Neither rain, nor snow ...
It seems the old post-office motto could be applied to the start of this racing season at Lincoln Speedway.
At Lincoln's season-opener two weeks ago, a steady drizzle fell until well after noon, but the show went on. Last Saturday, three snow squalls hit the speedway in the time leading up to the start of the show.
The last squall fell just as the cars were to take to the track for warm-ups, and pushed the start time back about 40 minutes. Still the show went on. And again, the extra moisture made for a very fast race track. Electronic scoring showed that Fred Rahmer was just a tick off the all-time, one-lap track record while winning the first heat race. Rahmer turned a lap at 12.779 seconds in that race. The all-time, pre-weight-rule track record at Lincoln is 12.730 seconds set by Lance Dewease in 1999.
One race later, Brent Marks set a new 10-lap track record. Marks' time of 2:12.817 shattered the post-weight-rule, 10-lap record of 2:17.848 that Cory Haas set in 2011, and edged by the pre-weight-rule, all-time record of 2:12.905 set by Brian Leppo in 2008.
In the third heat race, J.J. Grasso was just a tick off the all-time record with a time of 2:13.034.
This week, 28 cars attempted to qualify for the sprint-car program. A practice session for the 358 sprint cars was part of the program, and two of the 358 sprint cars on hand elected to attempt to qualify for the sprint-car feature. Niki Young did make the feature with the 358 sprint car his son Cole will drive this season. Young not only made the show, but advanced from the 22nd starting spot to finish 12th in the feature.
Again, the racing at Lincoln wasn't real kind to York County drivers. Last week, York's Cory Haas flipped on the start of the feature. This week, Haas started from the pole position, and looked to have the field covered. On the third turn of the 15th lap, Haas climbed the wheel of the car of female Canadian driver April Wilson while attempting to put her a second lap down. Haas' car flew over the third-turn wall and he was knocked from the race for the second week in a row.
Earlier in the race, Thomasville's Greg Hodnett flipped down the front stretch at the start of the race. It appeared that Rahmer moved down the track to avoid the car of Alan Krimes and collected Hodnett, sending him into the flip. Krimes had started directly in front of Rahmer and suffered a flat tire at the start.
A few laps later, York's Hunter Mackison suffered his second flip in two weeks, as well. None of the drivers were injured.
Jim Siegel sat out the first week at Lincoln because he didn't think the speedway would be able to beat the weather. He said that, like some other drivers, he sat at home kicking himself for doubting that the track would race. This week he was on hand, and a good redraw for the feature found him starting on the front row.
Siegel raced second until Haas' crash, and then led the rest of the way, although Rahmer and Marks pressured him at the end.
In addition to Canadian diver Wilson, Ohio driver Cole Duncan made the tow to Lincoln this week. Duncan, who won last summer's race at Path Valley, dropped out of the race early with mechanical problems.
Other drivers who made their first local starts of the season on Saturday were: Lance Dewease, Rick Lafferty, John Rudisill, Will Rose and Jacob Allen.
Allen was driving a second car fielded by his father, Bobby Allen. Jacob's uncle, Logan Schuchart drives the other team car. Allen's car carried his father's famed No. 1a.
The finish for ninth place was too close to be called by the human eye. Dewease made a run on Krimes off the final corner and the two drivers crossed the line in a near dead heat. Electronic scoring showed that Krimes had edged Dewease by .001 seconds for the spot.
Rahmer is the only driver to start the local season with two top-five finishes. His runs have found him fourth and second. Brian Montieth, Scott Geesey, Marks, Krimes and Schuchart each have top-10 runs in both shows.
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE: Lincoln returns to action again this Saturday afternoon with its final daylight program of the year. This week, the sprint cars will be joined by the 358 sprints in the first double-card program of the season.
Selinsgrove is set to open its season on Sunday afternoon, with the sprint cars headlining the program. Selinsgrove's annual car show at the Susquehanna Valley Mall runs this week.
The annual car show at Lawrence Chevrolet on the Carlisle Pike in Mechanicsburg will be held on Friday and Saturday. Lawrence is the sprint-car point-fund sponsor at both Williams Grove and Lincoln, and also sponsors the annual Sportsman 100 at Lincoln. A big part of this show are driver interviews on Saturday evening, when those with cars on hand, along with drivers who just competed at Lincoln, make an appearance.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SPEEDWAY MOTORS/CHAMPION RACING OIL
CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA SPRINT CARS
Presented by Hoseheads
After Saturday's race, with position, car number, driver, point total and series wins:
1. 21 Brian Montieth 66 1
2. 20s Fred Rahmer 60
3. 59 Jim Siegel 50 1
4. B52 Scott Geesey 48
5. 87 Alan Krimes 47
6. 19M Brent Marks 46
7. 1s Logan Schuchart 32
8. 25 J.J. Grasso 25
9. 48 Danny Dietrich 20
10. 29 Ryan Wilson 18
11. 92 Ryan Smith 14
11. 15 Adam Wilt 14
13. 14 Gerard McIntyre Jr. 10
13. 27 Lance Dewease 10
Associate sponsors: BioBased.US, ButlerBuilt Seats, Conroy "Pneu" Control, Eagle Motorsports, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic, Maxim Chassis, the RAACE Foundation and Winters Performance.