It’s time to take a look at the biggest winners around the area (and around the nation) for the 2019 racing season.
The 410 sprint cars are the area’s biggest attraction, and are also well known around the country. This year’s biggest winner in the 410 sprint cars was Danny Dietrich, who won 15 times. That’s tops in the area, and actually was third in the nation for sprint winners.
All Star champion Aaron Reutzel led the country with 18 wins, followed by World of Outlaws champion Brad Sweet, who had 17 wins. Dietrich, David Gravel with 14 and Donny Schatz with 11 completed the top-five winners in the nation this season.
Two local drivers and an occasional local visitor tied for sixth with nine wins. Freddie Rahmer, Lance Dewease and “The North-Pole Nightmare,” Bill Balog, each won nine times. Completing the top 10 in the nation for 410 sprint wins were Hanover’s Logan Schuchart and Ohio’s Cole Duncan, who each won eight times.
Local drivers also fared well in the 360 sprints this year. Mark Smith spent most of the year traveling and ended up winning 13 races in six different states. Davie Franek wasn’t far behind with 10 wins in three states and Canada.
With the wingless 360 sprints of the United States Auto Club East Coast Division, Steve Drevicki was the leading winner with five victories.
Locally in the 358 sprints, Doug Hammaker led the way with nine wins, while Steve Owings was close behind with eight.
Local racer Ken Duke Jr. won eight 305 sprint races, and not only claimed the local PASS point title, but secured the International Motor Contest Association 305 sprint title as well.
In super-sportsman competition, BAPS Motor Speedway champion Kenny Edkin was the leading winner with nine wins to his credit. In winged competition, Frankie Herr was second with four.
In the wingless-super-sportsman class, former Lincoln Speedway sprint champion Billy Brian Jr. was the win leader with eight.
Moving to the stock-car side of things, in super-late-model competition, York’s Rick Eckert came off the road for the first time in more than 20 years and claimed the most local wins with nine. Eckert’s wins this season moved him past 200 career wins. Newberrytown’s Jason Covert was second on the super-late-model win list this season with six.
Andrew Yoder was the area’s leading winner with the limited-late models. Yoder won 13 times, including the championships with the Mason Dixon Series and at Port Royal Speedway.
Brian Walls topped the street-stock winners around the area with eight victories.
In Legends competition, Jeremy Ott was the season champion and the season’s win leader with nine victories.
"Thunder in the Pa. Mountains:" Longtime local videographer Lynn Schaeffer has put together his usual great work in the 2019 "Thunder in the Pa. Mountains" video.
Schaeffer has been producing his compilation of the local open-wheel season each year since 1986.
Anyone besides me remember back before that, when Schaeffer would host movie parties around the area to show off his work each winter?
As always, Schaeffer’s work is amazing. It captures most of the season’s highlights on the local circuit. Four hours of racing clips for $40 is a pretty good deal. It's not surprising that Schaeffer’s yearly videos are known all over the world where sprint cars race.
With all of his years in the business, Schaeffer has also produced a few historic videos.
He can be reached at lynnschaefferproductions.com, or at 659 Lynes Road, Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, 17019.
YCRC event: Time is running out to get tickets for the York County Racing Club’s annual hall-of-fame banquet, which will be held at Wyndham Garden York on Saturday, Jan. 4.
NASCAR Hall of Fame car owner and mechanic Ray Evernham will be the guest speaker.
Contact any board member for tickets. The deadline is Dec. 17.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.