HOUSEHOLDER: Local circuit takes weekend off, allowing area drivers to compete in big event in Charlotte
This weekend, the local circuit takes the weekend off so that a number of local sprint car and late model racers can venture south for the World Finals at the Dirt Track at Charlotte.
The World of Outlaws sprint and late model classes will compete there, along with the DIRT modifieds. Time trials and modified qualifying are held Thursday evening, with full programs for all three divisions on Friday and Saturday evenings.
The local season will wrap up the following Saturday, Nov. 14, with the Final Showdown at Susquehanna. The sprints and 358 sprints compete in that one.
Since, last week, I took a look at racing around the area on the final weekend in October, I thought it might be neat to take a look at how often local tracks have played host to November racing.
Susquehanna: Of course, with Susquehanna taking the spotlight next weekend with the Final Showdown, we'll start there. Susky first hosted the Final Showdown in 2010, so next weekend's action will mark the sixth running of the event.
Chad Layton won the first one in 2010, with Donnie Kreitz Jr. getting the next two in 2011 and 2012. Derek Sell was the surprise winner in 2013, and last year Spring Grove's Greg Hodnett was the winner.
The Final Showdown isn't the only time Susky has raced in November, although there hasn't been a lot of racing there in this month. Back in 1988, Susky raced on Thanksgiving Day with a barn burner of a race that saw Hanover's Cris Eash edge Kenny Jacobs for the win. The next year it snowed on Thanksgiving and Susky hasn't tried that one since.
Susky also raced the first two weekends in November during its second year in 1955. The "Delta Dart," Johnny Mackison Sr., won both of those races.
Williams Grove: Surprisingly, Williams Grove has only raced twice in November. On Nov. 3, 1963, Dick Tobias was the winner, while Kenny Weld won his first National Open on Nov. 7, 1971.
Lincoln: Lincoln has hosted a number of November races, although none recently. The first was in its first season with Harvey Richards winning there on Nov. 1, 1953. It snowed the next week to end the season. Ten years later, Wrightsville's Bobby Abel won at Lincoln on Nov. 10, 1963.
Lincoln raced three times in November in 1964. Abel won on Nov. 1 and Nov. 15, while Seven Valleys driver Bud Folkenroth won on Nov. 8 during his championship season. The next year, 1965, there were two November races with York's Bobby Myers winning on Nov. 7 and Hal Browning winning on Nov. 14.
Lincoln didn't race in November again until 1988 when Kenny Adams won on Nov. 26. Fred Rahmer won at Lincoln on Nov. 17, 1990, and again on Nov. 6, 1993. In between those Rahmer wins, Keith Kauffman won on Nov. 16 in 1991, and Eash won on Nov. 14 in 1992.
Hagerstown: Hagerstown also has a history of racing sprint cars in November, although it didn't start out too well. The first three times Hagerstown tried to race in November, the shows were rained out — two in 1984 and one in 1985. Hagerstown was able to get a Twin 25s program in the books on Nov. 10, 1985. Hanover's Bobby Allen and Jacobs split those races.
The Twin 25s program proved popular, and in 1986 Stevie Smith and Dave Kelly split the features on Nov. 2. The features at Hagerstown got rained out on Nov. 9, 1986, setting up another double-features day on Nov. 23. Hanover drivers Van May and Bobby Allen were the winners.
Hagerstown hosted the Twin 25s program on Nov. 1, 1987, and this time Bobby Allen split the wins with his younger brother, Joey Allen.
The Twin 25s format in November then sat dormant until 1994, when Dan Dietrich and Dale Blaney each won on Nov. 6. Single sprint car races were held on Nov. 10, 1996, Nov. 1, 1998, and Nov. 12, 2011, with Donnie Kreitz Jr., Billy Pauch Sr. and Daryn Pittman the respective winners.
Selinsgrove: Selinsgrove raced on Nov. 9, 1989, with Todd Shaffer picking up the win. They tried again on Nov. 6, 1993, but canceled because of cold.
Path Valley: Path Valley has one November sprint car date in its record book as well. Kreitz won there on Nov. 3 in 1991.
Bowling Green: Two long-gone local speedways had a history of November racing. Bowling Green only lasted four years, but hosted eight November races. They were "snowed" out on Nov. 8 in 1953, but returned to race on Nov. 15, 22 and 26, with Buzz Wilson winning all three races that year.
In 1954 the Jefferson area track tried again to race the whole month of November. Bob Wolfe won on Nov. 7 and Nov. 14 before rain postponed the show on Nov. 21. Scott Smith came back to win on Nov. 28.
In 1955 they raced on Nov. 6 and 13, with Wilson and Dave Leppo picking up the respective wins.
Reading: The Reading Fairgrounds was well known for its November modified races, but also managed to slip in quite a few sprint car shows with the modifieds.
In 1974, Kenny Weld won three weeks in a row on Nov. 3, 10 and 17. In 1975, Dick Tobias won on Nov. 2 and 9, and I believe at one of those shows he also won the modified feature. Kramer Williamson won on Nov. 16 and Van May on Nov. 23.
Steve Smith won the lone November Reading sprint show in 1976 on Nov. 6, and came back to win two of the three shows there in November of 1977. Smith won on the Nov. 6 and Nov. 20, with Bobby Allen winning on Nov. 13.
— Bryan Householder writes about dirt track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.