Last week was a tough one for the central Pennsylvania racing circuit.
Mother Nature wiped out nearly all of the racing action.
Much more depressing, however, was the news that we lost three popular racing members. Larry Krimes, Leon Wintermyer and Jimmy Sheaffer all died last week.
In recent years, Larry Krimes was best known as the father and chief mechanic for his son, two-time Lincoln Speedway 410 sprint champion, and current points leader, Alan Krimes. Larry himself was a driver before turning the wheel over to his son. Larry had a podium finish with the World of Outlaws series during its first season at Lincoln in 1978, and then backed it up with three wins at Lincoln in 1979.
Businessman Leon Wintermyer was a noted car owner in the 1990s and also tried his hand at driving for a while. Wintermyer fielded top-notch cars for drivers such as Randy Wolfe, Kenny Jacobs and Todd Shaffer over the years.
Jimmy Sheaffer was one of the area’s top independent racers for many years. His career started in the class we now know as the super sportsmen and continued in the sprints and then the 358 sprints. Sheaffer got his first Silver Spring Speedway win in 1958, and would score 32 wins and three track titles there. All told, Sheaffer won 39 races in the sportsmen, another 13 in sprint cars and two in the 358 sprints. Sheaffer is a member of the York County Racing Club Hall of Fame.
All three will be greatly missed.
Time changes: Social media seems to be the new hot ticket for race tracks facing weather issues.
Last Saturday, no less than three tracks bumped up their starting times to try to beat the incoming weather. Only Lincoln managed to get more than half of its show in the books, but Port Royal and Selinsgrove speedways also both bumped up their starting times by two hours last Saturday as well.
This is something I've been noticing more and more of late. It’s not the first time it's happened in the area this year, and it's something the touring groups have been doing more and more of late.
This week: After six consecutive rain outs, Williams Grove Speedway will try it again this Friday evening.
An Outlaws Tune-Up for the sprints is scheduled, plus the 358 sprints are on the card. For those who have asked, the six consecutive Friday rain outs is a record for the Grove, although in 2003 the track suffered four rain outs in a row on three different occasions.
The Friday show at Trailway Speedway is set to include the 358 sprints, 270cc micro sprints, street stocks, limited stocks and classic cars.
Lincoln hosts the sprints, 358 sprints and unsanctioned midgets on Saturday. The sprint cars will also make up last week’s rained-out sprint feature. Port Royal has sprints, late models and 305 sprints on Saturday.
BAPS plays host to the super sportsmen, limited late models, Legends and street stocks on Saturday. Selinsgrove has 360 sprints, late models, pro stocks and roadrunners Saturday.
The wingless super sportsmen and Mid-Atlantic modifieds headline at Path Valley Speedway on Saturday.
Outlaws struggle with weather, too: The World of Outlaws series has had no better luck with the weather this year than the local tracks.
Maybe when they come to the area next week, things will change for both the Outlaws and the local tracks. The Outlaws have suffered through rain outs in 12 shows this season, while completing just 13 shows.
The Outlaws will venture east next week, racing at Lincoln on Wednesday, May 15, before a two-day stand at Williams Grove on Friday and Saturday, May 17 and 18. Then, it’s on to Weedsport, New York, on Sunday, May 19, and Bridgeport, New Jersey, on Tuesday, May 21, before heading south to Charlotte on Friday, May 24.
1991: Weather was not a factor on this weekend in 1991. Things kicked off on Friday at Williams Grove, where Donnie Kreitz Jr. drove his own No. 69K to his first win of the season. Up at Clinton County that night, Jeff “Spider” Thomas scored the win in the family-owned No. 77.
On Saturday at Lincoln, Kreitz was back in victory lane for his second win of the weekend, while at Selinsgrove, Fred Rahmer parked Bud Lawrence’s No. 99 in victory lane for the second time during the season. Port Royal’s Saturday show fell to Dave Kelly for his second win of the season in the Kelly No. 17.
The weekend wound up on Sunday evening at Susquehanna, where Hellam’s Bobby Weaver parked the Zemco No. 1 in victory lane for his first win of the season.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.