With three races left in the local sprint-car season, there's one certainty.
There will be a new champion in the Champion Racing Oil/BR Motorsports Central Pennsylvania Sprint Car Series.
With 50 points the most a driver can score in one night, defending and eight-time series champion Greg Hodnett, of Spring Grove, is out of the chase for the title.
Hodnett sits third, but is 232 points out of the lead. Since only 150 points are possible, that leaves him out of the quest. Hodnett is going to finish third no matter what, because he is more than 200 points ahead of fourth-place Brock Zearfoss.
It’s the battle for the overall championship that has everyone on their toes. Currently, Lucas Wolfe leads Danny Dietrich by a whole four points. After last weekend, the momentum is on Dietrich’s side, but only slightly. Dietrich won at Williams Grove Speedway and finished second at Lincoln Speedway last weekend, while Wolfe had finishes of fifth at the Grove and fourth at Lincoln. Dietrich cut 40 points off Wolfe’s lead over the weekend.
The three races left are the World of Outlaws event at Port Royal Speedway this weekend, another show at the Port the weekend after that and Susquehanna Speedway’s season-ending race on the last Saturday of this month. Both drivers run well at both tracks. Wolfe might hold the slight edge at Port Royal, where he’s a former track champion. Wolfe has three wins at the Port this year to Dietrich’s one. Both drivers have one win at Susquehanna this year.
The fourth, fifth and sixth spots are still pretty close, too. A total of 30 points separate those three drivers. Port champion Zearfoss is seven points ahead of Lance Dewease and 30 points ahead of Williams Grove champ Freddie Rahmer.
This weekend: Most of this weekend’s racing is set for Saturday, but Hagerstown Speedway’s show is a two-day affair that starts Friday. The Hub City oval’s 70th anniversary celebration features late models, late-model sportsmen, pure stocks and hobby stocks. Things kick off with qualifying Friday and main events Saturday.
The World of Outlaws sprint cars visit Port Royal on Saturday evening for their last local appearance of the season. Last year, Hanover’s Logan Schuchart won this race. Ryan Smith and Brad Sweet have also been Port WoO winners since the series returned there in 2014.
The 600cc micro-sprint portion of Fred Rahmer’s Speedweek promotion at Path Valley Speedway will be made up on Saturday afternoon.
Susquehanna will host the 305 sprints, limited-late models, street stocks,
Xtreme stocks and road warriors on Saturday evening.
Grandview Speedway has modifieds and 305 sprints on Saturday for the last Thunder on the Hill event of 2017.
Third Sunday at EMMR: This will be the third Sunday of the month, and that means it’s time for the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing’s Third Sunday Round Table.
An interesting group of ladies will take the stage this time around.
Barb Paxton, the wife of multi-time local sprint-car champion Lynn Paxton is one of the four. Lynn Paxton is still the driving force behind the EMMR and Barb has worked tirelessly for the organization as well.
Kathy Kauffman will also be part of the group. Kathy is, of course, Keith Kauffman’s wife, and has been through many championship seasons and more than 300 wins with her husband.
Debbie Rahmer is also on the panel. Debbie is the wife of Fred Rahmer, and has actually gone through the trials and tribulations of racing for her whole life. Her father, and then brothers have long fielded championship-winning modifieds. Fred Rahmer is the area’s leading sprint-car winner and has won more the 500 features in his career. Now Debbie’s sons, Freddie and Brandon, are racing, with Freddie just getting his first Williams Grove title.
Marie Locke is the fourth member of the panel. Marie is the wife of long-retired super-sportsman racer Fred Locke. Her son Howie was a multi-time champion in the sportsman racers and also in the 358 sprints. Another son, Fred Jr., raced limited-late models. Now grandson Derek is racing 360 sprints.
1972: The local sprint-car circuit took this weekend off back in 1972, so a number of local racers took to the road.
Some local racers journeyed all the way to Manzanita in Phoenix for the Western World Championship.
Those races turned into another stage for the heated local rivalry of the nation’s top two drivers. But it didn’t start that way. The first night of the three-day show went to Darrell Dockery. After that, it was all Pennsylvania drivers in victory lane.
In Friday’s show, Kenny Weld, then living in Loganville, put Bob Weikert’s No. 29 in victory lane for his 29th win of the season.
Saturday in the main event, it was Jan Opperman who scored his 39th win of the season in the Bogar No. 99. Buddy Taylor finished second, with Weld getting third. Billy Schuman and Dockery completed the top five. Wrightsville’s Bobbie Adamson was seventh in Al Hamilton’s No. 77 and Hanover’s Kenny Slaybaugh got 14th in the Rich Bair No. 61.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at email@example.com.
2017 CHAMPION RACING OIL
CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA SPRINT SERIES
PRESENTED BY HOSEHEADS.COM
1. 24/5w Lucas Wolfe 1448 8
2. 48/13 Danny Dietrich 1444 12
3. 27 Greg Hodnett 1216 7
4. 3z/58 Brock Zearfoss 1009 6
5. 69k Lance Dewease 1000 11
6. 51 Freddie Rahmer 977 6
7. 21 Brian Montieth 870 3
8. 1/55 Dale Blaney 507
9. 11 T J Stutts 500
10. 87 Alan Krimes 455
11. 39 Cory Haas 452
12. 5 Dylan Cisney 371
13. 16 Matt Campbell 347 1
14. 44 Trey Starks 339 2
15. 25 Aaron Ott 338
16. 5 David Gravel 329 4
17. 16 Gerard McIntyre Jr 314 1
18. 3 James McFadden 303 1
19. 07 Doug Esh 285 2
20. 12 Blane Heimbach 264 1
21. 55 Mike Wagner 255
22. 15 Donny Schatz 245
23. 0 Rick Lafferty 242 1
24. 94 Ryan Smith 228
25. 1x Chad Trout 224