MECHANICSBURG, Pa. – Despite sitting third in the standings and proving he can unload just about anywhere and race for wins, Danny Dietrich has withdrawn from racing full time with the All Star Circuit of Champions.
The Gettysburg, Pa. racer announced the news on Twitter late Thursday night, on the eve of the 30th annual Pennsylvania Speedweek.
“It was very hard,” Dietrich told Sprint Car & Midget. “We were going to race a lot in Pennsylvania anyway. We had 16 conflicting races from here with the All Stars. We really wanted to do it. We were going to do it.”
In 11 features, Dietrich collected one win, five podiums and six top 10s. He was also only 58 points behind two-time reigning series champion Aaron Reutzel and just 10 points behind Cory Eliason for second.
After his third-place finish Wednesday night at Port Royal Speedway, Dietrich’s car owner Gary Kauffman knew a tough decision needed to be made in time for Friday’s Pennsylvania Speedweek opener.
So, as the two stood along the front stretch Wednesday at Port Royal for podium recognition, Kauffman encouraged his driver to take up the opportunity.
“He wanted to run with the All Stars,” Dietrich said. “But, ultimately, even though he’s the owner, when it comes down to me and Jake [Sgrignoli] working on it or Seth [Dietrich] working on it, we just don’t have the help on the road. We’re not set up to travel.
“Ultimately, that’s what the decision came down to, is not being set up to run full-time like that.”
In addition to his hefty racing commitments, Dietrich helps run his family business, Racers New & Used Parts Warehouse out of Aspers, Pa.
Sgrignoli, one of Dietrich’s two crew members, is also a full-time auto mechanic and Dietrich’s nephew, Seth, works at the family operation too.
“The small family business, it takes every bit of what we put into it to get results with positive feedback,” Dietrich said.
Dietrich’s decision came just when it seemed he’d hit his stride with the traveling circuit, having finished on the podium three times in the past four races. He also picked up a win over that stretch at Monarch Motor Speedweek in Wichita Falls, Texas.
Now, Dietrich eyes his second Pennsylvania Speedweek title – his first since 2016 – and is trying to become the fifth driver to earn double-digit series wins.
He currently has nine overall Pennsylvania Speedweek victories, behind only Fred Rahmer, Lance Dewease, Greg Hodnett and Stevie Smith.
“We have momentum,” Dietrich said. “We’re confident. I feel like we can race anywhere. We should be good here all week [in Pennsylvania Speedweek], I hope. … Everywhere we’ve been we’ve been fast.”
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