The Beerhill Gang sponsorship started in April of 2002. Bruce Ellis announced one night at Williams Grove that Rick Lafferty driver of the #0 from Trenton, NJ did not have a sponsor and Rick Laffertywas looking for help. Upon hearing this, Michael Root got the idea to help Rick out and talked to some buddies that he has been standing on Beerhill with for the past 5-6 years to see if they would be interested in pitching in some money and being a sponsor on Rick’s car. They group were all interested and from there, the Beerhill Gang was born. A group of about 15 friends all pitched in some money to help out the driver and they got in contact with Rick and told him the idea and Rick was all for it. For $50.00 a week the Beerhill Gang was on Rick #0 and was eventually upped to $200.00 a week. The Beerhill Gang helped out Rick Lafferty for about a year. Then around June of 2003 Rick and the Beerhill Gang had a falling out and they were no longer a sponsor on his car.
Lucas WolfeTom Strayer one of the original members of the Beerhill Gang suggested that maybe we could help rookie driver Lucas Wolfe in the 5W. So the BHG contacted Laura Allebach and that is how the Allebach Racing/Beerhill Gang relationship began.
The Beerhill Gang which started with about 15 friends has since grown and is now made up of all the fans that have donated money or bought an official Beerhill Gang Sticker from the Hill. (As a note any kind of sticker or any other Beerhill Gang stuff bought anywhere else but from the Beerhill Gang its self on the hill does not go towards the sponsorship). The Beerhill Gang is not a big corporation who has a lot of money to spare; it is a bunch of fans that are normal hard working fans who love sprint car racing. The Gang decided to donate and help out a driver because of this love of the sport.
Funny HatsSome people who really don’t know what the Beerhill Gang does or has done for the sport sometimes get the wrong idea just because of the name. Beerhill at Williams Grove is a big section just outside of turn three where people stand to watch the action each and every Friday night and not everybody that stands on the hill is a member of the Beerhill Gang. Just because they stand there people assume they are part of the Gang. If they end up acting like idiots one night people associate them to the Beerhill Gang and we get a bad reputation. That is not the case we are trying to do something good for the sport. Don’t get me wrong there is some beer drinking going on and sometimes we get a little rowdy but it is all in good fun.
In 2005 the Beerhill Gang took it a step further and along with the Hard Lucksponsorship for Lucas, decided to also present the Beerhill Gang Hard Luck Award. The Hard Luck Award is a monetary award to the driver who has had bad luck for the evening. Two good examples are our first two drivers awarded the Hard Luck Award. At a Sunday show during his heat race Niki Young had his left rear tire blow out which resulted in him barrel rolling down the front stretch and trashing his car which did not allow him to finish the day. At the first Friday show of the year Keith Kauffman trying to qualify in the consi got into some oil that was left on the track by a blown motor of another car and slid into the wall and trashed his car and could not finish the evening. Both Niki and Keith were awarded the Hard Luck Award which is an extra $125.00 they would other wise not have. Just to help them out a little bit.
To generate the money for the Hard Luck Award, Beerhill Gang Hard Luck T-Shirts were made and sold, with all proceeds going only to the award. To get the money for the T-Shirts Mike contacted 15 different local companies or business to be the sponsors of the Hard Luck Award. They donated $200.00 each and with that Mike was able to get the Beerhill Gang T-shirts made up. The Gang sells the shirts up on the hill Friday nights. Each of the sponsors appears on the back of the T-shirts and is also announced via PA system by Bruce Ellis on their designated night at the Grove. With the sales of the T-shirts and sponsors, BHG was able to help out numerous drivers who at some point suffered a little "hard luck" in both the 2005 and 2006 seasons.
During the 2007 season the BHG presented the Hard Charger award to the driver who passed the most cars in the feature.
In 2008 Lucas Wolfe and the Allebach racing team decided to tour with the World of Outlaws traveling sprint car series full-time. So the Beerhill Gang had to look for a new driver to sponsor and it was put to a vote and the decision was made to sponsor fan favorite, Briam Montieth in his familiar number 21 owned by Jerry Parrish. While it marked an end to a very great and fun partnership with the 5w, the Beerhill Gang looked forward to teaming up with one of Central PA's most exciting drivers in '08.
Members of Beerhill have also contributed to other endeavors including PA Speedweek and also the Williams Grove National Open Chili Cook-off to name a few.
Be sure to stop by the Hill and pick up a 2010 BHG shirt or even just to say "Hi", and meet a bunch of great sprint car fans. And always remember:
Beers, Friend and 410s!