It was a weekend of firsts during the World of Outlaws' first Eastern Swing of the season.
One driver scored his very first Outlaw victory, while two very big winners scored their first wins of the season.
At Lincoln on Thursday, youngster Danny Dietrich scored his first Outlaw victory. Dietrich came from the seventh starting spot to score a convincing triumph. Dietrich's win came in what could well be called a trouncing of the Outlaws by the Pennsylvania Posse. Pennsylvania cars scored all but one of the top-10 finishing positions, although fifth-place finisher Lucas Wolfe is a full-time Outlaw traveler.
Friday at the Grove, local career win leader Fred Rahmer scored his first win of 2012 in another trouncing of the Outlaws by the Posse. The race marked the 11th time Rahmer has won against the Outlaws, and was his 412th career sprint-car win. Like Lincoln, the Grove's top four were all local cars. This time, the Outlaws managed to place four cars in positions five through 10, although Wolfe again was among them.
The man who has been the face of the Outlaw series since it was formed in 1978, Steve Kinser, regained some of the honor for the series with his win at the Grove on Saturday. Like Rahmer, Kinser's win was his first of the season. Kinser has won an amazing total of 708 Outlaw features in a career that shows at least 922 career sprint-car victories.
Although Kinser won the race, only one other Outlaw regular scored a top-10 finish. That was Craig Dollansky in fifth. Former Outlaw champion Danny Lasoski finished third, but he was driving a Pennsylvania-based car that he plans to race in this area a number of times during the remainder of the season.
WEEKEND SLATE: The Outlaws aren't quite done with the area. After stops in New York state on Wednesday and Saturday, the Outlaws return to the area Sunday for a show at Hagerstown. The Classic Cars will join the Outlaws at Hagerstown.
Williams Grove will have a two-race weekend this week. Friday, the sprints and 358 sprints compete. On Saturday, it's the super sportsmen, limited-late models and street stocks.
Trailway also hosts two days of racing this weekend. Friday, the 358 sprints are joined by the Xtreme stocks and limited stocks. Micro sprints headline Saturday's show.
Lincoln will host the sprints, 358 sprints and thundercars on Saturday, while the sprints, late models and pro stocks race at Port Royal.
Selinsgrove will host the 358 sprints, late models and roadrunners on Saturday, and Susquehanna Speedway Park celebrates its 58th anniversary season Saturday with the limited-late models, street stocks, Xtreme stocks, minivans, Road Warriors and the Penn Mar Vintage Cars.
50 YEARS AGO: It was a big weekend on the local circuit 50 years ago in 1962. Lincoln held its season opener and Port Royal hosted two features to make up a rainout from the week before.
Friday at Williams Grove, Delta's Johnny Mackison Sr. drove the Yorkshire Garage/Emrich Chevy No. 1080 to his fourth overall win of the season. Mackison bested Dick Tobias for the victory, with Leroy Felty, Lorenze Alwine and Neil Haight in the top five.
At Port Royal on Saturday, Mackison kept his streak going in winning the make-up feature. Tobias was again second, followed by Felty, Alwine and Stewartstown's Frankie Thompson. In the regular feature, Tobias turned the tables on Mackison, scoring his sixth overall win of the season in the Regester No. 6. Mackison was second, followed by Bucky Bucannon.
Meanwhile, at Lincoln's Saturday night season opener, Stoverstown's Gene Goodling raced to his first win of the season in Ken Appler's No. 77. Goodling's teammate, Willie Musselman, finished second in the Appler No. 76. Rounding out the top five were Bobby Gerhart Sr., Pee Wee Pobletts and Pete Kantorsky.
His first name is actually Charles, but to race fans of the era, the little guy from Maryland was always known as Pee Wee. Pee Wee Pobletts drove his own No. 46 to his first win of the season Sunday at Susquehanna. Pobletts' win came over Goodling and Gerhart, with Lauden Potts and Ray Tilley in the top five.
KEYSTONE CUP: The Keystone Cup series for the local sprint cars is quickly approaching.
The Keystone Cup will be held over the week of Memorial Day, and will consist of five races in five days at five different tracks. It starts Wednesday, May 23, at Grandview.
Each race pays $5,000 to the winner. Thursday is at Port Royal, Friday is at Williams Grove, Saturday is at Lincoln and Sunday is at Selinsgrove.
YCRC MEETING: The York County Racing Club will hold a general membership meeting this Wednesday evening at the club hall in Zions View. The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m.
Thundercar racer Mike Slaybaugh will be the guest speaker. Slaybaugh is a second-generation racer, who once raced sprint cars. His late father, Kenny Slaybaugh, was a winner in both sprints and late models, and is a member of the YCRC Hall of Fame.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at sports@yorkdis patch.com.