Central Pa. dirt tracks to feature several special shows worth watching this weekend

BRYAN HOUSEHOLDER
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Barry Skelly
  • The World of Outlaws' late model will invade Williams Grove Speedway on Friday night.
  • Saturday night, Lincoln Speedway in Adams County presents the Barry Skelly Memorial Race.
  • Port Royal Speedway will have its Open Wheel Madness program on Saturday night.
  • The Armin Hostetter Memorial is slated for Sunday night at Trailway Speedway.

With the Knoxville Nationals now completed, things will settle down to a more normal weekend on the central Pennsylvania dirt tracks. 

However, there are still some major special events, as well.

Williams Grove Speedway in Cumberland County kicks off the weekend with one of those special shows. The World of Outlaws’ late models will invade the Grove on Friday night, with the 410 sprint cars also competing. The late-model race offers $10,000 to win, while the sprints race for $5,000 to win.

Saturday night, Lincoln Speedway in Adams County presents the Barry Skelly Memorial Race, with the 410 sprints and 358 sprints on the racing slate. Skelly died last summer, but spent many years operating the track novelty stand, while also capturing a photographic history of the area racing scene. 

Skelly started taking photos at Williams Grove and the now-defunct Bowling Green speedways while still in his early teens. That was in the mid-1950s, when Skelly was too young to enter the pit area. 

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Still, a number of the photos he took from the grandstands at Bowling Green, which was located in York County near Glen Rock, and the infield spectator area at Williams Grove, are of the same professional quality for which he was well known in later years. Skelly kept photographing local racing until just weeks before his death. He produced hundreds of thousands of racing photos from the area.

Lincoln’s 410 sprint race that night will be part of the Lincoln/Trailway Shootout.

At Port Royal Speedway in Juniata County on Saturday, the show is called Open Wheel Madness. The 410 sprint cars are joined by the United States Auto Club East Coast wingless 360 sprints and the 305 sprints.

BAPS Motor Speedway in northern York County hosts the York County Nationals on Saturday. In action are the track’s regular divisions of super sportsmen, limited late models, street stocks and extreme stocks.

Hagerstown Speedway in northern Maryland offers late-model sportsmen, crate late models, pure stocks and hobby stocks Saturday.

Trailway Speedway in Adams County switches its race date to Sunday this week for the Armin Hostetter Memorial event. The event, honoring the track founder, marks the only time each year when the 410 sprints visit the quarter-mile oval southwest of Hanover. Also on the program are the legends cars.

Hostetter built the speedway on his family farm and his family still operates the facility. Hostetter also raced motorcycles in his younger years.

The Trailway sprint race will be the second night of the Lincoln/Trailway Shootout, with bonus money for the drivers who fare the best in both nights of racing.

Last weekend: Last weekend was a big one on the national scene, but also produced some happy local winners in some different locations.

At Knoxville, Iowa, NASCAR’s hottest driver, Kyle Larson, realized a childhood dream by winning the Nationals at the famed Midwest oval.

Like last year, Larson has won in sprints, midgets and late models this year. However, unlike last year, Larson has also taken the NASCAR world by storm, and is that circuit’s leading winner this season.

Locally, on Friday night, Big Diamond Raceway saw the return of the 410 sprint cars for the first time in many years. York’s Cory Haas drove to the victory in that event. The win marked Haas’ second win in seven days, and also his second win of the season.

As mentioned last week, Haas is driving for Buzz and Scott Wilson this season in a limited schedule of races. What I failed to note after Haas’ Lincoln win last week was that the win that Saturday at Lincoln was the first ever for the Wilson family that fields his car. It’s a three-generation racing family, that has seen Hal Wilson, his son, Buzz, and his son, Scott, all behind the wheel. But it wasn’t until that Saturday at Lincoln that the family found victory lane. Then the family got back to the winner’s circle again just six days later at Big Diamond.

Tyler Ross is seen here after his Saturday night win at Lincoln Speedway.

Lincoln’s 410 sprint race on Saturday saw Tyler Ross pick up his third win of the season in Rick Lefevre’s sprint car. That is also notable, because in his career before this season, Ross had only scored one win the 410 sprint cars.

Tyler Ross wins at Lincoln, Kyle Larson wins at Knoxville to highlight weekend dirt action

Lefevre continues a family tradition of fielding sprint cars in the area started by his father, Dick Lefevre, in the early 1970s.  Among those who drove for the senior Lefevre back then were John Draucker and Steve Villella.  

Clinton County followed Big Diamond’s suit, bringing back the 410 sprints to its quarter-mile oval Saturday evening for the first time in many years. Ryan Smith drove to the win in that event. It was Smith’s first local 410 sprint win this season, although he did score two 410 sprint wins during the Western Pennsylvania Speedweek. He has also won several 360 sprint races this season.

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.   Freddie Rahmer (6)        879

2.   Lance Dewease (7)         828

3.   Anthony Macri (4)           825

4.   Danny Dietrich (2)           820

5.   Brent Marks (7)               750

6.   Logan Wagner (2)           551

7.   Alan Krimes (1)               486 

8.   Chase Dietz (2)              485

9.   Dylan Cisney (1)             468

10. Tyler Ross (3)                 400