Householder: Labor Day weekend a busy one for local racing scene
The Labor Day holiday weekend is always a busy one on the local racing circuit, and then it leads into a month of very big local races.
This weekend’s racing action begins Friday at Williams Grove. The 410 sprint car portion of the program will be the scheduled Joe Harz Tribute Race. In keeping with its theme, this race honors a top car owner from the past. Earlier this year, the Grove honored former driver Randy Wolfe.
This Friday’s, it’s car owner Joe Harz. Harz fielded winning sprint cars for some of the area’s top drivers. His familiar yellow No. 88 race cars carried drivers such as Meme DeSantis, Kenny Adams, Fred Rahmer, Lance Dewease and Sean Michael to many local wins and numerous track championships.
An interesting note here, the Harz car carried the No. 88 because Harz won born Aug. 8, the eighth day of the eighth month.
In addition to the 410 sprint cars, the 358 sprints will also have a big program Friday at the Grove. This one wasn’t originally planned for this weekend; the rained out “Match Race” has been reset for Friday. This race has matching funds from donors and Williams Grove, which makes it one of the largest purses the 358 sprints have ever seen.
Lincoln Speedway: Saturday at Lincoln, the 410 sprint cars compete in the Elijah Hawkins Memorial Race. This event is in honor of 8-year-old racing fan Elijah Hawkins, who was tragically lost in a house fire in York a year ago.
The Hawkins family has come up with a unique way of adding to the race purse in Elijah’s memory. They collected cast-off damaged race car parts from top competitors and then auctioned them off in a silent auction last Saturday. A few remain for this week. The market for such things is big, and there should be a large increase in the sprint car purse.
Also on Lincoln’s slate for Saturday are the 358 sprints and the Legends cars.
Port Royal Speedway: Port Royal has a big weekend set for the start of the 168th Annual Juniata County Fair. Saturday, the sprint cars compete at the Port, but it will be the late models taking center stage for the Butch Renninger Memorial Race. Renninger was an integral part of the fair board that runs the racing action at Port Royal. He was also a top-notch late model driver who won 69 super late model races during his career. The limited late models also compete Saturday night.
Port Royal is right back in action on Monday afternoon with the 71st Annual Labor Day Classic for the sprint cars. There was a time when the afternoon racing surface made this more of an event than a race, but in recent years, even the daytime racing has been great. The wingless super sportsman and front wheel drive 4-cylinder stock cars also compete.
Other racing: Selinsgrove fills the Sunday void over the holiday weekend with the sprint cars joined by the ULMS super late models and the roadrunners.
BAPS Motor Speedway hosts the 48th Annual Gary Wolford Sportsman 100 on Saturday. Over its course, the famed Sportsman 100 has been held at Silver Spring, Lincoln and now BAPS speedways. Joining the sportsman racers at BAPS will be the 602 modifieds and the limited stocks.
Path Valley has a two-race weekend planned, with the limited late models on both the Friday and Saturday show. The PASS 305 sprints are also part of Friday’s show.
Scary moment: During the vintage race car exhibition at Williams Grove on Friday evening, things went wrong when one of the racers vaulted a wheel and flipped violently. The car, a former Howie Locke super sportsman machine, was being driven by its current owner and restorer Wayne Godshall.
Godshall, who is 63 years old, was seriously injured in the incident and was flown by medical helicopter from the speedway. While his injuries are serious, Godshall is doing much better and the injuries don’t appear to be life-threatening.
We all wish him the best for a speedy recovery.
With the accident fresh in everyone’s mind and action continuing at Latimore Valley during the EMMR convention, it was decided to drop the Saturday track time for the vintage racers at Lincoln.
Event added: Lincoln Speedway has added an event to is schedule for the late season. Just after the Williams Grove National Open, Lincoln will host a Brian Montieth Tribute Race on Tuesday, Oct. 4. Montieth stepped away from the sport a couple of years ago after a career that included numerous wins and several Lincoln points titles.
Montieth has agreed to be on hand for this big event.
CHAMPION RACING OIL CENTRAL PA SPRINT CAR SERIES presented by Hoseheads.com
Listing; position, car number, driver, points, series wins
1. 39m/11 Anthony Macri 1475 17
2. 48 Danny Dietrich 1329 11
3. 19 Brent Marks 1052 8
4. 8/51 Freddie Rahmer 1031 5
5. 13 Justin Peck 732 4
6. 69K Lance Dewease 616 4
7. 39 Chase Dietz 589 3
8. 23 Devon Borden 552 1
9. 1 Logan Wagner 536 5
10. 5w Lucas Wolfe 529
11. 44 Dylan Norris 511 2
12. 45 Jeff Halligan 474 2
13. 5 Dylan Cisney 438 1
14. 55 Mike Wagner 370
15. 12 Blane Heimbach 327 2
16. 67 Justin Whittall 311
17. 6/10x Ryan Smith 273
18. 19 Troy Wagaman Jr 269 1
19. 87/27s Alan Krimes 267
20. 33w Michael Walter 260
21. 99M Kyle Moody 254
22. 11 T J Stutts 248
23. 75/5 Tyler Ross 244
24. M1 Mark Smith 233 1
25. 8 Billy Dietrich 232 1