Trio of drivers capture first 410 wins of racing season

Bryan Householder
For The York Dispatch

Three drivers scored their first 410 sprint car wins of the season in the local area last weekend.  For one, it marked his first win in that class ever.

It all started on Friday when the 410 sprints made a special visit to the Big Diamond Speedway in Schuylkill County.  There, Mark Smith got his first 410 sprint car win of the season.  Although it was his first in the 410s this season, Smith has won eight 360 sprint car races this year, with most coming in the deep South.  For the record, the victory was Smith’s 57th career win in the 410s. He also has more than 100 wins in the 360 sprint cars, nine in the 358 sprints and 24 in the super sportsman cars.

Saturday at Lincoln, Troy Wagaman Jr. got his first ever 410 sprint car win.  The Hanover driver has been close all season, and Saturday it happened.  For a three-week stretch in June, Wagaman had finishes of third, third and second, so a win was certainly something most expected.

Troy Wagaman Jr.

A former Lincoln champion in the 358 sprint cars, Wagaman won seven times in that class.

On the same night at Clinton County, the 410 sprints made a special appearance, and Billy Dietrich raced to his first 410 sprint car win of the season.  While Dietrich spent much of his career in the 358 sprints, he has now won eight times in the 410s to go along with 32 wins in the 358s.  His father, Dan Dietrich, and younger brother Danny Dietrich have also won often in both the 358 sprints and 410 sprints.

Eckert on a roll: York’s Rick Eckert has been on a hot streak of late in super late model competition.  On Friday, Eckert won the ULMS feature at Path Valley, while Saturday, he finished second to Gregg Satterlee at Hagerstown.  Eckert has now won six times this season: twice at Port Royal and once each at Williams Grove, Selinsgrove, Bridgeport, New Jersey, and now Path Valley.

York's Rick Eckert earned $4,000 for winning the opening race of Appalachian Mountain Late Model Speedweek at Hagerstown Speedway on Wednesday night.

Those wins bring Eckert’s career total in the super late models to 218 wins.  That’s second all time on the overall win list for super late model drivers from this area.  Only legendary driver Gary Stuhler has more.

Wilbur scored another victory: Another veteran racer has been having a great season.  Last week, I mentioned that Steve Wilbur celebrated his 60th birthday with a wingless super sportsman win at Hagerstown.  This week, Wilbur won again in the wingless super sportsman racers, this time at Lincoln.

Wilbur’s win total for the year now stands at six.  Three have come at Path Valley, while he also has one each at Lincoln, Port Royal and Hagerstown.  For his career, Wilbur has close to 50 wins in the super sportsman, both winged and wingless.  That goes along with a couple in the 358 sprint cars.

Shark Racing shines at Knoxville Nationals: The Hanover based Shark Racing Team, founded by legendary racer Bobby Allen, had a great week at the Knoxville Nationals in Iowa.  It all started the Sunday before when Allen’s grandson Logan Schuchart won the Capitani Classic at Knoxville.  Schuchart backed that up with a win in the opening night preliminary race for the Nationals on Wednesday.  Although he won that night, Schuchart didn’t score enough points to lock into the Nationals, so he had to win Saturday’s B-Main to just get into the show.  He then came from 17th to finish third.

Hanover's Logan Schuchart celebrates after winning the $50,000 top prize after his victory in a World of Outlaws 410 sprint race at the Jackson Motorplex in Minnesota.

Allen’s son Jacob Allen, meanwhile backed up his nephew’s performance with a win in Thursday’s preliminary event.  Allen did secure enough points to lock into the Saturday main, where he finished fifth.

Bobby Allen himself won the Knoxville Nationals back in 1990.

This week: Racing action tis week starts on Thursday at the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds with the 358 modifieds and the USAC East Coast wingless 360 sprint cars.

Williams Grove returns to action on Friday with the World of Outlaws late models moving into the area for an event at the track where the series held it’s first race.  Joining the Outlaw late models will be the Williams Grove 410 sprint cars.  The event for the sprint cars will be a makeup of the recently rained out Billy Kimmell Memorial Race.

Saturday finds three openwheel divisions at Lincoln for the Barry Skelly Memorial event. Run in honor of the longtime track photographer and novelties person, this event features the 410 sprint cars, the 358 sprint cars in a “Summer Series” event, and the ARDC Midgets.

Port Royal offers up Open Wheel Madness on their Saturday show.  The 410 sprints, USAC East Coast wingless 360 sprints and the PASS 305 sprints all compete.

At BAPS, the super sportsman cars will be in action, along with the Carl Billett Memorial for the limited late models, the street stocks and the extreme stocks.  The race for the limited late models honors the track’s leading feature winner in that class.

Hagerstown offers the late model sportsman, pure stocks and hobby stocks on Saturday, while Path Valley offers wingless super sportsman and 358 sprints as part of its Saturday program.