The local racing season is now well underway.
This past weekend, both Lincoln and Williams Grove speedways were able to race, while Port Royal Speedway postponed its opener because of predicted freezing weather Saturday night.
For the coming weekend, those three tracks again plan on racing, with all of them adding at least more division to complement the sprint cars.
Williams Grove shifts to its regular Friday night schedule this week, with the super late models joining the sprint cars.
On Saturday afternoon, Lincoln presents its next-to-last afternoon race of the season. The legends cars will join the sprint cars at Lincoln.
Port Royal is set to wrap up the weekend on Saturday evening. The opener at the Port will now include the sprint cars, the UMLS late models and the Mason-Dixon limited-late models.
For fans who don’t get enough racing action over the weekend, there will be time for bench racing on Sunday at the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing. It’s time for another Third Sunday Round Table session.
The topic of this month’s round table is the long-gone Fredricksburg Stadium Speedway in Lebanon County. The short, oddly-shaped oval was part of the baseball stadium in Fredricksburg. The super-sportsman-type cars raced there from the mid-1960s through the mid-1970s.
Hallam’s Bobby Weaver won his first track title there. Word is that the start-finish line at Fredricksburg was at home plate on the ball field, which made for a very tight turn.
Weekend notes: Bright sunshine and chilly, breezy weather conditions greeted race fans at both the Grove and Lincoln over the weekend.
Still the racing action was pretty good.
At Lincoln, Danny Dietrich tracked down pole-sitter Lucas Wolfe to take the lead midway through the event. At the Grove, Wolfe finally put it all together for his first win of the year.
Wolfe has been riding a hot streak of sorts so far this year. In three local races to date, Wolfe had drawn the pole for the feature all three times. Draw races are now over at Lincoln, but Wolfe will have a chance to push his luck even more. The Grove and Port Royal are still draw shows this weekend.
Wolfe led the first lap at Lincoln on opening day before being sidelined with mechanical problems. He led 13 laps the second week at Lincoln, and then all 25 laps at Williams Grove. Of course that means that Wolfe is the only driver to lead all three features in the area this year.
Two drivers have top-10 finishes in all three features run to date this year, but neither has won yet. Spring Grove’s Greg Hodnett has the best record of the two. In fact, Hodnett’s finishes have been good enough that he is actually tied with Wolfe for the overall sprint-car series point lead right now. Hodnett has runs of fifth, third and second.
The other driver with three top-10 runs is Gerard McIntyre Jr. McIntyre is in a new ride this year. He’s driving Mark Coldren’s No. 07 car. McIntyre has runs of fourth, seventh and 10th.
Several outside drivers visited the area last weekend. Caleb Helms, from Ohio, came east for the shows at Lincoln and the Grove. At Lincoln, Helms won a heat race, but spun out in the feature. At the Grove, he ran second for much of the race, but lost that spot to Hodnett in the closing laps for a third-place finish.
Coleman Gullick came down from New York for both days, while Joe Kata III made the journey from New York for Lincoln’s show. Coleman had a ninth-place run at the Grove.
Car counts are still a little bit shy in the area in the early season. Lincoln had 25 sprint cars, while the Grove had 19.
Lincoln held a practice session for its other classes following Saturday’s show. The legends cars, which race there this week, brought the most cars with about a dozen on hand. There were a good handful of 358 sprints on hand and a couple limited-late models and even two wingless super-sportsman cars.
BAPS Motor Speedway (formerly Susquehanna) will have a practice session this Saturday.
1984: I didn’t mention the 1984 season in last week’s column because that weekend in 1984 was snowed out.
There were races this coming weekend, however, in 1984.
Port Royal opened its season on Saturday night that weekend, while Selinsgrove bowed to the cold weather. At the Port, it was future World of Outlaws champ and NASCAR Cup series driver Dave Blaney who drove to victory. Blaney drove his family’s Blaney Lumber Company No. 10. Blaney’s son Ryan is now a top Cup driver, while Dave still competes in sprint-car events.
Williams Grove opened its season on Sunday that year, and Keith Kauffman drove Al Hamilton’s No. 77 to his third local win in four races.
Reach Bryan Householder at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHAMPION RACING OIL/STIRLING LUBRICANTS
CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS
Presented by Hoseheads.com
(Wins in parenthesis)
1. Lucas Wolfe (1) 85
1. Greg Hodnett 85
3. Danny Dietrich (1) 66
4. Chad Trout (1) 60
5. Brandon Rahmer 53
6. Gerard McIntyre Jr. 51
7. Kyle Moody 50
8. Freddie Rahmer 43
9. Caleb Helms 30
10. Jim Siegel 28