The Eastern Museum of Motor Racing will play host to a holiday open house this weekend.
Each year, the museum reopens for one weekend near the beginning of December for this special weekend.
After this weekend, the museum closes for the winter months. Volunteers will go to work changing the exhibits for next season. The museum reopens in the spring.
This weekend offers a final chance to see this year's exhibits for fans and racers who may have been too busy during the racing season. The museum's gift shop is also open for a special Christmas gift selection for the race fan on the gift list.
But, as in all things done at the EMMR, there will be plenty of other happenings as well. The original season schedule calls for the museum to be open Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. That schedule calls for Sunday to include racing movies, an auction and refreshments.
Since the schedule was printed last winter, things have changed and another event has been added for Sunday. Recently retired local racing legend Fred Rahmer has always been a big supporter of the EMMR. On Sunday, the museum will offer its support for Rahmer.
Starting around 1 p.m., the EMMR will host a "Fast Freddie" Rahmer roast. It's sure to be a fun time for everyone, except, perhaps, Rahmer. I'm not sure who all will be on hand to roast "Fast Freddie," but you can be sure EMMR kingpin Lynn Paxton will have put together an all-star cast of "roasters."
Paxton, is of course, a Hall of Fame former sprint-car driver himself, and he's been known to throw a few barbs. Well, maybe more than a few. Paxton is the guy who once received a washing machine agitator as an award at a local track banquet. At least that's part of his legend.
Retired: I've mentioned this before, but now that the season has ended, I'll bring it up again. Rahmer isn't the only local star who hung up his helmet at the end of the season. In fact, it's probably safe to say that this year's group of retiring racers could signify the end of an era.
Four of the area's top drivers, and one of its greatest owner/mechanics, have all ended their racing careers in recent weeks. Between them, the four drivers and one owner have totaled close to 1,400 feature wins, and every one of them is in at least one Hall of Fame.
Rahmer retired with 519 career feature wins. Most of his 420 sprint-car wins came in the full-up sprinters, while a few were with limited cars. He added 99 modified wins to his sprint-car total. He is, in fact, this area's all-time career sprint-car winner.
Ironically, the man closest to Rahmer on that list has also retired. Keith Kauffman has at least 308 career wins, with just more than 300 of them coming in sprint cars. He's also won in late models and dirt-champ cars.
Both drivers are members of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and the York County Racing Club Hall of Fame.
Denny Bonebrake also hung up his helmet at season's end. Bonebrake started racing late models in the late 1960s at age 18, and ranks second all time in career late-model wins for the area. I've accounted for 212 late-model wins in his career. Recently, Bonebrake was inducted into the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame. That honor goes along with similar past honors with the YCRC and the Auto Racing Club of Hagerstown.
Hanover's Cris Eash tried to step away once before, but this time he says it's for good. Eash won more than 100 sprint-car features and a good handful of features in the 358 sprints before his first retirement. Now he's got 109 wins in the sprints and 24 more in the 358 sprints, which gives the YCRC Hall of Famer 133 career wins.
Manchester's Barry Klinedinst has been perhaps the area's biggest innovator in late-model racing over his career, which started in the 1960s. He too is now retired. Klinedinst not only fielded cars for some of the area's best late-model drivers over the years, but in many cases he built everything on the cars as well. One of his racers revolutionized the local late-model circuit back in the late 1970s.
I don't know how many races Klinedinst has won as an owner and mechanic, but his drivers over the years accounted for close to 400 wins, and I'd say at least half of those wins came while driving for Klinedinst. Klinedinst, too, is a member of the YCRC Hall of Fame.
One other note on Klinedinst is that at one time he also built engines for his competitors. One of the most notable of which was a family from Berwick named Spencer. Later Jimmy Spencer lured Klinedinst to North Carolina for a few years to work on his NASCAR Grand National team.
If you add in the loss of Kramer Williamson to his tragic accident last August, it makes for more than 1,500 local wins that won't be on the track next season. Williamson won 144 times in sprint cars and another 11 in super sportsmen. He, too, was a member of both the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and the YCRC Hall of Fame.
Thunder: Dillsburg's Lynn Schaeffer has released the most recent edition of his acclaimed "Thunder in the Pa. Mountains" videos.
Schaeffer is noted worldwide for his production that chronicles the local open-wheel-racing season. He produced one each year since 1986, and each year it seems to get better.
Lincoln banquet: Sprint-car special awards from Lincoln's banquet on Saturday found York's Jordan Mackison named Rookie of the Year, York's Glenndon Forsythe named Most Improved and York's Cory Haas named the Sportsmanship winner. Moon Byers and Freddie Rahmer Jr. shared the Mechanic of the Year award.
In the 358 sprints, York's Chase Dietz was the Rookie of the Year, Tyler Ross was Most Improved and Cody Fletcher got the Sportsmanship honors. On the thundercar scene, Hanover's Aaron Beard was the Rookie of the Year, York's Jason Townsend was Most Improved and Jimmy Combs got the sportsmanship nod.