The local dirt-track drivers finally got back on the track this weekend.
It was the first local racing since the season-opening Ice Breaker 30 on Feb. 25 at Lincoln Speedway.
Since that time, Mother Nature refused to cooperate, forcing the cancellation of one area show after another — until this past weekend.
Danny Dietrich made it two in a row at Lincoln in Saturday’s 25-lap, sprint-car feature.
Dietrich’s 33rd career Lincoln win was worth $3,200. Dietrich also won the Ice Breaker 30 at Lincoln.
Outside front-row starter Jim Siegel got the jump on pole-sitter Coleman Gulick at the start of the feature and led for much of the race. Dietrich started fifth and got by Gulick for second after a 12th-lap restart. It took until the 22nd lap for Dietrich to get by Siegel for the lead, but Siegel wasn’t done yet. Siegel slid past Dietrich on the final turn, but Dietrich was able to drive back under Siegel off the turn and grab the lead back by the finish line.
“I don’t want to rough nobody up," Dietrich said after the race. "I think we raced really hard and really clean. With lapped cars, there just wasn’t anywhere to go, so you make the most of what you can with your race car and that’s all you can do.”
“... I can’t thank this crew enough. We had a bad night (Friday) night, and we just want to win all year long. It’s as simple as that. I’ll do whatever it takes to win.”
Lucas Wolfe came from seventh to finish a close third, with Gulick hanging tough for fourth. Billy Dietrich, the winner’s older brother, finished fifth. Rounding out the top 10 were Alan Krimes, Lewisberry’s Kyle Moody, York’s Cory Haas, his nephew Chase Dietz, also of York, and Brian Montieth.
Kevin Nouse became the third and final leader of the 358 sprint feature when he slipped past Doug Hammaker on the 13th of 20 laps. Hammaker finished second, with early leader Todd Rittenhouse Jr. in third. Hellam’s Adrian Shaffer and Chandler Leiby completed the top five. Rounding out the top 10 were Kyle Denmyer, Matt Findley, Brodbecks' Todd Gracey, Ashley Cappetta and Wyatt Hinkle.
Jeffrey earns breakthrough win at Port Royal: Lynton Jeffrey scored his first central Pennsylvania win in Saturday’s sprint-car feature at Port Royal. Jeffrey’s win was worth $3,500.
Jeffrey, an Australian native who races weekly at Knoxville, Iowa, during the summer months, started on the front row, and took the lead from pole-sitter Rick Lafferty on the second of 25 laps. He led the rest of the way despite a late-race challenge from Dale Blaney. Blaney finished second, with Spring Grove’s Greg Hodnett getting third late in the race. Lafferty and Mike Wagner completed the top five. Rounding out the top 10 were Doug Esh, Brock Zearfoss, Dylan Cisney, Mark Smith and T.J. Stutts.
In the 35-lap UFO late-model feature, Newberrytown’s Jason Covert pulled out a last-turn victory for the $3,000 top prize. Covert led early in the race, but slipped back in the running order. He rebounded to take the lead from Kenny Moreland off the final turn. Gary Stuhler finished third, followed by Mike Lupfer and Gregg Satterlee in the top five. Rounding out the top 10 were Dover’s Coleby Frye, Rick Singleton, Nick Dickson, Jeff Rine and Trent Brennneman.
Andrew Yoder won the limited-late-model feature over Robbie Garlock, Robbie Black, Tim Krape and Mike Walls.
Wellsville's Geesey takes first at Susquehanna: Wellsville’s Scott Geesey opened the super-sportsman season with a win at Susquehanna on Saturday evening.
Geesey led the last five laps of the 25-lap event to best Fawn Grove’s Paul Miller for the win. Gregg Foster finished third, with Lewisberry’s Scott Dellinger and Davey Walsh in the top five. Completing the top 10 were Dillsburg’s Rich Eichelberger, Doug Dodson, Mike Enders, Tony Jackson and Kenny Edkin.
Manchester’s Randy Christine opened defense of his track title, leading all 24 laps to win the limited-late-model feature. Brad Shank finished second, with Sean Merkel, Brian Shuey and Dover’s Justin Ehrhart in the top five.
Manchester’s Eddie Richards won the street-stock feature over another Manchester driver, Mike Potts. Jim Palm, Ryan Smith and York Haven’s Matt Adams rounded out the top five.
Scott Houdeshell was the Legends winner over Travis Perry. Jeff Herbst, Hanover’s Mason Chaney and York’s Lucas Montgomery completed the top five.
Hodnett captures Williams Grove opener: Spring Grove’s Greg Hodnett won the opening-night, sprint-car feature at Williams Grove Friday evening. Hodnett’s first win of the season was worth $3,800.
Hodnett started second and took the lead at the start of the event. He led all 25 laps to score the win over fifth-starter Brian Montieth, who offered several challenges over the closing laps of the race. Brock Zearfoss finished third, with Mark Smith and 15th-starting Doug Esh in the top five. Freddie Rahmer earned the Hard Charger of the race award by moving from 19th starting spot to finish sixth. Rounding out the top 10 were T.J. Stutts, Dale Blaney, Lucas Wolfe and Brandon Rahmer.
Gregg Satterlee won the 25-lap, late-model feature worth $2,000. Satterlee started fourth and took the lead from Gary Stuhler on a 14th-lap restart. Stuhler never gave up and pulled along side Satterlee on the final turn, but had to settle for second, with Matt Cosner in third. Dover’s Coleby Frye and Tyler Horst completed the top five. Rounding out the top 10 were Trent Brenneman, Matt Sponaugle, Bryan Bernheisel, Andy Haus and Jeff Rine.
Sprint vet Steele dies in Florida race: Sprint car veteran David Steele has died during a race in Florida.
Desoto Speedway officials said in a Facebook post on Saturday night that track owners and staff were saddened by the crash. The statement says Steele was trying to win his 100th race in Florida.
A Manatee County Sheriff’s Office report says Steele was driving a sprint car when his vehicle’s left front wheel struck the right rear wheel of another car, causing Steele’s vehicle to go up in the air, spin 180 degrees and hit the retaining wall. Medics attempted to treat him but he was pronounced dead. He was 42.
Reach Bryan Householder at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Associated Press contributed to this story.