This weekend will be the start of five consecutive weeks of high-paying races in the region.
It begins with Tuscarora 50 weekend at Port Royal Speedway. With the Juniata County Fair as a backdrop, the All Star sprints will challenge the Pennsylvania Posse for bragging rights.
Actually, the All Stars will make a stop Thursday evening at the Bedford Fairgrounds on their way east for the Port Royal event. Friday’s "Night Before the 50" will be a complete show of 410 sprints and late models, with the sprint winner taking home $5,000. The late models will race for $2,500 to win.
Then it’s on to Saturday and the Tuscarora 50. The top 24 from Port’s limited-late-model class will also be in action.
The Tuscarora 50 is in its 52nd year and will offer up $52,000 to the winner.
The first three Tuscarora 50s, starting in 1968, were won by legendary driver Mitch Smith, setting the standard for years to come. While the Tuscarora race has produced some surprise winners over the years, it has also been a showcase of the top local drivers.
Lance Dewease has won it six times, while Fred Rahmer, Greg Hodnett and Doug Wolfgang have four Tusky wins. Donnie Kreitz Jr. and Todd Shaffer have three each, while Keith Kauffman, Bobby Allen, Stevie Smith, Lynn Paxton, Smokey Snellbaker and Doug Esh each have two. Single wins have gone to Kenny Weld, Steve Smith, Jimmy Nace, Garry Howsare, George Ferguson Jr., Dave Blaney, Lenny Krautheim III, Mike Erdley, Brian Montieth, Brent Marks and Donny Schatz, who took last year's win.
Last year’s event was washed out on its scheduled weekend and run much later in the season when the World of Outlaws invaded the Port.
Lincoln and Selinsgrove take this weekend off for the Tuscarora 50, while Williams Grove will host AMA Motorcycles on Saturday.
Trailway races Friday with the Trone Outdoor Championship race for the 358 sprints, plus Legends, 600cc micro sprints and limited stocks.
BAPS is in action Saturday with a $5 Ladies Night. The super sportsmen, limited-late models, street stocks and Xtreme stocks compete.
Path Valley has the wingless super sportsmen on Saturday.
Big month: As noted, the Tuscarora 50 kicks off a busy month or so of high-paying races. On Sept. 14, Selinsgrove Speedway has the Jim Nace Memorial National Open, which this year will offer $20,000 to the winner. That same night is the Gary Wolford 100 for the super sportsmen at BAPS.
The day before that, Williams Grove has the Dirt Classic Qualifier that pays $5,000 to win.
The next week, Lincoln offers up $20,000 for the Dirt Classic on Saturday Sept. 21. BAPS hosts the Kevin Gobrecht Memorial that Thursday, with $5,000 to win, while the All Stars visit Williams Grove Friday for another $5,000-to-win show. The day after Lincoln, the All Stars go to Hagerstown for another $5,000-to-win event.
The Grove’s Outlaw Tune-Up on Sept. 27 pays out $8,000 to the winner, while Lincoln hosts the Manufacturers' Appreciation Race that Saturday.
Then, on the first weekend in October, it’s the Williams Grove National Open weekend with the World of Outlaws in town. Friday’s race pays $8,000 to win, while for the first time, Saturday’s National Open will offer up $65,000 to the winner.
1991: On this weekend in 1991, the Tuscarora 50 was still a Friday night event, and Todd Shaffer drove to victory in the Gary Turnbaugh No. 11. The win was Shaffer’s eighth on the local tracks that year. Williams Grove raced that same night, with Steve Smith taking his 21st win of the season in his own Leiby’s Mobile Hiomes No. 19.
On the Saturday of that weekend, Lincoln hosted the Pennsylvania State Championship race and Jeff Shepard drove to the big win for his third on the local circuit that year.
Sunday at Susquehanna, Randy Wolfe parked Ted Gano’s No. 57 in victory lane for his sixth win of the year.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2019 CHAMPION RACING OIL/RM LUBRICANTS
CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA SPRINT CAR SERIES
Presented by Hoseheads.com
(Wins in parenthesis)
1. Danny Dietrich (12) 1,510
2. Freddie Rahmer (9) 1,017
3. Brian Montieth (3) 832
4. Lucas Wolfe (5) 821
5. Lance Dewease (8) 750
6. Anthony Macri (2) 718
7. Ryan Smith 709
8. Logan Wagner (5) 678
9. Kyle Moody (2) 531
10. Chad Trout (1) 499