HOUSEHOLDER: New management team in place at Selinsgrove Speedway
The final piece of the local racing puzzle fell into place last week with the announcement of new lease holders at Selinsgrove Speedway.
Longtime promoter Charlie Paige retired at the end of the 2015 racing season.
Michael Heffner, who owns the sprint car driven by Spring Grove's Greg Hodnett, and Alan Kreitzer, a co-owner of Lincoln Speedway and the former owner of Silver Spring Speedway, have obtained the lease on the big Snyder County oval.
Longtime Selinsgrove announcer and publicity director Steve Inch has been named general manager of the facility.
While plans for the season are still being formulated, expect a slate similar to those of the past several years. The 360 sprints and late models will headline weekly Saturday night programs, with special events for sprint cars and modifieds, as well as other local classes of racing.
Heffner is the owner of Lelands.com and a life-long auto racing fan. He has fielded top-notch sprint cars for a number of years now for drivers such as Ryan Smith, Sean Michael, Keith Kauffman ,Tyler Walker, Daryn Pittman, Lance Dewease and now Hodnett.
Kreitzer's family ran Silver Spring for its entire existence. He, along with Don and Bob Leiby, own and operate Lincoln Speedway. Kreitzer also owned Susquehanna for several years and was part of the promotional team at Williams Grove at one time.
Inch, a native of the Selinsgrove area, worked for a number of years as the announcer at Silver Spring before taking over the duties at Selinsgrove.
Susquehanna news: Of course, the other change for next year on the local circuit is at Susquehanna, where Scott Gobrecht will take over as owner and promoter after this weekend's Final Showdown.
Gobrecht, brother of late World of Outlaws sprint car driver Kevin Gobrecht, also operates the family business, Golf Cart Services. Gobrecht also fields the sprint car that teenager Chase Dietz raced in 2015.
Gobrecht has hired Kolten Gouse as general manager at Susky. Gouse is a native of the Harrisburg area and has worked for a number of years as a mechanic on Kasey Kahne's sprint car teams, most recently with Daryn Pittman. Gouse, also runs the annual benefit at the Williams Grove National Open, which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for various organizations that support injured race car drivers.
Again, plans are not finalized, but Susquehanna will take over what was the Saturday Night Series at Williams Grove. That, of course, is the program that ran successfully for years at Silver Spring. Expect a number of other classes to also race at Susky during the course of the season.
Before all that happens, though, Susquehanna and its current promoters, Todd and Rhonda Fisher, have one more program to present. That is the Final Showdown on Saturday afternoon.
The Final Showdown will feature the sprint cars and 358 sprints. The sprint cars will race for $10,000 to win. The Final Showdown will end the local outdoor racing season in this area.
Monte Carlo Night: After the Final Showdown, fans can head just a few miles down the road for the York County Racing Club's Monte Carlo Night.
Monte Carlo Night will be held at the club hall in Zions View on Saturday evening.
For those unfamiliar with a Monte Carlo Night, here's the deal. Several hours of gambling with play money leads to an auction of numerous donated items. Of course, you use your winnings of play money from the gambling to bid on items at the auction.
YCRC banquet: The YCRC's annual Hall of Fame Banquet is set for Jan. 9.
Kolton Gouse has been inked as the guest speaker. As mentioned above, Gouse has spent a number of years touring the country with Kasey Kahne's sprint car teams and should have plenty of stories to tell about those times.
Indoor racing: Len Sammons Promotions has set the schedule for the annual indoor Three Quarter Midget races this winter.
A new venue will kick off the season. The new PPL Center in Allentown will host the first races of the Winter Series on Saturday, Jan. 2.
The long-running events in Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall will be held the weekend of Jan. 29 and Jan. 30. The series wraps up on Feb. 26 and Feb. 27 with The Battle of Trenton.
Ironically, this year's Trenton date coincides with the scheduled opening day of the outdoor season at Lincoln.
Most of the usual suspects will be in competition. Also, sprint car racer Ryan Smith will make a return to the indoor series after missing a season or two.
Saldana shines at Charlotte: Joey Saldana won the final night of the World Finals for the World of Outlaws sprint cars at Charlotte on Sunday evening.
Saldana's win came over Shane Stewart, with Daryn Pittman in third. Stevie Smith and Dale Blaney completed the top five. Hanover's Logan Schuchart was sixth, Brent Marks was 11th, Red Lion's Cody Darrah was 17th, Spring Grove's Greg Hodnett was 22nd and Hanover's Jacob Allen was 26th.
Jonathan Davenport won the World of Outlaws late model feature over Darrell Lanigan, Chris Madden, Jimmy Owens and Dan O'Neal. York's Rick Eckert was eighth.
In the DIRT modified feature, Tim Kerr picked up the win over new champion Matt Sheppard, Larry Wight, Danny Johnson and Peter Britten.
— Bryan Householder writes about dirt track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.