstrated by winning 360 sprint features in the past with the ASCS and USCS sprint car racing series.
“The deal with Kenny Eldreth came to be fairly quick. We knew Kenny and he’s a good person with high integrity. Honestly, I just want to win races for this guy,” commented Weller.
Josh is a quiet, very reserved kind of guy, but when you get him talking about Kenny Eldreth and the coming Rislone URC Series, he begins turning more RPM’s then his 360 sprint car motor. With this energy and excitement, they very well may be the team to beat.
For Weller, this is also a lot about family. His wife (Tina) and daughter (Aubrey) are with him at all the races. His parents, Rick and Kim are a big part of the team as well. Josh’s dad Rick, the long-time chief mechanic for the team, will again be the set-up man for the Eldreth Construction KramerKraft #25 sprint car.
Joining Eldreth Construction as a team sponsor in 2014 is Assured Automation, a New Jersey based business that handles automated valves and equipment.
The Rislone URC Sprint Series schedule holds twenty-five race dates for 2014, with a core gathering in Central Pennsylvania. Williams Grove Speedway, Lincoln Speedway, Selinsgrove Raceway and Port Royal Speedway are all cornerstones of the URC schedule.
One change for URC in the coming season is the move to an open draw as opposed to handicapping drivers based off of points.
“I’m all for the open draw and fans should expect this to mix up the racing action especially in the final stages of the race”, added Weller.
“My favorite track is Grandview, it’s a drivers’ race track and you can make or break your own night,” Weller continued. “You don’t always need the best equipment, but at Grandview, you need to have it running at the end of the race”.
Weller is known for his come from behind style. No matter how far back he starts, he somehow makes his way to the front by the end of race. In 2013, he earned the most hard charger bonus awards and in one night, between the heat and the feature, he passed a total of forty cars.
“We set our car up for the end of the race and let the track come to the car. As for the driver, I need to be strong the entire race, up on the wheel and you just gotta keep digging your way to the front, something I learned from racing the 410 sprints”, said Weller.
URC has several Super Series events on the 2014 schedule, facing the URC regulars off with some of the best sprint car drivers in Central Pennsylvania.
“For the Super Series races, we have to step up our program because it’s tough. We need to be on our game and they need to be off,” Weller added.
“The competition at these shows are guys like Robbie Stillwaggon, Davie Franek, Chuck Hebing, Pat Cannon, Mark Smith and Blane Heimbach.
Out of the gate, expect the team of Weller and Eldreth to be a dominant force as they make a run at the URC championship in 2014.
2014 RISLONE URC Sprint Series Schedule
Friday, April 11 Carolina Speedway/Gastonia, NC (NP)
Saturday, April 12 Lancaster Speedway/Lancaster, SC (NP)
Saturday, April 19 Selinsgrove Speedway
Friday, April 25 Big Diamond Raceway
Friday, May 2 Big Diamond Raceway (Rain Date)
Saturday, May 10 Selinsgrove Speedway Jack Gunn Memorial $3,500 To Win
Friday, May 16 Bedford Speedway
Saturday, May 17 Delaware International Speedway
Sunday, May 25 Grandview Speedway (2 Features)
Monday, May 26 Grandview Speedway (Rain Date)
Wednesday, June 4 Lincoln Speedway MACH 1 Super Series
Friday, June 6 Williams Grove Speedway MACH 1 Super Series
Friday, June 13 Potomac Speedway
Saturday, June 14 Winchester VA Speedway
Friday, June 20 Bedford Speedway
Saturday, June 21 Grandview Speedway
Saturday, June 28 Selinsgrove Speedway
Saturday, July 26 Selinsgrove Speedway
Friday, August 1 Williams Grove Speedway Rislone Nationals $4,000 to win
Saturday, August 9 Selinsgrove The Kramer Cup
Friday, August 22 Williams Grove Speedway
Saturday, August 23 Port Royal Speedway
Saturday, August30 Delaware International Speedway
Saturday, September 27 Selinsgrove MACH 1 $8,000 to Win
Friday, October 3 Carolina Speedway/Gastonia, NC
Saturday, October 4 Cherokee Speedway/Gaffney, SC
Saturday, October 18 Grandview Speedway Feature Only
For more information, please visit the United Racing Company website at: www.urcsprints.com