Lincoln Speedway was unable to pull off its opening-day Icebreaker 30 on Saturday.
The piles of melting snow around the area simply wouldn't permit it.
The schedule calls for another attempt this weekend. Again, the Saturday afternoon slate at Lincoln calls for sprint cars only. The Icebreaker 30 is now on the slate for this week.
Since there still isn't any racing action to report on the local ovals, I'll continue my look at area sprint-car openers from the past. This week I'll look at 20 years ago. Unfortunately, the 1994 season looks a lot like this season is shaping up to be. Lincoln was the first track to open in 1994, but it took a long time for the season opener to get into the record books.
Lincoln was scheduled to open on Feb. 26 that season but lost the first four Saturdays to snowy conditions. However, on that fourth week, Lincoln pushed things back one more day, and the 1994 season opened on Sunday afternoon, March 20.
On that day, it was multi-time URC champion Glenn Fitzcharles who made his mark on 410 sprint-car racing. Fitzcharles drove his Don and Darlene Kerr-owned No. 26 to the opening-day victory, and he did it by besting Fred Rahmer. Billy Pauch finished third, with Randy Wolfe and Bobby Weaver in the top five.
Lincoln was able to get another show in the record books before anyone else was able to open. The March 26 show went to Lance Dewease in Walter Dyer's No. 461. Todd Shaffer, Donnie Kreitz Jr., Billy Brian Jr. and Rahmer completed the top five.
The next track to open was Williams Grove. The Grove was snowed out on March 6 and 13, and since the Grove didn't have the track ready for March 20, that left the date open for Lincoln. The March 27 show was rained out, so the Grove opened for the season on Friday evening, April 1, and it wasn't an April Fool's joke.
Kreitz drove his own No. 69K to the victory that night, with Dan Dietrich in second. Shaffer, Dewease and Pauch completed the top five.
It took until April 9 for Port Royal and Selinsgrove to get their first shows in the books. Lincoln was running its fourth show of the season by that time. Terry McCarl drove Bob Weikert's No. 29 to the victory on April 2 and Fred Rahmer would win on April 9 in the Bob Stewart No. 12.
Selinsgrove was scheduled to open on March 5, but suffered five postponements before its first show on April 9. In that race, Hanover's Cris Eash drove his father's No. 17e to the victory. Eash topped Pauch for that win, with western Pennsylvania driver Tommy Quarterson in third. Kreitz and Alan Cole completed the top five.
On the same night, Port Royal made its fifth try of the season to go racing, and was finally successful. Dewease drove to the win in the Port's opener. Shaffer finished second, with Ed Lynch Jr., McCarl and Joey Kuhn in the top five.
Those were the four tracks that offered weekly sprint-car racing in 1994, but there were a number of other tracks that hosted sprint cars at some point during the season.
The Bedford Fairgrounds offered two sprint-car races during the year. The first was on May 1, and Bedford was the one of the few tracks that year to get its first race into the record books on the first try. That race was won by Dewease, with Shaffer, Lenny Krautheim III, Pauch and Wolfe in the top five.
Hagerstown tried to open its sprint-car season on Feb. 27, but it wasn't until the World of Outlaws show on May 6 that the track got the first of its nine sprint-car races into the books. Steve Kinser won that one over Dave Blaney, Stevie Smith, Andy Hillenburg and Jac Haudenschild.
Clinton County was hosting sprint cars on a semi-regular basis in 1994 and did get its season opened on the first try on May 13. Phil Walter drove to the victory that night in his family-owned No. 63. Bobby Croop, Jeff Weaver, Ted White and Chuck Roan Jr. completed the top five. Word is that Walter will forsake the 360 sprints at his home track in Selinsgrove this year in favor of running 410s at Lincoln on a regular basis. He does own one Lincoln 410 win.
Susquehanna hosted three sprint-car shows that season. Susky tried to host the first on April 3, but was rained out. That moved the first show at Susky to May 29. Shaffer drove Gary and Patty Beam's No. 88 to the win over Dietrich, Brian, Cris Eash and Weaver.
Grandview ran three sprint-car races that year, with the World of Outlaws show on May 31 its first. Steve Kinser won that one over Hillenburg, Mark Kinser, Stevie Smith and Rahmer.
Big Diamond and Penn National each hosted one sprint-car race that season. Big Diamond raced on June 12, with Rahmer winning over Pauch, Dietrich, Howie Locke and Brian. Penn National raced on June 19, with Dewease winning over Shaffer, Rahmer, Pauch and Kauffman.
Path Valley ran six races that season, but like most other tracks, also lost one to weather at the beginning of the year. The April 10 show was rained out, but Cris Eash won there on June 29. Keith Kauffman, Todd Gracey, Dewease and Kreitz completed the top five.
— Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.