The All Star Circuit of Champions will bring its sprint cars to the area this weekend.
The three-race tour starts on Friday evening at Williams Grove.
The All Stars will try to break the stranglehold the local racers have on All Star races at the Grove. Dating back to the original All Star group in 1970, the All Stars have visited the Grove 24 times over the years, and have never defeated the local regulars there. The event will be a regular All Star format with $5,000 to the winner.
The ARDC midgets are also on the Friday slate at the Grove. ARDC's history at Williams Grove dates back to 1955, when Chuck Rodee won a combined AAA/ARDC race on Oct. 2. The first all ARDC show at the Grove was on June 1, 1964. Ray Brown was the winner. ARDC has sanctioned 55 stand-alone shows at the Grove, 19 combined events with USAC and the single combined event with AAA.
The All Stars move to Port Royal on Saturday for the running of the Bob Weikert Memorial. The race in honor of one of this area's top car owners will offer $10,000 to the winner, plus lap money. Like the Grove, no All Star regular has ever won at the Port in 19 previous shows dating back to 1981. The pro stocks and sidewinder micro sprints will also compete.
The All Stars complete their first local swing of the season on Sunday evening at Clinton County. The series made its first-ever stop at Clinton County last year, with Lance Dewease picking up the win. A regular All Star program will be presented with $5,000 going to the winner.
It should be noted that National Sprint Car Hall of Fame driver Jac Haudenschild was in the area last weekend preparing for this show. Haudenschild is driving for Clinton County promoter Vern Wasson. Wasson is the son of former car owner Gary Wasson, who fielded championship-winning cars for Mitch Smith and Smokey Snellbaker.
Haudenschild's son, Sheldon, made his first local start last Friday at the wheel of the Clair Wintermyer Sprinter.
OTHER WEEKEND RACES: Trailway has a two-race weekend planned. Friday, it's the 358 sprints, limited stocks and Xtreme stocks. On Saturday it's the micro sprints and stocks.
Williams Grove's second race of the weekend will be Saturday's postponed opener for the Saturday Night Series. The super sportsmen, limited-late models and street stocks compete.
At Lincoln on Saturday, the sprints and 358 sprints are joined by the Legends series. Selinsgrove's Saturday slate features a Spring Championship for the late models, plus 358 sprints, pro stocks and roadrunners.
Hagerstown will bring in the Steel Block Bandits late-model series for Saturday's Richard Bonebrake Tribute. Bonebrake was a longtime local car owner. His son, Denny Bonebrake, a York County Racing Club Hall of Famer, and his grandson, Wesley Bonebrake, should both be in competition. The late-model sportsmen and hobby stocks are also in action.
Susquehanna hosts the limited-late models, street stocks, Xtreme stocks, minivans and Road Warriors on Saturday.
50 YEARS AGO: Williams Grove opened for the season on this weekend 50 years ago in 1962, so it marked the first three-race weekend of the year.
In Friday's feature at Williams Grove, legendary Dick "Toby" Tobias wheeled the Regester Chevy No. 6 to his first win of the season. Delta's Johnny Mackison Sr., still in the famed No. 1080 from 1961, finished second to Tobias, with Lorenz Alwine in third. Future star Ray Tilley got his first Williams Grove top five in fourth, with Stoverstown's Gene Goodling rounding out the top five.
Saturday action moved to Port Royal, where Alwine notched his first win of the season at the wheel of the white No. 2 Pontiac-powered coach nicknamed the "Baby Bonny." Alwine's win came over Stewartstown's Frankie Thompson, with Mackison in third. Glen Rock's Bobby Hersh and Ed Spencer rounded out the top five. Spencer's son, Jimmy, would go on to NASCAR fame.
Sunday found Susquehanna back in action after a week off for Easter. Bobby Gerhart Sr. -- his son Bobby Jr. is the Daytona ARCA whiz -- wheeled his way to victory on this night. I'm not positive, but he was probably driving the No. 61 car this night. Ed Ortiz finished second, with Neil Haight in third. Goodling and Johnny Crawford Sr. completed the top five.
-- Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.