By Doug Watson
You could say it was a changing of the guard this past season at Maryland’s Hagerstown Speedway as three new drivers entered the record books as a first time division champion. Port Royal Pa’s Devin Hart, Mercersburg Pa’s Jason Stoner and Hagerstown Md’s Keith Reed each enjoyed productive seasons that led them to their first ever championships at the fabled Maryland half mile.

Speedway Race Director Josh Fries was quite pleased with how the tracks 76th season of operation was completed. “We had a rough start with very wet weather but overall the car counts were good and the racing was excellent and I was very happy with this past season.” With the holiday season now upon us Josh is hard at work getting things ready for the upcoming 2024 campaign. “Going into 2024 my thoughts are to continue to build on what we have done so far.” Josh offered. “We introduced a driver promotion card this past season where any driver racing in each of the three regular divisions received a card for free general admission for a fan or family member. Between that and the pre race meet and greets we started last year we have started to build a fan base with our drivers.” Josh has also been hard at work on the tracks upcoming schedule, which should hopefully be released sometime in December. “The schedule is still being built, but I’m working with other tracks in the area to coordinate our big races with theirs and we hope to have it done in the next couple of weeks.”
Late Model Sportsman- The tracks headline division contested 13 events with 9 different drivers finding victory lane. Track Champion Devin Hart’s season was almost perfect as he posted 12 top five feature finishes along with 3-feature wins in the 13 completed events. Devin was one of the top Late Model Sportsman drivers in the region this season as he scored 3 wins a Port Royal speedway and single event wins at Selinsgrove, Bedford and Virginia’s Winchester Speedway. Former division champion Justin Weaver was a part-time competitor this season but would score 2 wins with his familiar no.2J. Justin is the leading active division winner, and 5th all-time, with 34 victories…Levi Crowl would be the last multiple winner of the season as his career season saw him take 2 main events and a runner-up finish in the standings…Trent Brennemen took his career first Hagerstown feature win in May and would also score victories this season at Selinsgrove and Port Royal…Two time Hagerstown champion Kyle Lear scored his lone win, and career 26th, in late June. Lear had a tremendous season as well as he would score the Potomac Limited Late Model track title and take wins this season at Winchester, Hagerstown, Potomac, Path Valley and Bedford…Veteran Barry Miller broke through for his 8th career track win on June 17th…Eventual Steel Block Bandits Series champion Derick Quade took the Free State 50 in July and the $5000 winners share for his second career Hagerstown feature win…2022 champion Cody Kershner drove his iconic Shane and Dave Wilt no.2+2 to his one and only score of the season on August 19th. Kyle Lee closed the season with a victory in the small car nationals in September, aboard his Dougie Timmons owned no.2T for his 8th career division win.
Semi Lates- After a win in the May season opener Jason Stoner produced an absolutely stunning season as he would win 10 of the 12 races held. Up to this point in his Hagerstown career Stoner had only produced 2 feature wins, but a revamped off season program would see him completely dominate the division. On the flip side, It would only take one feature win and 11 other top five finishes of the 12 races run for Jasen Geesaman to claim his first career Hagerstown title in a season of consistency. It would certainly be the Jason and Jasen show in 2023 as Geesaman would run second to Stoner on six different occasions…Dillon Wilson was the only other driver in the class to score a victory as he would take his 3rd career win in the first event of May.
Pure Stocks- A win in the first race of the season gave the Hagerstown, faithful a glimpse of what they would see quite often during the season, Keith Reed in victory Lane. Reed would lead the division with 7 feature wins and 10 top five finishes to collect his coveted first career Hagerstown championship. Nick Fogle drove his self owned no.88 and the Thompson no.22 to 3 feature wins including the small car nationals Zack Reid Memorial. Virginia veteran Randy Linaburg Broke through for his first career, Hagerstown win on August 5th…Nathan Younker, the eventual point runner up, also tallied his first ever division win in July and 2023 Winchester champion Jason Wilkins also became a first time Hagerstown winner with his win in the Eric Johnson memorial.
Dedicated track prep creates great racing- In this case I have to give credit or credit is due. Brian Jones and his staff have a tall task of keeping the big half mile in tiptop shape. Just about every racer in the pit area will tell you they come to Hagerstown because of how well prepared the race track is for every event. The three weekly classes, plus the late models, sprint cars, and modifieds put on arguably the best races anywhere in the mid Atlantic region, week in and week out. Great job guys!!!