Mark Schulz is hoping history will repeat itself Saturday when Ransomville Speedway showcases the Raceway Speed and Performance King of the Hill 100 for the Pro-Stocks.
For the last three seasons, the driver who has earned the Ransomville Pro-Stock points championship has gone on to win the King of the Hill, the track's most prestigious event in that class.
Joe Stefanski turned the trick in 1996; Schulz's brother Dave accomplished the feat in 1997 and Pete Stefanski, Joe's brother, did it last year.
Mark Schulz, Ransomville's 1999 Pro-Stock champion, likes the King of the Hill.
"It's extra laps and extra prize money and you have more laps to work through traffic so you don't abuse your race car as much," Schulz said.
Schulz was running second in last year's King of the Hill when his engine broke and he had to retire at about the halfway mark.
Schulz had a breakthrough season, winning seven Ransomville features on his way to the points crown. Among his victories were the first and last points races of the year.
"I started my driving career at Ransomville driving in the Street Stocks in 1997," recalled the 22-year old Ransomville resident. "I had an average year and had no wins. It was a learning experience.
"Last year, I moved up to Pro-Stocks. I wanted to try something a little faster. I think Pro-Stocks are better for me as they are faster, have more horsepower and are a little bit more of a race car."
In his rookie Pro-Stock season, Schulz won a race, placed 10th in points and was the division's rookie of the year.
"I had a fast car all last year but had trouble finishing races," Schulz said. "Toward the end of last season, I began to get some consistency to my driving and started to finish races. This is where I helped myself to become a better driver."
Schulz also had a new car for the 1999 campaign, a 1982 Oldsmobile Cutlass mounted on a Stinger Chassis from Ed's Garage in Ransomville.
Schulz's father, Gene, a retired driver, serves as the team's crew chief. Schulz's brother Brian, along with Matt Seymour, Doug Lewis, Adam Dozier and Pat Wildhagen, are the championship pit crew. BMG International and Ed's Garage provide sponsorship assistance.
When not competing at Ransomville, Schulz ran a limited schedule at Genesee Speedway, where his brother Dave won the track title. Mark Schulz was fifth in points at Genesee after three second-place feature outings.
Schulz's brother Dan also competes at Ransomville and Genesee.
"I think we'll have a pretty large and competitive field at Ransomville for the King of the Hill," predicted Schulz. "It sure would be nice to win that race and to put a happy ending to a good season."
Racing Saturday begins at 6:15 p.m. Along with the King of the Hill, the Street Stocks will also run a 35-lap feature.
Saturday, the Pro-Stocks will draw for their starting assignments in the heat qualifying races for the King of the Hill. The top finishers from the heat races will run in a special dash for cash event. The finishing order from the dash will determine the top starters in order for the King of the Hill 100.
Ransomville will also feature racing Friday at 7:15 p.m. The Sportsman will run a special 50-lap open-competition race and the Pro-Stocks will warm-up for Saturday with a 20-lap event. Two 15-lap Street Stock races will round-out the card.
The racing weekend will conclude Ransomville's 1999 stock car campaign.