This will be a busy weekend for local race fans.
There is plenty of racing action, plus the annual Gary Wolford Fish Fry at the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing.
As many know, Wolford has been suffering from a serious illness, but he plans to be at the Fish Fry on Sunday.
Wolford, still the area’s all-time win leader in super sportsman racing by a wide margin, started the Fish Fry as a gathering of his friends many years ago at his shop in Brogue. Many still joke that the first Fish Fry only drew one person, because that’s the only friend Wolford made during his racing days. Of course that’s not true, and over the years, this event has become a major happening.
Several years ago, the event actually became so big that Wolford no longer had room for it at his shop. He asked to move it to the Latimore Valley Fairgrounds, the home of the EMMR, and devised a way to make it a fundraiser for the museum.
Wolford’s crew provide the fish for the Fish Fry and only ask that each person make a donation to the museum in return.
The event has taken on a life of its own and each year the highlight is the notorious “Blindfold Race.”
Several prominent members of the racing community take part in the race while blindfolded. They race in “junkyard” cars provided each year by J and K Salvage, and yes the driver is “blindfolded.” Actually, the visor of their helmet is taped over so they can’t see. That’s where the co-pilot comes in, to provide direction.
This year’s crew includes super sportsman drivers Carmen Perigo Jr. and Steve Wilbur in one car, modified drivers Meme DeSantis and Ryan Watt in another, Susquehanna owner Scott Gobrecht and his race director Kolton Gouse in another car and the team of Dana Montieth (Brian’s wife), Gloria Wilbur (Steve’s wife) and Tena Shaffer (Williams Grove and Lincoln scorer) in the fourth car.
Things get started about 9 a.m. and the Blindfold Race is held at about 1 p.m.
Wolford assures that things will wind up soon enough for fans to attend Fred Rahmer’s racing promotion that evening at Path Valley Speedway. Wolford and Rahmer are good friends.
The first of three Rahmer-promoted sprint car races, known as the “Party at the Path” takes place Sunday evening. Sprints and 600cc micro sprints will compete.
Rest of weekend slate: Williams Grove has a double sprint car show Friday evening.
The 410 sprints and the URC 360 sprints will be on hand.
Friday’s show at Trailway includes the limited late models, 270cc micro sprints, limited stocks, street stocks and vintage racers.
Lincoln plays host to the Weldon Sterner Memorial Race for the sprint cars on Saturday, with $6,900 on the line for the winner. The 358 sprints and the All American Outlaws also compete.
Port Royal’s Saturday show consists of the sprints, late models and 305 sprints, while Selinsgrove plays host to the Jack Gunn Memorial Race for the URC 360 sprints, plus late models, pro stocks and road runners.
Susquehanna’s Saturday program will include the super sportsmen, ARDC midgets, extreme stock cars and road warriors.
1966: It was still wet on this weekend in 1966.
Only two races made it into the record books this week 50 years ago.
Williams Grove got its Friday show in the books, while Winchester was rained out. At the Grove, Wrightsville’s Bobby Abel drove to the win in his own orange-and-blue Gohn Jewelers No. 2. The following week Abel would move to his regular Friday home at Maryland’s Dorsey Speedway.
On Saturday Lincoln, Selinsgrove and Port Royal were washed out, but Selinsgrove elected to race on Sunday. It was the only track to get a program in the books. Both Susquehanna and Hagerstown were rained out on Sunday.
Veteran racer Pete Swarmer, who was a regular at Port Royal and Hagerstown, used the strange turn of events to secure one of only five career Selinsgrove wins. Swarmer drove his own No. 1 machine to the win. During his long and storied career, Swarmer won at least 52 races in what is now the sprint car division. Those wins came in all three phases of the transition from stock cars to bugs to sprint cars. Swarmer also won at least 15 late model races later in his career.
2016 SPEEDWAY MOTORS/CHAMPION RACING OIL
CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA SPRINT CAR SERIES
PRESENTED BY HOSEHEADS.COM
1.27 Greg Hodnett 473 5
2.48 Danny Dietrich 336 2
3.21 Brian Montieth 284 2
4..07 Doug Esh 230 1
5. 51 Freddie Rahmer 204 1
6. 19M Brent Marks 184 1
7. 87 Alan Krimes 167
8. 1/5W Lucas Wolfe153
9. M1 Mark Smith 152
10. 52 Austin Hogue 135
2016 358 Sprint Point Series
1. 27s Adrian Shaffer 155 1
2. 66 Doug Hammaker 125 2
3.16 Matt Campbell 119 1
4. 45 Jeff Rohrbaugh 951
5. 23 Chris Arnold 90 1
6.119 Chandler Leiby 80
6.41 Jeff Halligan 80
8. 28 Matt Findley 76
9.35 Tyler Esh 71
10. 66a Cody Fletcher 63