Teams based in the York area had a very good weekend.
Both of the weekend's sprint-car winners came out of York shops, and the late-model winner came out of a shop in Manchester. The winner of the first-ever race for the Mach 1 360 Sprint Series also resides in York County.
Greg Hodnett drove the Trone Outdoor No. 39 to the win at Williams Grove on Friday. Hodnett is a Memphis native but now resides in Thomasville. He drives for Hanover businessman John Trone, who has revived the Trone team that his father fielded in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. The mechanic on the car is second-generation wrench twister Lee Stauffer, who is also from York. Hodnett's win makes him the only repeat winner on the sprint-car circuit this season.
Saturday's sprint-car feature at Lincoln went to Dallastown native Cory Haas, who drives for York-area contractor Michael Barshinger. The car is also housed in the York area. Haas also had a very good run going at Williams Grove Friday before a flat tire ended his evening three laps from the end of the race.
Williams Grove's late-model feature on Friday was won by Jason Covert. While Covert is not a York County native, he resides in the Newberrytown area and drives for one of this area's legendary late-model teams. Car owner and mechanic Barry Klinedinst is in his sixth decade of fielding cars out of the shop behind his Manchester home. He was with the Grove's leading late-model winner, Bobby Goodling, for most of his wins there and also worked for many years with third-place man Gary Snelbaker. Covert also won on Saturday night at Winchester, Va.
Pat Cannon is a New Jersey native who now lives in Fairview Township. He powered the Highland's car to the win at Selinsgrove in the debut of the Mach 1 Series for the 360 sprint cars. Cannon has also won two 358 sprint-car races this season.
INTERESTING FACTS: Williams Grove was just three laps away from having both of its features go non-stop on Friday.
Haas' flat tire three laps from the end of the sprint-car feature was the only caution during both the sprint-car and late-model features. The previous week's sprint-car feature at the Grove also went non-stop.
Lincoln's sprint-car feature Saturday had a family look to the top 10. Only one driver in the top 10 didn't come from a family with multi-generation drivers, and that driver came from a family with deep racing roots.
Haas' father, Larry, raced sprint cars. Logan Schuchart is Bobby Allen's grandson. Billy Dietrich is Dan Dietrich's son. Alan Krimes' father Larry raced both sprints and late models. Jim Siegel is a third-generation sprint-car driver. Chad Criswell is a second-generation sprint-car driver. Nick Schlauch Jr.'s father raced modifieds. Johnny Mackison Jr. is the middle of three generations of racers. Brad McClelland's father Bill is a former late-model champion. Fourth-place finisher Aaron Ott is the only top-10 driver whose father didn't race, but Ott's father is nationally-known engine builder Don Ott.
WEEKEND SLATE: It's a pretty busy weekend ahead.
Williams Grove will offer what is known as its regular Friday evening slate of sprint cars and 358 sprint cars this week. Meanwhile, Trailway also kicks off its Friday schedule with the 358 sprints headlining. The Legends, limited stocks and Xtreme stocks also compete. On Saturday, Trailway offers micro sprints and Legends.
Lincoln has the Spring Championship for sprint cars Saturday, along with the season opener for the super sportsmen. Thundercars are also a part of the program. As is the case with most of the area's Saturday tracks, there will also be an Easter Egg hunt for the children.
Port Royal is scheduled for sprints, late models, pro stocks and enduro stocks on Saturday. The Port has announced that last Saturday's rained-out sprint-car feature will be made up this week, with the late-model and pro-stock features added in the following two weeks.
Selinsgrove goes with the first program of the season for its regular weekly divisions on Saturday. After offering programs for the sprints, modifieds and 360 sprints, Selinsgrove will now host the 358 sprints, late models, pro stocks and roadrunners.
Hagerstown also offers up its first regular show of the season Saturday, with late models, late-model sportsmen, pure stocks and hobby stocks.
50 YEARS AGO: The local racing season kicked off on this Sunday 50 years ago in 1962.
Susquehanna presented the first race of the season. Glen Rock native Bobby Hersh powered the York-based Trone's No. 39 to the win that day, besting arch-rival Johnny Mackison Sr., a Delta native. Mackison was wheeling the Yorkshire Garage/ Emrich Chevy No. 1080 car. Wrightsville's Bobby Abel raced home third in his familiar orange-and-blue No. 2, with Bobby Gerhart Sr. and Stoverstown's Gene Goodling in the top five.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at sports@yorkdis patch.com.