Each year when the season is completed, I try to take a look at the career wins for drivers from the local circuit.
Over the next couple of weeks that's what I intend to do. This week I'll begin with the 410 sprint-car division. There haven't been any major changes at the top of this list, but certainly the numbers posted by the top 10 drivers are very impressive.
I count every win I have been able to find for these drivers in the major sprint-car class. Because at one time the URC sprints had a very similar rules package to the local sprints, URC wins have always been counted in these totals, although they now have a 360 engine, instead of the 410.
At the top of the list is Fred Rahmer. Since he began racing sprint cars in 1986, Rahmer has won 412 sprint-car features, plus one 358 sprint feature. Before beginning his career in sprint cars, Rahmer won 99 races in modified competition. Add those numbers together, and Rahmer has won 512 races.
The just-completed season wasn't one of Rahmer's best. While he won just twice in 2012, Rahmer still put together a strong season by most driver's standards. By the way, Rahmer's two wins came against the World of Outlaws and in a Keystone Cup race.
Keith Kauffman remains second on the all-time career sprint-car list. Kauffman started his sprint-car career in 1970, and he's won 304 races in sprint cars over the years. His most recent came this year in Hagerstown's Speedweek show. "The Man From Mifflintown" has also won four times in late models and once in a dirt-champ car.
Lance Dewease stays in the third spot. Dewease's five wins this season pushed his career win total to 293. Dewease has also won in micro sprints and midgets.
The next four drivers on the list are no longer active drivers. Bobby Allen stands fourth with 276 during. Of course, Allen remains active in sprint-car racing, fielding cars for his son, Jacob Allen, and his grandson, Logan Schuchart.
Steve Smith rounds out the top five at 266 career sprint-car wins, along with eight late-model wins. Smith is still active at the tracks with his son, Stevie, and son-in-law Brian Leppo.
Lynn Paxton won 225 times in sprint cars. He also won 14 times in late models and once in a midget. Paxton now spends much of his time coordinating the activities of the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing.
The late Kenny Weld stands seventh at 215. He later turned to modifieds, where he's got at least 30 wins to his credit.
Stevie Smith now stands eighth at 200. His milestone win was his second of the season.
Ninth on the list is Todd Shaffer at 196. Rounding out the top 10 is Donnie Kreitz Jr., who won twice this season at Susquehanna to push his career win total to 188. He's also won something like 15 times in modifieds.
This year's biggest winner, Greg Hodnett, is quickly closing in on the area's top 10. In fact, Hodnett tells me that if I were able to find his win totals from the Memphis area before he hit the national scene, his total would probably top the 200-win mark. I personally have recorded 174 wins for Hodnett, which leaves him 12th on the all-time career win list, just behind Ray Tilley, who has 181.
BALTIMORE: The indoor races at Baltimore's First Mariner Arena go off on Saturday evening.
The TQ Midgets and Champ Karts will be in competition, with about 60 entries expected for the TQ portion of the program.
The First Mariner Arena is located in Baltimore's Inner Harbor, and doors for the program open at 6 p.m., with racing set to begin at 7 p.m.
The Baltimore race is the first in a series of three events to be promoted this winter by Len Sammons Productions. Fatheadz Eyewear is sponsoring the winter series. Other races are in Providence, R.I., on New Year's Eve, and Atlantic City, N.J., on Feb. 1 and 2.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at sports@yorkdis patch.com.