HOUSEHOLDER: USAC Eastern Storm swings through area this week


It will be a very big week for local racing fans, who will have a chance to catch dirt-track action from Tuesday through Sunday.

There's plenty of variety, too.

The USAC Eastern Storm hits the local ovals starting Tuesday night at Grandview for Thunder on the Hill. The USAC sprint cars are wingless, or as longtime fans like to say, "traditional." The Grandview show will also feature the wingless ARDC midgets.

On Wednesday evening, USAC moves to Lincoln for a very big show. USAC will be joined by the 360 sprint cars for this one. Added in is the fact that last year's event at Lincoln was rained out just before the features, so there will be double features for both classes this time. The 360 sprints will actually make up their feature from last year, while USAC offers something slightly different. The night's first feature will be the regularly scheduled event. The second feature will invert all the cars that finish on the lead lap of the first event.

On Thursday, USAC moves to New Egypt, New Jersey, and is again joined by the ARDC midgets.

USAC takes Friday off, but returns Saturday at Port Royal. At the Port, ARDC again joins USAC, and the econo late models also compete.

The Eastern Storm wraps up Sunday at Susquehanna Speedway Park.

While USAC is in the area, they are not the only show in town. Late Model Speedweek resumes this weekend with action in western Pennsylvania on Friday and Sunday, and at Hagerstown on Saturday. Also on the Hagerstown slate are late model sportsmen, pure stocks and hobby stocks.

For fans of winged sprint car racing, there is plenty of that, too. Williams Grove is in action Friday with the sprint cars and the URC 358/360 challenge series. The Grove returns on Saturday with a "School's Out Special" for the Saturday Night Series regulars of super sportsmen, limited late models and street stocks. Fireworks are a part of the program, too.

Trailway races Friday with the 358 sprints, 270cc micro sprints, street stocks and limited stocks.

Lincoln has a big sprint car event lined up for Saturday evening. The event is known as the "Dirt Classic Qualifier" and the winner will earn a starting spot in the $20,000-to-win, late-season race. The payout Saturday isn't too shabby, either. It pays $7,000 to win and $1,000 at 10th. Lincoln will also try a new qualifying format for the show. While the sprint cars will run time trials, it will be for points only. Heat races will be lined up from the pre-race pill draw, but with a catch. Time trials go heads up from the pill draw and the heat races will be completely inverted from the pill draw. Time trials and heat races get an equal number of points and the top six point men for the night will then draw for the top six starting spots in the feature.

The 358 sprints are also on the program.

If all that isn't enough to keep interest on the local ovals, the All Star sprints are close by in western Pennsylvania, with racing Saturday at Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway and Sunday at Bedford.

1970: This weekend didn't get off to a good start on the local circuit in 1970, with Friday's show at Williams Grove rained out. After that there was plenty of racing.

At Lincoln, Gus Linder drove to his first win of the local season in Mickey Banas' No. 69. Linder, a western Pennsylvania legend, recently passed away.

At Selinsgrove on Saturday, Wrightsville's Bobbie Adamson drove to victory in Al Hamilton's No. 77. The win was Adamson's second of the season, the first coming in Florida in February.

Elmer Ruby drove the family-owned No. 711 to victory at Port Royal that weekend. The win was Ruby's fourth of the season.

Hagerstown featured twin 20s for the sprint cars that Sunday. As was the case at most tracks in that era, the finishes of the two races were combined for one overall winner. What was unusual about this show was that the overall winner didn't win either of the features. The first race saw Steve Smith pick up his first win of the season in the O.J. Myers No. 19. That win was the second of the 266 sprint car races Smith would win in his career. The second feature that evening fell to Dover's Smokey Snellbaker, who was driving Ken Beck's No. 14 machine. It was also Smoke's first win of the season. The overall winner for the evening was Johnny Grum, who piloted Harry Fletcher's No. 66 to a pair of fourth-place finishes. That win marked Grum's seventh first-place payoff for the year.

— Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at

Speedway Motors/Champion Racing Oil Central Pennsylvania Sprint Cars

Presented by

Driver (Wins).....................................Pts.

1. Greg Hodnett (7) 765

2. Brian Montieth (7) 617

3. Danny Dietrich (4) 486

4. Brent Marks 457

5. 1/5W Lucas Wolfe (1) 409

6. Alan Krimes (1) 292

7. Aaron Ott (1) 288

8. Cory Haas 257

9. Lance Dewease (1) 239

10. Steve Buckwalter (2) 231

11. Austin Hogue 185

12. 51 Stevie Smith (1) 135

13. Jim Siegel 130

14. Freddie Rahmer 122

15. Donnie Kreitz Jr. 113

16. Adam Wilt 110

17. Ryan Smith 105

18. Robbie Kendall 104

19. Tim Glatfelter 103

20. Mark Smith 101

21. Kevin Nouse (1) 92

22. Kyle Moody 91

23. Davey Sammons 86

24. Donny Schatz (1) 85

25. J.J. Grasso (1) 80