Concord, NC — Dave Hess Jr. received the spoils of victory in the inaugural Alltel All-Star contest on Tuesday night at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver , Pa.
At a track located just two hours from his residence in Waterford , Pa. , Hess was presented a check for $12,000 during the mid-week World of Outlaws Late Model Series ‘Showdown in Sarvertown’ event.
Hess, 23, was showered with cheers from his hometown fans when he held up an oversized novelty check signifying his triumph in the Alltel All-Star contest – and he saluted them right back. It was many of those western Pennsylvania fans, after all, who made him the top vote-getter in the on-line contest, which pitted the 18 drivers who won feature events during February’s 37th annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway in Barberville , Fla.
“I can’t thank everybody who voted for us enough,” said Hess, who earned his way on the Alltel All-Star ballot by winning a UMP DIRTcar Modified feature on Feb. 9. “We put the word out as soon as we got on the ballot for the voting and then everybody made this happen for me – all my fans, my family, my guys on the crew. We pushed and pushed and pushed (for votes), and we came out on top.
“It’s just great to get a check like this, and I want to thank Alltel for putting up the money to make this all possible. It should help our season out unbelievably, and now I’ll just try to put the best show on I can for all of you.”
Hess beat out Sprint Car driver Wayne Johnson of Mustang, Okla. , in a virtual photo-finish for the Alltel All-Star title. The online poll closed at 11:59 p.m. on March 16 with Hess edging Johnson, of Mustang, Okla. , by less than 1 percent of the overall votes.
Of the thousands of votes cast for the 18 different drivers who earned victories in the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals, Hess earned 25.5 percent of the total votes, a shade more than the 24.6 Johnson received.
“Once we had gotten out front there (in the voting),” said Hess, “I think everybody got motivated thinking, ‘Holy cow! We’ve got a shot at winning this thing!’
“As many fans as Josh Richards (a World of Outlaws Late Model Series star also on the ballot) has, I thought it would’ve been someone like that or even (Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion) Donny Schatz and all them. I guess the local fans worked out for us.”
In addition to Hess’ victory in the Alltel All-Star contest, one of the thousands of fans who voted online was also a winner. Cindy Daigle of Elk Grove Village , Ill. , won a $500 Alltel Wireless gift card.
The Alltel DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park featured the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, the Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series, the UMP DIRTcar Modifieds, UMP DIRTcar Late Models and All Star Circuit of Champions sprint car tour.
Drivers who celebrated in the Alltel Wireless Victory Lane at Volusia represented 13 different states, from both coasts as well as the heart of the Midwest . Only those drivers who captured a feature win were eligible, including:
Alltel is owner and operator of the nation’s largest wireless network and has more than 12 million customers. For more information about Alltel, please visit www.alltel.com.