In 1968, Port Royal Speedway offered up its first-ever Tuscarora 50 on the Friday evening after Labor Day.
Held during the annual Juniata County Fair, the Tuscarora event became a big hit with local fans. The legendary Mitch Smith drove to the first of his three consecutive wins in the event that year.
Count the years, and that makes this year’s Tuscarora 50 the 50th annual event at the old fairgrounds oval. What better way to celebrate the 50th running of a 50-lap race than to pay out $50,000 to this year’s winner?
The Tuscarora 50 is now a two-day event. “The Night Before the 50" will be held on Friday evening, Sept. 8, and the Tuscarora is held Saturday, Sept. 9. For the past number of years, the All Stars have sanctioned the race.
Friday’s night "Before the 50" is a standard All Star race, with $5,000 to the winner. With last Saturday’s rain out at the Port, the late models will also race for some big money that night. The Butch Renninger Memorial Race has been reset for Friday, and it will also be the last race of this year’s Moonshine Camo Route 35 Challenge for the late models. Since Renninger’s signature number was 33, the Renninger Memorial will pay $3,333 to the winner.
Then it’s on to Saturday and the $50,000-to-win Tuscarora 50. The total purse for the race, including special awards, will be nearly $110,000. The econo late models also compete that night in their portion of the Renninger Memorial. That race pays $1,333.
There will be a number of special things going on at Port Royal during the Tuscarora weekend. One of the neatest is the Hall of Champions on Saturday. Among those expected are Lynn Paxton, all-time Tuscarora 50 winner Lance Dewease, the Port’s leading winner (Keith Kauffman), Lenny Krautheim, former NASCAR racer Dave Blaney, Todd Shaffer, Donnie Kreitz, Fred Rahmer, Greg Hodnett, Doug Esh, Mike Erdley and Brian Montieth. All are past winners of the race.
On the same two days as the Tuscarora race, Susquehanna will offer up the biggest limited-late-model race this area has ever seen. The limiteds will have a two-day show at Susky, with Saturday’s 50-lap feature paying $5,000 to the winner and $500 to last place. The topless 50 for the late models will include qualifying on Friday and the feature on Saturday.
Friday’s show at Susky includes the 305 sprints and Xtreme stocks. Saturday, the super sportsmen and street stocks also race.
Trailway has the 358 sprints, Legends, 600cc micro sprints and street stocks Friday, while the wingless super sportsmen race at Path Valley.
Lincoln, Selinsgrove and Hagerstown take the weekend off, while Williams Grove has leased the track for a Saturday motorcycle race.
Overall points: After several years where the title in the Champion Racing Oil/BR Motorsports Central Pennsylvania Sprint Car Series was decided early, this year’s chase for the crown looks to be a tight one.
Danny Dietrich’s win Monday at Port Royal allowed him to squeeze back out in front of the point chase. Dietrich moved six points ahead of Lucas Wolfe in the quest for the title.
In the battle for third, Spring Grove’s Greg Hodnett holds a 16-point lead over Freddie Rahmer, with Brock Zearfoss closing in at fifth. Zearfoss is only 49 points out of third. A win in the series is worth 50 points.
1972: Three drivers, two car owners. That describes this weekend of racing in 1972. It was a big weekend of racing, with both the Tuscarora 50 at Port Royal and the “Big 72" at Selinsgrove on the racing slate.
Things kicked off Friday night at Port Royal with the running of the Tuscarora 50. Lynn Paxton in the Emrich Chevy No. 1 raced to his first win in the event. Add in his Sunday afternoon win at Williams Grove that weekend, and Paxton pushed his season win total up to eight.
Saturday at Lincoln, Paxton’s Emrich Chevy teammate, Bobby Allen drove to victory in the No. 1a. Allen’s win was his fifth overall that season.
The rest of the weekend belonged to Jan Opperman and the Bogar No. 99 team. Opperman won the Big 72 at Selinsgrove on Saturday, and then came back to win Sunday evening at Hagerstown. The “California Hippie” pushed his season win total to 33 with those two wins.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2017 CHAMPION RACING OIL
CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA SPRINT SERIES
PRESENTED BY HOSEHEADS.COM
1. 48/13 Danny Dietrich 1196 10
2. 24/5w Lucas Wolfe 1190 8
3. 27 Greg Hodnett 905 5
4. 51 Freddie Rahmer 891 6
5. 3z/58 Brock Zearfoss 856 6
6. 21 Brian Montieth 787 3
7. 69K Lance Dewease 771 8
8. 11 T J Stutts 470
9. 1 Dale Blaney 461
10. 87 Alan Krimes 431
11. 39 Cory Haas 420
12. 5 Dylan Cisney 371
13. 25 Aaron Ott 338
14. 44 Trey Starks 301 2
15. 07 Doug Esh 285 2
16. 16 Gerard McIntyre Jr 277 1
17. 12 Blane Heimbach 264 1
18. 16 Matt Campbell 241
19. 55 Mike Wagner 239
20. 17B Steve Buckwalter 213 1
21. 0 Rick Lafferty 212 1
22. 88 Brandon Rahmer 206
23. 5 David Gravel 199 3
24. 1x Chad Trout 182
25. 59 Jim Siegel 180