HOUSEHOLDER: Some well-known outside visitors add interest to Pa. Sprint Car Speedweek
- Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek is currently underway.
- In the first three races, Danny Dietrich earned two wins and Lance Dewease won once.
- Former NASCAR standout Kyle Larson has three top-three finishes during Speedweek.
The Red Robin Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek is well underway.
The first three nights of Speedweek went off very well, with large car counts and tremendous racing action.
A number of well-known outside visitors have already been on hand, and more are expected during the week. Their appearances certainly have sparked additional interest in Speedweek.
Former Outlaw champion Sammy Swindell is in town for the week, as is former NASCAR standout Kyle Larson. NASCAR driver Christopher Bell is expected for several midweek shows. United States Auto Club star Robert Ballou is on hand, as is the ever-popular Rico Abreu.
Local winners: With all those outside visitors, the first three nights of Speedweek still fell to local racers. Lance Dewease won the opener at Williams Grove Speedway, while Danny Dietrich won at Lincoln and Selinsgrove speedways.
Larson figured into every race, but saw his string of top-two 410 sprint finishes broken at Selinsgrove. Larson was riding a string of 16 consecutive races where he finished either first or second up until Sunday evening at the Snyder County track, when he slipped to third.
The Friday race at Williams Grove saw Dewease outduel Brian Montieth for the lead, before Montieth dropped from competition. That left things open for Larson to challenge Dewease for the lead. The Cumberland County speedway had 38 cars.
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Lincoln’s field of 51 cars saw Dietrich pick up the win at the Adams County facility after passing Larson with just two laps remaining.
At Selinsgrove, which had 33 cars, Dietrich and Abreu swapped the lead several times with Larson closing from behind.
Rest of Speedweek schedule: Speedweek is back at Lincoln Monday and then moves on to Grandview on Tuesday evening. The race at the Berks County track will pay $10,000 to the winner. Grandview’s modifieds are also on that program.
Wednesday’s show will be at Port Royal, with $7000 on the line for the winner. The United Racing Club 360 sprints will also compete at the Juniata County facility.
Thursday it’s off to Hagerstown, Maryland, with $5,000 on the line for the winner. The sprint cars stand alone for the Johnny Grum Memorial race, although the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing will have track time with their vintage race cars.
Friday is the Mitch Smith Memorial at Williams Grove. It's a sprint-only show and offers $15,000 to the winner.
Speedweek wraps up at Port Royal Saturday with the Greg Hodnett Tribute race. It pays $10,027 to the winner, and the Speedweek champion will be crowned. The late models also compete.
Speedweek notes: Dewease doesn’t plan to race every Speedweek show and didn’t race at Selinsgrove, although he was on hand at Selinsgrove helping out in the pits of car owner Donnie Kreitz’s daughter, Kassidy Kreitz, in a 305 sprint. Kassidy scored her best finish to date that night with a runner-up finish to winner Nick Sweigart.
Freddie Rahmer has been consistent thus far during Speedweek, keeping pace with Dietrich, Dewease and Larson in the early going.
When Christopher Bell comes to the area it will be after his best NASCAR Cup finish to date in his rookie season. Bell finished fourth at Pocono Raceway on Saturday. Last year Bell won at Grandview.
Sammy Swindell started the week with the Trey Heddick team and will continue to run some Speedweek shows with that team. But, for a few days at midweek, the veteran superstar will drive for his son, Kevin, at Speedweek shows.
Both Mike Wagner and his son, Logan, plan to compete during the entire Speedweek schedule this year. The Wagners are both former champions at Port Royal and Mike has a win there this year. Logan is the defending track champion at the Port.
Brock Zearfoss has left the All Star circuit and is planning to compete in all of Speedweek. Zearfoss set fast time at Selinsgrove Sunday,and has been constant during Speedweek thus far.
Former local racer turned Outlaw, Brent Marks, is also back in town for Speedweek. Marks is driving for Chad Clemens in the No. 5 car and has had a number of good runs from deep in the pack during the first three Speedweek races.
Other racing: Trailway Speedway in Adams County races this Friday with the 358 sprints as the headline division. The 358 sprints also headline at Lincoln on Saturday, where they are joined by the 305 sprints, excel 600 modifieds and extreme stocks.
BAPS Motor Speedway in northern York County races Saturday with the Firecracker 40 for the super-sportsman racers. The limited-late models and street stocks also compete.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.