Weather continues to be a major story line on the local dirt-track circuit.
After rain played havoc with the local 2018 racing season, most hoped that things would get better this season.
Looking at things right now, things have gotten better for some, but are still sketchy for others.
The season didn’t exactly get off to a rousing start. Lincoln Speedway lost its first three Saturday openers. Count in two Sunday rain dates, and it took until the sixth try for Lincoln to get its season underway. The track has managed to complete every show since then.
Of course, with as early as Lincoln opens its season, weather problems early in the year can be expected.
Port Royal Speedway, meanwhile, lost its first two shows but has been going strong since then.
BAPS Motor Speedway has been blessed thus far. The 305 sprint feature was rained out at the end of last Sunday’s show, but other than that, things have gone well in Newberrytown.
For those tracks with a Friday schedule, things haven’t been so rosy. Williams Grove Speedway opened on a Sunday afternoon, then got rained out the next Friday. The Grove did race its third scheduled show, but only after rain earlier in the day. Since then, the Grove has been rained out every week.
Trailway Speedway lost last Friday’s opener for the 358 sprints, after running a Saturday afternoon show for the micro sprints the week before.
Then there's the case of the poor folks out at the Bedford Fairgrounds. Bedford has lost its first four programs. Split between Fridays and Sundays, it just seems to keep raining out there.
It’s not just a local thing, either.
The All Stars came east last weekend. They raced Thursday in Virginia, lost Friday's show at Williams Grove, then raced Saturday at Port Royal, before losing Sunday's show at Bedford.
For the World of Outlaws, it’s been much worse. They have had rain in Florida, Texas and California. Last weekend in Texas, the Outlaws got in Friday’s show but were hit with rain and tornadoes on Saturday. The Outlaws have run 12 shows and lost nine this year.
This weekend: The wingless 360 sprints of the United States Auto Club East Coast Series will be part of a midweek show on Wednesday evening at the Delaware International Speedway.
The RUSH late models are also on hand.
Williams Grove will try again to get its third show of the season in the record books on Friday. For the first time this season at the Grove, the 410 sprints will be joined by the 358 sprints.
Trailway will also try again to get its first 358 sprint show of the season in the record books this Friday. Also racing at Trailway are the 600cc micro sprints, the street stocks and the limited stocks.
Lincoln has its first really big show of the season on Saturday evening. The 410 sprints will go 33 laps in the 16th annual Weldon Sterner Memorial Race. A longtime sponsor and car owner, Sterner eventually spent two years at the helm of Lincoln Speedway. The 358 sprints and Legends cars also compete.
At Port Royal on Saturday, it's the sprints, late models, limited-late models and Xtreme stocks on the slate.
Selinsgrove hosts the URC 360 sprints, plus late models, pro stocks and roadrunners on Saturday.
At BAPS on Saturday, the super sportsmen are joined by the 305 sprints, which will have two features, plus the street stocks and Xtreme stocks. The Eastern Museum of Motor Racing will also have a display.
Hagerstown will have the late-model sportsmen, Mid Atlantic Modifieds, 305 sprints and hobby stocks on Saturday, while Path Valley has limited-late models and 305 sprints as part of its Saturday program.
1991: On this weekend in 1991, Paul Lotier won his first of the season in his own No. 7 on Friday night at Williams Grove. Up the road at Clinton County, it was Phil Walter scoring his first of the season in his own No. 63.
Saturday, Lincoln and Port Royal were rained out, but Selinsgrove did manage to get its show in the record books, with Todd Shaffer getting his third local win of the season in Gary Turnbaugh’s No. 311.
Sunday racing at Susquehanna was also rained out.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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