HOUSEHOLDER: Lucas Wolfe, Danny Dietrich, Ryan Smith off to fast sprint starts in 2019
- Lucas Wolfe has won the season sprint openers at Lincoln and Williams Grove.
- Wolfe could add a season-opening win at Port Royal Speedway on Saturday.
- In 1991, Steve Smith won the openers at Hagerstown, Lincoln and Williams Grove.
After Lucas Wolfe won at Williams Grove Speedway on Sunday afternoon, someone asked if anyone had ever won all three area sprint-car openers in a single season.
In this particular case, they were referring to Williams Grove, Lincoln and Port Royal speedways — the three area tracks that run the 410 sprint cars on a weekly basis.
If they had read this column earlier this year, they would know that, in 1991, Steve Smith won the openers at Hagerstown, Lincoln and Williams Grove, as well as the season opener in Florida at JAX Raceway. Smith missed by one week in also taking the Susquehanna opener that year. He won there the second week of the 1991 season.
Wolfe, of course, now has opening wins at Lincoln and Williams Grove under his belt this season, and could pull off the sweep with a win next Saturday at Port Royal, should he choose to race there.
Wolfe did falter slightly during the second week at Lincoln, where he finished 12th in last Saturday’s race.
Danny Dietrich, who won at Lincoln on Saturday, has a pretty good record going right now. Dietrich was third on opening day at Lincoln, won there on Saturday and then finished second at Williams Grove on Sunday.
Ryan Smith also has a good streak going, as well. Smith finished second in both Lincoln shows and was fourth at Williams Grove after running as high as third.
After 23 cars for opening day at Lincoln, car counts were up this past weekend. Lincoln had 29 cars for its show on Saturday, while Williams Grove had a full field of 24 cars Sunday. Lincoln also had an amazing 42 Legends cars for Saturday’s show.
The car counts were bolstered by a few outside invaders last weekend. The best finisher of the invaders was veteran driver Dale Blaney. This season, Blaney, who is the uncle of NASCAR's Ryan Blaney, is driving for the McGee family. That’s the car that was driven last season by Max McGee and Ryan Smith.
Blaney ended Saturday at Lincoln with a 17th-place run, but improved to a fifth-place finish at Williams Grove.
Former United States Auto Club midget champion Spencer Bayston was on hand with a second Pete Grove-owned car. Bayston also struggled at Lincoln with nagging mechanical problems. Sunday at the Grove, a solid top-five run came to an end just three laps shy of the checkered flag.
Former Lincoln winner Cole Duncan didn’t have a good weekend on his visit. At Lincoln, he forgot to scale after the heat race, relegating him to a last-place start in the consy. He missed the feature by one spot. At Williams Grove Sunday, he was involved in an early feature tangle and was done for the day.
Dillsburg’s Anthony Macri had a frustrating weekend, but should still feel good that his car is performing well. Dietrich passed him for the lead on Lincoln’s last lap and Ryan Smith also got by. Then on Sunday at Williams Grove, he had just taken the lead from T.J. Stutts, when an abrupt lane change by a lapped car caused contact. Macri’s front wing was dislodged and he parked it for the day.
Anyone notice Freddie Rahmer’s run from 24th to sixth at the Grove on Sunday?
Rahmer finished eighth in the third heat, which gave him the last starting spot in the feature. Actually he did improve his starting spot a little before the start. Steve Buckwalter was unable to start and Brock Zearfoss was late getting to the track, so Rahmer actually started 22nd.
Zearfoss, meanwhile started 23rd in the main Pete Grove car and advanced to ninth.
This weekend: Williams Grove switches to its regular Friday evening schedule this week for a special show.
As always, the sprint cars will be on hand, but this week they will be joined by the super-late models. The United Late Model Series racers join in the show with a $3,000-to-win event. Reports are that there are already more than 40 entries for the late-model race.
Lincoln switches to its early evening spring schedule on Saturday after several afternoon shows. The 358 sprints make their first start of the season, joining the sprint cars on Lincoln’s card.
Port Royal will try again this week to get its season started with a Saturday evening show featuring sprint cars, ULMS cars and Mason-Dixon limited-late models. The Port then returns on Sunday with the ULMS late models and the Short Track Super Series modifieds.
BAPS Motor Speedway is set to kick off its racing season Saturday with the super sportsmen and Legends racers.
Other events: The York County Racing Club has a general membership meeting set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the club hall in Zions View.
The guest speaker for the evening is Legends racer Jeremy Ott, who was last season’s series champion after a previous career in four-cylinder stock cars.
The Third Sunday Round Table is on Sunday at the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing.
The topic for discussion is a reunion of the AMF snowmobile racers. For those who don’t remember back that far, AMF once produced snowmobiles at the plant where Harley Davidson Motorcycles are now produced in York. At one time, they had a top-notch team of racers that included several of this area’s better-known car racers.
1991: This particular weekend in 1991 was a complete washout. Racing was rained out at Lincoln, Selinsgrove and Port Royal on Saturday and then again on Sunday at Williams Grove.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2019 CHAMPION RACING OIL
RM RACING LUBRICANTS
CENNTRAL PENNSYLVANNIA SPRINT STANDINGS
Presented by Hoseheads.com
(Wins listed in parenthesis)
1. Danny Dietrich (1) 115
2. Lucas Wolfe (2) 100
3. Ryan Smith 95
4. Brian Montieth 54
5. Brock Zearfoss 44
6. Anthony Macri 42
7. Freddie Rahmer 38
8. T.J. Stutts 30
8. Jim Siegel 30
10. Kyle Moody 26
10. Chad Trout 26