Householder: Labor Day weekend a busy one for local racing scene

Bryan Householder
For The York Dispatch

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.

Lance Dewease celebrates after winning Wednesday's Gettysburg Clash at Lincoln Speedway.

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.

Brian Montieth is shown after winning the 410 sprint race at Lincoln Speedway on Monday night. He earned $5,000.

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.

Anthony Macri is shown after his victory on Saturday at Lincoln Speedway.

CHAMPION RACING OIL CENTRAL PA SPRINT CAR SERIES presented by Hoseheads.com

after 8/28

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