There just might be something to that "Friday the 13th" stuff.
All this year, the sprint cars at Williams Grove Speedway have been running very clean programs. On opening night, the feature went non-stop, and during each of the other two races there was only one interruption during the feature.
Last week, on Friday the 13th, there were three yellow flags and two red flags during the feature. And boy did those red flags ever impact the outcome. I'm not sure anyone had anything for winner Alan Krimes. He made some excellent moves to get to the front, passing some very strong cars. However, both red flags took out serious contenders.
The first was for an incident on the back stretch that took out the cars of Greg Hodnett, Adam Wilt, Mark Smith and Ryan Smith, and damaged the car of Lance Dewease. Hodnett had won the previous two races at the Grove, while Wilt and Dewease have both won this year. Mark Smith would win Selinsgrove's 358 sprint race the next night.
The second incident happened with just three laps to go, and started when the third- and fourth-place cars of Brian Montieth and Curt Michael tangled. Fifth-place Fred Rahmer slipped by, but the men in sixth and seventh, Cory Haas and Doug Esh, were also involved.
ON THE OTHER HAND: Since I brought up the hazards of Friday the 13th, I guess I should also talk about how well some races have gone during the young season.
Sunday's race at Susquehanna marked the third time this season that a local sprint-car feature has gone non-stop, meaning the feature went from start to finish without any interruptions by yellow or red flags.
The opening-night feature at Williams Grove went non-stop, with Danny Dietrich winning. Two weeks ago, Lincoln's 30-lap Spring Championship went non-stop, with Brian Montieth winning. Then there was Sunday's race at Susquehanna, where Greg Hodnett was the winner.
While non-stop races are not unheard of, they aren't really all that frequent. Probably the average is one per track per season for any one division. So to have three before two months of the season have been completed is news.
Add in that Williams Grove has also had a non-stop super-late-model feature and a non-stop 358 sprint feature, and it looks like it could be a record year.
THREE GENERATIONS: Local sprint-car racing legend Bobby Allen was back in victory lane at Lincoln Saturday evening.
This time it was with his 17-year-old son Jacob Allen, who won the 358 sprint feature. In recent years, Allen's 19-year-old grandson, Logan Schuchart, has been in the news with a number of 358 sprint wins.
Now there are three generations of Allen's family who have won at Lincoln, although it might be unusual for the third generation to win before the second.
Jacob Allen has racked up the win, an eighth and three 10ths in local 358 sprint competition this season. Schuchart has been racing with the 410 sprints this year, and has a second, two fifths, two sixths and a seventh.
50 YEARS AGO: The local racing season still wasn't in full swing on this weekend 50 years ago in 1962.
In fact, only Port Royal and Susquehanna had opened for the season. On this particular weekend, Easter fell on Sunday, so Susquehanna took that week off. That left only Saturday's show at Port Royal on the weekend agenda.
It was a good Easter weekend for York County drivers at the Port. "The Delta Dart," Johnny Mackison Sr., drove the Yorkshire Garage/ Emrich Chevy No. 1080 to his second win in as many races. Mackison's win was his first at the Port for the season, and came after a win the previous Sunday at Susquehanna.
Mackison's win came over Stewartstown's Frankie Thompson, with Glen Rock's Bobby Hersh in third.
WEEKEND SCHEDULE: Williams Grove kicks of this weekend with "The Tommy Classic" for the sprint cars.
Named in honor of racing legend Tommy Hinnershitz, who won the Grove's first feature back in 1939, the race will offer $6,000 to the winner of the 30-lap feature. The 305 sprints are also on the slate. Since the race honors one of this area's all-time greats, the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing will be on hand with a display of vintage race cars.
Williams Grove's Saturday series also kicks off this weekend. The Saturday slate at the Grove will feature super sportsmen, limited-late models and street stocks.
Trailway also has another two-race weekend. Friday the 358 sprints are joined by the limited-late models, Xtreme stocks and limited stocks. Saturday, the micro sprints headline.
Lincoln will offer up a regular program of sprints, 358 sprints and thundercars on Saturday, while Port Royal will play host to the sprints, plus twin features for the late models and pro stocks. Both of those classes still have make-up events from an earlier rainout.
Hagerstown brings in the Lucas Oil Late Model Series for the running of the Stanley Schemtrompf Memorial race Saturday. The pure stocks also compete.
Selinsgrove's Saturday slate includes the 358 sprints, late models, pro stocks and roadrunners.
At Susquehanna Saturday, the 305 sprints join the limited-late models, street stocks, Xtreme stocks and Road Warriors.
-- Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at email@example.com.