The area outdoor racing season is still a month and a half away, but this will be a busy week for local race fans.
There are a number of events planned over the next several days.
The York County Racing Club kicks things off with a general membership meeting on Wednesday evening, Jan. 17. As always, the meeting will be held at the club hall in Zions View. The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m., with a meal beforehand.
The guest speaker for the evening will be sprint-car driver Tyler Esh. Esh raced 358 sprints for several years in the area, before moving to the 410 sprints last season. He spent his rookie season in the sprint car racing on the road with the All Star circuit.
The biggest event of the weekend is the Motorsports show, which runs from Friday through Sunday at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks. Numerous race cars and racing-related booths will fill the convention center, with plenty of other activities as well.
This show has been known for its autograph sessions and for the Ms. Motorsports competition.
Among those who will be on hand for the autograph sessions is former NASCAR and Indycar champion Tony Stewart. Stewart is scheduled for Saturday from noon to 2 p..m. NASCAR championship crew chief-turned-television commentator Larry McReynolds will appear from 11:30 a..m. until 1:30 p.m. Saturday. The Rahmer family, Fred, Freddie and Brandon, will be there from 1 p.m. until 2:30 p.m. Saturday and the "King of the Outlaws," Steve Kinser, will be there Saturday from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m.
The Ms. Motorsports competition starts at 7:30 Saturday evening.
Also on Saturday, the Auto Racing Club of Hagerstown will host its annual banquet at the Elks in Hagerstown. ARCH honors the sportsmanship drivers from each of the tracks that present a club night during the season. They also add two new members to its Hall of Fame each year.
Since this will be the third Sunday in January, it will be time for another Third Sunday Round Table discussion at the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing near York Springs. This month's 1 p.m. affair is titled "Lynn Paxton and Friends."
Paxton, of course, is the legendary former racer, who is termed the "Head Honcho" at the EMMR. Paxton will soon celebrate another birthday and the January round table at EMMR usually centers around him.
Not sure who all will show up for the session, but two names who plan to attend are former Paxton and Jan Opperman mechanic Ralph Hentzilman and 1960s and 1970s driver Irvin King.
Bumps and jumps: Last Saturday, I stopped by the Bumps and Jumps radio-controlled race car track near Lewisberry.
The radio-controlled racers were out in force for this special day, which included a special race for several well-known local race drivers. Greg Hodnett, Lucas Wolfe, Coleby Frye, Aaron Ott and Austin Hogue competed in the special race. Hogue was the winner.
Wolfe is recently returned from a successful trip to Australia, where he notched several top-five runs, but didn't quite make it to victory lane. The area was well represented. Hanover's Logan Schuchart scored two wins and Ryan Smith got one.
Florida action: Many local fans head to Florida in February for Speedweeks at Daytona and in the surrounding areas.
I had a chance to see the racing schedule. Here's a look at the sanctioned races for the sprints, late models and modifieds.
The All Stars kick off the sprint-car portion of Speedweeks, with racing at Bubba's, near Ocala, from Feb. 1-3, before moving to Volusia, which is west of Daytona, for racing on Feb. 7-8. The World of Outlaws sprints then move into Volusia from Feb. 9-11.
The USAC wingless sprints venture to Bubba's from Feb. 14-17.
The ASCS 360 sprints race at Tampa's East Bay from Feb. 15-17.
For late-model fans, there is some form of late-model racing around Florida for most all of Speedweeks. The sanctioned races include the Lucas Oil Series starting at the Golden Isle Speedway in Georgia from Feb. 1-3. Lucas Oil then moves to East Bay from Feb. 5-10 and Bubba's on Feb. 11
Volusia has unsanctioned late models from Feb. 11-13 and then the World of Outlaws late models from Feb. 14-17.
The DIRT Modifieds join the late models at Volusia from Feb. 13-17.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.