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HOUSEHOLDER: Winter sets in, but area dirt-track fans still have lots of racing options

BRYAN HOUSEHOLDER
717-505-5403/@ydsports
Ray Evernham
  • The York County Racing Club Hall of Fame Banquet is Jan. 4.
  • The Racing Xtravaganza is set for Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 at the York Expo Center.
  • The opening race of the local dirt-track season is Feb. 22 at Lincoln Speedway.

Winter has now set in.

That doesn’t mean, however, that there is nothing for race fans to do over the next couple of months.

In fact, there are plenty of winter activities for area race fans, including banquets, car shows and indoor racing events.

And if you want to travel, the month of February is filled with racing events in Florida.

Let's take a look at what lies ahead.

Banquets: The banquet circuit is headlined by the York County Racing Club’s Hall of Fame Banquet and the Auto Racing Club of Hagerstown’s annual banquet.

The YCRC banquet will be held on Saturday, Jan. 4, at the Wyndham Garden in West Manchester Township.

Six new members will be inducted into the YCRC Hall of Fame, several special awards will be presented for the just-completed season and the 2019 Champion Racing Oil/RM Lubricants Central Pennsylvania Sprint Car Champion (Danny Dietrich) will be officially crowned.

In addition to all that, NASCAR Hall of Fame car owner and mechanic Ray Evernham will be the guest speaker.

Port Royal Speedway has its season awards banquet that same night.

The ARCH banquet is held on Saturday, Jan. 18, at the Elks Club in Hagerstown. ARCH each year awards the sportsmanship driver from the just-completed season. In addition, the club will induct two members into its hall of fame and present several special awards as well.

Kyle Petty

Car shows: The two biggest car shows for the local fans are the Motorsports Show, which will be held in Oaks from Jan. 17-19, and the Racing Xtravaganza, which is set for the York Expo Center on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1.

It was recently announced that Kyle Petty will be the main guest at Motorsports, while the RX show will again have a host of local drivers signing autographs all weekend.

Indoor racing: Len Sammons Productions has lined up three indoor shows for the three-quarter midgets on concrete and one for the 600cc micro sprints on dirt this winter. The slingshots and champ karts are also a part of the shows run on the concrete.

The three-quarter series starts Jan. 3-4 at the PPL Center in downtown Allentown, while the historic Gambler’s Classic at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall is set for Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. The final show of the three-quarter series is set for March 13-14 at the Syracuse Fairgrounds.

The micros race at Trenton’s Cure Center on Feb. 21-22.

Florida racing: Of course, all the events at Daytona grab the headlines in Florida in February, but there is plenty of short-track racing around the state during the same time frame.

Each year a number of local racers head south for sprint-car, late-model and modified racing.

For the 410 sprints, the All Stars will race at Volusia Speedway Park (near Daytona) Feb. 5-6, with the World of Outlaws taking over there from Feb. 7-9. Then the All Stars wrap up the swing with a return to East Bay Raceway (in the Tampa area) on Feb. 10-11.

The United States Auto Club's 410 wingless sprints race at Bubba’s (in Ocala) from Feb. 12-16.

For the 360 sprints, both the United Sprint Car Series and American Sprint Car Series will be in Florida during late January and much of February. USCS will be at Hendry County on Jan. 24-25 and again Feb. 6-8.  The USCS tour also races at Bubba’s on Feb. 9. The ASCS is at East Bay from Feb. 12-16.

For late-model fans, the Lucas Oil Series, World of Outlaws and Dirt Car series all compete. Lucas Oil is at East Bay from Feb. 3-8, followed by Bubba’s on Feb. 10. Volusia hosts Dirt Car on Feb. 10-11, followed by thew World of Outlaws late models from Feb. 12-15.

The Short Track Super Series Modifieds are at All Tech Speedway (in Lake City) from Feb. 5-7, while the DIRT Series is at Volusia with the WoO late models from Feb. 12-15.

Local outdoor openers: Lincoln Speedway has set the outdoor season-opening IceBreaker 30 for the sprint cars for Saturday afternoon, Feb. 22. Port Royal Speedway is set to open Sunday afternoon, March 8, while Williams Grove Speedway goes a week later on Sunday afternoon, March 15.

Selinsgrove Speedway will open with modifieds on Saturday afternoon, March 21, and comes back the next Sunday afternoon, March 29, with the 410 sprint cars.

Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at sports@yorkdispatch.com.