The Memorial Day weekend has always been a big one on the local racing circuit.
That won't change this weekend. There's plenty of big, extra-pay races dotting the schedule for all divisions.
Williams Grove has two big nights of racing. On Friday, the sprint cars go in a championship bout for Charities Night. The 305 sprints and a photo display by the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing are also part of the program.
Saturday at the Grove, the super sportsman racers compete in the "Wild Bill" Heckert Memorial race. The limited late models and street stocks are also part of Saturday's program at the Grove.
Trailway is also in action on Friday, with the 358 sprints headlining the show. Also on the program are the 600cc micro sprints, limited stocks and street stocks. The night will honor members of the armed forces, with a discount on admission.
The wingless super sportsmen race at Path Valley Friday evening.
Saturday, Lincoln plays host to the Hilly Rife Memorial Race for the sprint cars. The race honoring the founder of the speedway pays $5,000 to the winner. The 358 sprints and the legends are also on the card.
At Port Royal Saturday, the sprints also race for $5,000 to win in the Fallen Heroes Championship Night. Late models and 305 sprints join in the fun.
Hagerstown's Saturday show is part of the Western Maryland Challenge. Late models, late model sportsmen, hobby stocks, pure stocks and mini stocks compete.
At Susquehanna Speedway Park on Saturday, it's the 21a Memorial Day Championship. Honoring late York County driver Mike Zeigler Sr., the program will include the limited late models, street stocks, Xtreme stocks, road warriors, minivans and vintage racers.
Selinsgrove takes Saturday off to prepare for Sunday's Ray Tilley Memorial event. The sprint cars go for $5,000 to win in a race honoring the speedway's leading feature winner. The super sportsmen and 305 sprints also compete.
Grandview has its first Thunder on the Hill program Sunday, with features for the 358 modifieds, sportsman modifieds, ARDC Midgets, 305 sprints and legends.
YCRC meeting: The York County Racing Club will play host to a general membership meeting on Wednesday evening at the club hall in Zions View.
Legends racer Chad Earnst will be the guest speaker. Earnst has been on a hot streak this year and recently scored his first Lincoln win. That one was special, because his father, the late Preston Earnst, once served as the chief starter at Lincoln.
The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m.
Outlaw notes: The World of Outlaws left the area a little early after rain hit Williams Grove just before race time Saturday. The Wednesday show at Lincoln drew 47 sprint cars, while the Grove had 40 cars on Friday.
Between them, the two tracks drew drivers from 14 states and two Australian states. Of course Greg Hodnett's win at Lincoln chalked one up for the Pennsylvania Posse, while Donny Schatz evened the score with his win at the Grove.
On Friday at Williams Grove, I noted that there was one National Hall of Fame driver competing ( Dave Blaney), along with another who will be inducted in about two weeks. (Donnie Kreitz Jr.)
But there were also four National Hall of Fame drivers in the pit area serving as mechanics. Bobby Allen was there with his son, Jacob Allen, and grandson, Logan Schuchart. Fred Rahmer was there with Stevie Smith in his car. Steve Smith was again working with Kyle Reinhardt and Jac Haudenschild was on hand with his son Sheldon Haudenschild.
1970: The Memorial Day weekend was a big one back in 1970, as well.
It started on Thursday evening at Susquehanna, where Jan Opperman raced to his third win of the season in the Harold Hank No. 4.
Action moved to Williams Grove on Friday, where Kenny Weld raced to victory in Bud Grimm's No. 88. Weld would be back in victory lane the next night in the regular feature at Lincoln, moving his season total up to five wins.
Lincoln also had a make-up race that Saturday night, and Bobby Allen drove Roy Emrich's No. 3 to his second win of the season in that one.
Selinsgrove also had a pair of features that weekend. In the make-up event, Jan Opperman scored his second win of the weekend, and fourth overall. The regular feature that night saw Ronnie Dunstan score the win for his first of the season. Dunstan took a last-minute ride subbing for Billy Cassella in the Wilbur Hawthorne No. 35.
At Port Royal that Saturday night, Johnny Grum raced to his fourth win of the season in Harry Fletcher's No. 66.
Hagerstown was rained out on Sunday evening, but came back to run the event on Wednesday, May 27. Grum won that one too.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sprint car standings
Speedway Motors / Champion Racing Oil Central Pennsylvania Sprint Cars
Presented by Hoseheads.com
(Wins in parenthesis)
1. Greg Hodnett (5) 557
2. Brian Montieth (5) 462
3. Danny Dietrich (4) 421
4. Brent Marks 372
5. Lucas Wolfe (1) 292
6. Aaron Ott (1) 231
7. Lance Dewease (1) 215
8. Alan Krimes 210
9. Cory Haas 192
10. Steve Buckwalter (1) 155
11. Austin Hogue 153
12. Stevie Smith (1) 119
13. Freddie Rahmer 106
14. Ryan Smith 105
15. Mark Smith 101
16. Donnie Kreitz Jr. 95
17. Jim Siegel 94
18. Robbie Kendall 94
19. Kyle Moody 91
20. J.J. Grasso (1) 80
21. Adam Wilt 75
22. Davey Sammons 74
23. Mike Wagner 73
24. Dave Blaney 73
25. Blane Heimbach 56
Capital Renegades 358 Sprint Series
(Wins in parenthesis)
1. Doug Hammaker (2) 327
2. Brad McClelland (2) 247
3. Matt Campbell 206
4. Adrian Shaffer (2) 178
5. Issac Sneeringer (2) 170
6. Jeff Halligan (1) 160
6. Cody Fletcher 160
8. Kevin Nouse 153
9. Chandler Leiby 143
10. Jeff Rohrbaugh (1) 141