The Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek kicks off Friday with the first of nine consecutive nights of 410 sprint racing around the area.
This year’s Speedweek will hit six tracks over its nine-night run.
Speedweek this year will feature three races that offer the standard $5,000-to-win purse and four races that offer $7,000 to win. One race will offer $10,000 to win and one will have $12,000 on the line for the winner.
Things start at Williams Grove Speedway on Friday, June 28, with a 25-lap feature for the 410 sprint cars that offers $5,000 to win. The 358 sprints are also on that program.
Saturday, June 29, at Lincoln Speedway, the 410 sprints race in the Kevin Gobrecht Memorial Race. It will be a 30-lap race with $7,000 on the line for the winner. The Legends series racers will also be on the program.
The first change to this year’s schedule is on Sunday, June 30, when Speedweek moves to Selinsgrove Speedway. In the past, Selinsgrove has often been the final event of the series. The Selinsgrove race is the 30-lap Jan Opperman/Dick Bogar Memorial and offers $5,000 to win. The PASS 305 sprints also compete.
Lincoln is back up on Monday, July 1, with a sprint-only program that offers another $7,000-to-win purse.
Tuesday, July 2, Speedweek moves to Grandview Speedway for a "Thunder-on-the-Hill" program. The Grandview race is a 35-lap contest and this year will offer $10,000 to the winner. Grandview’s own modifieds will also race that night.
Wednesday, July 3, is the next change on the slate. Speedweek makes its first Port Royal Speedway stop of the year that night with a 30-lap feature that offers another $7,000 to win. The United Racing Club 360 sprints also compete that night.
Speedweek moves “south of the border” on Thursday, July 4, for the annual visit to Hagerstown Speedway for the Johnny Grum Memorial Race. It’s a 30-lapper with $5,000 to win. The Eastern Museum of Motor Racing will be on hand for track time with the vintage race cars between sprint events.
Friday, July 5, is the “Crown Jewel” of Speedweek. Williams Grove presents the Mitch Smith Memorial Race. This year, the 30-lap race will offer $12,000 to win for the first time. The Mason-Dixon Series limited-late models join the action.
Speedweek will wrap up Saturday, July 6, at Port Royal for the Greg Hodnett Tribute Race. This one is a 30-lap feature with $7,000 on the line to the winner. It will also feature the unofficial crowning of the Speedweek champion, worth another $5,000. The Grit House Route 35 Challenge Series late models will also be part of the action.
Speedweek started in Pennsylvania in 1991 with a five-race run at three tracks. It has grown so much bigger now. While usually about a dozen or so drivers make all of the races, you never know who might show up on what night.
Over the past two weeks, Australian drivers Jessie Attard and Darren Mollenoyux have been in the area getting ready for the series. Over the past several years it’s not been unusual for some All Star regulars to visit for some of the races that don’t conflict with their schedule.
Of course, popular California racer Rico Abreu has been a staple the last two years, and then there’s the NASCAR connection. Kyle Larson has won Speedweek races each of the past two years and already has a Pennsylvania Speedweek T-shirt on sale. Tony Stewart also has offered up a Pennsylvania Speedweek T-shirt. Last year Christopher Bell also visited for a few nights.
Fred Rahmer is still the “King of Speedweek” six years after retiring as a driver. He won 13 Speedweek titles and 30 Speedweek races during his career. He also has a title and numerous wins as a car owner. Stevie Smith won the title and Smith and Freddie Rahmer have won the races.
The late Greg Hodnett was last year’s champion and is tied with Lance Dewease for second on the all-time win list with 26. Hodnett was a five-time Speedweek champion. Dewease and Lucas Wolfe have three titles each.
The area’s current hottest driver, Danny Dietrich has nine wins this season and one title in Speedweek competition. Other title holders are Kieth Kauffman, and the original title holder, Steve Smith, making he and son, Stevie, the only father-son title holders.
Other events: The Latimore Valley Fair runs this weekend at the home of the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing.
Vintage race-car track time is always a big part of the fair.
Other racing this weekend includes the 358 sprints, 270 micro sprints and stock cars at Trailway Speedway on Friday, and the wingless super sportsmen and 305 sprints at Path Valley Speedway on Saturday.
Selinsgrove also races Saturday with 360 sprints, late models, pro stocks and roadrunners. Hagerstown has late-model sportsmen, hobby stocks, pure stocks and U-cars on Saturday.
BAPS Motor Speedway offers the Firecracker 40 for the super sportsmen on Saturday, along with the Mason-Dixon Series limited-late models and street stocks.
Hagerstown results: Kyle Lee raced to the win in the third annual Frank Sagi Tribute Race at Hagerstown Speedway on Sunday evening.
Lee collected $2,000 for his win in the 25-lap, late-model race.
Marvin Winters led the first six laps of the event until his "throwback" Fireball No. 40 racer developed mechanical problems. The event also honored Tom Peck, who drove the Fireball No. 40 on the local circuit. Winters' misfortune turned the lead over to Newberrytown's Jason Covert, but one lap after the restart, Lee passed Covert for the lead he wouldn't give up. Covert finished second, followed by Trevor Feathers, Dover's Gene Knaub and Tyler Bare, who was sporting the colors and number his grandfather used in the 1960s.
Scott Palmer outdueled Derrike Quade to win the late-model sportsman feature. Barry Miller, Bruce Kane and Randy Burkholder completed the top five.
Michael Warrenfeltz won the 15-lap pure-stock race, followed by Craig Parrill and Randy Zechman.
1991: This weekend in 1991 saw Joey Kuhn get his third win of the season in Doc Kronenberg’s No. 2K with a Williams Grove win on Friday, while Alan Cole got his fourth of the season with a Clinton County Speedway win in his own No. 17 that night.
Saturday, Steve Smith made it 11 on the season with his Lincoln win in his own Leiby’s Mobile Homes No. 19. At Port Royal, Barry Camp got his second of the season in his own No. 14, while at Selinsgrove it was win No. 7 on the season for Fred Rahmer in Bud Lawrence’s No. 99. Meme DeSantis picked up his first of the season on Sunday at Susquehanna in his own No. 114.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at email@example.com.
2019 CHAMPION RACING OIL
RM RACING LUBRICANTS
CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA SPRINT SERIES
Presented by Hoseheads.com
1. Danny Deitrich (9) 977
2. Lucas Wolfe (3) 574
3. Freddie Rahmer (6) 547
4. Brian Montieth (2) 474
5. Anthony Macri (1) 450
6. Ryan Smith 435
7. Logan Wagner (4) 388
8. Lance Dewease (5) 378
9. Alan Krimes (2) 301
10. Dylan Cisney (1) 268