HOUSEHOLDER: Port Royal, Williams Grove join Lincoln with area racing shows this weekend

BRYAN HOUSEHOLDER
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Tim Shaffer is seen here after his win on Saturday at Lincoln Speedway.

Lincoln Speedway has now completed two events this season, and if things go as planned, two more central Pennsylvania tracks will join the fun this weekend.

Port Royal Speedway and Williams Grove Speedway plan to open their gates for racing this weekend. Lincoln will kick off the weekend on Saturday afternoon with its final daylight show of the season.

The Adams County track will offer its first two-division show of the season at 2 p.m. Saturday, with the legends racers joining the 410 sprint cars for the first time this season.  After two races at Lincoln this year, Tim Shaffer and Hanover’s Tim Wagaman have graced victory lane.

Port Royal was supposed to have opened its season last Sunday afternoon, but predicted cold weather, along with lingering wet grounds, forced the Juniata County facility to postpone the opener until 4 p.m. Saturday.  Last year, it was All Star regular Cory Eliason who drove to the opening-day victory at the Port.

Port Royal’s first recorded race was a AAA “big-car” race on Sept. 9, 1938. That one was won by Russ Campbell. Since that time, a number of drivers have scored opening-day wins at the Port. Legendary drivers Mitch Smith and Todd Shaffer are tied for the most opening-day Port wins with five each. In 1996, the feature on opening day was rained out and completed as a part of the show the following week. Todd Shaffer won both races that night, so I guess it could be said that he has won six races on opening day.

Keith Kauffman, the career win leader at the Port, has four opening-day wins there. Lance Dewease, second on the all-time career wins list, is tied with Lynn Paxton, Jay Myers and Ed McCardell for third with three wins each on opening day at the Port.

The super late models will join the 410 sprint cars on the Port’s opening-day card.

Williams Grove is then set to open its season at 2 p.m. Sunday with an all-sprint show. Last year Carson Macedo, who won with the World of Outlaws last weekend, was the winner on opening day at the Cumberland County oval.

Williams Grove held its first race in May of 1939, with legendary driver Tommy Hinnershitz racing to the win. Hinnershitz would win two more Grove openers, in 1949 and 1952.

Fred Rahmer leads all drivers with six opening-day wins at Williams Grove. Kauffman and multi-time AAA national IndyCar champion Ted Horn each have four opening-day Grove wins. Donnie Kreitz Jr. and Greg Hodnett join Hinnershitz as three-time, opening-day winners there.

Indy 500 winners AJ Foyt, Troy Ruttman and Jimmy Bryan have all won on opening day at the Grove, as has NASCAR star Kasey Kahne.

Last weekend: Lincoln again braved the elements to complete its racing program last Saturday. 

Again, all the moisture in the ground left the track crew with a massive job to prepare the track, and again it was very wet and very fast, making passing difficult, at least until the closing laps of the feature.

In fact, track prep took longer than usual, and Lincoln was about a half hour late starting the races. A lost wheel on a “run-in” car at the wettest part of the track didn’t help. Still, once the program was started things went quickly, and the show was again completed in a little more than 90 minutes, allowing fans to leave before it got really cold.

Lincoln’s car count was up by one to 27 Saturday, and a consy was held. There were a number of different drivers in the field, while several opening-day teams did not make the second race of the season.

Hunter Schuerenberg, by far, was the most successful of the newcomers. Schuerenberg, a Missouri native who now lives in Indianapolis, had only ever raced at Lincoln in a United States Auto Club wingless sprint. Saturday’s race was his first time at Lincoln with a wing. He plans to compete regularly with the All Stars this season.

Schuerenberg, led 25 laps of the 30-lap feature and finished second despite getting some front suspension damage when a car slowed quickly in front of him while he was trying to lap it.

Australian native Kerry Madsen made his first start in the York-based Michael Barshinger sprint on Saturday at Lincoln. Madsen just missed a top-10 finish, crossing the line 11th.

York drivers Trey Hivner and Bradley Howard also made their first local starts of the season. Both dropped from the event before the finish, with Hivner credited with 17th and Howard at 22nd.

Invaders Ricky Peterson and Mike Lutz Jr. were involved in a consolation-race crash which saw Peterson flip. Peterson is from Ohio and was making his first Lincoln start. The crash, which occurred in a three-wide move as Peterson and Brandon Rahmer were trying to lap Lutz, ended Peterson's day.

Lutz, a second-generation western Pennsylvania racer, was making his first start in the area. Lutz’s father, Mike, raced the local circuit a number of years ago, even spending some time in the famed Weikert’s Livestock machine.

The other first-time racer for the season was Jim Siegel, who was unable to start the consolation race.

Race winner Tim Shaffer failed to crack the top 10 the week before, but was that race’s hard charger, moving from 24th to 12th, so his win this week in Michael Heffner’s No. 72 was no great surprise.

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

Wins in parenthesis

1. Kyle Moody                   55

2. Tim Shaffer (1)              50

2. Tim Wagaman Jr. (1)    50

4. Tim Glatfelter                42

5. Hunter Schuerenberg   35

6.  Billy Dietrich                 30

7. Glenndon Forsythe       25

7.  Alan Krimes                 25

9. Matt Campbell              20

10. Danny Dietrich           18

10. Anthony Macri            18