Tim Shaffer, a Pittsburgh area native, has been coming to our area for a long time to race sprint cars.
At one point, he raced for a few months as a regular on the local circuit.
Over the course of his long career, Shaffer has been a big winner with the All Stars, and has also won numerous World of Outlaws events. A few years ago, he drove to victory in the biggest of them all, the Knoxville Nationals.
He’s won at Williams Grove and Grandview speedways on the local circuit, but victory at one of his favorite local tracks had always eluded him.
That is until Saturday night, when Shaffer drove to victory in the Dirt Classic at Lincoln Speedway.
Other than Williams Grove, Shaffer has probably raced more often at Lincoln than any other local track. He’s always done well there, but never before did he sit in victory lane at Lincoln.
Saturday, Shaffer put together an almost perfect night. He set fast time with a lap at 12.958 seconds, the fastest recorded lap at Lincoln this year. He won the first heat race, which was lined up heads up. In his second heat race, with an inverted start, Shaffer ended up sixth, but then he came back to take the lead with six laps remaining in the 40-lap feature.
The win was worth $27,000, and there was a fast-time bonus of $500, so Shaffer ended the night with $27,500 in his bank account.
Early in the evening, I talked with Shaffer a bit, and he told me that he had raced his late model the night before near his home, and since he expected the big Saturday race to be rained out there, he would probably go back home to race in the Pittsburgh area on Sunday.
Hodnett remembered: As noted, the race at Lincoln featured a $2,000 increase in the winner’s share, bringing the winner’s total to $27,000.
That was done to remember Greg Hodnett, who drove the No. 27 for Michael Heffner for the past several seasons.
Hodnett was again remembered in many ways over the weekend. Saturday’s race also featured a missing-man formation on the pace lap. In prerace ceremonies, Hodnett was remembered in a proclamation from the State of Pennsylvania.
Friday at Williams Grove, Heffner was honored as the car owner champion for the season. In an emotional speech as he accepted the award, Heffner asked Williams Grove to record the car owner championship with Greg Hodnett as the car owner. Moments later, Williams Grove announced that the sportsmanship award for the season would go to Hodnett. Sherry Hodnett accepted the award.
This weekend: The upcoming weekend will be a very big one for so late in the local racing season.
Sprint racers will have a chance at four races in three days, and several tracks will have programs with different classes of cars.
Selinsgrove Speedway will present the World Series of Racing. Actually, Richie Tobias and the team from Action Track in Kutztown will take over the weekend promotional duties at Selinsgrove to present a big program that will be contested on both tracks there.
Daylight action on the big track and evening races on the infield small track starts Friday. On the big track, it’s qualifying for 360 sprints, super late models, SpeedSTR’s and the AMA motorcycles. On the small track that evening it’s the 600cc micro sprints, slingshots and go karts.
Saturday, the big track features main events for the 360 sprints, super late models, SpeedSTR’s and AMA Motorcycles, and qualifying for street stocks and 602 Crate Modifieds. The evening show on the small track includes 600cc micro sprints, slingshots and AMA “kids" motorcycle racing.
It all winds up Sunday afternoon on the big track with the 410 sprints in a full program, plus features for the street stocks and 602 modifieds.
For the sprints, it will be the fourth race of the weekend when they venture to Selinsgrove Sunday. Their action starts as part of Port Royal’s big Friday show.
The mighty modifieds of the Short Track Super Series will venture to the Port for the first modified show there in close to three decades. The modifieds run for $5,000 to win. The sprints are also on the slate, with $4,000 awaiting the winner.
Saturday could just be a sprint fan’s dream. Two tracks within 25 miles of one another will present sprint programs, with one in the afternoon and one in the evening.
When Lincoln postponed its action on the weekend of Greg Hodnett’s death, it moved its schedule back a bit. The Dirt Classic was moved to last weekend, which left the Hank Gentzler Memorial Manufacturers' Night to be completed at a later date.
That date is this Saturday afternoon. The sprints will be on hand for a full program with racing beginning at 1:30 p.m. The 358 sprints are also on the card, and before they start their full program they also have a previous feature to make up. So Lincoln’s program will include two 358 features and a 410 feature.
That brings us to the already scheduled program at BAPS Motor Speedway 5 1/2 hours later. The Sprint Car Shoot Out at BAPS is set to begin at 6 p.m., and it also includes 410 sprints and 358 sprints, with a make-up 358 sprint feature from the night of Hodnett’s death.
So that means that between Abbottstown and Newberrytown on Saturday, fans could see two big 410 sprint features, and four 358 sprint features.
All Stars: Saturday's All Star program in Kokomo, Indiana, was rained out, and rescheduled for Sunday.
When the saturated grounds proved to be too much to prepare, the final race of the All Star season was canceled, with Arron Reutzel, becoming the 2018 All Star champion.
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
1. Lucas Wolfe (7) 1,279
2. Greg Hodnett (4) 1,273
3. Freddie Rahmer (6) 1,183
4. Danny Dietrich (10) 1,115
5. Brian Montieth (8) 1,014
6. Lance Dewease (12) 936
7. Brock Zearfoss (2) 578
8. Anthony Macri (1) 567
9. Cory Haas (2) 524
10. T.J. Stutts 422