HOUSEHOLDER: Busy weekend of dirt-track action looming — weather permitting
The local sprint cars have only raced four times all season, but if the weather will finally cooperate, they could race four times over three days this weekend alone.
With all of Friday's racing washed out last weekend, the local circuit hasn't seen more than a single day of racing on a weekend all season.
This week there are three options on Friday, five on Saturday and one on Sunday. Williams Grove is set for sprints and 358 sprints on Friday evening, while Trailway will host 358 sprints, 600cc micro sprints, limited stocks and street stocks. There is also the option of wingless super sportsman racing at Path Valley.
Saturday, the sprints are joined by the super sportsmen and limited late models at Lincoln. Or at Port Royal, it's sprints, late models, econo late models and the All-American Outlaws.
Selinsgrove hosts the ESS 360 sprints, plus late models and pro stocks on Saturday, while Hagerstown has late models, late model sportsmen, pure stocks and hobby stocks.
Susquehanna Speedway Park will have a two-race weekend. On Saturday, the limited late models are joined by the 305 sprints, street stocks, Xtreme stocks, road warriors and minivans. Then on Sunday, the sprint cars return to Susky, along with the 358 sprints.
Big winners: Last weekend was a good one for some of the area's bigger winners.
Of course, at the top of that list would be late model driver Gary Stuhler. Stuhler won at Hagerstown for his 132nd win there. That also marked his 345th career late model win. Stuhler is in his 40th year of late model racing.
Jeff Rine's late model win at Selinsgrove was his 92nd career win there and the 119th I have found for him in his late model career.
Frankie Herr's super sportsman win at Susquehanna was his 72nd in those cars. Herr also owns eight 358 sprint wins.
Last week I noted that Brian Montieth had 45 sprint car wins at Lincoln. Now that number stands at 46, with a total of 65 in his career.
Mark Smith's win in the 360 sprints at Selinsgrove was his eighth there in those cars. He also has 360 sprint wins at Williams Grove and in Florida. Smith also owns 57 sprint car wins, nine 358 sprint wins and 24 super sportsman wins.
Not so many, but big: Ryan Smith now owns three career sprint car wins.
That's not a lot of wins, but they've been big ones. His first came last summer in the $5,000-to-win Jersey Rush at New Egypt, New Jersey. His second came last fall in a World of Outlaws race at Port Royal. Win No. 3 came last Saturday in the All Star race at Attica Ohio.
Aaron Ott had never won at Port Royal before last Saturday. In fact, Ott rarely competed at the Port. He ventured there on Saturday and drove away with the win. The win marked a combined 13 wins in 410 and 360 sprints. He also has five 358 sprint wins.
Todd Rittenhouse isn't really a Junior, but since his father is also Todd Rittenhouse, and also raced sprint cars, he's always been tagged with the Junior label. His 358 sprint win at Lincoln on Saturday was his third there in that class. He also scored his first career win at Lincoln while racing with URC.
Rittenhouse says his team is readying a 410 engine and he plans to divide his time this season between the two classes at Lincoln.
A few facts about his father, who raced with the super sportsmen, sprint cars and URC. Rittenhouse (Sr.) raced the Wink Baker No. 42 with both the super sportsmen and sprint classes. His replacement in that car, Tommie Spriggle, won the Selinsgrove point title in the car. Rittenhouse (Sr.) also gave a young modified driver his first ride in a URC sprint car. That driver was named Fred Rahmer.
1970: Things were starting to get rolling on the local circuit by this weekend in 1970. Port Royal and Hagerstown were into their racing seasons, and Williams Grove and Selinsgrove opened on this weekend.
Promoter Jack Gunn opened Selinsgrove on Saturday night and two future racing legends battled to the checkered flags. Mitch Smith in Gary Wasson's No. 5 scored the win over a newcomer from California. Jan Opperman finished second that night in the Harold Hank's No. 4 in his first start in Pennsylvania. Smith's win was his second overall that season.
Opperman would win the next afternoon at Williams Grove, the first time he had seen the historic oval.
Meanwhile, on Saturday at Port Royal, Elmer Ruby drove the family owned No. 711 to his second victory of the season. Longtime fans might remember that Ruby's racer was sponsored by Old German Beer and carried the slogan "Swallow the Leader" on the wing.
Western Pennsylvania ace Ralph Quarterson Sr. won Sunday's feature at Hagerstown. Quarterson and his No. 66 would be a multiple winner that season with the new All Star sprint circuit.
Open house: The York County Racing Club will host an open house at the club hall in Zions View on Sunday afternoon from noon until 4 p.m.
Stop out and check out what the YCRC is all about. There's plenty of old racing photos on the wall to interest any racing fan.
— Reach Bryan Householder at email@example.com.
Sprint car standings
Speedway Motors/Champion Racing Oil Central Pennsylvania Sprint Car Standings
Presented by Hoseheads.com
(Wins in parenthesis)
1. Brian Montieth (2) 146
2. Greg Hodnett (1) 105
3. Danny Dietrich (1) 97
4. Brent Marks 81
5. Cory Haas 58
6. Aaron Ott (1) 50
6. Austin Hogue 50
8. Alan Krimes 48
8. Freddie Rahmer 48
10. Kyle Moody 47
11. Steve Buckwalter 45
12. Gerard McIntyre Jr. 44
13. Lucas Wolfe 42
14. Robbie Kendall 40
15. Mark Smith 37
16. Nate Snyder 35
17. Jim Siegel 30
18. Doug Esh 25
19. Mike Wagner 20
20. Logan Wagner 18
20. Lance Dewease 18
22. Ryan Taylor 16
23. Davey Sammons 14
23. Niki Young 14
25. Dylan Cisney 12