Tire availability a big issue for region's dirt tracks
The World of Outlaws sprint cars return to the local ovals this week, and tires are becoming a big concern.
As has been noted before, there is a shortage of tires for dirt-track racing. The combined effects of COVID-19 and supply issues have left racers scrambling for tires all season. A lack of materials needed to produce tires combined with a shortage of people willing to work in the factories that produce them have been hot topics all season.
It seems the tire manufacturers are working to provide tires for big events, but at times that affects the local weekly shows. When the Ohio Speedweek was running, the local tracks didn’t get any tires, but a week later there were tires for Pennsylvania Speedweek.
The tire situation is in the news again. With the big events at Eldora Speedway in Ohio last weekend, tires were in short supply on the local tracks again. For several months now, local teams have been limited to purchasing one right rear tire per night, with a certain number provided to the track supplier for that race.
Dire situation locally: Last Friday, Williams Grove had to decide how to divide the available tires, with those teams that had competed there most frequently getting first dibs. For Saturday, things were so dire that Lincoln elected to drop the 358 sprints and super sportsman competitions from the schedule and just planned to race the 410 sprints since only 24 tires were available.
As it turned out, rain changed the plans entirely and the races were not held. Now Selinsgrove has decided to cancel its 76th anniversary show planned for Tuesday evening but will run the Saturday show as planned later in the week.
It appears the World of Outlaws shows will have enough tires for teams to get one right rear each night.
Outlaws open week at the Port: The Outlaw summer swing starts on Wednesday evening at Port Royal. It will mark the first time in many years that the Port hosts an Outlaw event during the summer. In recent years the Port had rejoined the Outlaw schedule with a late season weekend of racing. The show at the Port will also include the wingless super sportsman racers. The Outlaw race pays $20,000 to win.
Things move on to Williams Grove for the Friday-Saturday Summer Nationals. Friday’s full show will conclude with a $10,000-to-win event. Saturday’s big event offers $20,000 to the winner.
During last year’s Summer Nationals, Sheldon Haudenschild was the Friday winner, while on Saturday, it was Brent Marks who visited victory lane. After his big weekend at Eldora against the Outlaws last wee, and his recent success at PA Speedweek, Marks has to be considered a favorite this week as well.
BAPS Motor Speedway has a big weekend of racing planned. Saturday will find the super sportsman racers joined by the 602 modifieds, street stocks and extreme stocks. Then on Sunday, BAPS will try once again to race the 410 sprints this season. Every 410 sprint race scheduled for BAPS thus far this season has been rained out. The sprints will be joined by the modifieds on Sunday.
As noted, Selinsgrove has cancelled the Tuesday program but will go on with its Saturday slate, which will include the 410 sprints and the super late models, each racing for $5,000 to win. The roadrunners will also be on hand.
Port Royal takes Saturday off after its Outlaw show, while Lincoln will host a truck and tractor pull on Saturday.
Path Valley has wingless super sportsman and Legends as part of their Saturday show.
The Bedford Fairgrounds take off on Friday but open the gates on Sunday for the first race of the 2022 Bedford Fair. The late model sportsman and modifieds compete. The super late models will return to Bedford the following Friday for their fair race.
Great month for Marks: Brent Marks has been on a tear of late. He had a great Pennsylvania Speedweek, which ended with the Speedweek title and nearly $70,000 in earnings. Last week, he went to Eldora for the Outlaw sanctioned King’s Royal weekend and walked off with the two biggest wins of the the week. Thursday’s Historical Big One earned Marks $100,000, while Saturday's King’s Royal win added another $175,000 to his earnings.
I’d say the month of July has been a great one for Marks thus far.