Sprint-car driver Brian Montieth has been on a roll of late.
After a quick start, that included two wins and three second-place finishes in the first month and a half of the season, Montieth hit a roadblock. For the next month he struggled just to finish races. Now that has all turned around again. Montieth has won five of the last six races he's entered, and finished fourth in the other.
The hot streak has come at a good time. Montieth has started Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek undefeated. He's won the first two races of the 22nd annual series. He also won Friday evening at Williams Grove, the night before Speedweek started. That gave Montieth a rare three-race weekend sweep.
It also padded the bank account for Montieth's Jerry Parrish-owned team. The opening night of Speedweek paid $7,000 to win the Kevin Gobrecht Memorial Race at Lincoln Saturday. Sunday's Speedweek race at Big Diamond paid $5,000.
A little bit of extra luck Friday pushed Montieth's winnings for a regular show at Williams Grove up to a nice total, as well. The Grove race paid the normal $3,600 to win. Montieth led 16 laps, so there was $160 in lap money. He also started outside the top six, so there was a $500 bonus. That pushed his total to $4,260.
Then came the added bonus. Each regular show at the Grove features a roll of the dice for an extra bonus. A young fan from the grandstands rolls a pair of large dice, and if matching faces turn up, the race winner gets that prize. Things like tire certificates, parts certificates and track passes are on the dice. There are also a couple of cash prizes. Friday night the matching dice faces showed $1,000. So Montieth's total for Friday was $5260.
His total haul for the weekend was $17,260.
Speedweek resumes Tuesday night at Grandview for Thunder on the Hill. The sprints go for 35 laps with $5,000 to the winner. Grandview's modifieds are also scheduled.
Wednesday, Speedweek moves south of the boarder for racing at Hagerstown. The 30-lap feature again offers $5,000 to the winner. The Eastern Museum of Motor Racing will have an on-track display of vintage race cars.
Then on Thursday, Speedweek moves to Williams Grove for a two-night stand. Thursday's show features a 30-lap feature with $5,000 to win. The SpeedSTRs also compete. Friday at the Grove is the "Crown Jewel" of Speedweek, "The Mitch Smith Memorial." Again, it's a 30-lap feature, but this time it pays $10,000 to the winner. Fireworks round out this program.
Saturday it's off to Port Royal for Speedweek, with $5,000 to win a 30-lap feature. The late models also compete.
Speedweek wraps up Sunday at Selinsgrove, where the Jan Opperman Memorial Race offers $5,000 to win the 30-lap feature. The super sportsmen will also be in action.
VISITORS: In addition to the very talented local field, that includes some more-or-less full-time visitors, this year's Speedweek series has already attracted some outside visitors as well.
A pair of Australian drivers have joined the local circuit for the week. Luke Bowey visited a while last summer, and is back for Speedweek. Darren Mollenoyux is here for the first time and got a top-10 run at Big Diamond.
Very promising young California sprint-car ace Kyle Larson is also here and planning to make a week of it. Larson, who won several of the Ohio Speedweek races, has had some bad luck in the first two series races, but hopefully things will turn around.
Former World of Outlaws champion Danny Lasoski made his first Speedweek start on Sunday after promoting a charity race near his home on Saturday. Paul McMahon also came east on Sunday after Ohio Speedweek ended.
THE REST OF THE WEEKEND SLATE: There is plenty of other action around the area this weekend.
Actually it starts Tuesday night at Susquehanna Speedway Park. The 305 sprints are joined by the sidewinder micro sprints, Legends and minivans. After Tuesday night, Susky takes its summer vacation break and doesn't return to action until July 21.
Trailway races Friday with the Limited Late Model Shootout headlining. This is a three-track event between Williams Grove, Lincoln and Trailway. Xtreme stocks and limited stocks are also on the Friday slate at Trailway. Saturday, the 600cc Micro Sprint Speedweek moves to Trailway.
The Limited Late Model Shootout will be at Lincoln Saturday, along with 358 sprints and 305 sprints.
Before their Speedweek show Sunday, Selinsgrove offers up the 358 sprints, late models, pro stocks and roadrunners on Saturday.
The AMA motorcycles invade Hagerstown on Saturday for the Hub City Classic.
STUHLER: Veteran late-model driver Gary Stuhler added to some very impressive totals Saturday during the running of the Johnny Roberts Memorial Race at Hagerstown.
Stuhler's first win of the season was his seventh in that race -- a record total for the Roberts Memorial.
The win was also Stuhler's 130th career Hagerstown late-model win. More impressive was the fact that the win pushed Stuhler's area record career win total to 341.
50 YEARS AGO: Johnny Mackison Sr. started out this weekend 50 years ago in 1962 with his third consecutive win.
Mackison powered the Yorkshire Garage/Emrich Chevy No. 1 to the win at Williams Grove, which marked his 12th win of the season. Bobby Abel, Pee Wee Pobletts, Roger Sowers and Johnny Dubendorff followed.
On Saturday at Lincoln, Bobby Hersh had the Trone No. 39 back in victory lane for the eighth time that season. Hersh won over Abel, Neil Haight, Moe Harden and Pobletts.
At Port Royal that night, Dick Tobias got his 10th win of the season with the Regester No. 6. Sowers, Joe Lingle, Pete Swarmer and Rosel Dolin followed.
The weekend wrapped up Sunday at Susquehanna, with Hersh back in victory lane for the ninth time that season. This time, Mackison, Sowers, Gene Goodling and Abel completed the top five.
-- Reach Bryan House holder at sports@yorkdis patch.com.