The Racing Xtravaganza show at the York Expo Center was a big hit last weekend.
The revitalized show brought back many of the things local race fans wanted, and in return, the fans turned out in record numbers.
Large crowds visited both days and were greeted by 120 race cars and 50 vendors. More than 100 of the cars were new cars for the upcoming racing season, while a nice display of vintage cars was also on hand.
Most of the area race tracks were in attendance as well to release their racing schedules for the new season.
Tianna Weaver won the Ms. Racing Xtravaganza contest, while Bailey Kress was the winner of the Jr. Ms. Racing Xtravaganza award.
Fans who attended the show were able to vote for their favorite car, and the winner of the Peoples' Choice Award was the No. 48 410 sprint car of Danny Dietrich. Dietrich’s Gary Kauffman-owned team has expanded on last year’s popular candy apple red-and-white paint scheme with some black added to the mix this year.
Dietrich’s team also won the 410 sprint car portion of the Best of Show awards voted on by members of the media. With 120 cars on display, show organizer Scott Gobrecht was happy to expand the number of classes in which the media-voted awards were presented to 10. In addition to Dietrich’s win in the 410 sprint class, nine other winners were named.
There were 17 410 sprint cars on display and another 22 full-sized, open-wheel cars, so a second class for full-sized, open-wheel cars was formed that included the 358 and 305 sprints, plus the super sportsman racers. The Roger McKeon-owned No. 4R that will be driven in the 358 sprint class this season by micro-sprint standout Tyler Walton won that class.
As it has many times in the past, the Dan Little-owned No. 112 limited late model won the late model class. This season, D.J. Myers and Duane Harbaugh will split seat time in the Little machine.
The No. FOUR street stock of Eddie Richards was the winner in the stock bodied class of cars. The Richards team is celebrating 40 years of racing, as Eddie’s uncles, car owner Bill and driver Al, first hit the local tracks on a regular basis back in 1976.
Gobrecht is an owner of the local Legends Car Series and that class also had its own award for the first time. The No. 93 machine owned by pastor Dave Miller and driven by Travis McClelland was the winner in that class.
The Classic Car Series had a number of cars on display over the weekend, and the No. 09 driven by Ronnie Grove was the winner in that class.
The smaller open-wheel cars were divided into three classes this year for the first time. The class that included micro sprints and midgets saw the micro sprint No. 21 of Toby Blumeshine win by one point over the No. 4 midget of Ryan Greth.
The winner in the go-kart class was the No. 29 of Colton Campbell, which featured a paint scheme much like the Weikert’s Livestock sprint cars of the past.
Morgan Miller, the young daughter of late model standout Jeremy Miller, won in the quarter-midget class. Ironically, Miller’s pink No. 1M machine was lettered by Chop Designs, which is the business of another third-generation racer, Brandon Rahmer. Morgan Miller’s grandmother, Linda Miller, was a semi-late racer before Jeremy took over the family driving.
In the vintage car class, the No. 21a Maverick-bodied late model that was once driven by Gary Stuhler was the winner. When Stuhler drove the car, it was owned by another late model racer, Butch Devilbiss.
The son of recently departed Dizzy Dean found the frame of the car behind Devilbiss’ shop with trees growing up between the roll cage. Devilbiss still had many parts from the car, including the engine, and it all came together over a period of more than a decade. When Stuhler first saw the restored car last spring he noted that it looked even better than it did when he raced it.
Show notes: Among the sprint cars on hand at the show were a few surprises. Dover’s Chad Trout will drive a 410 sprint car for the Jimmy Walker team this year. York’s Glenndon Forsythe drove for Walker at Williams Grove last year. Trout also had his super sportsman car on display. Also, teenage racer Cole Young had a 410 engine in his sprinter at the show. Young was a 358 sprint rookie last season.
Nicole Bower’s car was on display also. Super sportsman standout Frankie Herr is the full-time mechanic on the Bower car and I got a chance to talk with Herr as the show was being set up on Friday. He told me that Bower, an accomplished bowler, will be going on tour with her sister for a few months this summer, and while she’s away he will get to drive the car. Herr will also race a handful of sportsman races in Bill Devine’s car.
Another really neat vintage car that was on display was a 1960s-era micro midget (they call them micro sprints now) that was driven by Glenn Kaylor. Kaylor’s sons, Rick and Randy, who both have experience in various forms of sprint car racing, did the restoration.
Susquehanna Speedway announced two series sponsors over the weekend. The weekly super sportsman racing at Susky will be sponsored by local car dealer Credit Connection Auto Sales. The limited slate of 410 sprint car races will be sponsored by BAPS.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at email@example.com.