HOUSEHOLDER: Danny Dietrich back on top in back-and-forth battle for overall sprint title
- Danny Dietrich leads the overall central Pennsylvania sprint series standings.
- Dietrich has a 12-point lead over Lucas Wolfe with two races left.
- The series continues with a race at Port Royal Speedway this weekend.
Danny Dietrich is back on top of the Champion Racing Oil/BR Motorsports Central Pennsylvania Sprint Series standings.
The battle for the $6,000 top prize has two races remaining.
Dietrich entered last weekend four points behind Lucas Wolfe in the battle for the series title. He finished seventh in Port Royal Speedway’s World of Outlaws race to earn 16 points, while Wolfe failed to qualify, but started on a provisional. Wolfe dropped from competition, and since he didn’t finish in the top 10, failed to earn any points. So Dietrich now holds a 12-point lead.
The series continues with a race at Port Royal this weekend and winds up on Saturday, Oct. 28, at Susquehanna Speedway.
Donny Schatz won the Port Royal Outlaw race and appears headed to his ninth Outlaw title this season. Schatz is second to 19-time Outlaw champion Steve Kinser among the Outlaw title winners.
The Outlaws gave the Pennsylvania Posse a real tussle at the Port Saturday. A number of top local drivers failed to qualify for the feature.
In the end, Port Royal champion Broack Zearfoss and the “Dream Team” of driver Lance Dewease, owner Donnie Kreitz Jr. and mechanic Davey Brown were the bright spots for the Posse. Zearfoss led a number of laps and was headed to a top-three finish when sidelined by mechanical ills with two laps to go. Dewease came from ninth to challenge Schatz for the win before finishing second. Dietrich, in seventh, was the only other Posse member in the top 10.
Again, however, the “murky” aspect of Outlaw vs. Posse has to be noted. Schatz is definitely all Outlaw, but his mechanic, Ricky Warner, is from the area.
Both third-place finisher Daryn Pittman and fifth-place finisher Jason Johnson have run as regulars on the local circuit, but are now Outlaw regulars.
Fourth-place Brad Sweet is all Outlaw now.
Dave Blaney finished sixth. Where do you put Blaney in the scheme of things? He started racing near his Ohio home and visited locally often. Then he went All Star racing, followed by a tour with the Outlaws that resulted in a championship. Then he moved on to a fine career with NASCAR, where he won in the Grand Nationals and came very close in the Cup cars. Now he’s back racing sprint cars where ever he wants, whenever he wants.
Not to mention that when he’s not racing, he’s usually back at the NASCAR races with his son, Ryan Blaney, who is one of NASCAR’s hot young stars. Still seems weird that one week this summer, I had to explain to a young fan at Williams Grove Speedway that Dave and brother Dale were Ryan Blaney’s father and uncle.
Jac and Sheldon Haudenschild — a father-and-son duo — would certainly both have to be considered Outlaws, although both have been semi-regulars on the local circuit. Sheldon was eighth and Jac was ninth Saturday.
Tenth-place finisher David Gravel is an Outlaw who traveled from his New England home to race in this area from time to time, before going on the road, first with the All Stars and then the Outlaws. His car owner, Chad Clemens, is from Pennsylvania, and his mechanic, Barry Jackson, is from the area.
Here’s a weird note I discovered last week. Schatz mechanic Warner and Gravel mechanic Jackson graduated from the same high school.
This weekend: Port Royal and Susquehanna will be the only local tracks in action this weekend.
The Port will end its season Saturday with Open Wheel Madness. The sprints will race for $4,000 to win, while the URC 360 sprints compete for $2,000 to win and the 305 sprints race for $500 to win.
One local driver who won’t be at the Port this week is Williams Grove champion Freddie Rahmer. Rahmer has been invited to race in California this weekend. He will drive for family friend Brent Kaeding. Kaeding is a multi-time California driving champion who is the “middle” generation of a three-generation racing family, much like the Rahmer family.
Susuqehanna has a two-day show for a number of divisions. Known as the 14th annual Sunoco/Insinger Performance Nationals Fueled by Miller Racing Parts, the race was once the Miller Racing Parts Nationals. It will feature the street stocks, Xtreme stocks, road warriors, Legends, 600cc micros and PennMar vintage cars.
Qualifying is on Friday evening, with the features on Saturday evening. The street stocks go for 50 laps. Also, the sportsman modifieds, e-Mods and stock 600cc micro sprints will join the fun Saturday.
1972: The local racing season closed on this weekend in 1972, with the running of the 150-lap Williams Grove National Open.
In those days, qualifying for the National Open was held on Saturday afternoon, with the 150-lap feature on Sunday afternoon. The 1972 version of the National Open was a continuation of the whole local racing season, as arch rivals Kenny Weld and Jan Opperman battled for the win.
In the end, it was Weld, in Bob Weikert’s famed No. 29, besting Opperman in the Bogar No. 99, for the win. Lee Osborne finished third, with Steve Smith and Tommie Spriggle in the top five. Rounding out the top 10 were Bobbie Adamson, Eddie Zirkle, Ronnie Rough, Lou Blaney and Kenny Slaybaugh.
Weld’s win was his 30th of the season.
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. 48/29 Danny Dietrich 1460 12
2. 24/5w Lucas Wolfe 1448 8
3. 27 Greg Hodnett 1216 7
4. 69k Lance Dewease 1035 11
5. 3z/58 Brock Zearfoss 1009 6
6. 51 Freddie Rahmer 977 6
7. 21 Brian Montieth 870 3
8. 1/55 Dale Blaney 507
9. 11 T J Stutts 500
10. 87 Alan Krimes 455
11. 39 Cory Haas 452
12. 5 Dylan Cisney 371
13. 16 Matt Campbell 347 1
14. 44 Trey Starks 339 2
15. 5 David Gravel 339 4
16. 25 Aaron Ott 338
17. 16 Gerard McIntyre Jr 314 1
18. 3 James McFadden 303 1
19. 15 Donny Schatz 295 1
20. 07 Doug Esh 285 2
21. 12 Blane Heimbach 264 1
22. 55 Mike Wagner 255
23. 0 Rick Lafferty 242 1
24. 9 Daryn Pittman 236
25. 94 Ryan Smith 228