The weather forecast for the Labor Day weekend was iffy at best, but when things were all said and done, just one feature race wasn't completed.
That was the 358 sprint feature Sunday at Williams Grove Speedway.
That's not to say that weather didn't play a factor in the weekend racing activities. Saturday's show at Lincoln was delayed nearly two hours by a late-afternoon/early-evening shower that hit the speedway about a half hour before warm-ups. After the delay, Lincoln was able to run a three-division show, with full fields in all three divisions, in 2 hours, 45 minutes. That was good, because it began to rain again shortly after the end of the show.
As mentioned, Sunday's show at Williams Grove got rain four laps into the 358 sprint feature. Actually, officials stopped the race before the rain hit to get the fans out of the aluminum grandstands, because lightning had closed in on the speedway grounds.
Monday afternoon at Port Royal, the rains hit as I was driving out of the parking lot just after the final race had been completed.
Fred Rahmer only needed to take a green flag in warm-ups at Lincoln Speedway last Saturday to claim his 11th Lincoln Speedway Lawrence Chevrolet point title. Rahmer also leads the standings at Williams Grove and on the Speedway Motors/ Champion Racing Oil Central Pennsylvania Series. Blane Heimbach is the point leader at Port Royal.
Rahmer won Friday at Williams Grove, but was the first car to drop out of the feature at Lincoln on Saturday. That was only the fourth time all season that Rahmer has finished out of the top 10.
But, it might have started a trend. Glenndon Forsythe got his first Lincoln sprint-car win since 2001, and Jacob Allen got his best career sprint-car finish, taking second at Lincoln. Sunday at Williams Grove, Allen suffered engine failure in warm-ups and was done for the night. Forsythe didn't fare much better, since he was the first car to drop out of the feature.
Lance Dewease's win in the Labor Day Classic was his first on local ovals this season. Dewease won a race at western Pennsylvania's Roaring Knob Speedway, and also took an All-Star race in New York state, but hadn't won locally all year.
Fawn Grove's Matt Campbell won twice last weekend in 358 sprint competition. Campbell won at both Trailway and Lincoln. He becomes the third 15-year-old to win in 358 sprint competition at Lincoln this season. York's Chase Dietz and Chandler Leiby are the others.
WEEKEND SCHEDULE: The Tuscarora 50 at Port Royal highlights this weekend's racing activities.
The All-Star Circuit of Champions will sanction the two-day show that will make up the 46th running of the Juniata County classic.
Friday's "Night Before the 50" will be a regular All-Star show with $5,000 to win. The late models will also be on the card. On Saturday, it's the Tuscarora 50 with $12,000 on the line for the winner. The pro stocks also take part.
Williams Grove will give the sprint cars Friday night off to compete at Port Royal. Friday's show at the Grove will consist of the super sportsmen, the ARDC midgets and the "Topless 30" for the limited-late models.
Lincoln also gives the sprints a night off to compete at the Port on Saturday. Lincoln's Saturday show will consist of the 358 sprints, the 305 sprints and the thundercars.
Trailway hosts the 358 sprints, 600cc micro sprints, limited stocks and street stocks on Friday.
Selinsgrove offers a regular show of 358 sprints, late models, pro stocks and roadrunners on Saturday.
Susquehanna Speedway Park offers the limited-late models, street stocks, Xtreme stocks, road warriors, minivans, Penn Mar vintage stocks and figure eight racing Saturday.
On Sunday, the sprint cars will head to Bridgeport N.J. to compete in the program that was halted because of the accident that claimed the life of Jason Leffler.
1968 The local racing circuit switched to its fall schedule on this weekend in 1968.
That meant that Susquehanna had ended its season and Williams Grove went to Sunday afternoon racing. Many teams raced at the Grove in the afternoon and then headed to Hagerstown for the evening show.
Saturday at Lincoln, Bobby Abel drove his orange and blue No. 2 to his seventh overall victory of the season. Abel would come back on Sunday for his eighth win at Hagerstown.
Saturday evening the legendary Mitch Smith pulled off one of the remarkable feats that built his legend. Now wheeling the Gary Wasson No. 5, Smith won at Selinsgrove and then raced to a tie for the feature win with Johnny Grum at Port Royal. The two tracks are 35 miles apart. The two wins pushed Smith's season win total to 15, while Grum's half of the Port victory was his eighth win of the season.
Ray Dovel drove the Lee Stultz No. S-3 to his 19th win of the season on Saturday at Winchester, while western Pennsylvania legend Bob Marhefka won at Jennerstown in his No. 85.
The Sunday afternoon show at Williams Grove saw Ronnie Rough race to his first win of the season in the Hank's Auto Parts No. 4.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at sports@yorkdis patch.com.