Dirt-track season's 2nd week features lots of cars, lots of visiting drivers, good crowds

BRYAN HOUSEHOLDER
717-505-5403/@ydsports
Lance Dewease

Port Royal Speedway opened its season on Sunday afternoon with the biggest 410 sprint car count of the year.

The Port exceeded Lincoln Speedway’s count by one car, with 42 sprints pitside. There were 18 late models on hand at the Port as well.

It's been a strong start to the central Pennsylvania 2022 racing season.

Lance Dewease made his first start of the season at the Juniata County facility and drove to the victory. The win was his 120th at the Port and his seventh at the track on opening day.

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The interesting thing about the sprint fields at the two tracks is that, although they ran fewer than 24 hours apart, and both had large fields, they didn't feature all the same cars.

In fact, Port Royal had 23 different drivers on Sunday than Lincoln had on Saturday. And one of the drivers at the Port ran a different car than the day before. Freddie Rahmer brought out the family-owned No. 51 for the show at the Port after driving Rich Eichelberger’s car the day before at Lincoln.

After the racing action at the Port, there have been only 10 drivers who have made all three feature sprint events in the area this year. Only two of those drivers have earned all top-10 finishes in all three events. Dillsburg’s Anthony Macri has a win, a third and a sixth. Danny Dietrich has finished fourth in all three events.

Lincoln had 41 sprint cars pitside for last Saturday’s racing event, and another good handful of other classes for a later practice session. Another nice-sized crowd was on hand at the Adams County facility, although not nearly as large as the week before for the season opener.

Barnburner at Lincoln: The feature at Lincoln turned into a real barnburner, with three drivers in a battle for the lead for much of the race. Macri won the race for his fourth career Lincoln win.

While Macri scored the first three wins of his sprint career at Lincoln, he has struggled there of late. This season he seems to have turned the corner at Lincoln and has finishes of third and first.

That is even more impressive since Macri entered last Saturday’s event feeling under the weather. He had a rough day the day before and wasn’t even sure he could go the distance Saturday. Add in that the race went nonstop and he was constantly battling with other cars both for the lead and to put them a lap down, and it was a great run for the Dillsburg racer.

The nonstop race was just seven seconds off the track record, which, when you factor in that it was a daytime surface under bright sun and slight winds, makes it quite a feat.

The list of visitors this past weekend was even bigger than the week before. Buddy Kofoid and Justin Peck were back this week. When you add in Ohio’s Ricky Peterson Jr., who won a heat race; Alabama’s Kevin Thomas Jr., who also won a heat; Canada’s Skylar Gee; New York’s Joe Kata III; and Indiana drivers Zeb Wise and Parker Price Miller, it gave Lincoln drivers from nine states and Canada for the day. Add in Missouri’s Hunter Schuerenberg on Sunday at the Port to make it 10 states on the weekend.

Tough field: The field of 41 cars at Lincoln was tough. 

Five of the previous week’s top-10 finishers did not make the feature. One, Justin Whittall, was not back this week, but the other four were there. Last week’s sixth-place finisher, Aaron Bollinger, missed the cut by one in the consy, while the fifth- and 10th-place finishers from the previous week, Jordan Givler and Dyaln Cisney, were invloved in a crash in the consy, and seventh-place finisher from the week before, Billy Dietrich. dropped from the consy while outside a qualifying position.

The race at Port Royal Sunday saw Dewease come from third to take the lead from veteran racer Mike Wagner just before the halfway point.

Danny Dietrich’s fourth-place finish again saw him pass plenty of cars. Saturday at Lincoln he went from 16th to fourth and Sunday he came from 10th for fourth. Macri’s sixth-place finish came from 12th.

This weekend: Lincoln has its last scheduled afternoon program this week, and it will also be the first multi-division show of the season there. 

Lincoln goes Saturday afternoon with the 410 sprint cars and the Legends racers. Lincoln’s scheduled starting time is 3 p.m.

Port Royal is also set for a late-afternoon show on Saturday. The Port geos at 4 p.m. with the 410 sprints and the super late models.

Williams Grove Speedway in Cumberland County will open its season on Sunday afternoon with a 2 p.m. show that will feature the 410 sprints and the wingless super sportsmen.

The Grove has been in continuous operation since opening day in May of 1939, with the exception of 1943 and 1944 during World War II. That would make this the 82nd season opener at the Grove.

The winter indoor racing series wraps up this weekend with action for the three-quarter midgets, slingshots and champ karts in Syracuse, New York.

CHAMPION RACING OIL

CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA

SPRINT CAR SERIES

Presented by Hoseheads.com

(Wins in parenthesis)

1. Anthony Macri (1)             98

2. Danny Dietrich                 75

3. Freddie Rahmer (1)          66 

4. Lance Dewease (1)          50

5. Justin Peck                       48

6. Brent Marks                      47

7. T.J. Stutts                          35

7. Mike Wagner                     35

9. Buddy Kofoid                     34

10. Chase Dietz                     30

Reach Bryan Householder at sports@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @ydsports.