The World of Outlaws will return to the area this week for sprint-car visits to Lincoln and Williams Grove speedways.
Lincoln plays host to the “Gettysburg Clash” on Wednesday evening, with a Thursday evening rain date.
Then the Outlaws move on to Williams Grove for the “Morgan Cup” weekend, with full shows on Friday and Saturday evenings.
The Outlaws will visit Bridgeport, New Jersey, next Tuesday.
With this being the 40th anniversary season for the Outlaws, I thought it might be interesting to take a look back at the very first “Outlaw” visit to the area.
The Outlaws were formed in 1978, one year after series founder Ted Johnson hosted a one-year series called “The Racers” in 1977. As would seem fitting, Johnson’s first races in the area were at Lincoln. He brought The Racers there in 1977, and when he formed the Outlaws, his first local stop was at Lincoln as well.
It happened on the weekend of June 23-24 in 1978. The Outlaws raced at Lincoln both nights. The first night hosted a 20-lap feature, while the second night the feature distance was 50 laps. As I recall, one night was run without wings, while the other used the very large wings the Outlaw teams were using at the time. Here in central Pennsylvania in 1978, teams were forced to use smaller wings, much like those now used on the 358 sprint cars.
In the end, it didn’t matter if they used big wings, small wings or no wings at all. The same guy won both races at Lincoln. Steve Smith was driving Harry Fletcher’s No. 66 Black Bandit at the time, and he was the class of the field on both nights of Outlaw competition. Smith had also won one of The Racers features the year before, with Kenny Weld winning the other. Smith would also come back and win both Lincoln Outlaw features later in the season when they returned in July of 1978.
In the opening night of Outlaw competition at Lincoln, Smith drove to the victory over “The Ohio Traveler” Rick Ferkel. Hallam’s Bobby Weaver finished third, with Dub May and Hanover’s Doug Stambaugh completing the top five.
On the second night of Lincoln Outlaw action, Smith’s win came over a rising young star of the Outlaw circuit — a husky blonde-haired kid named Steve Kinser. Larry Krimes, whose son Alan has since gone on to win several Lincoln titles, finished third, with Ferkel and May rounding out the top five.
Weekend racing: With the Outlaws at Williams Grove on Saturday, both Lincoln and Port Royal have very different shows planned for Saturday.
At Lincoln the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing will have a “Jalopy Showdown,” while at the Port, there will be a truck-and-tractor pull.
In other weekend racing action, Trailway hosts a Spring Championship race for the 358 sprint cars on Friday. Along with the 358s, Trailway will feature the 600cc micro sprints, legends and limited stocks.
On Saturday at BAPS Motor Speedway, the super sportsmen racers are joined by the 305 sprints, Xtreme stocks and the big 40-lap feature for the street stocks.
Saturday, Selinsgrove will host the 360 sprints, a Moonshine Camo Route 35 Challenge Series race for the late models, plus pro stocks and roadrunners.
Hagerstown’s Saturday show will include the late models, Mid-Atlantic Modifieds, pure stocks, hobby stocks and mini stocks.
YCRC meeting: The York County Racing Club will host a general membership meeting at the club hall in Zions View on Tuesday evening.
Doors open at 6 p.m., with the meeting starting at 7:30 p.m. It should be noted that this meeting is one day earlier than the normal meeting date. That change is to allow fans to attend Lincoln’s Outlaw show, if they so desire.
This month’s guest speaker is Trey Starks. Outlaws driver Shane Stewart was originally scheduled to speak, but he will not be able to make the meeting.
1984: There was a full weekend of racing on this week in 1984. It found Billy Stief scoring his second win of the season on Friday at Williams Grove. If memory serves correctly, Stief was wheeling his own No. 1s mount. Stief liked that Friday win so much he came back the very next night to win again, this time at Port Royal.
At Lincoln, on Saturday night, Frankie Kerr, now a NASCAR crew chief, drove Bud Lawrence’s No. K54 to his first win of the season.
Selinsgrove’s Saturday feature found Thomasville’s Randy Ruth scoring his first win of the season in Chuck and Vickie Miller’s No. 46 racer.
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 SERIES
Presented by Hoseheads.com
(Wins in parenthesis)
1. Greg Hodnett (1) 437
2. Danny Dietrich (4) 397
3. Lucas Wolfe (1) 342
4. Brian Montieth (3) 340
5. Freddie Rahmer (1) 302
6. Lance Dewease (4) 235
7. Brock Zearfoss (2) 217
7. T.J. Stutts 217
9. Anthony Macri 194
10. Alan Krimes 189