Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek has become one of this area's biggest racing extravaganzas.
Nine races in 10 days at speedways around the area. The total purse money for the week exceeds $250,000.
Now there is even more.
It was announced last week that for the 25th anniversary of Speedweek, sponsor Jake's Wayback Burgers and associate sponsor Trone Outdoor Advertising have come together to put up a $25,000 point fund for the event. The 2015 Speedweek champion will take home a record $10,000, in addition to his race winnings.
Speedweek starts June 26 at Williams Grove, with stops at Lincoln on June 27, Path Valley on June 28, Grandview on June 30, Hagerstown on July 1, Lincoln again on July 2, Williams Grove again on July 3, Port Royal on July 4 and ending at Selinsgrove on July 5.
All events pay $5,000 to win except the June 27 Kevin Gobrecht Memorial at Lincoln, which offers $7,000 to the winner, and the July 3 Mitch Smith Memorial at Williams Grove, which is known as the "Crown Jewel of Speedweek" because of its $10,000 winner's share.
Rain woes: Last Friday, the weather around the area was unsettled, with what the weatherman called isolated storms. They must have "isolated" around Williams Grove Speedway. I left home Friday in sunny weather and drove into clouds but no rain on my way to the Grove. When I arrived, I was shocked that track officials still planned to race.
The Yellow Breeches Creek had flooded onto Park Place Road, and while the waters were receding, part of the road was still under water. All of the retention ponds at the Grove were overflowing and there was four inches of water running through the tunnel in turn one. That storm had hit in mid-afternoon. Word in the office was that any more rain would make it impossible to race.
At about 4:15 p.m. it did rain again. It was just a 15-minute shower, but more than enough to put a stop to the evening's races.
I got home to sunshine again.
This weekend: The final weekend before the kickoff of Speedweek finds plenty of racing action around the area. At Williams Grove on Friday, the sprints and 358 sprints are in action, while on Saturday, the Saturday Night Series competes with the super sportsmen, limited late models and street stocks in action.
Trailway is back in action Friday with 358 sprints, Legends, limited stocks and street stocks.
The wingless super sportsmen race Friday at Path Valley.
Saturday, Lincoln offers sprint cars, 358 sprint cars and legends for BAPS night, while Port Royal hosts the sprints, late models and econo late models.
Selinsgrove offers the National Open for the 360 sprint cars on Saturday. The $10,000-to-win race is one of the biggest on the East Coast for the 360 sprinters. Pro stocks also compete.
Susquehanna Speedway Park is back to Saturday racing with limited late models, 305 sprints, street stocks, Xtreme stocks, road warriors and minivans.
Hagerstown gives the cars a night off Saturday for the big AMA Motorcycle event.
Chip off the old block: Did anyone notice the moves made by Sheldon Haudenschild on Saturday evening at Lincoln. Haudenschild is the young son of Hall of Fame sprint car driver Jac Haudenschild and he turned in quite a performance Saturday. Haudenschild moved from the 18th starting spot to finish seventh, and just like his father, he made most of his moves on the extreme outside of the speedway.
Haudenschild is in his first full year with the All Stars, and is doing well. A few years ago he spent a few weeks in the area driving for Newberrytown Salvage dealer Clair Wintermyer. I ran into Wintermyer the other day at our local bank, and I wouldn't be too surprised to see Haudenschild back in the area for a number of special shows. By the way, the Haudenschild rig was spotted at Wintermyer's business over the weekend.
1970: The week started early in the area on this week in 1970. Lincoln offered up a Wednesday evening show that saw Irvin King pick up his second win in a row at the track. The West Virginia dairy farmer drove his own No. 86 to his second win of the season in less than five days.
A night later the All Star circuit was racing at the Eriez Speedway in western Pennsylvania. Lee Osborne, a regular on the local circuit in the Tobias No. 17, was the winner there for his second win of the season.
Mitch Smith dominated victory lane at the Groves on this weekend. On Friday, Smith put Gary Wasson's No. 5 in the Williams Grove winner's circle for his fourth win of the season. A night later, Smith was in victory lane at Selinsgrove to make it five on the season.
At Lincoln, the URC sprints were there along with the regular sprint division as well. It didn't matter. Kenny Weld drove Bud Grimm's No. 88 to the win in both races. For the URC race, Weld and Grim had to remove the wing, but the results were the same. Weld's win total for the season climbed to nine.
At Port Royal that weekend, Lynn Paxton put Roy Emrich's No. 1 in victory lane for his fourth win of the season.
— Reach Bryan Householder at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Speedway Motors/Champion Racing Oil Central Pennsylvania Sprint Cars
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1. Greg Hodnett (9) 899
2. 21 Brian Montieth (8) 704
3. Danny Dietrich (5) 624
4. Lucas Wolfe (1) 509
5. Brent Marks 476
6. Aaron Ott (1) 361
7. Alan Krimes (1) 308
8. Lance Dewease (1) 297
9. Cory Haas 287
10. Steve Buckwalter (2) 284
11. Austin Hogue 205
12. Stevie Smith (1) 170
13. Donnie Kreitz Jr. (1) 163
14. Ryan Smith 145
15. Freddie Rahmer 132
16. Jim Siegel 130
17. Kevin Nouse (1) 112
18. Adam Wilt 110
19. Robbie Kendall 104
20. Kyle Moody 103
20. Tim Glatfelter 103
22. Doug Esh 102
23. Mark Smith 101
24. Mike Wagner 98
24. Dale Blaney 98