The 25th annual Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek kicks off this weekend.
Friday's $5,000-to-win feature at Williams Grove Speedway will be the 164th feature event in Speedweek history. There have been 36 winners in those 163 races, with Fred Rahmer leading the way with 30 wins. Spring Grove's Greg Hodnett is second with 25 wins and Lance Dewease is third with 19 wins.
Rahmer also leads in Speedweek point titles with 13. Hodnett has four and Dewease has three. Last year, Lucas Wolfe won his second Speedweek title after an eventful final night that saw him flip in warm-ups, set fast time while damaging an engine and then finish fifth in the feature, to take the title by six points over Hodnett.
Speedweek consists of nine sprint car races in 10 days at seven tracks. As noted, Williams Grove kicks things off on Friday with the ARDC Midgets joining the sprint cars.
Saturday, Speedweek moves to Lincoln where the Kevin Gobrecht Memorial Race will pay $7,000 to the winner. The Legends cars join the sprints at Lincoln.
Sunday it's on to Path Valley, where "Speedweek King" Rahmer is the promoter, with another $5,000 to the winner. The 600cc micro sprints are part of the program.
Next week, Speedweek is at Grandview on Tuesday, Hagerstown on Wednesday, Lincoln again on Thursday, Williams Grove again on Friday, Port Royal, on Saturday and Selinsgrove on Sunday. All those races pay $5,000 to win, except for Friday's Mitch Smith Memorial at the Grove, which is worth $10,000 to the winner.
With sponsorship from Jake's Wayback Burgers, and associate sponsorship from Trone Outdoor Advertising, this year's 25th annual Speedweek will offer a $25,000 point fund, with $10,000 to the champion. Race purses for the 10 days total more than $250,000.
Other weekend races: Trailway is also in action on Friday evening with the 358 sprints, 270cc micro sprints, street stocks and limited stocks.
Saturday action finds the super sportsmen, limited late models and street stocks at Williams Grove, while the 305 sprints, limited late models, street stocks, Xtreme stocks, road warriors, minivans and All American Outlaws are at Susquehanna.
Selinsgrove will host the 360 sprints, late models, pro stocks and road runners on Saturday, and Hagerstown offers the Red Ninninger Memorial for the late models on Saturday, along with the late model sportsmen, pure stocks, hobby stocks and classic cars.
Cody Fletcher finally wins: It was so good to hear that Cody Fletcher won Friday's 358 sprint car feature at Trailway.
Fletcher has been coming on strong of late and most knew it was just a matter of time before he found victory lane.
Fletcher is the third generation of his family to be involved in local racing. The Fletchers are Maryland natives, but grandfather Harry Fletcher retired to a farm near East Berlin a number of years ago.
Harry Fletcher started the family racing involvement on the Maryland ovals back in the 1950s and moved to the local circuit in the early 1960s with Tom Bowers as his driver. Next up in the Fletcher family's famed No. 66 was Royce Renfro, known to all as Dizzy Dean. Diz won for Fletcher at Lincoln in 1965, before Johnny Grum took over the Fletcher ride in 1966. Grum won a bunch of races for Harry Fletcher, including the Williams Grove National Open. There were point titles at Port Royal and Hagerstown.
When Grum retired from sprint car racing after the 1977 racing season, Steve Smith took over the potent No. 66, and again he scored a bunch of wins, another National Open and point titles at Lincoln and Susky.
Then Bobby Fletcher was ready to try his hand at driving and the number became 66a. Bobby added another three wins to the family total before hanging up his helmet to raise a family and take over the family business.
Before Friday's Trailway win, the last time the Fletcher mount sat in victory lane was at Lincoln on July 24, 1993.
Harry Fletcher was on hand to witness Cody Fletcher's win, but Bobby Fletcher, who is nearly always at the track with his son, was vacationing and didn't get to see the victory.
1970: This weekend started wet in 1970, with Williams Grove getting rained out. After that, Kenny Weld, and the Bud Grimm No. 88 team, got down to business. He pushed their season win total to 11 with wins at Lincoln on Saturday and Hagerstown on Sunday.
At Port Royal, Johnny Grum scored his ninth win of the season in Harry Fletcher's No. 66, while Mitch Smith got his sixth win of the season at Selinsgrove in Gary Wasson's No. 5.
Speedway Motors/Champion Racing Oil Central Pennsylvania Sprint Car Point Standings
Presented by Hoseheads.com
1. Greg Hodnett (9) 899
2. Brian Montieth (8) 704
3. Danny Dietrich (5) 640
4. Lucas Wolfe (1) 559
5. Brent Marks 494
6. Aaron Ott (1) 361
7. Alan Krimes (1) 328
8. Cory Haas 213
9. Lance Dewease (1) 311
10. Steve Buckwalter (2) 296
11. Austin Hogue 205
12. Stevie Smith (1) 170
13. Freddie Rahmer 164
14. Donnie Kreitz Jr. (1) 163
15. Ryan Smith 145
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