This is the weekend many local racing fans have been waiting for.
It's time for the rebirth of York’s winter auto racing show. Now promoted by Scott Gobrecht, and known as the Racing Xtravaganza, the show will run in the Utz Arena at the York Expo Center on Saturday and Sunday. Show times are 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Sunday.
The Utz Arena is a new venue for the show and Gobrecht is a new promoter for the event, which was formerly known as the Dirt Trackin’ show.
Unlike recent years, this year’s Racing Xtravaganza is expected to return to many of the things that fans from this area loved best. There's already an overflow of new race cars for the new season entered in the show. And many of the show's best-loved attractions are back. For one, there will be dedicated times and drivers for meet-and-greet autograph sessions. The York County Racing Club’s famed “Bake Sale” will also be back.
Vendor space is at a premium. Those with racing products, memorabilia and most local race tracks are lining up to be a part of the reborn show.
There will be a Ms. Racing Xtravaganza contest on Saturday, and a Little Ms. Racing Xtravaganza contest on Sunday.
The York County Racing Club will again be a big part of the show, and YCRC board member Chuck Ritzman will display his former NASCAR Truck Series racer. Ritzman calls it his "Take a Kid to a Car Show Truck," and has no qualms about letting youngsters climb aboard to see what it’s like sitting in a real NASCAR race truck.
Another sure hit will be the recently restored Amoco No. 93 sprint car that Kevin Gobrecht drove to victory in the 1999 Historical Big One at Elroda Speedway, in Ohio. That $100,000 win was the biggest of Gobrecht’s much-too-short racing career. Gobrecht was the younger brother of show promoter Scott Gobrecht, and lost his life in a World of Outlaws crash in Nebraska later in that 1999 racing season. Former NASCAR star Dave Blaney owned the No. 93 sprint car when Gobrecht drove it.
Locally based BAPS is the title sponsor of the Racing Xtravaganza, and Wee Bee Audio is the presenting sponsor. J and K Salvage is also a show sponsor.
Belated congrats: Lewisberry’s Arynne Moody was the winner of the Ms. Motorsports contest at the Motorsports show that was hampered by snow a few weeks ago. Moody made her first appearance as Ms. Motorsports at the Gambler’s Classic weekend in Atlantic City.
Moody is a York County native who literally grew up around racing. Her father, Mark Moody, was a crew member for Bill Case Jr.’s sprint car team before embarking on a 358 sprint career of his own.
Arynne might be best known for the numerous times she has offered the National Anthem at Lincoln Speedway. She is currently dating 358 sprint car driver Jordon Givler. She is sure to be a big hit as Ms. Motorsports, a role which will see her traveling to many of the area’s biggest racing events.
More awards: I would be remiss if I didn't offer my congrats to longtime friend and cohort Jeff Gromis on two recent awards. At the Eastern Motorsports Press Association Banquet a few weeks ago Gromis was honored with the Ernie and Maryln Saxton Dedication Award. Then on Saturday night in Atlantic City, Gromis received the Nick Fornoro Sr. Official of the Year Award for his many years of race officiating. In the past, Gromis worked at both Silver Spring and Susquehanna, and he has long been a part of the indoor racing staff.
By the way, other award winners at the EMPA affair included local racers Donnie Kreitz Jr. and Brandon and Freddie Rahmer.
More about Atlantic City: This year’s Gambler’s Classic in Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall was a very successful event. Although it wasn’t a sellout like the earlier event in Allentown, this year’s Atlantic City event drew a very large crowd. In fact, all reserved seats were sold out before the doors opened, and the very large general admission seating area was nearly full as well.
It’s been a number of year’s since the venerable old building in Atlantic City has seen a crowd of that size. Boardwalk Hall once hosted the Miss America Pagent
Southern racing starts: Sprint car racers from the area will join their counterparts from around the nation as Speedweeks kick off in Florida this weekend. The All Star series sprint cars will compete at the Bubba Raceway in Ocala on Friday and Saturday evenings this week.
At the same time, the Lucas Oil Late Models will compete in Waynesville, Georgia, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The Lucas Oil series then moves to East Bay near Tampa, Florida, from Feb. 7-13.
Old racer: There was an account out of Florida last weekend of a gentleman who caught a prowler in his garage and then chased him in a high speed automobile chase until the police were able to arrive. That man was an 82-year-old former race car driver and he’s one with numerous local ties.
Bobbie Adamson came to the area from the Pittsburgh area in 1967, when the local circuit opened up to sprint cars. Adamson relocated to Wrightsville for many years before retiring to Florida.
Adamson won sprint car titles at Williams Grove in 1967 and at Selinsgrove in 1967, 1970 and 1972. He owns at least 84 career sprint car wins, including 27 at Selinsgrove and 26 at Williams Grove. Included in those 26 Williams Grove wins are National Open victories in 1967 and 1968.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at email@example.com.