Reflecting on three memorable years from last three decades in local dirt-track racing

BRYAN HOUSEHOLDER
717-505-5403/@ydsports

The last three decades on the regional dirt-track circuit have been memorable ones in many ways.

Some of the greatest names in local 410 sprint racing have competed and won during that stretch.

Last week, we took a look at area sprint history from 40, 50, 60 and 70 years ago.

This week, we focus on more recent history from 30, 20 and 10 years ago — specifically, 1992, 2002 and 2012.

Donnie Kreitz Jr.

The 1992 season: The 1992 racing season was a big one on the local sprint circuit.

It produced 41 different winners on the local tracks.

The big winner that year was current car owner Donnie Kreitz Jr.

Kreitz drove his own familiar No. 69K to 22 wins that season. Eight of those wins came at Williams Grove Speedway in Cumberland County, while he also won five times at Lincoln Speedway (Adams County), four at Susquehanna Speedway (northern York County) and once each at Selinsgrove Speedway (Snyder County), Port Royal Speedway (Juniata County), Hagerstown Speedway (northern Maryland), Georgetown Speedway (Delaware) and Bridgeport Speedway (New Jersey).

Keith Kauffman had a good season as well, winning 18 times in 1992. Four of those wins came at Port Royal, while he also had three each at Williams Grove and Susquehanna (now BAPS Motor Speedway). Kauffman won twice that year at Lernerville in western Pennsylvania and once each at Hagerstown, Grandview Speedway (Berks County), Delaware Speedway, Dixie (Georgia) and East Bay (Florida).

Fred Rahmer was third on the win list for local sprint drivers that year with 14 wins. Rahmer won six times at Lincoln, twice each at Williams Grove and Susquehanna, and once each at Silver Spring Speedway (Cumberland County), Hagerstown, Winchester Speedway (Virginia) and Harrington Speedway (Delaware).

Hanover’s Cris Eash ranked fourth in wins that season with 11. Eash won three times at Selinsgrove, twice each at Williams Grove and Lincoln, and had single wins at Port Royal, Susquehanna, Path Valley Speedway (Franklin County) and Dixie.

There were four drivers tied for fifth with nine wins each. Two raced the local circuit, while two were former local regulars who took to the road that season. Steve Smith and Lance Dewease were the drivers who raced mostly locally, while Stevie Smith and Frankie Kerr were the drivers on the road.

Steve Smith’s wins included six at Lincoln, two at Susquehanna, and one at Williams Grove. Dewease won five at Port Royal, two at Williams Grove and once each at Lincoln and East Bay.

Stevie Smith’s wins came with the World of Outlaws, although he did win once at Susquehanna. Kerr was racing with the All Stars, although one of his wins came at Path Valley.

Greg Hodnett

The 2002 season: The late Greg Hodnett heads up the winners’ list in the area for 2002.

Hodnett, driving the Apple Motorsports No. 12, was living in the York area after relocating from his native Memphis, Tennessee. Hodnett won 21 races in 2002, with seven coming at Williams Grove. He won five at Lincoln and two each at Selinsgrove and Port Royal, along with the Charlotte (North Carolina) dirt track. He had single wins at Grandview, Big Diamond Speedway (Schuylkill County) and Bridgeport.

Dewease was second on the win list that season with 20 wins. Dewease won six races at Williams Grove, five at Lincoln, three at Port Royal and two at East Bay, along with single wins at Selinsgrove, Grandview, Volusia County Speedway (Florida) and Palatka Speedway (Florida).

Rahmer was third for the season with 17 wins. Ten came at Lincoln, with five at Williams Grove, one at Grandview and one at Bridgeport.

Kauffman ranked fourth in wins that season with 13. Kauffman won eight times at Port Royal, twice at Lincoln and once each at Williams Grove and at Big Diamond, and in Australia.

Jeff Shepard, who spent the season on the road with the All Stars, ranked fifth in wins that season with seven.

The 2012 season: Hodnett was also the area’s big sprint winner 10 years ago.

Hodnett won 16 times in 2012. Eight of those wins came at Port Royal, with five at Williams Grove and one each at Susquehanna, Grandview and Bedford Speedway (Bedford County).

Brian Montieth was second with 13 wins. Eight came at Lincoln, with four at Williams Grove and one at Big Diamond.

Third for the season was Danny Dietrich, who won 10 times. Dietrich got nine of those wins at Lincoln and one at Williams Grove.

Daryn Pittman won eight times that season to rank fourth. Not all of Pittman’s wins came in the area, but he did win once each at Williams Grove, Selinsgrove and Lincoln.

Dewease tied with Cory Haas for fifth at five wins. Dewease won twice at Port Royal and scored single wins at Williams Grove Selinsgrove and Bridgeport. York’s Haas won four at Lincoln and one at Williams Grove.

Reach Bryan Householder at sports@yorkdispatch.com or @ydsports. Please consider subscribing to support local journalism.