Each winter I try to review the all-time win lists for several of the area's top divisions.
That is what I'll do this week. Keep in mind that some of these lists may never be completely accurate, because there could always be a missing race from outside the area that hasn't been discovered.
Having said that, I'll add that I believe that most of these lists are very close to complete. Perhaps a few of the long-retired drivers on the list have a few more wins, but I don't think there are many who would change positions.
I'll start with what is now the 410 sprint-car class. My records go back to the early 1950s and include what was the main weekly class of racing from that time forward. So for today's 410 sprints, that would include the stock cars of the 1950s, plus the touring sprint-car groups from that time. Then the cut-down "bugs" of the first half of the 1960s, followed by sprint cars.
Fred Rahmer leads this list, and probably will for a long time to come. Rahmer has won 414 races in what are the 410 sprints, plus five more in 360 sprints and one in the 358 sprints. With his recent retirement, Rahmer still has a very large cushion for his lead. Rahmer also has 99 modified wins, which bring his career total to 519 wins.
Second on the list is Keith Kauffman, who also retired this season. Kauffman won 304 times in sprint cars, three more in late models and once in a dirt-champ car.
With Rahmer and Kauffman retiring, Lance Dewease becomes the leading active winner in local sprint-car competition. Dewease has won 296 sprint-car races. He stands a very good chance of surpassing Kauffman, but catching Rahmer would be a stretch. Dewease has also won in midgets.
Retired drivers also take up the next few spots on the list. They would be Bobby Allen with 276, Steve Smith with 266, Lynn Paxton with 225 and Kenny Weld with 215.
Rounding out the top 10 are Stevie Smith with 201 and a tie between Donnie Kreitz Jr. and Todd Shaffer with 196 each.
In late-model competition, Gary Stuhler leads the way with 342 career late-model wins, while recently-retired Denny Bonebrake is second with 212. Retired drivers take the next three spots. They are Buddy Armel with 202, Ronnie McBee with 187 and Rodney Franklin with 181.
Scott Haus holds down the sixth spot with 177 wins, while York's Rick Eckert is seventh with 174.
Retired drivers complete the top 10 with Tom Peck at 171, Jimmy McBee with 165 and Bobby Goodling with 124.
In the super-sportsman ranks, Brogue's Gary Wolford holds a similar position to Rahmer. His 145 wins will probably never be touched.
Dillsburg's Rich Eichelberger moved into a tie for second place on the list this season. The veteran driver moved his total up to 83 wins, which matches Johnny Murphy's total. Larry Jackson is fourth with 82.
Russ Smith is the fifth-place driver with 69 wins, which means only one active driver is in the top five.
Frankie Herr moved his total up to 68 this season, which places him in a tie with Dwight Leib for sixth and makes him the only other active driver in the top 10. The others are, Fred Putney with 59 and Hellam's Bobby Weaver and Howie Locke with 48 each.
In the 358 sprint ranks, Fairview Township's Pat Cannon expanded on his lead this season. Cannon now owns 85 wins in the 358 sprints and is the only driver still racing 358s in the top four.
Chad Layton, now racing 410s, is second with 55, followed by Mike Lehman at 51 and Blane Heimbach at 42.
Strange as it may seem, Trailway Speedway rivals Jeff Rohrbaugh, from West York, and Brad McClelland are tied for fifth with 38 wins each.
Completing the top 10 are Billy Dietrich at 32, Bob Beidleman at 31 and Dale Hammaker and York's Cory Haas with 28 each.
It's interesting to note how many drivers have surpassed the 100-win number in each of these classes. In what are now the sprint cars, I have 22 local drivers with more than 100 wins, while in the late models there are 13 local drivers who have reached that mark. Of course, Wolford is the only super-sportsman driver to do so and no one has yet to reach that number in the 358 sprints.
There are also a number of drivers who have surpassed the 100-win mark in their careers, but not all in one division. An example would be Dover's Gene Knaub, who this season moved his limited-late-model win total up to 94. Knaub has also won numerous times in the semi-late and thundercar classes, and also has a 358 sprint win.
Also, many of the drivers listed above have won in classes other than the one for which they are listed. In fact, on the sprint-car list there are no drivers who haven't also won in something else.
Rahmer won in sprints and modifieds; Kauffman won in sprints, late models and dirt-champ cars; Allen won in sprints and go karts; Smith won in sprints and late models; Paxton won in sprints, midgets and late models; Weld won in sprints and modifieds; Stevie Smith won in go karts and sprints; Shaffer won in go karts and sprints; and Kreitz won in sprints and modifieds.
Seven of the top 10 in the 358 sprints have also won in 410 sprint cars. Six of the top 10 in super-sportsman wins have also won in either 410 or 358 sprints.
Most of the big late-model winners have won in lesser stock-car classes, but in one case, Scott Haus has wins in late models, sprints and modifieds.
-- Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.