The local outdoor racing season has come to a close.
Saturday's "Final Showdown" at Susquehanna Speedway Park concluded the 2012 campaign.
Donnie Kreitz Jr. won the sprint-car portion of the program, which gave him his second win of the season. Ironically both of Kreitz's wins this season came at Susquehanna, even though Susky only hosted three sprint-car races this year. That win moves Kreitz's career sprint-car win total up to 188.
In the 358 sprint feature Saturday, Fairview Township's Pat Cannon scored his 16th win of the season. Cannon's win moves him into a tie with Thomasville's Greg Hodnett as the area's leading winners for the season.
However, the two drivers took very different paths to their win totals. Hodnett wheeled John Trone's Trone Outdoor 410 sprint car to all of his 16 wins. Eight of those wins came at Port Royal, while Hodnett won five times at Williams Grove and once each at Susquehanna, Bedford and Grandview. Hodnett won the Williams Grove track title and the Speedway Motors overall central Pennsylvania point title.
Cannon's 16 wins were divided among the 410, 360 and 358 sprints. His lone 410 win came in the Jim Nace Memorial Selinsgrove National Open. In the 360s, he won twice at Selinsgrove and once at Williams Grove. Of Cannon's 12 358 sprint wins, seven came at Selinsgrove, while three were at Williams Grove. There were lone wins at Susquehanna and Port Royal. Cannon drove the Highland's Tire sprint car to the Hoosier Tire overall central Pennsylvania 358 title and to track championships at Selinsgrove and Williams Grove.
Who were the other big winners of the local season?
Sprint-car driver Brian Montieth ranked third overall with 13 wins on the season. Montieth's first double-digit win season found him in Lincoln's victory lane eight times, with four wins at Williams Grove and one at Big Diamond.
Limited-late-model driver Gene Knaub of Dover ranked fourth for the season. Knaub won 11 times this season on his way to the Williams Grove point title. Five of those wins came at the Grove, while another five came at Susquehanna. The other win came at Trailway.
Lincoln sprint-car champion Danny Dietrich rounded out the top five winners in the area this season. Dietrich won 10 races this year, with nine of them at Lincoln. The other win came in Williams Grove's season opener. Danny's season also gave him family bragging rights. Father Dan's biggest win season was nine sprint-car wins in 1987, while brother Billy's seven 358 sprint wins in 2003 was his best.
The top winners in other divisions included Selinsgrove late-model champion Jeff Rine, who led that class with nine wins. Rine got seven of those wins at Selinsgrove on his way to his eighth point title there. The other two wins came at Bedford.
In the super-sportsman ranks, Russ Mitten was the season win leader with four. Mitten had one more win than season point king Frankie Herr.
Doug Bennett's seven street-stock wins at Susquehanna led in the street stock/thundercar/pro-stock cars.
SPEEDWAY MOTORS POINTS: Hodnett's title in the Speedway Motors Central Pennsylvania Point Series is his fourth in a row, and the fifth for his career.
Hodnett bested second-place Dietrich by 124 points to secure the title. In a system that awards 50 points for first place, that equals two wins and a fourth-place finish.
The point difference between Hodnett and 10th-place Chad Layton was a whopping 959 points.
The point system for the Speedway Motors series awards points to top-10 finishers in each local race. This season there were 97 drivers who earned points, which means that 97 drivers earned top-10 finishes during the local season. There were 35 drivers who won series races, including each of the top 13 drivers.
Hodnett scored 55 top-10 finishes, including those 16 wins, seven seconds, eight thirds, six fourths and one fifth. Dietrich had 54 top-10s, including 10 wins, 10 seconds, 10 thirds, six fourths and four fifths.
LINCOLN BANQUET: Lincoln Speedway will have its awards banquet this Saturday at the Holiday Inn in West York.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at sports@yorkdis patch.com.