HOUSEHOLDER: USAC 'Eastern Storm' will blow through region this week

BRYAN HOUSEHOLDER
717-505-5403/@ydsports
.

There’s a storm brewing.

The United States Auto Club wingless 410 sprint cars return to the area this week for “The Eastern Storm.” The prolonged visit will mark USAC’s second local visit of the season.

Things kick off with Thunder on the Hill Tuesday evening at Grandview Speedway in Berks County.

In addition to the USAC sprints, Grandview’s own modifieds will also compete. The next night is a similar show when USAC moves to Bridgeport, New Jersey, and is joined by that track’s regular modified division.

Then on Thursday, USAC visits Selinsgrove Speedway in Snyder County for a sprint show, along with the USAC East Coast wingless 360 sprints.

Things change up on Friday when the USAC Silver Crown Series visits Williams Grove Speedway in Cumberland County to join the Grove’s 410 winged sprints in a double open-wheel program.

Saturday, the USAC sprints are back at Port Royal Speedway in Juniata County. The Port’s regular winged 410 sprints will join the fun.

The Eastern Storm wraps up Sunday at the new track in Bloomsburg, where the USAC 410 sprints will be joined by the late models.

There will other racing action in the area this weekend.

Friday’s slate also includes the 358 sprints at Trailway Speedway in Adams County, where they are joined by the 600cc micro sprints, street stocks and limited stocks.

Lincoln Speedway, also in Adams County, will be in action Saturday with the local 410 sprint cars headlining. The super sportsmen and the late models will also be part of Lincoln’s Saturday slate.

Selinsgrove’s second show of the week is also a big one. The World of Outlaws’ late models race there Saturday with $10,000 on the line for the winner. The limited-late models also compete.

Hagerstown Speedway in northern Maryland offers up the late-model sportsmen, 305 sprints, pure stocks and hobby stocks on its Saturday slate.

The weekend wraps up with the winged 410 sprints making a visit to Path Valley Speedway in Franklin County on Sunday evening.

BAPS Motor Speedway in northern York County will be hosting the monster trucks on Friday and Saturday.

PIT STOPS

Speedweek looms: With USAC in the area and Ohio Speedweek going strong out west, it can only mean one thing – Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek (presented by Red Robin) is just around the corner.

This year’s Speedweek will be the most lucrative ever, with 10 consecutive nights of racing planned from June 25 through July 4. Purses have been increased, and so has the point fund for the week of racing.

The first race on Friday, June 25, is at Williams Grove, and will now be the Davey Brown Tribute Race. As it has have done for the past several years, the Grove will open Speedweek with the series’ shortest feature. It will be a 25-lap event, with the now standard Speedweek purse of $6,000 to win. The 358 sprints and fireworks are part of the Speedweek opener.

The next night, Speedweek moves to Lincoln for the Kevin Gobrecht Memorial Race. That one is 30 laps and offers $9,200 to the winner. Gobrecht’s family-owned racer was No. 92. The extreme stocks are part of the program.

On the Sunday of the first weekend of Speedweek, the series returns to BAPS for the first time in quite a few years. The BAPS event will also be a 30-lapper, with $7,000 going to the winner. The BAPS super sportsmen will join in the program.

It’s back to Lincoln that Monday night for a sprint-only program that runs 30 laps and pays $7,000 to the winner.

Tuesday is set for the Hodnett Cup event during Thunder on the Hill at Grandview. The 35-lap feature will pay the winner $10,000. Grandview’s own modified class will also compete.

Wednesday, Speedweek moves to Port Royal for a 30-lap feature with $7,000 on the line for the winner. The United Racing Club 360 sprints are also a part of that show.

As always, Speedweek makes a trek south of the boarder for a race at Hagerstown. This year’s Johnny Grum Tribute Race will be on that Thursday with a 30-lap race offering the standard $6,000-to-win purse. The Eastern Museum of Motor Racing will also be on hand with exhibition track time for their vintage racers.

The crown jewel of Speedweek has become the Mitch Smith Memorial at the Grove. The second Friday show of Speedweek will go for 30 laps and offers a series-high $15,000 to the winner. Fireworks are also part of the program.

It's back to Port Royal on the second Saturday of Speedweek for the Greg Hodnett Classic race. This one is again 30 laps, but pays $10,000 to win. The super late models also compete that night.

Speedweek will conclude on Sunday, July 4, at Selinsgrove where the 30-lap feature pays $7,500 to win in honor of the track’s 75th year. The race will honor the memory of one of this area’s all-time great teams in driver Jan Opperman, owner Dick Bogar and mechanic Ralph Heintzelman. The 305 sprints will also compete.

In addition to all of the purse money on the line, Speedweek has a point fund that offers $6,000 to the champion.

It should also be noted that this year’s Speedweek is run at a time when the All Stars have no scheduled races. Also, this year’s top gun in NASCAR competition, Kyle Larson, is the defending Speedweek champion and hopes to make a few of this year’s races, as well.

Mark Smith wins at Kutztown: Mark Smith won the first-ever 410 sprint feature at the Kutztown Action Track USA. 

Smith drove Michael Heffner's car to the $6,000 victory over Lucas Wolfe.

Reach Bryan Householder at sports@yorkdispatch.com.