James Campbell Jr. lost his life in a crash during warm-ups at Williams Grove Speedway on Friday evening.
"Jimmy," as he was known, was making his first Williams Grove start of the season on Friday and was involved in a multi-car tangle during the second sprint car warm-up session.
The crash happened in the third and fourth turns of the speedway when Campbell's car crashed into the guide rail and bounced back onto the track surface. Several other cars crashed while avoiding Campbell's racer, but none made contact with his car. One did bounce over parts that had been torn off Campbell's racer.
Campbell's family had long been involved in auto racing, and his grandfather fielded a car that local racing legend Leroy Felty drove to the URC point championship in the early 1970s. I first met Jimmy when he was a teenager tagging along with his grandfather's car to Selinsgrove.
Jimmy was not a full-time racer and drove for fun. Since he didn't go to all that many races per year, we didn't come into contact often, but when he was at the same races where I was in attendance we always spoke.
Rest in Peace Jimmy.
You will be missed.
Busy week and weekend: The USAC Midgets will make their own "Eastern Storm" swing through the area this week.
The USAC contingent will team with ARDC to present midget racing at Path Valley on Tuesday, Lincoln on Wednesday and Susquehanna on Thursday.
The wingless super sportsman racers join the midgets at Path Valley, while the Legends cars will be on Lincoln's program.
The last time the USAC Midgets visited Lincoln was in 1964, when 1963 Indy 500 winner Parnelli Jones was the winner.
USAC is expected to bring their past two champions along east with them for this swing. The 2015 Chili Bowl winner, Rico Abreau, who stands just 4 feet, 4 inches tall, and recent NASCAR Truck Series Eldora Mud Summer Classic winner Christopher Bell are slated to appear, as is Bryan Clauson, who won the Friday night program at the Knoxville Nationals.
Williams Grove will return to action Friday with Twin 20s for the sprint cars. Rumor is that Abreau will stick around to race his sprint car in this event. The street stocks are also on this program.
The Williams Grove Saturday Night Series wraps up its season on Saturday with the super sportsmen, limited late models and street stocks.
Trailway is in action on Friday with the limited late models, limited stocks, street stocks and 270cc micro sprints.
Lincoln will host the sprints, 358 sprints and All American Outlaws on Saturday, while Port Royal hosts the sprints, late models and 305 sprints Saturday.
Hagerstown races Saturday with the late models, late model sportsmen, pure stocks and hobby stocks. At Selinsgrove on Saturday, the 360 sprints, late models pro stocks and roadrunners compete.
After Thursday's USAC Midget show, Susquehanna takes Saturday off, but returns on Sunday with the sprints and 358 sprints on the schedule.
EMMR Convention Weekend: The Eastern Museum of Motor Racing will play host to the Williams Grove Old Timers Convention this weekend. This event started at Williams Grove Speedway 41 years ago and formed the group that has become the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing.
The group purchased the old Latimore Valley Fairgrounds, restored it and built the museum on a hill overlooking the old fairgrounds.
This year's convention honors Gary Wolford and Kenneth Miller Sr. Among many events are track time for the vintage racers on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. The vintage cars will also appear at Williams Grove Friday evening.
1970: Local racers started this week in 1970 with Hanover's Bobby Allen winning a Wednesday night race at Ohio's Wayne County Speedway. The win in the "Shorty" Emrich No. 3 was Allen's fifth of the season.
Locally Mitch Smith drove the Gary Wasson No. 5 to his 13th win of the season on Friday at Williams Grove. Smith backed that one up with win No. 14 on Saturday at Selinsgrove and scored his 15th win of the season on Sunday at Susquehanna.
At Lincoln on Saturday, Kenny Weld raced to his 17th win of the season in Bud Grimm's No. 88, while at Port Royal, Leroy Felty drove his own No. 7 to his first win of the season.
Sunday at Hagerstown, Milt Miller got his first win of the season in the Mopar-powered "Hummer" No. 49.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Speedway Motors/Champion Racing Oil Central Pennsylvania Sprint Car Standings
Presented by Hoseheads.com
1. Greg Hodnett (11) 1,368
2. Danny Dietrich (12) 1,254
3. Brian Montieth (8) 1,003
4. Lucas Wolfe (3) 952
5. Brent Marks 697
6. Stevie Smith (8) 619
7. Alan Krimes (2) 589
8. Aaron Ott (1) 585
9. Lance Dewease (1) 580
10. Steve Buckwalter (3) 492
11. Cory Haas 374
12. Austin Hogue 297
13. Jim Siegel (1) 236
14. Tim Glatfelter 228
15. Doug Esh (1) 204
16. Mike Wagner 195
17. Freddie Rahmer 194
18. Robbie Kendall 184
19. Brock Zearfoss 183
20. Logan Wagner (1) 181
21. Ryan Taylor 180
22. Adam Wilt 177
22. Kyle Moody 177
24. Donnie Kreitz Jr. (1) 163
24. Ryan Smith 163
CAPITAL RENEGADES 358 Sprint Series standings
1. Doug Hammaker (4) 855
2. Brad McClelland (5) 752
3. Matt Campbell (2) 675
4. Issac Sneeringer (5) 594
5. Cody Fletcher (1) 571
6. Jeff Halligan (3) 427
7. Seth Kearchner (1) 427
8. Chandler Leiby (1) 418
9. Adrian Shaffer (2) 417
10. Jeff Rohrbaugh (2) 390