Tony Stewart's All Star Circuit of Champions return to the area this weekend for sprint car action.
The All Stars will race at Williams Grove on Friday evening and Lincoln on Saturday. The Midwestern touring group was purchased by Stewart over the winter months.
The All Star organization started in 1970 with a rather full season of midweek racing. Local racer Bobbie Adamson won three races with the All Stars that season, including local events at Williams Grove and Selinsgrove. Local racers Lee Osborne (two), Bobby Allen (one), Jan Opperman (one) and Billy Cassella (one) were also All Star winners that season.
The All Stars didn't race again until 1973, and only two of the 11 races were held on local ovals. Still, all but one of the races were won by local drivers. Opperman and Kenny Weld each won three, Allen took two, and single wins went to Steve Smith and Mike Lloyd. The lone non-local winner was Earl Wagner at a late-season race in Arizona.
The All Stars then folded again and didn't return until 1979. They have been racing every year since. And local drivers have done well with the series each time it visits the area. While the All Stars have been racing regularly since 1979, they haven't always visited this area in those years. The two tracks they visit this weekend have been tough on the touring racers.
Williams Grove has hosted 29 All Star races over the years and a touring All Star regular has never won there at a series race. Lance Dewease is the leading winner of All Star races at the Grove with five. Spring Grove's Greg Hodnett won there earlier this season.
At Lincoln, the All Stars have raced 31 times and a touring series regular has only won once. That was Kenny Jacobs in 2000, and Jacobs had been a racer on the local circuit for a number of previous years. Fred Rahmer is the leading All Star winner at Lincoln with nine. Last Saturday's winner, Danny Dietrich, has won three of the last four All Star shows at Lincoln.
The 305 sprints will join the All Stars at Williams Grove on Friday, while the 358 sprints share the card at Lincoln on Saturday.
In a related note, Hodnett was Sunday's All Star sprint winner at the Bedford Fairgrounds.
Hodnett scored the win over Dietrich, with Ryan Smith, Chad Kemenah and Lucas Wolfe in the top five. Rounding out the top 10 were Dale Blaney, Lance Dewease, Greg Wilson, Robbie Stillwaggon and Red Lion's Cody Darrah.
Other races this weekend: Trailway will headline the limited late models on Friday evening. Also on the program are the 600cc micro sprints, limited stocks and street stocks.
Port Royal also hosts sprint cars on Saturday evening, along with the late models, 305 sprints and Xtreme stock cars.
Williams Grove's Saturday Night Series is in action with the super sportsmen, limited late models and twin 15-lap features for the street stocks.
The Patriot 360 sprints visit Selinsgrove Saturday for the Joe Whitcomb Memorial Race. The late models, pro stocks and roadrunners also compete. Hagerstown has late models, "topless" late model sportsmen, All-American Outlaws, pure stocks and hobby stocks Saturday.
Susuqehanna Speedway Park takes Saturday night off, but will be in action on Sunday evening with sprint cars and 358 sprints.
The URC 360 sprints race south of the border this weekend with races at Potomac, Maryland, on Friday and Winchester, Virginia, on Saturday.
1970: It's interesting to note that the very first All Star race was held on Wednesday June 10, 1970, at the Canfield Speedway in Ohio. That race was won by local transplant Opperman, who was probably wheeling Harold Hanks' No. 4 for his fifth win of the season.
Local action started on Friday at Williams Grove, where Lee Osborne wheeled his own Tobias Speed Equipment No. 17 to his first win of the season.
Saturday at Lincoln, West Virginia dairy farmer Irvin King raced to his first win of the season in his own No. 86. For Johnny Grum in Harry Fletcher's No. 66, his win at Port Royal on Saturday was his eighth of the season. Adamson got his third win of the season in Saturday's race at Selinsgrove. Adamson was driving Al Hamilton's No. 77.
Susquehanna offered a rare — for that season — Sunday night race, and Lynn Paxton wheeled Roy Emrich's No. 1 to the victory for his third win of the year. At Hagerstown, Hal Browning, in the Palmer No. 6, got his first win of the season.
Kreitz hits milestone: Donnie Kreitz Jr. was back in victory lane Friday night at Williams Grove, and it was a milestone win. The win at the Grove was the 200th sprint car win of Kreitz's career. Those 200 wins include the 13 wins Kreitz had with the URC 360 sprints before moving full time to the local circuit.
Actually, at that time, URC had a 366 cubic-inch engine limit, and it should be noted that Kreitz's first win against what are now the 410 sprint cars came with the URC legal 366 engine.
It was a big week for Kreitz, who was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame the previous Saturday.
Buckwalter's weekend: Steve Buckwalter probably felt snake bitten Friday night at Williams Grove. Buckwalter passed Kreitz in lapped traffic with just a few laps remaining in that feature. A lap later the caution flag flew, and after the restart, Kreitz was able to regain the lead and win the race. Buckwalter finished second.
In the Grove's URC race, Buckwalter took the lead on the 17th lap only to lose it on the last lap to winner Curt Michael. Mark Smith also got by Buckwalter on that lap, dropping him to third.
Buckwalter rebounded on Saturday to win the ARDC midget feature at Port Royal while wheeling Michael Heffner's car.
— Reach Bryan Householder at email@example.com.
Speedway Motors/Champion Racing Oil Central Pennsylvania Sprint Cars
Presented by Hoseheads.com
1. Greg Hodnett (8) 849
2. Brian Montieth (7) 654
3. Danny Dietrich (5) 589
4. Lucas Wolfe (1) 479
5. Brent Marks 476
6. Aaron Ott (1) 343
7. 87 Alan Krimes (1) 308
8. Lance Dewease (1) 287
9. Steve Buckwalter (2) 266
10. Cory Haas 257
11. Austin Hogue 185
12. Stevie Smith (1) 170
13. Donnie Kreitz Jr. (1) 163
14. Ryan Smith 145
15. Freddie Rahmer 132
16. Jim Siegel 130
17. Adam Wilt 110
18. Robbie Kendall 104
19. Tim Glatfelter 103
20. Mark Smith 101
21. Kevin Nouse (1) 92
22. Kyle Moody 91
23. Niki Young 90
24. Davey Sammons 86
25. Donny Schatz (1) 85
CAPITAL RENEGADE 358 SPRINT SERIES
1. Doug Hammaker (3) 457
2. Brad McClelland (3) 382
3. Matt Campbell (1) 297
4. Issac Sneeringer (3) 285
5. Cody Fletcher 260
6. David Holbrook (1) 247
7. Adrian Shaffer (2) 246
8. Kevin Nouse 218
9. Jeff Rohrbaugh (1) 206
10. Jeff Halligan (1) 199