Tony Stewart’s All-Star Circuit of Champions will visit the local area this weekend and, for at least some of the races, Stewart himself will be racing.
The four-race swing starts Thursday, Aug. 17 at Grandview for the “Smoke” on the Hill version of Thunder on the Hill. Stewart and Rico Abreu are listed as joining the fun as the PA Posse tackles the All-Stars.
Last year, Dale Blaney won this race. The sportsman modified cars will also race.
Friday the All-Stars move to Williams Grove for the Jack Gunn Memorial Race, with the 305 sprints also on hand. Last year, Brian Montieth won the All-Star race at the Grove. Over the years, Lance Dewease holds the record with five All-Star wins at the track. The All-Stars have never won at the Grove during a sanctioned race.
Lincoln is the Saturday site for the All-Star invasion. The legends cars will join the All-Stars at Lincoln. Last year, Danny Dietrich bested the All-Stars at Lincoln, while again it’s Dewease who owns the most All-Star wins at the track with six. Over the years, All-Star regulars have won once at Lincoln, that being former local driver Kenny Jacobs.
The final race of the tour will be Sunday at Susquehanna Motor Speedway. It’s being billed as the All-Stars' first race at Susky, but in reality, it will be its second. The All-Stars visited Susquehanna in 1991 with Joey Kuhn taking the win. Susky’s race is the Justin Snyder Salute to the Troops and will also be Susquehanna’s leg of the Lincoln—Susquehanna—Trailway Shoot Out.
The 305 sprints will also be part of the program.
Susky will also be in action on Saturday with the super sportsman, limited late models, street stocks and classic cars.
Alternative races: There is plenty of other racing this weekend as well. The World of Outlaw late models come east to race on Thursday in Georgetown, Delaware, and then move to Port Royal on Saturday. The sprint cars will also be on the program at the Port.
Trailway races Friday with the limited late models headlining a program that also includes the 270cc micro sprints, Trailway street stocks and this area’s “big tire” street stocks. Trailway also races Saturday with a “Junk Car” demolition derby, limited stocks, figure 8 and powder puff racing.
Selinsgrove’s Saturday show will include the 360 sprints, 305 sprints, pure stocks and roadrunners, while Hagerstown has the Mason Dixon Limited Late Model series along with pure stocks and hobby stocks.
Monthly roundtable: This upcoming Sunday will be the third of the month, so the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing will host it’s regular Third Sunday Roundtable Discussion. The topic will be “Remembering Tommy."
Of course, “Tommy” is the legendary racer Tommy Hinnershitz, who won more than 100 sprint car features in a career that spanned from the late 1930s to 1960. Hinnershitz won the very first feature at Williams Grove and started three Indy 500's. A.J. Foyt once said that Hinnershitz was probably the best dirt-track racer he'd ever raced against.
One of the best (in my opinion) displays at the EMMR is Hinnershitz’ garage just as it looked in his racing days. The display includes the actual machine tools and bits and pieces from Hinnershitz’ own garage, along with the restored Miracle Power #2 sprint car that Hinnershitz once drove.
An interesting story about this display is that museum staffer Lynn Paxton actually got these tools from Tommy when Hinnershitz was in his early 80s. The only stipulation on Hinnershitz’ donation was that Paxton replace some of the machine tools so Tommy could continue to work in his shop.
This date in 1972: A busy weekend on the local circuit, with only one rainout, as the theme 45 years ago was much the same as this season with numerous rainouts during the course of the season.
Only the Sunday show at Hagerstown was washed out on this weekend.
On Friday night, Williams Grove offered up two features, with rivals Kenny Weld and Jan Opperman each scoring victories. Both would score again on Saturday, with Opperman in the Bogar No. 99 recording his 27th win of the season at Selinsgrove, while Weld, in Bob Weikert’s No. 29, would win the second feature on Lincoln’s program to push his season win total to 25.
The make up feature that started Lincoln’s Saturday program fell to Steve Smith, who would also push his O.J. Myers No. 19 to the Sunday win at Susquehanna, bringing his season count to 11.
Dover’s Smokey Snellbaker won at Port Royal on Saturday. For Snellbaker and the Roy Morral No. 880 team, that win was the ninth of the season.
At Jennerstown on Saturday, Gus Linder put Mickey Banas’ No. 69 in victory lane for his seventh win of the season.
Results from Sunday night at Susquehanna: Justin Grant pulled out a last-lap victory in Sunday's 30-lap USAC Midget feature at Susquehanna Speedway.
Grant's win was his first in this area.
Tanner Thorson and Brady Bacon led the field from the start and swapped the lead several times during the early portions of the race. Eventually, Bacon dropped out of contention and Thorson battled teammate Spencer Bayston for the lead. On the final lap, the teammates bumped and Grant was right there to take advantage of the situation.
Grant ended up the winner over Thorson, Bayston, Shane Golobic and Tanner Carrick.
Tyler Walton won the 600cc micro sprint feature by nearly half the track over Cameron Morral. Dexter Strawser was third.
Strinestown's Travis Horan bested Manchester's Patrick McClane to win the xtreme stock feature.
— Reach Bryan Householder at email@example.com