The central Pennsylvania “Month of Money” continues this week with Lincoln Speedway’s Dirt Classic leading the way.
Before Saturday’s big race at Lincoln, however, the 410 sprints have two other big-money shows.
Action starts on Thursday at BAPS Motor Speedway for the running of the Kevin Gobrecht Memorial Race. This race was rained out in the spring and rescheduled for this week. The sprint cars will race for $5,000 to win. The 358 sprints are also on the schedule for Thursday at BAPS.
BAPS will also race on Saturday evening when the track will crown the champions in its four regular classes of racing. The super sportsmen, limited-late models, street stocks and Xtreme stocks all compete on Saturday.
There's another big race for the 410 sprints at Williams Grove Speedway on Friday evening. Again, it’s a race that was rained out in the spring and reset for this weekend. The All Star Circuit of Champions tour returns to the Grove for Friday’s “Tommy Classic,” held in honor of the Grove’s very first feature winner, the legendary Tommy Hinnershitz. This one offers $6,000 to the winner.
The 358 sprints also compete at the Grove on Friday, and in fact will have two events. The first is the make-up feature from the night of the pit-road tragedy a few weeks ago. That race is the final event of the 358 sprint Summer Series. The 358s then have a complete show Friday as well.
Saturday is the Dirt Classic at Lincoln. The All Stars will be on hand, but the Dirt Classic will retain its now-traditional format, with time trials, two sets of heat races for each car, a B-main and a 40-lap feature. The race pays $20,000 to win and $1,000 just to start. Tim Shaffer was last year’s Dirt Classic winner.
The 410 sprint weekend wraps up on Sunday at Hagerstown Speedway when the All Stars return to the Hub City oval for the first time since the 1980s. That one pays $5,000 to win.
Other action this weekend includes the Kevin Gobrecht Memorial event at Trailway Speedway. The event features the micro sprints, where Kevin got his start. The Legends are also a part of the show.
Selinsgrove Speedway brings in the World of Outlaw late models Saturday for its Late Model National Open. The limited-late models also compete.
The wingless super sportsmen are a part of Path Valley’s Saturday show.
The true number: Last week I noted that I had York late-model ace Rick Eckert with 199 wins going into last weekend.
As I usually state, I’m not always spot on with my numbers, especially for guys such as Eckert, who have been on the road racing for a number of years.
Since Eckert himself was unsure, I contacted my good friend Joe Padula. Padula is a former stock-car racer and a former promoter at the Bedford Fairgrounds, where his son, Joey, is now the promoter. Padula is also the go-to guy for late-model information. His late-model stats are similar to my sprint tallies. Besides, Eckert himself told me that he always goes to Joe to find out for sure.
Padula updates his stats at the end of the season, so it took him a day or so to get back to me with his total numbers for Eckert. The final word is that some time in the 20 or so years that Eckert was on the road I must have missed four wins. Eckert actually entered Saturday’s race with 203 career late-model wins. Now it’s 204 after his victory Saturday at Lincoln.
Among guys who have competed regularly on the local tracks, that is third overall and edges Eckert ahead of Buddy Armel. Padula tells me that, over the entire Northeast, including western Pennsylvania, there are just seven drivers who have won more than 200 late-model features.
1991: This was a two-race weekend on the local circuit in 1991.
Selinsgrove Speedway hosted its National Open, now the Jim Nace Memorial, on Saturday, and Williams Grove raced on Sunday.
At Selinsgrove on Saturday, it was second-generation racer Johnny Mackison Jr., from York, who drove to his biggest win, and third of that season. Mackison was in Michael Barshinger’s No. 65.
Sunday at the Grove, Kenny Jacobs scored his eighth win of the season at the wheel of Leon Wintermyer’s No. 1w.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHAMPION RACING OIL/RM LUBRICANTS
CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA SPRINT SERIES
Presented by Hoseheads.com
(Wins in parenthesis)
1. Danny Dietrich (12) 1,589
2. Freddie Rahmer (9) 1,080
3. Brian Montieth (4) 898
4.Lucas Wolfe (5) 845
5. Anthony Macri (2) 801
6. Lance Dewease (8) 792
7. Ryan Smith 760
8. Logan Wagner (6) 748
9. Kyle Moody (2) 531
10. Chad Trout 499