Last weekend, the local racing circuit went one for three in completing scheduled programs.
Lincoln Speedway ran its show on a chilly Saturday afternoon, while Williams Grove’s Friday evening show and Port Royal’s Saturday evening show were postponed because of the cold.
This week’s schedule will be similar, with one track added and a few changes to the other schedules. Williams Grove will again try for a Friday evening sprint-car and late-model show.
Port Royal has moved its Saturday starting time earlier, while Lincoln is scheduled to move to evening racing this week. BAPS Motor Speedway (formerly Susquehanna) will open for racing this week.
Port Royal will now start at 3 p.m. Saturday with sprints, UMLS late models and Mason-Dixon limited-late models, while Lincoln shifts to a 6 p.m. starting time with sprints and the first race of the season for the 358 sprints. BAPS goes at 6 p.m. Saturday with the super sportsmen and legends.
All of that is weather permitting, of course, and right now the weekend forecast is iffy.
Outside talent: Lincoln had 27 sprint cars and 30 legends in the pit area on Saturday. Again, some outside talent ventured to the area for the races.
The “North Pole Nightmare,” Bill Balog, has come back East for a few weeks again this year. Balog is a native of Alaska who now resides in Wisconsin. He was running well at Lincoln Saturday, coming from the back of his heat to start mid-pack in the feature. Balog was running strong in the top 10 when power steering issues ended his day.
West Virginia’s Cale Conley had a much worse day. Conley’s rig was the last to arrive at the track, and when it did, the entire front windshield of the hauler was smashed. It was the result of a chance meeting with a wild turkey while en route to the track. To make matters worse, Conley had mechanical issues while starting the car and was never able to race.
Handicapping: Brian Montieth’s last-lap pass of Alan Krimes for the win was what was needed to warm the chilly fans in the grandstands.
Saturday was the first race for handicapping at Lincoln this year, and it also marked the first test of a new handicapping procedure that Lincoln is trying, and Williams Grove will be using. Cars were handicapped for the heat races based on average money won for the season, starting with the lowest and working to the highest, with new drivers joining at the rear. The feature was then lined up heads-up from the heat-race finishes.
As is always the case at early-season handicapped shows, there are always a few top drivers who had some early-season issues and were able to start up front in the first handicapped show. Two-time Lincoln champion Krimes is the perfect example.
Krimes had heat-race problems on opening day, but did race from last to eighth in that feature. The second week of the season, Krimes suffered mechanical problems in his heat race, ending his day. Thus, his earnings average was very low. Krimes started from the pole of the first heat and won it to earn the pole for the feature. He led all but the last two-thirds of the final lap.
Montieth started deep in his heat race, and climbed to third, which gave him the ninth starting spot in the feature. It took until the final lap to get the lead.
The other two heats at Lincoln had surprise winners. Brett Michalski, a 410 sprint-car rookie, won the second heat and ran in the top 10 for much of the feature, but slipped to 11th at the finish.
Last year’s 410 sprint rookie of the year, Cole Young, won the third heat race and ran second for much of the race. He was still battling for third spot late in the race when he was sidelined with mechanical ills.
YCRC meeting: The York County Racing Club will have a general membership meeting Wednesday evening at the club hall in Zions View.
The guest speaker for the meeting will be legends driver Mason Chaney from the Hanover area.
Chaney is the defending central Pennsylvania legends champion. He started this season with a strong run at Lincoln, which ended in a second-place finish in Saturday’s feature.
This YCRC meeting is also the members' chance to nominate for the Hall of Fame. Each year at the March YCRC meeting, members are asked if they have anyone to nominate for consideration to the Hall of Fame. The new nominees are then added to the list of past nominees.
1984: The 1984 season must have started much the same as this season has.
Port Royal ran its Saturday show, while Selinsgrove postponed its Saturday show because of wet grounds and cold weather. Williams Grove postponed its Sunday show because of the cold.
At the Port on Saturday evening, Keith Kauffman drove to his fourth win of the young season in Al Hamilton’s No. 77. Randy Wolfe finished second, with Dave Blaney, Scott Tobias and Van May in the top five.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHAMPION RACING OIL/STIRLING LUBRICANTS
CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA SPRINT CAR POINT STADINGS
Presented by Hoseheads.com
Wins in parenthesis
1. Lucas Wolfe (1) 103
2. Greg Hodnett 97
3. Brian Montieth (1) 75
3. Kyle Moody 75
5. Danny Dietrich (1) 66
6. Chad Trout (1) 60
7. Brandon Rahmer 53
8. Gerard McIntyre Jr. 51
9. Alan Krimes 49
10. Jim Siegel 48