The local dirt-track racing season had some more setbacks last weekend.
Friday’s snow, and the cold weekend weather, forced Lincoln, Port Royal and Williams Grove speedways to postpone racing action. All three will try again this weekend, but the possibility of a large snow storm Tuesday could interfere with those plans.
Weather permitting, Williams Grove will move to its regular Friday evening schedule this week. The super late models will join the sprint cars for the show, and again the following week. For the late model racers, there is the added incentive of a challenge series with Saturday’s race at Port Royal.
Lincoln moves its starting time to 4 p.m. Saturday, when the super sportsman racers will join the sprint cars on the racing card. Lincoln is the only local track to complete a show so far this year, with Danny Dietrich winning there on Feb. 25.
Port Royal rounds out the racing slate, with a Saturday show starting at 5 p.m. The sprint cars and late models race at the Port on Saturday.
Susquehanna has a Saturday practice session scheduled.
Hopefully, Old Man Winter will cooperate, but the forecast doesn't look promising.
Williams Grove-Port Royal Challenge: For local late model racers, this weekend’s Williams Grove-Port Royal Challenge races offer the opportunity to start the season with some big money on the line.
Both tracks will offer $2,000 to win the features for the late models this week.
In addition, this mini-series is combined with the Appalachian Mountain Late Model Speedweek group. The feature winner on each night will be guaranteed a starting spot during the Speedweek series. On top of that, the two-night series will offer a $1,000 point fund to be paid out to the top three drivers in combined points for the weekend.
Weather issues: After a very mild winter, it seems Mother Nature has decided to bring on the colder weather now.
While it's annoying to race fans, it's still winter, and it’s not the first time something like this has happened. I do have to admit that it's kinda hard to take when it's in the 60s on Thursday and then snows on Friday.
While it has seemed that, on average, when the local tracks get a chance to open at an early date, they were able to complete most of the early season shows. There have been other times, however, when weather took over after an early opener.
I have noted before that local tracks open a lot earlier now than they did in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, but looking back in time at local results, even then weather could be a problem. There are records of snow postponing races in late March.
Perhaps the latest cold-weather-related postponement I could find came at Lincoln in 1957. That year, Lincoln was forced to postpone the May 4 racing program because of a frozen track surface.
YCRC meeting: The York County Racing Club will host a general membership meeting on Wednesday evening at the club hall in Zions View. The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. The guest speaker for the night will be young Legends car driver Tony Mracovich.
Third Sunday at EMMR: This Sunday will mark the Third Sunday Roundtable Discussion at the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing.
The topic for this week’s session will be a Pennsylvania Coal Region Reunion. Things kick off at 1 p.m.
1972: This was the second weekend of racing during the 1972 season. Again, there were only two races, both on Sunday afternoon at Susquehanna and Hagerstown.
At Susquehanna, for the second weekend in a row, Manchester’s Eddie Zirkle drove his own No. 33 to the victory, becoming the first repeat winner of the season on the local tracks. Again, Ron Blazer, in Ken Appler’s No. 76 followed Zirkle to the finish line, with Rick Schmelyun, Kramer Williamson and Harry Benjamin in the top five.
At Hagerstown, Lynn Paxton, in the Emrich Chevrolet No. 1, scored his first win of the season. Ironically, the car Zirkle drove to the Susky win was the car Paxton had driven for Emrich the previous season. Zirkle, had also given up his barber shop to sell cars for Emrich about a year earlier. Bobbie Adamson chased Paxton to the finish, with Bobby Allen, Milt Miller and Jan Opperman in the top five.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-tracing racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at email@example.com.