There's a storm coming.
The wingless 410 sprint cars of the United States Auto Club will blow into the area this week for another round of the “Eastern Storm.” The schedule of this year’s Eastern Storm is somewhat different than in recent years.
The Eastern Storm will kick off Thursday evening at Grandview Speedway. In addition to the USAC sprints, Grandview will also host its regular weekly 358 modifieds.
Friday, the Eastern Storm moves to Williams Grove Speedway. The USAC sprints will compete in a show that also includes the Grove’s regular 410 sprint-car class.
Things will be much the same Saturday, when USAC ventures to Port Royal Speedway, where the winged 410 sprints will also compete.
Sunday night, the USAC racers come to BAPS Motor Speedway for their final Pennsylvania appearance of the tour. Joining USAC at BAPS will be the URC 360 sprints and the USAC Eastern Midgets.
While USAC leaves Pennsylvania after Sunday’s race, they don’t leave the East Coast. Monday evening, the Eastern Storm moves to Bridgeport, New Jersey, to compete on the new three-eighth-mile oval that was constructed inside the big five-eighth-mile oval there.
Tuesday, USAC moves on to Weedsport, New York, to wrap up the Eastern Storm.
While USAC is in the area this weekend, there's plenty of other racing, as well. Saturday evening, Lincoln Speedway will try again to play host to the $6,900-to-win Weldon Sterner Memorial Race for the winged sprint cars. The Mid-Atlantic Modifieds will also venture to Lincoln for the first time ever that night.
Also on the program are the 358 sprint cars. The 358s will run just a consolation and a feature. Two weeks ago when Lincoln suffered its sixth consecutive rainout, the 358 sprints had completed all of their heats, and since there were just 21 cars in the pits, the feature lineup had been set. In an effort to give those qualified drivers that race, Lincoln will offer that feature this Saturday. Since there were three spots still open on the feature grid, if other cars want to try to qualify, a consy will be run to fill those three spots.
While BAPS hosts USAC on Sunday, it will also be in action on Saturday with its normal weekly fare of super sportsmen, limited-late models and street stocks.
Selinsgrove Speedway’s Saturday show will offer up the Joe Whitcomb Memorial Race for the 360 sprint cars, plus late models, pro stocks and roadrunners.
Trailway Speedway is in action Friday night with the 358 sprints headlining a show that also includes the 600cc micro sprints, Legends and limited stocks.
Saturday’s show at Hagerstown Speedway sees the 305 sprints joined by the pure stocks, hobby stocks and u-cars.
Brenn to be topic of discussion: This will be the third Sunday of the month, and that means it’s time for the Third Sunday Round Table at the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing at the Latimore Valley Fairgrounds.
The topic of discussion for this round table is longtime car owner Ken Brenn.
The New Jersey car owner fielded some of the top midget racers on the East Coast at one time. He once fielded a car in the Indy 500, and then fielded modifieds for his son and others on the New Jersey circuit.
Lincoln's bonus program: Lincoln Speedway announced a unique bonus program last Saturday night.
There will be a $3,000 bonus on the line for the winner of Lincoln’s second Speedweek race on Monday, July 2.
Any driver who races all of Lincoln’s sprint-car races during June and wins one of those races can pick up the bonus if they also win the Speedweek race on July 2. Since the race that night pays $7,000 to win, the bonus would increase the winner’s share to $10,000.
Speedweek purses up: There is a big increase in purse money for this year’s Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek.
Of course the Mitch Smith Memorial at Williams Grove will again offer $10,000 to win. This year, however, six of the remaining races will offer $7,000 to the winner, which is up $2,000 from last year. The remaining three races still pay $5,000 to win.
In addition, many positions back through the field have been increased at all the Speedweek races.
1984: The Ohio Speedweek was going on during this week in 1984, and Hanover’s Bobby Allen scored his first win of the season at Sharon, Ohio, on Wednesday night. Allen was wheeling his own No. 1a.
Williams Grove offered up twin 20s for the sprint cars on Friday. In the first race, Hanover’s Van May scored his second win of the season in the Weldon Sterner No. 69. In the second race, Keith Kauffman parked Al Hamilton’s No. 77 in victory lane for his 18th win of the year.
Saturday at Lincoln, Hellam’s Bobby Weaver scored his first win of the season in Bil Brian Sr.’s No. 16, while Joey Gravino got his first win of the season at Port Royal that night in his No. 9.
Selinsgrove was set for a two-race weekend. Maynard Yingst scored his third win of the season on Saturday in the Beam No. 88, but the Sunday show was rained out.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at email@example.com.
CHAMPION RACING OIL/STIRLING LUBRICANTS
CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA SPRINT CARS
Presented by Hoseheads.com
(Wins in parenthesis)
1. Greg Hodnett (2) 653
2. Lucas Wolfe (2) 515
3. Danny Dietrich (5) 495
4. Freddie Rahmer (1) 411
5. Lance Dewease (6) 395
6. Brian Montieth (3) 385
7. Brock Zearfoss (2) 330
8. T.J. Stutts 320
9. Anthony Macri 272
10. Steve Buckwalter (1) 226