The local outdoor racing season has concluded in the area, so it’s time to begin reviewing the area champions for the year.
This week, I’ll start with the open-wheel cars, and take a quick look at the touring series as well.
In recent weeks, I covered the Champion Racing Oil/ BR Motorsports overall local 410 sprint-car series and its champion, Danny Dietrich. Dietrich’s title in the overall series was his first.
Two of the three local tracks that host the 410 sprints on a regular basis also had first-time champions.
At Williams Grove Speedway, a new champion was crowned. For the first time since 1990, one of the “Big Five” didn’t win the Grove title. Since that time, Fred Rahmer had won nine titles, Lance Dewease took six, Greg Hodnett captured five, Donnie Kreitz Jr. collected four and Todd Shaffer grabbed three. No one else won a 410 sprint-car title at the Grove in all those years.
That has now changed, although future historians might have to look closely to notice the change. Freddie Rahmer, 21, earned his first title at the track where his father is the all-time championship leader. “Little Freddie” won three times at the Grove on his way to the title there. He also won twice at Lincoln Speedway and once at Grandview Speedway. The Grandview win came against the All Stars.
Port Royal Speedway also had a new champion this year. Brock Zearfoss won his first 410 sprint crown this year at the Port. “The Jonestown Jet” won five features at the Port, to go along with two at Williams Grove. One of those Grove scores was against the World of Outlaws.
At Lincoln, the first-time champion streak was broken. Brian Montieth raced to his sixth career Lincoln title. “The Edge” used consistency to claim that title. He won twice at Lincoln this year, and scored one other win at Trailway Speedway. Montieth and Alan Krimes have swapped the Lincoln title back and forth the past four years.
In 358 sprint competition, Kevin Nouse won his fourth Grove title in the past five years. Nouse also won the title with consistent performances. Nouse won just once at the Grove and added a Lincoln win as well.
At Lincoln, Hellam’s Adrian Shaffer also won his first title on consistency. Shaffer’s only win this season came at Williams Grove and not at Lincoln.
The Trailway 358 sprint title holder was also a first-time champion. Steve Owings won five times at Trailway on his way to the title.
In the 360 sprints at Selinsgrove Speedway, former URC champion Davey Franek scored his first Selinsgrove track title. Franek won three times at Selinsgrove to go along with single URC wins at both Gerogetown Speedway and Delaware International Speedway.
Lewisberry’s Scott Dellinger won his first track title in the super-sportsman ranks, with his Susquehanna Speedway title this season. Dellinger won three times at Susky on his way to the championship. Dellinger also won once at Lincoln.
On the national tours, Donny Schatz won the World of Outlaws title, Chad Kemenah was the All Star champion and Curt Michael was the URC 360 sprint champion.
Dave Loss to speak at YCRC meeting: The York County Racing Club will host a general membership meeting on Wednesday at the club hall in Zions View.
The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. with Dave Loss as the guest speaker.
Loss, a Hanover native, was recently inducted into the YCRC’s Hall of Fame. His career started as a crew member for the Ken Appler team in the 1960s. While with Appler’s team, Loss began lettering the race car, which led to the formation of Delco Signs, and a lifelong career hand-lettering race cars, and pretty much anything else that needed lettering.
Along the way, Loss has ventured into other racing-related jobs as well. He has been chief starter at several tracks, and in fact held that position for much of this season at Susquehanna. He is also very active with the Auto Racing Club of Hagerstown, where he is a multi-time past president.
Third Sunday event: The Eastern Museum of Motor Racing will host its Third Sunday Round Table Discussion this Sunday afternoon.
Those on the forum this month will be members of the Gary Wolford pit crew.
Wolford, of course, is the all-time win leader in super-sportsman competition around the area. He won at least 145 races in those cars before his career was cut short by a serious accident at Silver Spring Speedway at the end of the 1991 racing season.
After his career in racing ended, Wolford became a big supporter of both the EMMR and the YCRC. His death in 2016 left a huge void in the local racing community.
Selinsgrove improvements: Selinsgrove is looking at some major improvements over the winter months.
As has been done at many other area tracks, Selinsgrove will move its pit area outside the track. The pits will be moved from the infield to an area outside turn four.
Selinsgrove opened in 1946 with future Indy 500 winner Bill Holland winning the first race. The track was designed by former racer and renowned stunt man Joey Chitwood, with an extra-wide front straightaway for thrill shows. It should also be noted that the “Dean of Motorsports Journalists,” Chris Economaki, announced his first race at Selinsgrove.
Banquets: Both Port Royal and Lincoln will host their awards banquets this Saturday evening.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at email@example.com.