PORT ROYAL, Pa. — There are definitely a few young drivers to keep our eyes on in the coming season.
2022 was a different year for driver Kassidy Kreitz. She decided to take the leap from a 305 sprint car to a 410.
She had it in the plans to start the transition in the middle of 2021. But, it was in 2020 where Kreitz swapped the out seats to take Lance Dewease’s car out for a few test runs on practice nights at Port Royal.
“After he was done, we switched out the seats [and] I went in for maybe five to ten laps. He was back here again and we brought a second car so I ran about 30 laps. Just at a practice by myself before the beginning of this year. Which did help make that decision. That's why we could align our expectations," said Kreitz.
She's getting that much-needed time in the seat to get a feel for things with a bigger motor.
Kreitz says the jump was also easier since she mostly raced at the Speed Palace in the 305 and would have to travel to other tracks if she races 358s or 360s.
“There’s definitely a big difference, especially when the track gets slick. With the throttle and stuff like that. It probably made a little more sense for me, at least and we’re a little bit more set up for this, with what we have," said Kreitz.
Not just using a few hand-me-downs from Dewease but being able to work with the legendary crew of three National Sprint Car Hall of Famers in her dad, Donnie Kreitz Jr., Dewease and Davey Brown. She says it's more of the time away from the track, having conversations and just talking about racing.
“It’s probably the unconscious stuff that I feel has helped so much. Not even when you’re directly talking about something that happened on the track. Just from being around Lance and dad and we’re watching races and you just pick up what other guys are doing wrong or right and kind of just naturally talk about it and I feel like that’s been the biggest benefit for me," said Kreitz.
Once Kreitz got behind the wheel, she wasn’t wasting any time making some moves. She picked up the hard charger in just her second race out: moving up 10 spots. Kreitz didn't run a full schedule. She ran a limited amount of 13 features on four different tracks.
In the summer, she has back-to-back top 10 finishes at Port Royal.
“I definitely think I’m more comfortable than I thought I’d be at this point. But still, a lot of work to do and really just comes down to getting laps in and running more races.”
The World of Outlaws drops its schedule. The biggest rivalry, the Pa. Posse versus the Outlaws is set to go head-to-head 14 times in 2023. It will start with an added early trip to the Speed Palace in March. In July, for the first time in over 30 years, the Outlaws will race at BAPS.
Nearly 24 hours later, the All-Stars release their schedule. A little shake-up in the races. Not making as many Pa swings, just two swings in May and again in September. With prior commits and the Dirt Classic moving up to Labor Day weekend, the All-Stars aren’t able to schedule a race at Lincoln.
And finally, Pa driver Sage Karam will once again be one of the drivers in the lineup and race for Alpha Prime Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
He started nine races last year, having his best finish at Daytona in August with his first top-five. Karam will make his 2023 season debut in Atlanta in March.