Newmanstown, Pa. - A very special night is planned for this Saturday, April 19, at Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway, when the club salutes Ivan Stoltzfus, who plans to drive his John Deere tractor across the United States to raise money and awareness for veterans wounded in battle.
Across America For Wounded Heroes is a Wounded Warrior project and Stoltzfus, along with his specially modified John Deere (named "the Johnabilt") and support team, will be on hand at the Clyde this Saturday as he prepares to kick off his journey. The official starting date for his trip, by the way, is one week after the appearance at Clyde Martin, on Saturday, April 26.
A.J. Blosenski Trash Hauling Recycling, along with longtime Lanco competitor Dick Huzzard and his wife Louise, are sponsoring AAFWH Night at the Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway. Huzzard served in the Vietnam War so the Wounded Warrior project is near and dear to him. He enlisted the help of his employer, A.J. Blosenski, for Saturday's event sponsorship at the Clyde. Huzzard is planning a very special and very patriotic opening ceremony that will feature Stoltzfus and the Johnabilt, along with the camper that he will tow behind the tractor on his cross-country trek.
Obviously, Stoltzfus will not scoot around the banked oval while actual racecars are on the track, but he will make some ceremonious laps with the Johnabilt and Huzzard's 250cc Four-Stroke Micro-Sprint will be parading alongside.
Ivan Stoltzfus is an auctioneer and real estate broker. He's also a farmer, and he grew up working on the family farm, where he was surrounded by the sweet sound of two-cylinder John Deere tractors.
These days, Stoltzfus splits his time between Honeybrook, Pa. and Sarasota, Florida. Beginning April 26, however, he'll be spending most of his days inside the cab of his 1948 John Deere Model A, riding at a crisp 18 or 19 miles-per-hour across our country's highways. NOTE: he needed, and received, special waivers from the NJ and Pennsylvania Departments of Transportation in order to legally drive the Deere on those states' highways.
For many years, Stoltzfus dreamed of taking a cross country journey behind the wheel of a tractor. He wants to see the USA from that vantage point and also raise funds and support for our Servicemen and women who have been injured in battle and need both financial and physical help. His goal is to raise $1 million for the Wounded Warrior Project, and he's got a lot of corporate and individual support for his effort.
With the help of the Waterloo Boys of southeastern Pa., the Model A was restored and retrofitted with the cab of a 1949 Peterbilt - hence the name "Johnabilt" given to his creation.
He'll tow the camper behind him during his sojourn, unhooking several times so he and the Johnabilt can participate in scheduled tractor parades and other events that are planned at various stops along the way.
The trip begins at 8:30 a.m. on April 26, when Stoltzfus will dip the tires of his tractor in the Atlantic Ocean in Manasquan, NJ. I'm sure there will be another "dip" at the end of his trek, this time in the Pacific on the left coast of this great land.
For additional background and information on Stoltzfus and his journey, google Across America for Wounded Heroes, or AAfWH.
The Lanco racing community will honor Stoltzfus, his project, and the Wounded Warriors this Saturday, helping to kick off the long, east to west drive that will commence one week later.
Gates open at 3:30 on Saturday, with warm-ups beginning at 5 p.m. The first heat race will follow the opening ceremonies to honor AAFWH at 6:00.
This special event will feature qualifying heats, consolations, and 25-lap main events for the Clyde's five weekly divisions...the 600cc, 270cc, 125cc, Sportsman, and 250cc Four-Stroke Micro-Sprints.
Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway has long been known as one of the finest Micro-Sprint facilities in the country, as well as the wheel-to-wheel, side-by-side action produced by its high banked oval. With last week's season opener serving to knock off the rust of more than 100 weekly competitors, this Saturday's AAfWH Night presented by AJ Blosenski Trash Hauling & Recycling, along with Dick and Louise Huzzard, should find the intense competition ratcheted up to an even higher level.
Come on out and support Across America for Wounded Heroes and LIVE the excitement that is Lanco!