Bryan Clauson is a man on a mission.
When the talented open-wheel racer ventured into the area for last week’s USAC Eastern Storm, he was in the midst of a racing adventure that could set the bar for future generations of drivers.
Clauson’s goal for the 2016 racing season is to compete in 200 feature events. That’s right, 200.
As the Eastern Storm wound down, Clauson’s total for the season stood at 78 races and counting. While in the area, Clauson competed in five USAC sprint car races, two ARDC Midget races and one USAC Silver Crown race. A few weeks ago, he competed in the Indy 500, finishing 23rd, and then ventured down the road to win a sprint car race that very night.
And Clauson isn’t just racing, he’s racing to win. In the area last week, he won three sprint car races and finished a very close second in the Silver Crown event. Although he suffered mechanical problems in the final Eastern Storm event, he was named the champion of the series.
Sunday at Susquehanna had to be frustrating for Clauson. In the USAC sprint car feature he had advanced to third place before suffering the mechanical problems. Earlier he had charged to second place in the ARDC Midget feature before suffering a flat tire. He returned to finish seventh.
More of note to local fans is that during the post-race interview after the Silver Crown race at the Grove, Clauson promised that he’d return in a few weeks to take part in the Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek.
Yes, Clauson is known for his wingless racing, but he’s no slouch in a winged car. Last year he won against the World of Outlaws during the Knoxville Nationals.
I did get a chance to talk briefly with Clauson before the races at Susquehanna and he said that his current plans are to compete in the first four races of Pennsylvania Speedweek.
This weekend: Things settle down this week, before they break loose the following week.
Williams Grove hosts the sprints and 358 sprints for “School’s Out Night” on Friday. The Eastern Museum of Motor Racing will also have vintage cars on hand for a fans' photo shoot.
Trailway hosts the limited late models, Legends, 600cc micro sprints and limited stocks on Friday, while the wingless super sportsmen and limited late models race at Path Valley.
On Saturday, Lincoln hosts three open-wheel divisions — the sprints, 358 sprints and super sportsmen. At Port Royal, the sprints, late models, econo late models and Xtreme stocks race on Saturday.
The 305 sprints headline at Susquehanna on Saturday, with the Legends, street stocks, Xtreme stocks and minivans also on hand.
At Selinsgrove Saturday the Patriot 360 sprints venture south to challenge the local regulars. Late models and pro stocks also compete.
Hagerstown hosts the late models, late model sportsmen, crate late models, pure stocks, hobby stocks and All American Outlaws on Saturday.
Future: As noted things will break loose the following week with the kickoff of Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek that Friday (June 24) at Williams Grove.
Before that the DIRT modifieds and URC sprints compete at Williams Grove on Wednesday, June 22; and the sprints and 305 sprints compete at Susquehanna on Thursday, June 23.
1966: It was a very big weekend 50 years ago. Both the USAC and URC sprints joined the local super modified circuit that week. No less than five tracks were in action Friday, while there were four on Saturday and two on Sunday.
Ray Tilley had a double-win weekend in Bud Grimm’s No. 88 with wins at Williams Grove on Friday and Selinsgrove on Saturday, pushing his season win total to 11. Not to be outdone, Mitch Smith in the Flock Brothers Flying Tiger No. 2 also had a two-win weekend with a Friday win at Bedford and a Saturday victory at Port Royal, pushing Smith’s season total to 10 wins.
Lynn Paxton was the third driver with a two-win weekend, scoring the Friday win at Dorsey and Sunday triumph at Susquehanna in Ree Smith’s No. 1. Paxton’s season total stood at four after those wins.
Bobby Abel put his season win total to 10 with a win at Lincoln on Saturday in his own No. 2. Lou Johnson won the URC feature at Lincoln in the Scats Anfusco No. 3.
Jack Denniston was the Friday winner at Winchester, Virginia, in the $ for his fourth win of the season. The other Friday show was the USAC sprints at the Reading Fairgrounds. Greg Weld scored his second Reading win of the season in his family-owned No. 92.
Saturday’s winner at South Penn in Everett was Muss Weyandt in his No. 5c for his first win of the season.
Wrapping up the weekend winners was Ray Dovel at Hagerstown Sunday in the Lee Stultz No. S-3. That win was Dovel’s ninth of the season.
2016 SPEEDWAY MOTORS/CHAMPION RACING OIL
CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA SPRINT CAR SERIES
PRESENTED BY HOSEHEADS.COM
1. 27 Greg Hodnett 978 11
2. 48 Danny Dietrich 530 2
3. 21 Brian Montieth 433 3
4. 1/5W Lucas Wolfe 417 1
5. 19M Brent Marks 391 1
6. 07 Doug Esh 359 1
7. 87 Alan Krimes 266
8. 51 Freddie Rahmer 252 1
9. 3z Brock Zearfoss 246 1
10. 52 Austin Hogue 242
11. 11c Cory Haas 240
12. 94 Ryan Smith 239
13. 25 Aaron Ott 239 1
14. 69K Lance Dewease 233 3
15. M1 Mark Smith 202
16. 17B Steve Buckwalter 174 1
17. 12 Blane Heimbach 160 1
18. 55K Robbie Kendall 156
19. 15 Adam Wilt 153
20. 8 Billy Dietrich 144 1
21. 51 Stevie Smith 142
22. 16 Gerard McIntyre Jr 141
23. 59 Jim Siegel 134
24. 55 Mike Wagner 133
25. 20 Ryan Taylor 113
358 SPRINT SERIES POINTS
1. 41 Jeff Halligan 226 1
2. 16 Matt Campbell 200 1
3. 45 Jeff Rohrbaugh 194 2
4. 66 Doug Hammaker 190 2
5. 27s Adrian Shaffer 187 1
6. 119 Chandler Leiby 165
7. 23 Chris Arnold 124 1
8. 35 Tyler Esh 85
9. 66a Cody Fletcher 83
10. 77 David Holbrook 80 1