Central Pa. track offers big-money, 3-day program this week, plus other dirt-track notes

BRYAN HOUSEHOLDER
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Lance Dewease, seen here in a file photo, is the defending champion in the Tuscarora 50 at Port Royal Speedway.
  • The 54 annual Tuscarora 50 is slated for this week at Port Royal Speedway.
  • The three-day program at the Juniata County track runs from Thursday through Saturday.
  • Saturday's feature pays $54,000 to the 410 sprint winner.Lance Dewease won the 2020 event.

Port Royal Speedway will take center stage this weekend on the central Pennsylvania dirt-track circuit.

The 54th annual Tuscarora 50 will highlight the area racing action.

The All Star Circuit of Champions 410 sprint cars invade the old fairgrounds oval for the three-day affair.

With the Juniata County Fair as a backdrop, the Tusky will go off from Thursday through Saturday, with the main event on Saturday evening. 

Thursday’s show will feature the 410 sprint cars with an $8,000-to-win feature, along with the 305 sprints.

Friday’s “Night Before the Tuscarora 50” will offer $10,000 to win for the 410 sprints. The late models will also compete.

Then on Saturday, it’s a sprints-only program with $54,000 to the winner.

The Tuscarora 50 was first run in 1968, with the legendary Mitch Smith scoring the win. In fact, Smith won the first three Tuscrora races before Smokey Snellbaker ended his streak. Doug Wolfgang’s four in a row from 1984-1987 is the longest win streak in Tusky history.

Lance Dewease is the biggest Tuscarora 50 winner over the years with seven wins in the classic. Dewease’s first win came in 1994, while his most recent was last year. Dewease has won the race for Walter Dyer, Joe Harz, Al Hamilton, Pete Postupack and in his three most recent wins, Donnie Kreitz Jr.

Kreitz himself has won the race three times as a driver. Team mechanic Davey Brown has even more wins than his current owner and driver combined. He has visited Tusky victory lane 11 times.

Last year Cory Eliason won the Thursday race, while Dewease won on both Friday and Saturday.

PIT STOPS

Other races: There will be some other racing in the area over the weekend as well.

Trailway Speedway in Adams County races Friday evening with the 358 sprints headlining. The 600cc and 270cc micro sprints, and the legends also compete.

Hagerstown Speedway in northern Maryland has its Small Car Nationals on Friday and Saturday. The event features several of what are known as support divisions. The late-model sportsmen, crate late models, pure stocks, hobby stocks and Mid-Atlantic Modifieds all compete, with the main events on Saturday.

More:Danny Dietrich wins Labor Day Classic at Port Royal, plus other weekend dirt action

Lincoln Speedway in Adams County is in action Saturday, but the 410 sprints get the night off to compete at the Port. The 358 sprints and 305 sprints will be in action, as will the super late models.

Breakthrough win for Mitten: Russ Mitten’s win in last Saturday’s Gary Wolford Memorial Sportsman 100 at BAPS Motor Speedway was his first in that event.

After 30 years of trying, Mitten can finally include the Sportsman 100 on his resume.

Mitten is a second-generation driver who has spent his whole career behind the wheel of a super sportsman. The win on Saturday was his 39th in those cars. Mitten’s father, Pete, was a winner in sportsman-type racers in the early 1960s.

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In addition to driving super sportsmen, Mitten also builds them. In fact, he also builds sprint cars and repairs chassis for both divisions.

Locke on roll at Grove: Third-generation driver Derek Locke won the 358 sprint feature at Williams Grove Speedway in Cumberland County on Friday night. 

That win marked the seventh Williams Grove 358 sprint win of the season for Locke. That’s impressive because the 358 sprints have only raced at Williams Grove seven times this season.

There is just one race remaining for the 358s at the Grove this year, so Locke stands a very good chance of sweeping the season there for the 358s.

Locke’s father, Howie Locke, was a multi-time champion in the super sportsmen and also owns a 358 championship at the Grove.

Howie Locke also won once in the 410 sprints, with that win coming at Lincoln. Grandfather Fred Locke was also a super-sportsman winner in his career, and uncle Fred Locke Jr. raced limited late models.

Krimes’ trying night ends with win: Alan Krimes had a trying night at Lincoln on Saturday, right up until feature time.

A few weeks ago, the two-time Lincoln champion debuted a new car. It’s his first time racing an X1 Chassis.

In warm-ups on Saturday. Krimes suffered from fuel pickup problems and dropped out before completing a lap. Similar problems arose in his heat race, and in the consolation race his engine missed badly, and he struggled to make the sixth and final transfer spot.

The team solved the problem in time for the first of the twin 20-lap features and Krimes advanced from 24th and last to finish 12th. When Tyler Esh, the winner of the first feature, drew the inversion for the starting lineup of the second 20-lap feature he drew a 12, and that gave Krimes the first starting spot. He led all the way in that one for his second win of the season.

By the way Krimes’ weekend didn’t start any better than his Saturday night. A major engine problem in his Stewart Smith-owned car at the Grove had Krimes missing the feature.

Smith takes wingless super-sportsman win at Port: Michael Smith raced to his first career wingless super-sportsman win on Monday afternoon at Port Royal.

Kevin Gutshall chased Smith for much of the race, but had to settle for second, with Paul Kline, Steve Wilbur and Richard Mellor in the top five. 

Adam Campbell won the four-cylinder stock feature.

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 (7)               1,069

2. Danny Dietrich (4)              1,040

3. Lance Dewease (8)            961

4. Freddie Rahmer (6)            940

5. Brent Marks (8)                   854

6. Chase Dietz (3)                  594

7. Alan Krimes (2)                  572

8. Logan Wagner (2)              567

9. Dylan Cisney (1)                 490

10. Justin Peck (3)                 450