Thomasville's Greg Hodnett and Fairview Township's Pat Cannon lead all drivers in local wins thus far in the young season with four each.
Hodnett scored two more victories last weekend. He won for the second week in a row at Williams Grove on Friday evening, and then came back to win the make-up feature at Port Royal on Saturday. Hodnett finished ninth in the regular event at the Port.
Cannon has had an interesting start to his season. He won the 358 sprint opener at Port Royal, and then also won the first 358 sprint race of the season at Williams Grove. Last weekend, Cannon won the very first race of the new Mach 1 Series for the 360 sprint cars, this one at Selinsgrove. This Saturday, he won Selinsgrove's first 358 sprint race of the season.
So every one of Cannon's wins this season has come in the opener for that division at different tracks. Of course, two of those wins were at Selinsgrove, but they came with different classes of cars, and believe me, the difference between the 358 sprints and the 360 sprints is a whole lot more than two cubic inches in the engine.
DEWEASE QUICKLY BACK IN FORM: When Lance Dewease suffered a serious compression fracture of his vertebra in a late-season crash at Lincoln last year, there were those who thought his racing career was in jeopardy.
A broken rear axle was the cause of that crash, which saw the car land so heavily that Dewease's neck was compressed in the landing.
The new season had started before Dewease was healed well enough to return to action. He made his first start of the season at Williams Grove for that track's opener. Four races later, Dewease was already back in victory lane.
What a win it must have been. Dewease won the regular feature at Port Royal Saturday evening. To do it, he had to pass Fred Rahmer on the final turn after many laps of side-by-side racing between two of this area's biggest names. With that win, Dewease, who is third on the all-time local win list for sprint-car drivers, closed to within 13 wins of second-place Keith Kauffman. Rahmer is still 123 wins ahead of Dewease.
NOUSE TOPS CANNON: With the type of season that Pat Cannon has been having, it's big news when a driver is able to best him.
Kevin Nouse did just that Friday at Williams Grove. Nouse drove the York Haven-based Dan Mansberger 358 sprint car to the Grove's win Friday, and he did it by fending off Cannon for nearly the whole 20-lap event. Cannon chased Nouse the whole way, but was unable to make the pass.
Nouse's father, Dean, who once twisted wrenches for Bobby Weaver, is also a big part of this team.
WEEKEND SCHEDULE: Williams Grove offers up another sprint-car and 358-sprint-car program on Friday evening.
Trailway will host the 358 sprints, sidewinder micro sprints and several classes of stock cars Friday, and returns Saturday with micro sprints and several classes of stock cars.
At Lincoln Saturday, the sprint cars are joined by the 358 sprints and the limited-late models.
Port Royal's Saturday slate offers up sprints, late models and 305 sprints.
At Selinsgrove Saturday, it's the 358 sprints, late models, pro stocks and roadrunners, while Hagerstown offers the late-model sportsmen, pure stocks and hobby stocks.
Susquehanna Speedway Park will start its racing season this weekend with action on both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday is the kickoff of the Saturday Night Stock Car Series. The limited-late models headline, with street stocks, Xtreme stocks, Road Warriors and the PennMar vintage racers also on hand. On Sunday evening, Susky offers up the first of three sprint-car and 358 sprint-car open-wheel programs this season.
50 YEARS AGO: This weekend 50 years ago in 1962 was just the second weekend of the season, and Port Royal opened its season on Saturday evening.
Susquehanna presented its second race of the season on Sunday.
At the Port on Saturday, the New York state invaders were in top form. Bryan Osgood, who would soon become a regular on the local circuit, drove his brother Vern's No. 09 to his first Port victory. Cam Gigliurdi followed his fellow New Yorker, with Don Kimberling in third. He was the first Port regular. Dick Tobias and Gil Frisbie completed the top five.
On Sunday at Susquehanna, "The Delta Dart," Johnny Mackison Sr., raced to his first win of the season. I believe Mackison was still wheeling the old No. 1080 Yorkshire Garage/Emrich Chevy from the year before while his team was putting the finishing touches on the new No. 1 bug.
Mackison's win came over Stoverstown's Gene Goodling, with Ed Ortiz, Glen Rock's Bobby Hersh and Lauden Potts in the top five.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at sports@yorkdis patch.com.