HOUSEHOLDER: Consistent Danny Dietrich emerges as champ during successful Pa. Speedweek

BRYAN HOUSEHOLDER
717-505-5403/@ydsports
Danny Dietrich, seen here in a file photo, is the 2021 Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek champion.
  • Danny Dietrich is the Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek champion. He didn't win a Speedweek race.
  • Brent Marks, who earned three Speedweek victories, finished second in Speedweek points.
  • In all eight Speedweek races were completed in six different Pennsylvania counties.
Brent Marks

Consistency trumped victories during the 2021 edition of Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek.

Eight of the 10 races were completed, with events held in six different counties: York (BAPS Motor Speedway), Adams (Lincoln Speedway), Cumberland (Williams Grove Speedway), Juniata (Port Royal Speedway), Snyder (Selinsgrove Speedway) and Berks (Grandview Speedway)

Races at Hagerstown Speedway in northern Maryland and at Port Royal were rained out on Thursday and Saturday, respectively.

Danny Dietrich won the overall Speedweek crown without registering a win, while three-time Speedweek winner Brent Marks had to settle for second.

By every reasonable measure, it was a very successful Speedweek.

For Dietrich, it was a week of consistent finishes that resulted in the title, while for Marks it was a spectacular week of great finishes marred by some subpar performaces.

Dietrich opened the series third at Williams Grove, and followed that up with finishes of fourth at Lincoln, a low point of 14th at BAPS, fourth at Lincoln, third at Grandview, third at Port Royal, second at Williams Grove and second at Selinsgrove.

By contrast, Marks was eighth in the opener at the Grove, won at Lincoln and BAPS, was 16th in the second Lincoln show, second at Grandview, 24th at Port Royal, 10th in an eventful night at the Grove's Mitch Smith Memorial and won again at Selinsgrove. 

Marks’ 24th-place finish at Port Royal was caused by a broken spark plug, while his night at Williams Grove that resulted in a 10th-place finish, included going to the rear of the field twice after being involved in incidents.

Rico Abreu finished third in the overall standings with a consistant week, while All Star regulars Justin Peck and Paul McMahan completed the top five in Speedweek points. Peck was the only new Speedweek winner during the week, scoring the Monday Lincoln victory, to become the 47th different winner in Speedweek history.

Lance Dewease, seen here in a file photo, earned two Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek races in 2021. He is now the all-time leader in Speedweek wins with 31.

Lance Dewease won both Grove races. In the process, he moved past Fred Rahmer as the all-time win leader in Speedweek history. Eight years after Rahmer retired, Dewease was able to secure win No. 30 to tie Rahmer and then win No. 31 to take the win lead.

NASCAR star Kyle Larson, seen here in a file photo, won two of his three Pennsylvania Spint Car Speedweek starts.

NASCAR star Kyle Larson won in two of his three Speedweek appearances. The 2020 Speedweek champion won at Grandview and Port Royal, and was involved in several of the week’s classic battles. At Lincoln, where he finished third, Larson swapped the second spot numerous times with New Freedom’s Robbie Kendall. In his win at Port Royal, Larson swapped positions with a number of contenders before coming out on top.

In all, 84 different drivers attempted to compete in Speedweek races. Twelve of those drivers were at all eight completed events, while three were just at the rained-out Port Royal show.

Those 84 drivers represented 13 states and three countries, although it’s tough to say how to describe Australian native Lynton Jeffrey, who now lives in Iowa.

NASCAR star Christopher Bell ran two of the Speedweek races, garnering finishes of fifth and seventh at Lincoln and Grandview, before returning to NASCAR for a second-place finish in Cup Series road race on Sunday in Wisconsin. Bell’s Speedweek starts were his first in a sprint car this year, and also his first on dirt since the Chili Bowl in January.

When Bell left, semi-retired driver Daryn Pittman took over his ride in the Kevin Swindell car for two races, with a seventh-place finish in his second shot. Pittman had only raced twice this season before Speedweek.

Dietrich also used his consistant Speedweek performances to regain the lead in the overall Champion Racing Oil Central Pennsylvania Sprint Series points for the season. Dietrich now holds a six-point lead over Dillsburg’s Anthony Macri and a 34-point lead over Freddie Rahmer.

PIT STOPS

Hall-of-fame race announcer dies: Longtime local race announcer Larry Gross died recently. 

While retired and living in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the York County native is still remembered for his many years on the mike at places such as Lincoln and Susquehanna. 

He was inducted into the York County Racing Club Hall of Fame, and in fact, emceed a number of the early YCRC Hall of Fame Banquets. 

Gross was 79 at the time of his death.

This weekend: Williams Grove will host the sprints and United Racing Club 360 sprints on Friday evening, while at Trailway Speedway, the 358 sprints are joined by the 270cc micro sprints, street stocks and limited stocks.

Lincoln will host the 410 sprints, 358 sprints and classic cars on Saturday, while Port Royal has 410 sprints, late models and limited late models Saturday.

At BAPS on Saturday, the super sportsmen, limited late models and extreme stocks compete, whle Selinsgrove has the 360 sprint National Open, along with 305 sprints and roadrunners.

Hagerstown hosts the late-model sportsmen, crate late models, pure stocks and hobby stocks.

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. Danny Dietrich (1)              682

2. Anthony Macri (3)              676

3. Freddie Rahmer (4)           648

4. Brent Marks (6)                  612 

5. Lance Dewease (7)           608

6. Logan Wagner (1)              412 

7. Alan Krimes (1)                  408

8. Dylan Cisney (1)                 392

9. Justin Peck (3)                    390 

10. Chase Dietz (1)                 361

PENNSYLVANIA SPRINT CAR SPEEDWEEK

POINT STANDINGS

Presented by Red Robin

(Wins in parenthesis, *competed in every race)

*1. Danny Dietrich            1,046

*2. Brent Marks (3)           1,022

*3. Rico Abreu                   961

*4. Justin Peck (1)              909

*5. Paul McMahan              806

*6. Lucas Wolfe                  773

7. Lance Dewease (2)        697

*8. Ryan Smith                   648

*9. Anthony Macri               645

10. Freddie Rahmer            637

*11. Sam Hafertepe Jr.        615

12. Kyle Larson (2)              478