Veteran sprint-car driver Rod Stroup is recovering from injuries suffered Saturday evening at Port Royal Speedway.

Stroup's racer was involved in a first-lap crash during the first heat race. His car flipped numerous times, coming to stop in the first turn after starting to flip on the front straightaway.

Stroup was airlifted to the Hershey Medical Center where he is now resting.

It was disclosed that he suffered two compression fractures to vertebra, plus several broken ribs and a puncture wound to his knee.

At the scene of the crash, Stroup was talking with safety workers, but was in considerable pain because of the injuries to his neck, back and leg. He was also experiencing trouble with his vision.

Workers cut the roll cage from his car and removed him from the car while still in his racing seat.

He is said to be in good spirits.


PIT STOPS

YOUTH WILL BE SERVED: A couple of young drivers were the show last weekend at Williams Grove and Lincoln speedways.

Danny Dietrich won Friday's feature at Williams Grove after a late-race duel with Brent Marks. Saturday at Lincoln, Marks won the feature over a fast-closing Dietrich.

Dietrich, in his early 20s, is a second-generation driver who won two races last season during his rookie year. He actually passed Marks for the lead at Williams Grove on the 22nd of 25 laps, but Marks regained the lead for two more laps, before Dietrich took over for good on the final lap.


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Marks also started his sprint-car career last season. His win at Lincoln was his first ever in a sprint car, after numerous micro-sprint wins. Marks is just 19. At Lincoln, Marks never let Dietrich get close enough for a pass.

While Marks' win at Lincoln was his first, he actually had a very good rookie season, where he did everything but win. In fact, although four rookies won races last year, Marks scored more points in last year's Speed Dawg series than any other rookie driver.

OR MAYBE NOT: I don't know last weekend's result from Delaware International Speedway, but it's possible someone has found a "Fountain of Youth" there.

Two drivers with storied careers around these parts have been on top of their games in Delaware this year, despite being in what has to be the later stages of their careers.

Kenny Brightbill was one of the best modified racers ever at the old Reading Fairgrounds before it closed in 1979, and continued to be a big modified winner wherever those cars raced for many years. When the modifieds raced at Susquehanna during the 1990s and early 2000s, Brightbill was the big winner, with 33 small-block wins (tops in that class) and four big-block wins (again tops in that class).

After a few off years, Brightbill picked up a big-block modified ride in Delaware this season and he already has five wins there. Brightbill is 62.

But that "ain't nothin,'" as they say. In Delaware's late-model class, a guy named Hal Browning has been winning almost as much as Brightbill. The first local win on record for Hal Browning came in 1964 at Lincoln.

He was a winner in this area in the "bugs" and sprint cars before he moved from his Baltimore area home to Delaware, where he began racing modifieds and winning. Later he moved into late models and came back to the area to win at Lincoln during the 1980s. He's still at it, and has won at least twice this season. Hal Browning, may look like he's 50, but he's well past his 70th birthday.

Browning owns 15 sprint-car wins in the area and has at least 66 late-model wins to go along with his many modified triumphs.

SPEEDWEEK: The 20th annual Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek kicks off Saturday at Lincoln.

Speedweek will feature eight races in nine days. Lincoln's opener will offer $7,000 to the winner of the Kevin Gobrecht Memorial Race. The thundercars are also a part of Lincoln's show.

This Sunday, Speedweek moves to Bedford, where it's $5,000 to win for the sprints. Late models are also on the card. Bedford has a Monday rain date.

Next Tuesday, Speedweek moves to Grandview with another $5,000 on the line for the winner. The small-block modifieds are also on the card.

Wednesday, June 30, Hagerstown goes at it with another $5,000 on the line for the sprint cars. The Eastern Museum of Motor Racing will also be on hand with a display of vintage race cars.

Lincoln gets a second Speedweek show on Thursday, July 1. This one offers up another $5,000 to win. The thundercars again join the action.

Friday, July 2, is the Mitch Smith Memorial Race at Williams Grove, with $10,000 on the line for the winner. There will also be a fireworks display.

Saturday, July 3, it's on to Port Royal, with another $5,000 on the line. The 305 sprints are also on the card.

Speedweek wraps up Sunday, July 4, at Selinsgrove for the Jan Opperman Memorial Race. Another $5,000 goes to the winner.

REST OF THIS WEEK END'S SCHEDULE: Williams Grove will play host to a pre-Speedweek tuneup for the sprint cars on Friday, plus the 358 sprints are on hand.

Saturday the super sportsmen, limited-late models and street stocks race at the Grove.

Trailway has a two-race weekend. Friday, it's the 358 sprints, thundercars and several other stock-car classes. Saturday the micro sprints take center stage with the start of the 600cc Micro-Sprint Speedweek.

After Saturday's Speedweek show at Lincoln, the track is right back in action Sunday evening with the 600cc Micro-Sprint Speedweek.

The sprints get a night off at Port Royal this Saturday for Speedweek. The schedule calls for 358 sprints, late models, 305 sprints and pro stocks.

Selinsgrove hosts the 358 sprints, late models, pro stocks and roadrunners Saturday, while Hagerstown has the Three State Flyer Late Model Series for the 35 lap "Red" Ninninger Memorial Race. Late model sportsmen and pure stocks are also on hand.

Susquehanna Speedway Park has the limited late models, street stocks, Xtreme stocks and classic cars Saturday. Susquehanna is also part of the 600cc Micro-Sprint Speedweek with a show on Thursday, July 1.

-- Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at sports@yorkdis patch.com.