HOUSEHOLDER: New Susquehanna owner has deep roots in local racing
Rumors have been circulating for months now, but until Sunday nothing official had been released.
On Sunday it was announced that Susquehanna Speedway Park has been sold. Current promoters Todd and Rhonda Fisher have sold the speedway to Scott Gobrecht. Earlier this year, the Fishers also sold the rights to York's winter race car show to Gobrecht.
Gobrecht has long been involved in local auto racing. His brother, Kevin Gobrecht, was one of the area's top talents before being fatally injured in a World of Outlaws crash in Nebraska in 1999. Scott Gobrecht has kept his hand in racing since long before his brother's death. In recent years, Scott Gobrecht became a co-owner of the local Legends car racing series and raced those cars for a few years. He then raced a 305 sprint car a few times.
Last winter Scott Gobrecht formed a 410 sprint car team and hired York's Chase Dietz as his driver. Dietz has one win this season at Lincoln and just last weekend placed the Gobrecht car in the top 10 in all three races it competed in.
The Fishers will continue to operate Susquehanna for the remainder of this season, completing the scheduled events. One exception will be this Saturday's show, which has been canceled. Scott Gobrecht plans to spend time at the remaining Susky races this season to get an idea of just what he plans to do for next season when he takes over operation of the track.
Susquehanna Speedway Park is the only oval racing facility actually located in York county. The Newberrytown-area track opened for racing in 1954, and has operated in all but one year since that time.
First wins: It comes as a surprise that in five sprint car shows last weekend, four drivers scored their first wins of the season, and none of the season's big winners graced victory lane. Aaron Ott's win at Williams Grove on Friday marked the only repeat 410 sprint car winner of the weekend. Ott had one 410 win at Port Royal before Friday's big triumph.
Both of Saturday's winners got their first wins of the season. At Port Royal, Dave Ely's win marked only his third career win there. Freddie Rahmer's win at Lincoln Saturday was his first career win in a 410 sprint car, and came one week after his brother Brandon had done the same thing. Of course, their father Fred has 169 410 sprint wins at Lincoln.
Sunday at Williams Grove, York's Cory Haas got his first win of the season. Haas was certainly overdue for that win. He has been a contender nearly every race this season.
With Haas getting Sunday's win, that left only one driver in the area's top 15 who hadn't won, and that driver was the most successful of all the area's non-winners. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that Brent Marks scored his first win of the season Monday at Port Royal.
This weekend: The Tuscarora 50 at Port Royal will take top billing this week. The All Stars are in town for the two-day event. Friday is the night before the 50 and Saturday is the 48th annual Tuscarora 50. Last year, Greg Hodnett joined Doug Wolfgang, Fred Rahmer and Lance Dewease as four-time winners of the event. Late models join Friday's program and "topless" econo late models are on Saturday's show
Williams Grove gives the sprint cars off on Friday, so they can compete at the Port. In fact, the Grove will offer its Saturday Series divisions this Friday. The super sportsman racers, limited late models "topless" and street stocks are on the slate.
Trailway offers the Trone Outdoor championship race for the 358 sprints Friday, along with 270cc micro sprints, limited stocks and street stocks.
Like Williams Grove, Lincoln allows the sprint cars a night off for the Tuscarora 50 on Saturday. The 358 sprints will wrap up their point season at Lincoln on Saturday. Also on the card will be limited late models, Legends and All American Outlaws.
Selinsgrove has its last regular show of the season scheduled for Saturday with the 360 sprints, late models, pro stocks and roadrunners in action.
1970: Back in 1970, the Tuscarora 50 was only on its third running and it was a Friday show. Mitch Smith drove to the victory that year, marking his third win in the three-year old race. Smith's win in Gary Wasson's No. 5 was his 21st of the season. The next night at Selinsgrove he would add win No. 22 for the season.
At Lincoln on Saturday evening, it was Bobby Allen, who parked "Shorty" Emrich's No. 3 in victory lane for the eighth time that season.
Sunday found Williams Grove racing in the afternoon with Hagerstown racing at night. Perhaps the best race of the day was the one from the Grove to Hagerstown. At the Grove, Johnny Grum scored his 17th win of the season in Harry Fletcher's No. 66. Grum then finished second to Lynn Paxton at Hagerstown that evening. Paxton, of course was driving "Shorty" Emrich's No. 1. The win was Paxton's ninth that season. While he didn't win, Kenny Weld also had two top-five finishes that day, second at the Grove and fifth at Hagerstown. Weld was driving the Bud Grimm No. 88
Out at Sharon Speedway, Billy Cassella was scoring his fifth win of the season in Wilbur Hawthorne's No. 35.
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 SERIES STANDINGS
1. Greg Hodnett (15) 1,708
2. Danny Dietrich (14) 1,504
3. Brian Montieth (8) 1,174
4. Lucas Wolfe (3) 1,058
5. Brent Marks (1) 885
6. Lance Dewease (1) 828
7. Aaron Ott (2) 739
8. Alan Krimes (2) 648
9. Stevie Smith (8) 619
10. Cory Haas (1) 544
11. Steve Buckwalter (3) 540
12. Austin Hogue (1) 436
13. Doug Esh (2) 303
14. Jim Siegel (1) 264
15. Freddie Rahmer (1) 262