This weekend will be a big one in local racing circles.
Fans from this area have a chance to see many of the new cars for the upcoming local season and also to witness indoor racing.
The annual Dirt Trackin show at the York Fairgrounds is set to run all this weekend. The show hours are Friday from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
New promoters Todd and Rhonda Fisher plan to do many of the things that have made the Dirt Trackin' show so popular over the years, plus add a few new twists of their own.
The York show has always been about race cars, and over the years many local teams have made this show a focal point of their offseason. That should remain the same. There should be more than 100 racing vehicles on display.
Add in all the racing products and memorabilia, race track displays and racing videos, and those are the things that have made Dirt Trackin' the show that it is. The Ms. Dirt Trackin' contest will be held Friday evening, and a "Little Ms. Dirt Trackin" contest will be added as well.
There will be racing seminars and autograph sessions as well. The York County Racing Club will be on hand all weekend, and yes, the club will have its well-known bake sale as well.
Meanwhile, over on the Jersey coast, "The Gambler's Classic" will take place inside Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. The TQ Midgets are the headline division for the indoor racing show, and they usually get nearly 100 of the small speedsters for the weekend's racing action. The Slingshots and Champ Karts are also a part of the Atlantic City races.
Friday night, all three classes have qualifying events, and the TQs have a 30-lap feature. On Saturday night, they finish up qualifying for each division and run the three feature events, with the 40-lap Gambler's Classic for the TQs wrapping up the program.
Paxton roast: Last Sunday's roast of former racer Lynn Paxton at the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing was a very popular event.
A large crowd of fans and many local racing stars were on hand to celebrate Paxton's 70th birthday.
Among those who had some "not-so-kind" words to say about the man who won more than 250 races during his career were Keith Kauffman, Bobby Allen, Van May and Gary Wolford. There were many others from the racing world and Paxton's past as well.
Kauffman had to be careful what he said on this day, and he will be on the firing line in the not-too-distant future. The folks at the EMMR have planned a roast to tribute Kauffman on Sunday afternoon, April 6, during its Spring Open House.
ARCH banquet: The Auto Racing Club of Hagerstown hosted its annual awards banquet Saturday evening.
Sportsmanship drivers from many of the area tracks were honored and there were many other special awards as well.
The highlight of the ARCH Banquet is its Hall of Fame awards. Each year ARCH inducts a living member to its Hall of Fame and a deceased member to the Hall. This year former stock-car racer Dave Wilt was the living inductee. Wilt started his career in the old six-cylinder HARE Division at Winchester, Va., and advanced through the ranks to eventually compete in the late-model class. His biggest successes came in the limited-late model class, where he was a big winner and multi-time champion. His biggest wins and his championships came at Winchester and Hagerstown, but he competed at many of the tracks closer to our area as well.
After he retired from driving, Wilt worked with the promotional team at Winchester for a while, and as recently as last year was a roving pit reporter at Hagerstown, where his son Shane served as the announcer.
Longtime York County Racing Club president Paul Miller was the deceased member added to the hall. Miller was a winning driver on the local circuit before serving more than 30 years as the president of the YCRC.
Other awards: Each year, the members of ARCH vote on their favorite drivers in many classes.
This year's favorite open-wheel driver was 358 sprint-car driver Adrian Shaffer, of Hellam. Kenny Moreland won the award for the late models, while Justin Weaver was the limited-late-model favorite.
The late race announcer Frank Sagi also hosted a very long-running race-car show in the Hagerstown area. Each year his son Alan presents the Frank Sagi Memorial Best Appearing Car awards at the ARCH Banquet. This year Brent Marks won for the sprint cars, Denny Bonebrake won for the late models, David Kiser won for the stock cars and Kevin Thomas won in the miscellaneous category.
Jason Loss of Delco Designs presents two awards each year. His Hard Luck Award went to sprint-car owner/driver Mark Coldren, while his Achievement Award for the 2013 season went to 358 sprint-car champion Austin Hogue of Manchester.
The ARCH Junior Achievement Award presented by the Fletcher family went to teenage limited-late-model racer Kyle Lee, while the club turned the tables on the Fletcher family by presenting Bobby and Sandy Fletcher with the ARCH Tribute Award.
The "Chub" Schadle Memorial Award went to former Winchester promoter Doug Timmons, who now oversees the Three States Flyer late-model series. The Butch Renninger Memorial Award went to Jason and Brittney Loss. By the way, Brittney was the second runner-up in the Ms. Motorsports pageant a week earlier.
Last year's Junior Achievement Award winner, Tyler Horst, a limited-late-model driver, won the Paul Johnson Memorial Award. Horst used his race car all season to collect money for breast cancer.
More outlaws: The World of Outlaws sprint-car series has added yet another local date for the 2014 season.
The series already has seven races at Williams Grove and two at Lincoln. Now the series has added Port Royal to its 2014 schedule. The Outlaws will visit the Port on Oct. 25.
Florida races: Last week I mentioned that several local teams will head south soon for some racing in Florida.
Here is at least a partial schedule. The late models race at Bubba Raceway in Ocala the first weekend in February.
Things really get started around the second weekend in February. The All Star sprints race in Ocala on Feb. 7 and Feb. 8, while the World of Outlaws late models race in Screvens, Ga.
The All Star sprints move to Volusia County on Feb. 12 and Feb. 13, while the World of Outlaw sprints are there on Feb. 14-16. The Lucas Oil late models are at East Bay from Feb. 12-15, and there are also late-model races at Ocala from Feb. 13-16.
World of Outlaw late models and DIRT modifieds race at Volusia during the week of Feb. 19-22. East Bay holds its 360 sprint nationals during that same time.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.