Local race fans have been forced to sit through another weekend with out racing action.

It seems that Old Man Winter just doesn't want to release his hold on the area this year.

Lincoln Speedway has postponed its first two weeks of racing and there is a good chance that things won't be much better this coming weekend.

While the chances of racing the last weekend in February are just about 50/50, having the season opener pushed back three weeks isn't all that common. In fact, since the first February opener in 1984, there have only been five times that the opening race of the season has been more than two weeks late. Four weeks is the longest an opener has been pushed back in that time frame.

If the weather improves, there are two racing events scheduled for this coming weekend. Lincoln will try for the third time to present the Icebreaker 30 for sprint cars on Saturday afternoon. Then on Sunday afternoon, Hagerstown is scheduled to open its season with the sprint cars and late models on the agenda.

PIT STOPS

1980: Each year I take a look at the action that happened on the local sprint-car circuit on a weekend with matching dates.

This year I have selected the 1980 season. Much like this season, the 1980 season was one in which winter didn't seem to want to release its hold on the area. That year, Selinsgrove was set to open on Friday March 7, and Lincoln on Saturday, March 8. Both shows were rained out, and it would be March 22 before the season got started.


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Ten years ago: Now I will wrap up my look at area season openers from years past.

This week it's 10 years ago, the start of the 2004 racing season.

That year, Lincoln was able to open on its scheduled date, which was Feb. 21. That Saturday afternoon Icebreaker saw Fred Rahmer drive the Joe Harz No. 88H to the victory. Rahmer's win that day came over Hanover's Cris Eash, with Doug Esh, Donnie Kreitz Jr. and Mark Smith in the top five.

Williams Grove was scheduled to open the following day, but the Speedway grounds were still too wet, and the opener was pushed back to Sunday afternoon, Feb. 29. In that race, Thomasville's Greg Hodnett drove to victory in Bob Stewart's Apple Motorsports No. 12. Todd Shaffer followed Hodnett to the line, with Rahmer, Kreitz and Lance Dewease in the top five.

To the north, winter didn't let up its hold on the area as quickly, and both Selinsgrove and Port Royal were forced to wait until the weekend of March 27 and 28 to open their seasons. At the Port on that Saturday night, Mark Smith drove the Zemco No. 1 to the victory over Keith Kauffman, Shaffer, Judi Bates and Mike Wagner.

Over at Selinsgrove, on Sunday, Darren Eash was the winner in Jim and Sandy Kline's No. 22. Shaffer followed Eash to the line, with Kauffman, Rahmer and Dewease in the top five.

Susquehanna was in its first year under Todd and Rhonda Fisher, and was trying its experiment with Thursday evening sprint-car racing. However, the grounds were still too wet for the scheduled opener on Thursday, April 15, and the opening event was moved to that Sunday, April 18. Dewease won that race in Al Hamilton's No. 77. Jeff Shepard finished second, with Hodnett, Darren Eash and Mark Smith in the top five.

Among other tracks in the area that raced sprint cars that year, both Hagerstown and Grandview offered the World of Outlaws for their first sprint-car shows of the season. Hagerstown was on May 29 and Grandview was on May 30.

At Hagerstown, Hodnett upheld the Posse pride with a win over Dewease, Donny Schatz, Jason Meyers and Craig Dollansky.

Grandview's Outlaw show fell to the King, Steve Kinser, over Dewease, Schatz, Joey Saldana and Shepard.

Hagerstown had one other sprint-car show that season, while Grandview had two more.

Bedford, Big Diamond and Silver Spring each had one sprint-car show that season.

Bedford's race was held on June 8, with Kauffman scoring the win in the Dave Middleswarth No. 7. Hodnett, Mike Lutz, Chad Layton and Rahmer completed the top five.

Both Big Diamond and Silver Spring were part of Pennsylvania Speedweek that year. At the Diamond on June 28, Hodnett scored the win over Kevin Nouse, Dewease, Kauffman and Rahmer.

At the Springs on June 30, it was Rahmer who scored the victory over Kenny Jacobs, Brian Leppo, Kauffman and Dewease.

— Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at sports@yorkdispatch.com.