It’s the dead of winter and the race car engines are silent at the moment.
That doesn’t mean, however, that local race fans are hibernating. In fact, this will be a very busy week for fans who want to reunite with their summer friends.
YCRC meeting: It all starts on Wednesday evening, when the York County Racing Club will host a general membership meeting at the club hall in Zions View. The meeting is set to begin at 7:30 p.m., but as is always the case, a meal will be served beforehand.
Second-generation sprint driver Jared Esh will be the guest speaker for the evening. Esh’s father is former Lincoln and Port Royal champion Doug Esh. Last season, Jared scored his first win on the local circuit at the wheel of Brian Ehrenzeller’s No. 33 sprint car.
Also, this is the meeting when the YCRC is open for nominations to the board of directors.
Motorsports show: The Motorsports Race Car and Trade Show is on tap for this weekend at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks.
The largest of the area’s winter shows, Motorsports has plenty of race cars on display from all over the Northeast. There will be lots of vendors from the various speedways and speed shops. Also, a ton of racing memorabilia will be on hand.
Motorsports is known for its popular national racing stars and for the Ms. Motorsports competition.
This year, former NASCAR stars turned NBC TV commentators Dale Jarrett and Kyle Petty will be on hand to sign autographs on Saturday.
Petty, a third-generation driver from the famed racing family, will sign autographs on Saturday from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. Jarrett, a second-generation driver and the 1999 NASCAR champion, will be there from 4-6 p.m. on Saturday. Ms. Motorsports takes place that evening.
The show runs Friday through Sunday, and a special section will be dedicated to the history of the Orange County Speedway in Middletown, New York, which celebrated its 100th season in 2019.
ARCH banquet: Another activity this weekend is the annual banquet presented by the Auto Racing Club of Hagerstown on Saturday evening.
ARCH inducts several members to its hall of fame each year along with several special awards. ARCH’s banquet is best known for presenting awards to the sportsmanship driver from each of the speedways that it visits during the course of the year.
Sunday Round Table: Wrapping up this weekend is the Third Sunday Round Table at the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing on Sunday afternoon beginning at 1 p.m.
This month’s event will feature local World of Outlaws drivers Logan Schuchart and Jacob Allen. Sprint Car Hall of Famer Boby Allen will join his son and grandson in the disussion.
Bobby Allen won nearly 300 races during his sprint driving career and was one of the original drivers on the World of Outlaws tour. He now fields the team for which his son, Jacob, and grandson, Logan, compete on the Outlaws tour. Logan Schuchart had a breakout season on the Outlaw tour in 2019, winning nine times.
Chili Bowl: The famed Chili Bowl will be contested all this week in the Tulsa, Oklahoma, area.
At last count, nearly 400 midget race cars will be on hand for the big event.
The race has been won the past two years by NASCAR star Christopher Bell, who won a Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek race at Grandview in 2019.
Don Clark: Over the week between Christmas and New Year's Day, the Port Royal Speedway, and the local racing community, lost one of our own with the death of Don Clark.
Clark was the president of the Juniata County Agricultural Society, which operates the Port Royal Speedway. Clark followed in his father Gerald’s footsteps, leading the group for the past 10 years. Gerald had maintained the helm for 30 years in the past.
During Don Clark’s time at the head of the group, major improvements were made to the old fairgrounds property, and he just recently accepted a $1.3 million federal grant for more improvements to the fairgrounds.
While the Clark family members are lifelong residents of Juniata County, Don Clark’s brother, Craig, spent a number of years in the York area and at one time served on the board of the York County Racing Club.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at email@example.com.