This weekend will mark the start of the 28th annual Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek.
This year's event will feature 10 races in 10 days with more than $270,000 on the line in prize money, plus a point fund of more than $17,000.
Fans can also expect to see a few different faces at some of the races. In fact, word is that a few well-known national stock-car racers plan to fit in a few races as their day jobs will permit.
Pennsylvania Speedweek will kick off Friday evening at Williams Grove with the sprint cars going 25 laps for $5,000 to win. The 358 sprints are also on the program.
It’s then off to Lincoln Speedway Saturday evening for the Kevin Gobrecht Memorial race. The 30-lap event offers $7,000 to the winner. The Legends racers are also on the card.
Sunday, it’s Fred Rahmer’s “Party at the Path.” The sprints will invade Path Valley Speedway for the first time this year with the 40-lap feature offering $5,000 to win. The 600cc micro sprints also compete with a $2,000 winner’s share — one of the biggest paydays of the season in that class.
Monday, Speedweek returns to Lincoln for the “Night Before the Fourth” special. It's another 30-lap feature with $5,000 to win. The 358 sprints are on the card as well.
Tuesday July 4, it’s Thunder on the Hill at Grandview Speedway for a 35-lap feature with $5,000 to win. Grandview’s modifieds will make up the rest of the program.
Wednesday, July 5, Speedweek moves “South of the Border” to Hagerstown Speedway for another 30-lap, $5,000-to-win event. The Eastern Museum of Motor Racing will have an exhibition of vintage race cars as part of the program.
Thursday, July 6, Speedweek makes its first stop of the week at Port Royal Speedway for a 30-lap feature with $7,000 to win. The econo late models also compete.
Friday, July 7, is the “Crown Jewel” of Speedweek, the Mitch Smith Memorial at Williams Grove. The 30-lap event will offer $10,000 to win. The limited-late models are also on the program along with fireworks.
It’s back to Port Royal Saturday, July 8, for a 30-lap feature with $5,000 to win. The Moonshine Camo Route 35 Challenge for the late models is on tap as well.
Everything wraps up Sunday, July 9, at Selinsgrove Speedway for the Jan Opperman/Dick Bogar Memorial, a 30-lap feature with $5,000 to win. The Speedweek champion will also be crowned that night. If all the races get into the books, the Speedweek title is worth another $5,000. The 305 sprints and pro stocks are part of the Selinsgrove show as well.
This year’s Speedweek is again sponsored by AlwaysRacing.com. Sprintcarunlimited.com is offering $250 each night for fast time. The format has been altered slightly as well, with heat-race finishes having more meaning in the feature lineup.
Danny Dietrich won the 2016 Speedweek title.
Other races:While Speedweek is the main focus this week, there's plenty of other racing around the area this weekend.
Trailway has a two-race weekend, with the 358 sprints, Legends, 600cc micro sprints and street stocks racing on Friday evening. Saturday it’s the “King of Crash” junk-car demo, plus limited-stock, figure-eight and powder-puff racing.
Port Royal takes this Saturday off, but Susquehanna will play host to the Firecracker 40 for the super-sportsman racers. The limited-late models and street stocks also compete.
Selinsgrove offers its Firecracker 30 for the 360 sprint cars on Saturday, along with the late models pro stocks, roadrunners and fireworks. Hagerstown has motorcycle racing Saturday.
1972: The effects of Hurricane Agnes lingered in the area on this weekend in 1972, but only one race had to be canceled. The Conocochegue Creek had flooded the track at Hagerstown.
Jan Opperman had a spectacular holiday weekend. Opperman powered the Bogar No. 99 to four wins over the holiday. He won at Bedford on Friday, Selinsgrove on Saturday, Susquehanna on Sunday and Port Royal on Monday. Those wins brought his season total up to 18.
The Weld family had a good Saturday night. While younger brother Kenny was piloting Bob Weikert’s No. 29 to the Lincoln win, older brother Greg was winning a USAC feature at Penn National. Kenny, who had relocated from Kansas City, Missouri, to Loganville, upped his season win total to 14.
Loganville’s Paul Pitzer, a former Kenny Weld crew member, got his first Williams Grove win on Friday in the Gurtizen No. 50. That win was the second win of the season for "Captain Crunch."
Port Royal offered Twin 20s that Saturday, with Johnny Grum winning the first in Harry Fletcher’s No. 66 for his second win of the season. In the second, Atlanta's Herm Wise scored his only local win at the wheel of his own No. 77W, wrenched by local ace Ree Smith, whose son Mark is a top area racer today.
Jennerstown raced the sprint cars that Saturday as well, with local favorite Gus Linder picking up his third win of the season in the Mickey Banas No. 69.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at email@example.com.
2017 CHAMPION RACING OIL
CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA SPRINT SERIES
PRESENTED BY HOSEHEADS.COM
1. 48 Danny Dietrich 717 6
2. 24 Lucas Wolfe 635 7
3. 27 Greg Hodnett 529 3
4. 69K Lance Dewease 482 5
5. 51 Freddie Rahmer 451 3
6. 21 Brian Montieth 428 1
7. 3z Brock Zearfoss 353 1
8. 07 Doug Esh 285 2
9. 25 Aaron Ott 270
10. 11 T J Stutts 264
11. 1 Dale Blaney 263
12. 5 Dylan Cisney 254
13. 39 Cory Haas 239
14. 87 Alan Krimes 225
15. 16 Gerard McIntyre Jr 182 1
16. 5 David Gravel 164 3
17. 44 Trey Starks 158 1
18. 8 Billy Dietrich 153
19. 0 Rick Lafferty 152
20. 55 Mike Wagner 151
21. 1x Chad Trout 145
22. 20 Ryan Taylor 139
23. 12 Blane Heimbach 136
24. 59 Jim Siegel 130
25. M1 Mark Smith 129 1