The World of Outlaws' sprint cars will invade the area this week, with appearances at Lincoln and Williams Grove speedways.
This will mark the 40th year for the Outlaws, and the 40th year they have made a local appearance.
How many folks out there remember the very first local appearance by the Outlaws?
I do remember the first time the touring pros were here. Things were a lot different back then. There were only a handful of cars traveling the whole Outlaws' circuit, and most arrived here on open trailers. Ted Johnson was in charge of the series and had a very small crew working with him at the time.
One thing that hasn’t changed over the years is the well-known rivalry between the Outlaws and the Pennsylvania Posse. In fact, it may have been that very first Eastern swing that coined the term Pennsylvania Posse.
The dates were June 23 and 24, 1978, and the track was Lincoln Speedway. On one night, the sprint cars raced without wings and on the other night they did have wings. Over the two-night series, the reigning “King of Lincoln Speedway” put it to the Outlaws, and actually only one driver without Lincoln experience cracked the top five.
On the first night, Steve Smith drove Harry Fletcher’s “Black Bandit” No. 66 to a convincing win over “the Ohio Traveler,” Rick Ferkel, in his own No. 0. While Ferkel was always known as a traveling racer, he had been spending part of each season in the area, and had won at Lincoln earlier that season. Hellam’s Bobby Weaver finished third, with local Outlaw Dub May and Hanover’s Doug Stambaugh in the top five.
The next night, Smith was back in victory lane for his second career Outlaw win. The two-win Outlaw sweep was something Smith would do again later that season at Lincoln. In that second race of the first series, a then relatively unknown young traveler named Steve Kinser put his cousin Karl’s No. 11 across the line in second place. Local racer Larry Krimes, the father of reigning Lincoln champion Alan Krimes, finished third, with Ferkel and May in the top five.
The Outlaws return this week, with action starting at Lincoln on Wednesday evening. The “Gettysburg Clash” will reel off that night with a rain date of the following night.
Last year, Donny Schatz won the “Gettysburg Clash” on the way to his eighth Outlaw title. Schatz’s win marked the second time since the Outlaws returned to Lincoln in 2012 that an Outlaw won at Lincoln. In fact, the last time before that the Outlaws had appeared at Lincoln was in 1998, when Fred Rahmer won.
The Outlaws move on to Williams Grove on Friday and Saturday. Friday’s race at the Grove is the “Spring Classic,” while Saturday’s event will be the “Morgan Cup.” The Outlaws completed four shows at the Grove in 2016, with Lance Dewease winning twice while Daryn Pittman and Danny Dietrich were the Grove’s other Outlaw winners last year. Dietrich’s win came in the National Open.
After the Grove, the Outlaws move to Weedsport, New York, on Sunday and New Egypt, New Jersey, on Tuesday.
Other weekend action: Both Lincoln and Port Royal will take Saturday off for the Outlaws' show at the Grove, but there are other races on both Friday and Saturday.
Friday, Trailway hosts the 358 sprints, limited-late models, Legends and limited stocks, while the wingless super sportsmen are at Path Valley.
Saturday, Susquehanna has a big program of super sportsmen, 305 sprints, ARDC Midgets and Xtreme stock cars.
The ESS 360 sprints visit Selinsgrove on Saturday, along with the Route 35 Moonshine Camo series for the late models and the pro stocks.
Hagerstown hosts late models, late-model sportsmen, pure stocks and hobby stocks on Saturday.
YCRC meeting: The York County Racing Club has moved its general membership meeting ahead one day this month to avoid a conflict with the Outlaws' show at Lincoln.
The YCRC will meet on Tuesday evening this week at the club hall in Zions View. The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m., and Friday’s Outlaws' winner at Eldora, Ohio, Logan Schuchart of Hanover, will be the guest speaker.
EMMR events: The Eastern Museum of Motor Racing also has events planned around the Outlaws' weekend.
The museum will be open longer on Friday, and then host the “Jalopy Showdown” on Saturday. The event will include track time for the jalopy-type roadsters from the 1930s and 1940s era. Sunday, the “Third Sunday Round Table” will cover, “the Roaring Roadsters.”
1972: This was a busy weekend in 1972 on the local racing circuit Again, rain played a part, but for once only a very small part, in the weekend. The Friday show at Williams Grove was rained out, but Bedford was able to race.
At Bedford, Hanover’s Bobby Allen drove the Emrich Chevy No. 1a to his second overall victory of the season.
Saturday, Lincoln, Selinsgrove and Port Royal all managed to complete their programs. At Lincoln, a rising star named Steve Smith got his first win of the season in the O.J. Myers No. 19, while at Selinsgrove, it was the fifth win of the season for Wrightsville’s Bobbie Adamson, in Al Hamilton’s No. 77. The win was Adamson’s third in four weeks at Selinsgrove, and the fourth week in a row that a Hamilton car won there. I have discovered that Lee Osborne’s win at Selinsgrove early that season came in a second Hamilton car. At Port Royal, Dover’s Smokey Snellbaker scored his third win of the season in Roy Morral’s No. 880.
Susquehanna had two features on Sunday, with one being a make-up of an event that was rained out on May 7. Hagerstown also raced. At Susky, the make-up feature was Steve Smith’s second win of the season and the weekend. In the regularly scheduled event, Manchester’s Eddie Zirkle raced to his fifth Susquehanna win of the season in his own No. 33. With rainouts and two make-up features at Susky up to that date that season, it meant that Zirkle had won a feature at Susquehanna every week they raced that year. At Hagerstown, Lynn Paxton helped car owner Roy Emrich bookend the weekend, as he put the Emrich Chevy No. 1 in victory lane for his fourth win of the season.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2017 CHAMPION RACING OIL
CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA SPRINT SERIES
PRESENTED BY HOSEHEADS.COM
1. 48 Danny Dietrich 308 3
2. 27 Greg Hodnett 269 1
3. 24 Lucas Wolfe 264 1
4. 07 Doug Esh 231 2
5. 69K Lance Dewease 230 4
6. 21 Brian Montieth 225 1
7. 3z Brock Zearfoss 213 1
8. 51 Freddie Rahmer 185 1
9. 1 Dale Blaney 184
10. 87 Alan Krimes 150
11. 25 Aaron Ott 150
12. 0 Rick Lafferty 140
13. 11 T J Stutts 128
14. 16 Gerard McIntyre Jr 113
15. 17B Steve Buckwalter 109
16. M1 Mark Smith 105 1
17. 39 Cory Haas 95
18. 7W Logan Wagner 86 1
19. 55 Mike Wagner 81
19. 59 Jim Siegel 81
19. 5 Dylan Cisney 81
22. 16 Matt Campbell 78
23. 99M Kyle Moody 77
24 44 Trey Starks 68 1
25. 1x Chad Trout 66