HOUSEHOLDER: Selinsgrove Speedway to celebrate 75th anniversary with Tuesday night program

BRYAN HOUSEHOLDER
717-505-5403/@ydsports
Selinsgrove Speedway, seen above, will have a 75th anniversary show on Tuesday night.

An interesting week of racing action is lined up for central Pennsylvania dirt-track fans.

It all starts Tuesday night when Selinsgrove Speedway celebrates its 75th anniversary. The event was set for Tuesday because the date (July 20) marks the 75th anniversary of the very first race at the old fairgrounds oval in Snyder County. The two classes of cars that have been dominant in the track’s history will compete.

The 410 sprint cars and the super-late models will each race for $5,075 to win.

Selinsgrove first opened its gates for racing on July 20, 1946. In that American Automobile Association-sanctioned program, Pennsylvania native Bill Holland raced to the victory. Holland was one of the top drivers on the national circuit and would go on to win the 1949 Indy 500.

Selinsgrove Speedway was built following World War II and the historic covered grandstand from the first race is still in place. The racing surface was designed by one of that era’s top drivers, Joie Chitwood. Chitwood would, of course, go on to even greater fame with the Thrill Show he purchased during the war. The Joie Chitwood Thrill Show was a long-enduring show that even led its owner to work as a Hollywood stunt man.

Chitwood’s track design incorporated an extra-wide front stretch that would allow for his stunt show to have extra room for its special stunts.

In another historical note, the announcer at the first Selinsgrove race was future National Speed Sport News editor and TV broadcaster Chris Economaki.

PIT STOPS

Summer Nationals at the Grove: The World of Outlaws 410 sprint cars return to the area for the Summer Nationals at Williams Grove Speedway in Cumberland County on Friday and Saturday evenings.

A full show each night will await the fans.

When the Outlaws visited the Grove in May, Carson Macedo and Aaron Reutzel were the race winners, while Outlaw point leader Brad Sweet won at Lincoln earlier that week. Sweet leads the Outlaws with 13 wins this season.

In recent years, the Outlaws have been the big winners in Williams Grove visits. In fact, to find the most recent local winner we have to go back to May of 2019, when Lance Dewease sat in victory lane after an Outlaws show. Brent Marks was a traveling Outlaw when he won the 2019 National Open.

Other weekend events: With the Outlaws in town, several local tracks have switched to other forms of automotive entertainment for the weekend.

Saturday, Lincoln Speedway in Adams County will present a truck-and-tractor pull, while Port Royal Speedway in Juniata County welcomes the American Motorcyclists Association. Hagerstown Speedway in northern Maryland has the Monster Jam all weekend, with action on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Trailway Speedway in Adams County will compete on Friday with a program of 358 sprints, legends, 270cc micro sprints and street stocks.

BAPS Motor Speedway in northern York County has a big program lined up Saturday, with the Smokey Frye Tribute Race. Frye lives next door to the speedway and had several good years in late-model and limited-late-model racing action around the area. He also offered much assistance when the current management team took over operation of the track.

The super late models return to BAPS on Saturday, along with the super sportsmen, limited late models and extreme stocks.

Last weekend: Rain moved into the area last Friday evening and then again on Saturday evening.

Williams Grove was the only track to complete a 410 sprint race locally last weekend, with Freddie Rahmer winning. The 358 sprint feature was rained out without a lap completed when showers hit as an accident was being cleared after a crash on the start. The 358 sprint race will be made up as part of the July 30 program.

Most of the Saturday tracks threw in the towel early when looking at the forecast, but Lincoln made an effort to race. As I noted last week, Lincoln has fared much better with the weatherman this year than other local tracks, having raced every week since its scheduled opener in February was lost to snow-covered ground.

This time it didn’t work. Lincoln had just completed “heat in the motors” when rains hit the grounds, forcing Lincoln to postpone its show.

YCRC meeting: The York County Racing Club hosts a general membership meeting Wednesday on its club grounds in Zions View. 

Limited-late-model driver Devin Hart will be the guest speaker for the meeting, which starts at 7:30 p.m.

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. Anthony Macri (4)        726 

2. Freddie Rahmer (5)     714 

3. Danny Dietrich (1)       682 

4. Lance Dewease (7)     638 

5. Brent Marks (6)            612 

6. Alan Krimes (1)           442 

6. Logan Wagner (1)       442 

8. Dylan Cisney (1)         417 

9. Justin Peck (3)            390

10. Chase Dietz (1)         377