The 24th annual Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek has just concluded, and what a Speedweek series we had.
Lucas Wolfe won the Speedweek series title by just six points over Thomasville's Greg Hodnett.
For Wolfe, the series title marks his second Speedweek crown, and ironically, his other title in 2007 came down to a last-race shootout with Hodnett. This time Wolfe had a very eventful Speedweek. He even missed a race during the eight-race series and still won the crown.
Wolfe missed the second race of the series at Lincoln Speedway on June 28 when his daughter, Vera Lynn, was born. The final race, on Sunday at Selinsgrove Speedway, was almost as eventful.
Wolfe broke a front axle in warm-ups and flipped his racer. The crew repaired the car in time for time trials and Wolfe set fast time for the sixth time during the week. Then in the heat race, his car suffered engine failure. Again the crew went to work and the car was repaired in time for the feature event.
In the feature, Wolfe finished fifth, while Hodnett finished seventh. That was enough for the six point margin.
A recap of the points battle on that final night found Wolfe, who had won Saturday at Port Royal, entering the event tied with Hodnett, who had Speedweek wins at Grandview and Hagerstown. Wolfe set fast time, while Hodnett was seventh in time trials. That gave Wolfe a 14-point edge. Hodnett won his heat while Wolfe failed to finish, and Hodnett was back up by four points. After the feature, Wolfe was on top by six.
This year's Speedweek, which was sponsored by Jake's Wayback Burgers, saw only five drivers compete in all eight races. The ninth race was rained out on Thursday at Port Royal. However, over the course of the week, 85 different drivers earned Speedweek points.
The five drivers who made all eight shows were Hodnett, third-place Brent Marks, who won at Selinsgrove; fourth-place Danny Dietrich, who won the first race at Williams Grove; Ryan Smith, who finished ninth in points; and Curt Stroup.
Wolfe, Marks, Kyle Moody and Brady Bacon each scored their first career Speedweek wins.
In addition to Bacon, the USAC wingless sprint-car point leader, invaders included: NASCAR racer Dave Blaney; West Coast racer Austen Wheatley, a winner this season at Skagit Speedway, near his Washington state home; and Australian Darren Mollenoyux.
In addition to those mentioned above, Stevie Smith also scored a Speedweek win, with his coming in the $10,000-to-win Mitch Smith Memorial Race at Williams Grove. That race is considered the crown jewel of Speedweek. Smith was wheeling the racer co-owned by Speedweek "king" Fred Rahmer.
Rahmer also took a stab at race promotion, with a very successful show at Path Valley.
Rahmer's show drew the most cars with 43 in attendance. Grandview's car count of 22 was the lowest for the week, which averaged 32.75 cars per show.
Other Selinsgrove results: Doug Dodson led all the way in the non-stop, super-sportsman race at Selinsgrove Sunday evening.
Dodson's first super-sportsman win came over Bobby Hockenberry, Dover's Chad Trout, Kevin Nouse, Carmen Perigo Jr., Russ Mitten, Frankie Herr, Mike Enders, Steve Fannasy and Lewisberry's Scott Dellinger.
The 305 sprint feature, which also went non-stop, was won by Wayne Dadetto over Tyler Bear, Jake Waters, John Braim and Eric Parker.
Weekend schedule: Williams Grove offers an Outlaw tune-up for the sprint cars on Friday evening, along with the 358 sprints.
The Saturday Night Series at the Grove will offer super-sportsmen, limited-late-model and street-stock racing.
Trailway plays host to the 358 sprints, 600cc micro sprints and limited stocks on Friday.
Both Lincoln and Port Royal host "Kids' Nights" on Saturday. At Lincoln, the sprints, 358 sprints and All-American Outlaws compete. The Port has sprints, a late-model championship event and the econo late models.
Hagerstown will play host to the late models, late-model sportsmen, pure stocks, hobby stocks and mini stocks Saturday.
Susquehanna and Selinsgrove are on their summer breaks this week.
1980: There was a full weekend of racing in the area during this week in 1980.
Friday at Williams Grove, Dover's Smokey Snellbaker drove the Lloyd's No. 56 to his seventh overall win of the season.
Selinsgrove returned to the Saturday fold on this weekend after a Friday night experiment. The Saturday winners were; Jay Myers in the Ted Brewer No. 35, scoring his fifth win of the season at Lincoln; Snellbaker, who got his eighth win of the season in Saturday's action at Port Royal; and Lynn Paxton, who drove the Boop's No. 1 to his 11th win of the season in action at Selinsgrove.
On Sunday night, Susquehanna had a pair of features, including a make-up from an event rained out earlier. Van May drove Weldon Sterner's No. 69 to Victory Lane in both events to up his season win total to six.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at email@example.com.
SPEEDWAY MOTORS/CHAMPION RACING OIL PENNSYLVANIA SPRINT CAR SERIES
Presented by Hoseheads.com
(Wins in parenthesis)
1. Greg Hodnett (5) 754
2. Danny Dietrich (4) 563
3. Brian Montieth (2) 450
4. Alan Krimes (2) 405
5. Lance Dewease (1) 402
6. Lucas Wolfe (1) 385
7. Donnie Kreitz Jr. (2) 382
8. Blane Heimbach (2) 355
9. Stevie Smith (3) 320
10. Brent Marks (1) 311
11. Doug Esh (2) 310
12. Gerard McIntyre Jr. (2) 295
13. Rick Lafferty (1) 277
14. Cory Haas 254
15. Jim Siegel (2) 248
16. Mike Erdley (1) 218
17. Chad Layton 206
18. Ryan Smith 180
18. Daryn Pittman (3) 180
20. Mike Wagner 175
21. Austin Hogue (1) 174
22. Robbie Kendall (1) 172
23. Justin Barger (1) 158
24. Adam Wilt (1) 148
25. Kyle Moody (1) 145
Associated sponsorts: Winters Performance, Maxim Chassis, RAACE, Hoosier Tire Mid Atlantic, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, ButlerBuilt Professional Seat Systems, Conroy Pneu-Control and Schnee Chassis.
Product sponsors: VRP Shocks, Shaver Wesmar Gear Drives, RE Enterprise, Panchos Racing Products, KSE Racing Products, Kreitz Oval Parts, Keizer Aluminum Wheels, Rod End Supply, Zemco Speed Equipment, Saldana Racing Products, Hinchman Racewear, Triple X Race Co., ATL Fuel Cells and DriverWebSites.com.
JAKE'S WAY BACK BURGERS 2014 PENNSYLVANIA SPEEDWEEK POINTS
1. Lucas Wolfe 1,022
2. Greg Hodnett 1,016
3. Brent Marks 946
4. Danny Dietrich 816
5. Brian Montieth 559
6. Brady Bacon 558
7. Alan Krimes 553
8. Lance Dewease 552
9. Ryan Smith 536
10. Donnie Kreitz Jr. 504
11. Blane Heimbach 465
12. Stevie Smith 459
13. Dave Blaney 374
14. Cory Haas 365
15. Doug Esh 323
16. Aaron Ott 320
17. Chad Layton 314
18. Curt Stroup 292
19. Kyle Reinhardt 272
20. Austen Wheatley 265
21. Kyle Moody 261
21. Pat Cannon 261
23. Mike Erdley 257
23. Robbie Stillwaggon 257
25. Darren Mollenoyux 244