HOUSEHOLDER: Area tracks packed over Memorial weekend
The Memorial Day weekend is upon us, and in local racing circles that means lots and lots of racing events.
The biggest program this weekend is the three-day Bob Weikert Memorial at Port Royal Speedway. The event honors one of this area’s most colorful and successful car owners and will consist of three separate programs on three consecutive days.
Saturday night at the Port, the sprint cars will race for $5,000 to win, while the late models will compete for $2,000 to the winner. Sunday evening is the big one, with $10,000 on the line for the sprint car winner, while the URC 360 sprints will also compete with $2,000 for the winner. Then on Monday afternoon, the sprints again race for $5,000 to win. There is also a point fund for the overall champion of the weekend.
While the first night of the Weikert Memorial is Saturday, Lincoln Speedway will also have a big sprint car event on that evening. The Hilly Rife Memorial Race will offer the sprint car winner $5,000 to win at Lincoln that night. Also on Lincoln’s slate are the 358 sprints and the Legends cars.
Hilly Rife was part of the founding team at Lincoln, and operated the speedway through the 1974 racing season. If Weikert was one of the area’s most colorful car owners, Rife was certainly one of the area’s most colorful promoters. During his tenure at Lincoln, there were a number of events for what is now NASCAR’s Cup class. Richard Petty and David Pearson were both winners at Lincoln during this era, as was former Indy 500 winner Parnelli Jones, who won a USAC midget race at Lincoln.
My condolences go out to the Rife family. Hilly’s widow, Becky Rife, died last week.
The third major memorial race of the weekend is the Kramer Cup for the URC sprint cars at Selinsgrove on Saturday. The race is run in honor of multi-time local and URC champion Kramer Williamson, who lost his life at Lincoln a few years ago. Part of the Kramer Cup festivities is a race car parade through downtown Selinsgrove on Saturday afternoon. The late models have two features at Selinsgrove Saturday, and the pro stocks also compete.
Susuqehanna Speedway will also honor its founder over the Memorial Day weekend with the running of the Bud Bricker Nationals for the super sportsman racers. The event offers $2,000 to the winner of the sportsman race. The ARDC Midgets and the street stocks also compete.
Bud Bricker was part of the founding team at Susquehanna, and operated the speedway through the 1969 season.
Looking at other weekend action, Williams Grove offers a big charity race for the sprint cars on Friday evening. Williams Grove will offer an amount matching the track’s 50/50 take to the charity of the winner’s choice. The PASS 305 sprints also compete, and the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing will have vintage cars on hand for a photo shoot for the fans.
Trailway offers the 358 sprints, Legends, 600cc micro sprints and limited stocks on Friday, while the wingless super sportsman racers headline at Path Valley, and the limited late models headline at Clinton County.
1966: Fifty years ago it was also Memorial Day weekend on the local racing circuit, but back then Memorial Day was always May 31, so racing extended into Tuesday. That was good, because all of Friday’s slate, and most of Saturday’s schedule was washed out.
The only track to compete on Saturday was Port Royal, where legendary Dick Tobias raced to his first local win of the season in the Regester Chevrolet No. 6. Toby spent most of the 1966 season competing with the “heavies” at Reading.
Sunday found three races on the local calendar with Williams Grove joining Susquehanna and Hagerstown. The Grove also raced on Memorial Day Tuesday that weekend. The same driver won both races at the Grove that weekend, with Ray Tilley putting Bud Grimm’s No. 88 in the Grove victory lane twice to up his season win total to six.
Ray Dovel in the Lee Stultz No. S-3 also pushed his season win total to six that weekend, with wins at Hagerstown on Sunday and again at Bedford on Monday.
At Susquehanna on Sunday, Bobby Gerhart put his own Davey Brown-prepared No. 5 in victory lane for his fourth win of the season.
Lincoln raced on Monday, with popular Hal Browning scoring his first win of the season in the No. 4 machine.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2016 SPEEDWAY MOTORS/CHAMPION RACING OIL
CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA SPRINT CAR SERIES
PRESENTED BY HOSEHEADS.COM
Each driver listed with his car number, total points and total series wins.
1. 27 Greg Hodnett 698 7
2. 48 Danny Dietrich 411 2
3. 21 Brian Montieth 314 2
4. 07 Doug Esh 276 1
5. 19M Brent Marks 274 1
6. 1/5W Lucas Wolfe 247
7. 51 Freddie Rahmer 218 1
8. 87 Alan Krimes 215
9. 69K Lance Dewease 203 3
9. 25 Aaron Ott 203 1
11. 52 Austin Hogue 174
12. M1 Mark Smith 172
13. 17B Steve Buckwalter 160 1
14. 11c Cory Haas 155
15. 3z Brock Zearfoss 150
16. 12 Blane Heimbach 140 1
17. 94 Ryan Smith 138
18. 15 Adam Wilt 137
19. 55 Mike Wagner 133
20. 55K Robbie Kendall 122
21. 16 Gerard McIntyre Jr. 121
22. 8 Billy Dietrich 119 1
23. 59 Jim Siegel 114
24. 20 Ryan Taylor 113
25. 5 Dylan Cisney 111