The local sprint-car season is off to an unusual start.
There have been nine races run thus far on the local ovals, and there have been eight different winners. In those nine races, 47 different drivers have scored top-10 finishes.
Only Blane Heimbach has scored more than one win. Heimbach won the openers at both Selinsgrove and Port Royal, and also came close to winning the opener at Susquehanna. Donnie Kreitz Jr. took the lead from Heimbach late in the Susky race to score his first win of the season.
Other winners this year include Adam Wilt, Danny Dietrich, Jim Siegel and Alan Krimes at Lincoln, Rick Lafferty at Port Royal and Gerard McIntyre Jr. at Williams Grove.
The other unusual part about this season's early races is that only one of the area's big-time career winners has visited victory lane thus far in 2014. Kreitz's win Sunday at Susquehanna was his 197th career sprint-car victory. Among this year's winners, Dietrich and Heimbach are next with 28 career wins each.
Krimes has 19 wins, Lafferty has 18, Siegel has 14, Wilt has six and McIntyre has four.
The early season on the local circuit has also seen an influx of invading drivers. Australian Lynton Jeffery finished second at Port Royal on Saturday, while Washington state teenager Trey Starks has a fourth at Susky and top 10s at Williams Grove and Port Royal. Ohio drivers Cole Duncan and Chad Kemenah each have top 10s on the local ovals, while Pittsburgh driver Danny Holtgraver has a top five at Susky and a top 10 at Port Royal. New York state driver Justin Barger has a top 10 as well.
There are a large number of drivers who could be considered 410 sprint-car rookies this season, and already five of them have top-10 finishes. Hanover's Tim Wagaman has the best finish among the rookies with a fourth at Lincoln. Kyle Reinhardt has a pair of top 10s, while Dover's Austin Hogue, Tyler Ross and Shane Hoff each have single top 10s as well.
Looks like it could be a very interesting season.
Weekend events: A couple of championship races for the sprint cars will highlight the weekend racing schedule.
Friday at Williams Grove, the sprint cars race in the Spring Classic. The super-sportsman racers and the vintage cars from the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing will also be part of the program.
The other championship race is Saturday's Spring Championship at Lincoln. The 358 sprints and street stocks will also be part of that program.
Trailway is in action on Friday with the 358 sprints, limited-late models, Legends and limited stocks. Port Royal hosts the sprint cars Saturday, along with the late models and 305 sprints.
Selinsgrove will host the URC sprints on Saturday, along with the late models, pro stocks and road runners, while at Hagerstown the late models headline, along with the pure stocks, hobby stocks and mini-stocks.
Susquehanna Speedway Park will play host to the limited-late models, street stocks, Xtreme stocks, minivans, road warriors, Penn Mar vintage stocks and the season's first Figure 8 race on Saturday.
1980: This was a big weekend on the local circuit back in 1980.
On Friday evening at Williams Grove, Lynn Paxton drove to the feature win. Paxton drove the Boop's Aluminum No. 1 to his fourth win of the season. At Selinsgrove that Friday evening, it was Keith Kauffman scoring the big win. Kauffman's win in the LPS No. K33 was his second of the season.
Saturday action found Jay Myers scoring his second win of the season at Lincoln in the Ted Brewer No. 35, while at Port Royal, it was Dover's Smokey Snellbaker getting his first win of the season in the Lloyd No. 56.
Susquehanna wrapped up the weekend on Sunday evening. In the make-up of the previous week's feature, it was Paxton scoring his fifth overall win of the season. In the regular event, Hanover's Richard Lupo picked up his first win of the season in the Hull Trucking No. 2.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at email@example.com.
CHAMPION RACING OIL
PENNSYLVANIA SPRINT CAR SERIES
Presented by Hoseheads.com
(Wins in parenthesis)
1. Blane Heimbach (2) 135
2. Danny Dietrich (1) 100
2. Chad Layton 100
4. Rick Lafferty (1) 98
5. Greg Hodnett 94
6. Alan Krimes (1) 85
7. Brian Montieth 76
8. Jim Siegel 75
9. Adam Wilt (1) 74
9. Gerard McIntyre Jr. (1) 74
9. Mike Erdley 74
9. Brent Marks 74
13. Lance Dewease 64
14. Cory Haas 63
15. Donnie Kreitz Jr. (1) 60
16. Trey Starks 57
17. Robbie Kendall 51
18. Kyle Moody 50
18. Glenndon Forsythe 50
20. J.J. Grasso 48
21. Mike Wagner 40
22. Lynton Jeffery 35
22. Stevie Smith 35
24. Robbie Stillwaggon 34
25. 21 Kyle Reinhardt 32
25. Steve Buckwalter 32
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