HOUSEHOLDER: On area dirt tracks, love of racing gets passed down like a family heirloom

  • In racing families, love of the sport is often passed down through the generations.
  • That was apparent during the area dirt-track action last Saturday.
  • Many of the local winners on Saturday came from true racing families.
Lucas Wolfe

Auto racing has often been described as a family sport.

In many instances, it's passed down through the generations like a family heirloom.

That was never more apparent than last Saturday night around the area. Lincoln, Port Royal, BAPS and Path Valley speedways each had winners from long-standing racing families.

At Lincoln, all three of the feature winners were from multi-generational racing families. At the Port, the sprint feature saw father and son start on the front row. BAPS had one of a pair of racing brothers win, and at Path, the sportsman winner came from a long-standing racing family.

The Lincoln 410 sprint winner, York’s Chase Dietz, is the son former driver Tim Dietz. Tim is a former sprint winner, although his Lincoln wins came in midgets. The mother’s side of the Dietz family features grandfather Larry Haas and uncle Cory Haas. Both were, or are, sprint racers. Chase’s sister, Alyson, races 358 sprints.

Lincoln’s 358 sprint winner, Doug Hammaker, is a third-generation racer in his family. Grandfather Sam was a late-model racer, while father Dale is one of the legends of 358 sprint racing. Brother Nate was also a 358 sprint winner.

Lincoln’s limited-late-model winner, Wesley Bonebrake, is the son of late-model driving legend Denny Bonebrake. Denny's 212 late-model wins are second only to Gary Stuhler on the area’s all-time late-model win list. Grandfather Richard Bonebrake was a winning car owner long before Denny’s career even started.

Port Royal sprint winner Logan Wagner actually started the race alongside his father, Mike, on the front row. Both are former champions at the Port, and older brother Mike II is a 305 sprint winner.

Ryan Smith, who won the United Racing Club feature at the Port, is a third-generation racer as well, although he's the first in his family to race sprints.

Lucas Wolfe, who finished second in both races at the Port, is the son of former sprint champion Randy Wolfe and Gail Kreitzer, whose family has long been involved in race promotion.

BAPS super-sportsman winner Paul Miller, of Fawn Grove, also has a brother who races the super sportsmen.

Billy Brian Jr., who won the wingless super-sportsman race at Path Valley, is the son of Bill Brian, who before his death owned championship winning sprints and modifieds for drivers such as Gary Gollub, Bobby Weaver and Jimmy Nace, before both Billy and younger brother Cliff started racing and winning in the sprints.


Late-model double: The limited-late models got to do a rare double on Saturday.

With BAPS starting 2½ hours before Lincoln, there were 12 drivers who raced at both tracks. Troy Miller fared best, with fourth- and fifth-place finishes. D.J. Myers, Shaun Miller and Bobby Beard also had double top 10s that day.

The double allowed BAPS to draw 30 cars and Lincoln ended up with 28.

This weekend: The Lucas Oil ASCS National 360 Sprint Car Series will be in the area this weekend.

Friday, the American Sprint Car Series racers join the 410 sprints at Williams Grove, while on Saturday they will headline at Selinsgrove, along with the limited-late models.

Trailway races Friday with the 358 sprints, Legends, 600cc micro sprints, limited stocks and classic cars.

It’s York County Racing Club Night at Lincoln Saturday, with the sprints, 358 sprints and Xtreme stock cars. There will also be Kid’s Big Wheel races.

Port Royal has sprints, the Route 35 Challenge for late models and Xtreme stocks Saturday. Limited-late models and 305 sprints headline at Path Valley Saturday.  Hagertown has the 20-20 dash for late models Saturday, plus Mid-Atlantic Modifieds, pure stocks, hobby stocks and Penn-Mar vintage racers.

BAPS has a two-race weekend. Saturday, it’s super sportsmen, limited-late models, street stocks and road warriors. Sunday, the track hosts the Kevin Gobrecht Classic for the 410 sprints, plus the 358 sprints.

The Eastern Museum of Motor Racing will feature the Gary Wolford Silver Spring Reunion Sunday at the Latimore Valley Fairgrounds. The event runs from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

On the same day, Sherry Hodnett will host a fundraising “Cut-a-Thon” at Hodnett and Company on West Market Street. A number of well-known area racers will be there to help with the hair cuts, with proceeds going to the Greg Hodnett Foundation.

1991: This weekend in 1991 featured a bunch of first wins of the season. The whole weekend did get into the record books.

At Williams Grove on Friday, Hanover’s Cris Eash drove his father’s No. 17e to his first win of the year, while up at Clinton County, Alan Cole raced to his first win of the season in his own No. 17. Out at Attica, Ohio, Hanover’s Bobby Allen got his first win of the season in the All Star race.

Saturday found York New Salem’s Steve Stambaugh getting his first win of the season with Bob Stewart’s No. 12 at Lincoln. Glenn Fitzcharles drove Don and Darlene Kerr’s No. 26 to his first win of the season at Selinsgrove, while Billy Crawford won his first in the family No. 1c at Port Royal.

The streak of first wins of the season ended Sunday at Susquehanna, when Steve Smith scored his seventh win of the season in his own Leiby’s Mobile Homes No. 19.

Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at




Presented by

(Wins in parenthesis)

1. Danny Deitrich (4)         368

2. Lucas Wolfe (2)             278

3. Ryan Smith                    239

4. Anthony Macri                193

5. Freddie Rahmer (2)        187

5. Brock Zearfoss               187

7.  Alan Krimes (2)              184

8. Brian Montieth                 174

9.  Adam Wilt                       160

10. Logan Wagner (1)          132