SUBSCRIBE NOW
Flash Sale! $39 for one year
SUBSCRIBE NOW
Flash Sale! $39 for one year

HOUSEHOLDER: More changes looming during crazy racing season on central Pa. dirt tracks

BRYAN HOUSEHOLDER
717-505-5403/@ydsports
Williams Grove Speedway in Cumberland County, seen here in a file photo, will feature the 410 sprints, 358 sprints and the United States Auto Club wingless 360 sprints on Friday night.
  • Williams Grove will feature the 410 sprints, 358 sprints and the USAC wingless 360 sprints Friday.
  • Saturday, Port Royal will have the 410 sprints, wingless super sportsmen and limited-late models.
  • Also Saturday, Lincoln has the 410 sprints, 358 sprints and the Mid-Atlantic Modifieds.

This has to be the craziest racing season ever on the central Pennsylvania dirt tracks.

Often, weather-related problems will cause schedule changes. This year, however, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused wholesale changes for the local tracks. It seems every week something else is shifted in an effort to get in some missed races or just to keep things going.

The upcoming weekend is a good example, but it doesn’t stop there. More on that later.

This weekend was originally scheduled to have been the Knoxville Nationals event in Iowa. Three local tracks were set to be dark in honor of that race, or maybe just because their operators wanted to attend. But Knoxville has altered its plans and so have several local tracks.

At Knoxville, the huge purse that is offered for the Nationals ($150,000 to win) just isn’t feasible with limited capacity enforced. So Knoxville has actually canceled this year’s Nationals and replaced it with a race that would still compare to all the big sprint races in the nation. The Iowa track is paying $50,000 to win this weekend.

Like what you're reading?:Not a subscriber? Click here for full access to The York Dispatch.

With things the way they are, however, some racers across the nation have changed their plans and will stay home. Several of our local teams still plan to attend, but not as many as before.

Grove, Port Royal will now race this weekend: As a result, Williams Grove and Port Royal speedways will race this weekend. BAPS Motor Speedway in northern York County still plans to be dark.

Williams Grove, in Cumberland County, will play host to a three-division, open-wheel show on Friday evening. Since it was not originally planned, the program won’t be offering full track points, but just “show-up” points. Port Royal, in Juniata County, is doing much the same thing on Saturday.

Illinois driver races away with $8,100 victory in USAC Silver Crown race at Selinsgrove

Williams Grove will feature the 410 sprints, 358 sprints and the United States Auto Club wingless 360 sprints. Port Royal will have the 410 sprints, wingless super sportsmen and twin 20s for the limited-late models.

The originally-scheduled program of super sportsmen, 270cc micro sprints, street stocks and limited stocks is still on for Friday at Trailway Speedway in Adams County.

Lincoln Speedway in Adams County is also sticking with its planned show for this weekend, with changes coming later. This Saturday, Lincoln has the 410 sprints, 358 sprints and the Mid-Atlantic Modifieds.

Selinsgrove Speedway in Snyder County will have a Saturday slate that includes the Ultimate Northeast Late Model Series, the 305 sprints and roadrunners.

Hagerstown is back in action: The final added regional show for this weekend is Sunday at Hagerstown Speedway in Maryland. 

The Hub City oval will reopen its gates for the first time since it hosted a Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek event back in early July.  The track was shut down because of COVID-19 restrictions in Maryland.

This time, Hagerstown is going back to its roots with what has become one of its most popular shows.

The Frank Sagi Tribute Race is on the card for Sunday at Hagerstown. Frank Sagi called the races at Hagerstown for 39 years and was truly a legend in local racing circles. Each year, his son, noted late-model racer Alan Sagi, puts together a special late-model race at Hagerstown in honor of his father.

Usually a driver from the past is on hand to be honored as well. This year there are three. As Hagerstown’s news release states, if you can remember Frank Sagi calling the “Slurpee King,” the “Free State Flyer” and the Brunswick Bullet” to the track then you know that the honorees at the Sagi race this year are Larry Gorman, Denny Bonebrake and Sam Nalley. 

All three were top contenders in their day in local late-model events. I was amazed to learn that all three started their careers in the same year, 1968. Bonebrake stuck around a lot longer than Gorman or Nalley, which might explain why he has won more races than the other two combined. Bonebrake won 212 times, while Nalley had 89 wins and Gorman had 52.

The Mid Atlantic Modifieds will join the late models at Hagerstown on Sunday.

Lincoln will play host to Outlaws' late models: While Lincoln is sticking to its scheduled races this weekend, that will change next week. 

Lincoln has shifted its scheduled Saturday late-model race from Saturday, Aug. 22, to Thursday, Aug. 20. That’s because this year’s Billy Vacek/Paul “Huey” Wilcoxon Memorial Race will be sanctioned by the World of Outlaws' late-model series.

That gives the WoO late models two local races in two days. They are at Williams Grove the next night. After the Grove, they head west to Sharon, Ohio, on Saturday and Eriez, Pennsylvania, on Sunday.

The Saturday (Aug. 22) show at Lincoln will now include the 358 sprints, with the added make-up of last week’s rained-out feature.

DIRT-TRACK RACING: Danny Dietrich triumphs at Lincoln for fourth consecutive sprint win

Dietrich to race at Knoxville: Danny Dietrich is one of the drivers who will head out to Knoxville this weekend, and he will do it having won the last four races he attended on the local circuit.

Dietrich won at Williams Grove, Lincoln and Trailway a week ago, and then won Saturday at Lincoln this week. Williams Grove was rained out this past Friday.

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

CHAMPION RACING OIL

CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA SPRINT CAR SERIES

Presented by Hoseheads.com

(Wins in parenthesis)

1. Freddie Rahmer (4)                        706

2. Danny Dietrich (7)                           703

3. Anthony Macri (4)                           569

4. Brent Marks (1)                               562

5. Kyle Larson  (7)                               528

6. Lance Dewease (3)                          523 

7. Ryan Smith                                       374

8. Dylan Cisney (2)                                312

9. Chase Dietz                                       283

10. Brock Zearfoss                                 269