The most prestigious sprint-car event in the world, the Knoxville Nationals, will take center stage this week in Iowa.
Last weekend’s preliminary action was Knoxville’s 360 sprint nationals, and that one produced a real “feel-good” story.
The family of the late Jason Johnson announced a few weeks ago that one of Johnson's dreams was to build his World of Outlaws team to the point where he could field a car for other drivers after he retired. Keeping with that dream, the family decided to field a car for the racing at Knoxville over the two weeks of racing.
Johnson, an Outlaws sprint standout, died in late June after a crash during a race in Wisconsin.
California driver Carson Macedo was tabbed to drive the No. 41 both weeks at Knoxville. In his maiden run with the team, Macedo won his preliminary-night feature for the 360 nationals and ended up a hard-fought second in the main event. Terry McCarl won the race after battling Macedo, Joey Saldana and Brian Brown for numerous laps.
The final rundown was McCarl, Macedo, Brown, Saldana and Thomas Kennedy in the top five, with Spring Grove’s Greg Hodnett in sixth.
This week’s 410 sprint nationals will have a number of local drivers among the entrants, and two local tracks, Williams Grove and Port Royal speedways, will take the week off so those drivers can race there.
However, there are still plenty of local races and there will be two nights of local 410 sprint racing. BAPS Motor Speedway has decided to try its hand with a Friday evening race that will feature the 410 sprints and the 305 sprints.
Saturday, Lincoln Speedway will host the 410 sprints, 358 sprints and a vintage stock-car shootout assembled by former super-sportsman racer Phil Long.
In other area action this weekend, Trailway Speedway races Friday with the 358 sprints, 600cc micro sprints, legends and limited stocks.
BAPS is back in action on Saturday with the super sportsmen, limited-late models and street stocks.
Selinsgrove Speedway’s Saturday show includes the 360 sprints, a Moonshine Camo Route 35 Challenge race for the late models, the Mid-Atlantic Modifieds and pro stocks.
Boat races to BAPS triumph: Chad Boat raced to the win in the 30-lap United States Auto Club National Midget Series race Sunday at BAPS Motor Speedway.
Boat led every lap to best Zeb Wise for the win. Brady Bacon, Alex Bright and Tanner Carrick completed the top five.
In the 360 sprint 25-lap event, Mark Smith raced to the win. Smith took control from Adam Carberry on the seventh lap and held on for the win despite engine woes in the late stages of the race. Doug Hammaker finished second, with Carberry in third. Davie Franek and Jason Shultz completed the top five. Rounding out the top 10 were Wyatt Hinkle, Hellam’s Bryn Gohn, Colby Womer, Hanover’s Dylan Norris and Cody Fletcher.
Anderson victorious at Hagerstown: Andy Anderson won Sunday's Frank Sagi Tribute Race for the late models at Hagerstown.
Anderson's win came over Kyle Hardy, with Justin Weaver, Marvin Winters and Gary Stuhler in the top five.
Rick Hulson won the Mid-Atlantic Modified feature and Craig Parrill was the pure-stock winner.
A teen to watch: The USAC National Midget Tour battled the rain last week.
Both the Thursday show at Path Valley Speedway and Friday’s show at Linda’s Speedway were rained out.
Saturday’s show produced a new winner who will bear watching in the future. Zeb Wise, 15, scored the win at the Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway near Lancaster, and then came back with an impressive second-place run at BAPS.
The performance by Wise, who drives for the Clauson/Marshall Team, was even more impressive since the two races marked his return to racing after suffering shoulder injuries in June.
Scary crash for Hogue: Dover’s Austin Hogue has been back racing on a part-time schedule this season.
He has been driving a second Jerry Parrish-owned sprinter in selected events at Lincoln as a teammate to Brian Montieth. Saturday at Lincoln, Hogue, was involved in a scary crash that sent him to the hospital.
After losing his brakes, Hogue’s racer climbed the wheel of another car and slammed into the first-turn wall at Lincoln. Hogue was removed from the car and transported to the York Hospital.
Fortunately, things weren’t as bad as they might have appeared that night. Hogue was kept overnight for observation and released Sunday morning, with a possible concussion.
1984: Rain hampered this weekend’s racing in 1984.
Things started out well enough, with Keith Kauffman claiming the Friday win at Williams Grove in Al Hamilton’s No. 77. Saturday, Kauffman’s regular stop at Port Royal was rained out, so he took a drive up Route 35 to Selinsgrove, where he claimed his 27th win of the season.
Lincoln also bested the weatherman Saturday, and Van May raced to his sixth win of the season at the controls of the Weldon Sterner Cement No. 69.
The sprints were set to wrap up the weekend at Susquehanna on Sunday but the rain had other ideas.
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 (4) 1,079
2. Lucas Wolfe (5) 948
3. Danny Dietrich (9) 875
4. Freddie Rahmer (3) 783
5. Lance Dewease (10) 676
6. Brian Montieth (5) 673
7. Brock Zearfoss (2) 488
8. Anthony Macri (1) 473
9. Cory Haas (1) 366
10. T.J. Stutts 350