The All Stars are now 0 for 33 at Williams Grove Speedway.
During 33 races at the track near Mechanicsburg, drivers from the popular Circuit of Champions touring series, now owned by former NASCAR champion Tony Stewart, have never won a race.
Lance Dewease drove to the Grove victory on Friday night after starting in the 13th position. Dewease came back on Saturday to win another All Star race at Port Royal, which was his fifth All Star win in a row there.
The All Stars brought plenty of race cars, and some of them were true challengers for the win.
Ageless veteran Jac Haudenschild set fast time at the Grove for the All Star race. Amazing as it may seem, Haudenschild, a member of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame, couldn’t recall ever having won a fast time at the Grove before. Since he started coming around this area in the early 1980s, that’s quite a stretch.
Texan Aaron Reutzel gave Dewease a run for his money at the Port, leading until nine laps remained in the event.
Handicapping: As some folks may have noticed, Williams Grove and Lincoln have adjusted their handicapping procedures for the 410 sprint cars this season.
Locally, handicapping has undergone many changes over the years. At one time, all the cars that qualified in the heat races were handicapped for the feature, placing the highest point man in the 18th starting spot.
As the cars became more equal, that was adjusted to place the highest-point (actually now highest-earnings driver) 12th in the feature line-up.
Originally, heats were also handicapped, with the highest-point drivers at the back. A few years ago things were adjusted again, so that drivers drew for heat-race starting spots and then were handicapped for the feature.
This year, the Grove and Lincoln have decided to try something different. Heat-race handicapping is back in force, but now drivers start the feature heads-up from their heat-race finish.
Heat races had become lackluster in recent years. Drivers knew as long as they made it to the front couple of positions they would start the same place in the feature anyway. Now each position gained in the heat races is a gain of several starting positions in the feature.
Until Saturday evening, this seemed to work well. Drivers raced harder in the heat races, and those who started in the back advanced somewhat, but still had to come pretty far forward in the features. In the first handicapped feature at Lincoln, one scribe counted positions advanced by the top-10 finishers and came up with a total of 50 positions gained by drivers in the top 10.
Saturday at Lincoln, however, something happened. The track's highest-earnings driver put on a driving clinic in his heat race. Brian Montieth came from the back of the field to win his heat. He earned a front-row starting spot, which led many fans to believe the feature would be lackluster.
The other drivers had other ideas. Dan Shetler, a well-known, low-budget racer from the western Pennsylvania circuit, who is nicknamed the “Underdog,” started alongside Montieth, and outraced him at the start. Shetler held the top spot for seven laps before giving in to another driver. However, that driver wasn’t Montieth, but instead seventh-starter Freddie Rahmer. Rahmer led the rest of the way, but Montieth did challenge at the end. Shetler later faded to 12th at the finish.
This weekend: Friday racing this weekend finds the sprints and 358 sprints at Williams Grove, while Trailway hosts the 358 sprints, 270cc micro sprints, street stocks and limited stocks.
At Lincoln on Saturday, the sprints, 358 sprints and limited-late models will compete, while at BAPS on Saturday, it’s the super sportsmen, USAC/ARDC midgets, street-stocks Legends and an Eastern Museum of Motor Racing exhibition.
Hagerstown will host the Lucas Oil late models for the Stanley Schetrompf Memorial 50-lap event. The pure stocks also race.
Port Royal has a two-race weekend. Saturday, it’s Open Wheel Madness with the sprint cars and the 305 sprints. The Lucas Oil late models venture to the Port on Sunday evening and will be joined by the limited-late models.
Selinsgrove takes Saturday off, but then presents the Ray Tilley Classic for the sprint cars on Sunday evening. The pro stocks and roadrunners join in the Sunday program.
1984: For only the second time during the 1984 season, it was a full weekend of racing action on this weekend.
The weekend opened as usual, with Keith Kauffman driving Al Hamilton’s No. 77 to his ninth overall win that season at Williams Grove.
Things changed on Saturday when three drivers scored their first wins of the season. At Lincoln, Paul Lotier drove to the victory in his own No. 7 machine. Billy Stief raced to the Port Royal victory in his own No. 1s, while at Selinsgrove, a newcomer to the area drove his own No. 4J to the victory. That was Kenny Jacobs.
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 CARS
PRESENTED BY HOSEHEADS.COM
(Wins in parenthesis)
1. Greg Hodnett 251
2. Brian Montieth (2) 230
3. Danny Dietrich (2) 213
4. Lucas Wolfe (1) 200
5. Lance Dewease (3) 185
6. Freddie Rahmer (1) 163
7. Cory Haas (1) 143
8. Anthony Macri 134
9. Chad Trout (1) 125
10. Alan Krimes 124