Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek has completed another very successful run.
Eight of the nine scheduled races made it into the record books, and Lucas Wolfe raced to his fourth series title. In all, 72 different drivers took part in this year’s Speedweek series.
The only race to get rained out, however, was the $12,000-to-win Mitch Smith Memorial at Williams Grove Speedway, commonly referred to as the crown jewel of Speedweek.
Lance Dewease was the series-leading winner with two victories, which pushed his career total up to 28 Speedweek wins. Wolfe, second-place Freddie Rahmer and Brian Montieth all added to previous Speedweek wins, while three new names were added to the Speedweek win list, giving the 2019 Speedweek seven different winners.
The first was Dover’s Chad Trout, who won the Kevin Gobrecht Memorial Race at Lincoln Speedway on the opening weekend. The very next night, Dylan Cisney won the Jan Opperman/Dick Bogar Memorial at Selinsgrove Speedway for his first career Speedweek win.
NASCAR Xfinity standout Christopher Bell was the third new name added to the Speedweek win list with his victory in the 30th Anniversary Thunder on the Hill Speedweek show at Grandview Speedway.
During the course of its nine-day run, Speedweek again attracted drivers from across the span of motorsports. Former NASCAR and Indy Car champion Tony Stewart ran in seven of the eight races, with a best finish of second place.
Current NASCAR standout Kyle Larson ran twice and scored a best of second place.
Former World of Outlaws champion and NASCAR driver Dave Blaney struggled during his three appearances, with a best of 18th, while his brother, Dale Blaney, got a best of 12th in his three appearances.
All Stars Cory Eliason and Aaron Reutzel both made several appearances, with Eliason getting third twice, and Reutzel getting a pair of fifths.
Popular driver Rico Abreu missed the first three shows but ran the rest of the series, with a best run of seventh in his four top-10 finishes.
Three Australians were a part of the series. James McFadden driving for Kasey Kahne, who was on hand watching, and Darren Mollenoyux both had bests of second place, while Jessie Attard struggled, with a best finish of 19th, and sat out several races after a hard hit at Grandview.
Ryan Smith had a nasty crash at Selinsgrove, which kept him out of the rest of Speedweek, except for a cameo appearance in the final race at Port Royal.
Moving tribute to Hodnett: That race was held in honor of last year’s Speedweek champion, Greg Hodnett, and featured a very moving tribute.
Five cars bore the colors of the cars that Hodnett drove on the local circuit. Smith in the Michael Heffner No. 27 and Daryl Stimeling in an Apple Chevrolet No. 12 throwback car, didn’t actually compete, but Cory Haas in John Trone’s No. 39, Freddie Rahmer with an Al Hamilton No. 77 paint scheme on his car and Anthony Macri’s J and S Fabrications No. 39M decked out as the J and S Fabrication No. 22 that Hodnett ran.
Those five cars ran five wide in front of the Port Royal field on the pace lap, which also featured a “missing man” opening on the pole position.
Hodnett, from Spring Grove, was killed in a racing accident last September at BAPS Motor Speedway in York County.
Top drivers: Wolfe used a win, two seconds, a third, a fourth, a ninth and an 18th for the title. Rahmer had a win, a third, two fourths, an eighth, a 10th, a 12th and a 22nd for second.
Third-place Danny Dietrich had a best of third, while Dewease got fourth even though he missed two races. He also, of course, scored those two wins, along with two thirds. Macri was fifth with a best of two fifths.
Other drivers to compete in all of the races were T.J. Stutts, who ended up sixth; Cisney, who was eighth; York’s Chase Dietz, who wound up ninth; and Jared Esh, who was 20th overall.
This week: Williams Grove Speedway is in action on Friday with sprints and United Racing Club 360 sprints, while Trailway hosts the PASS 305 sprints, 600cc micro sprints, street stocks and limited stocks Friday.
Saturday, Lincoln Speedway has the sprints, 358 sprints (with a full program plus a make-up feature) and Mid-Atlantic Modifieds, while Port Royal has sprints, late models, limited late models and Xtreme stocks on its Saturday program.
Selinsgrove hosts the 360 Sprint National Open on Saturday, along with late models and pro stocks, while the wingless super sportsmen compete at Path Valley Speedway.
BAPS has a two-race weekend. Saturday's program features the super sportsmen, the Carl Billet Memorial for the limited late models, street stocks and Legends. Sunday, the Short Track Super Series Modifieds invade, along with the Legends.
1991: On this weekend in 1991, Fred Rahmer scored his ninth win of the season on Friday at Williams Grove. Rahmer, with the Bud Lawrence No. 99, then made it 10 wins with a Selinsgrove victory on Saturday.
Alan Cole got his sixth win of the season on Friday at Clinton County in his own No. 17.
Steve Stambaugh drove Bob Stewart’s Apple Chevy No. 12 to his second win of the season on Saturday at Lincoln, while it was win No. 5 on the season for Port Royal winner Joey Kuhn in the Kronenberg No. 2K.
Sunday found Donnie Kreitz Jr. in victory lane at Susquehanna Speedway for his eighth win of the season in his own No. 69K. Meanwhile, out west at the I96 Speedway, former local Frankie Kerr won the All Star race in the Stan Schoff No. 23s.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FINAL 2019 PENNSYLVANIA SPRINT CAR SPEEDWEEK POINTS
1. Lucas Wolfe 978
2. Freddie Rahmer 909
3. Danny Dietrich 869
4. Lance Dewease 808
5. Anthony Macri 765
6. T.J. Stutts 702
7. Robbie Kendall 667
8. Dylan Cisney 591
9. Chase Dietz 511
10. James McFadden 505
2019 CHAMPION RACING OIL/RM RACING LUBRICANTS
CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS
Presented by Hoseheads.com
(Wins in parenthesis)
1. Danny Deitrich (9) 1,107
2. Lucas Wolfe (4) 751
3. Freddie Rahmer (7) 701
4. Brian Montieth (2) 559
5. Lance Dewease (7) 554
6. Anthony Macri (1) 544
7. Ryan Smith 466
8. Logan Wagner (4) 451
9. Dylan Cisney (2) 340
10. Alan Krimes (2) 301