Pennsylvania Speedweek in full swing
The Red Robin sponsored PA Sprint Car Speedweek is in full swing and will continue through the end of the week.
Action moves Tuesday to Grandview Speedway in Berks County, where the Thunder on the Hill Series presents the Greg Hodnett Cup event. A prize of $10,000 will await the winner of the 35-lap feature event held on the tight confines of Grandview's 1/4-mile oval. Defending NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson has won three of the last four Grandview Speedweek races. The other went to his Cup series rival Christopher Bell. Grandview’s NASCAR modifieds will also be a part of the show.
From Grandview, Speedweek moves to Port Royal Speedway in Juniata County on Wednesday. Last year, this $7,000-to-win event was won by Kyle Larson. The Port’s show also includes the URC 360 sprint cars.
Speedweek makes it’s annual trip south of the border on Thursday evening for racing at the Hagerstown Speedway. Hagerstown joined Speedweek in its second year then dropped from the schedule after 1996. It returned in 2006 and has been a part of Speedweek ever since. Last year’s event was rained out. This year, the Hagerstown show pays $8,000 to win. The vintage cars of the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing will also get some track time during this show.
Friday night is reserved for the Mitch Smith Memorial Race at Williams Grove. This one is known as the crown Jewel of Speedweek, with $15,000 awaiting the winner. The Smith memorial was won last year by Lance Dewease. The standalone sprint car show features fireworks.
Saturday, it’s back to Port Royal for the Greg Hodnett Tribute race, with $10,000 awaiting the winner. Last year's event was rained out. The super late models will be joining the program.
Speedweek wraps up Sunday at Selinsgrove for the Jan Opperman/Luke Bogar/Ralph Hentzilman Sr. Memorial Race. Big news on this race is that, just last week, the Hentzilman family added to the winner’s share of the purse in honor of Ralph Sr.’s recent induction into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame. It now pays $10,099 to win. The three honorees of this race formed one of sprint car racing’s most prolific teams in the early 1970s, with Opperman driving Bogar’s No. 99 as Hentzilman twisted the wrenches. The PASS 305 sprints are also on the program Sunday.
PA Speedweek started Friday at Williams Grove. A field of 29 sprint cars were on hand. Dillsburg's Anthony Macri set fast time and led every lap of the feature that night.
The next night at Lincoln, 47 sprint cars were on hand, with Macri again getting fast time and leading every lap of the feature. Macri has been having a great season, and those two wins pushed his season total to 14. He did have luck on his side over the first two races, as he pulled the pole in both feature line up redraws.
Friday’s race saw Brent Marks and Justin Peck in the top three, while on Saturday those same two drivers just reversed the order, with Peck second and Marks third.
With the rainout at BAPS on Sunday, Speedweek was set to return to Lincoln on Monday evening.
Eddie Lumbar made his first start in the USA on Friday at The Grove. Lumbar is a 63-year-old sprint car driver who hails from New South Wales in Australia. Looks like he plans to make all the Speedweek shows.
California native Paul McMahan, who now lives in Tennesee, plans to compete in several of the Speedweek shows in the Jerry Parrish-owned No. 21 sprint car. Tannor Thorson, a Navada native is making some of the shows with the York-based Aaron Long team.
Several NASCAR cup stars are expected to join the midweek shows for Speedweek, and there is a chance that several teams that raced elsewhere last weekend will venture into the area before the week is out.
OTHER RACES THIS WEEKEND
The super late models have the $4,000-to-win Milt Miller Tribute race at Bedford Speedway on Friday evening.
On Saturday, BAPS Motor Speedway will offer up the Firecracker 40 for the super sportsman cars. Also on the program are the limited late models, limited stocks and extreme stocks.
Lincoln Speedway in Adams County will play host to the monster trucks on Saturday with racing for the Legends cars as well.