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Lots of dirt-track news emerges during busy Chili Bowl week

BRYAN HOUSEHOLDER
717-505-5403/@ydsports
Tony Stewart

Last week was a big one out in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

It was, of course, Chili Bowl week, which is one of the highlights of the national dirt-track season.

Tanner Thorson picked up the big win on Saturday evening, besting NASCAR standout Christopher Bell for the win.

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Rico Abreu, Buddy Kofoid and Tanner Carrick completed the top five. The defending race winner, and NASCAR Cup Series champion, Kyle Larson finished sixth.

As is always the case during Chili Bowl week, the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame was also busy. The 2022 class of inductees was officially announced and all of the organization’s poll awards for 2021 were also announced.

The hall-of-fame’s 2022 class includes drivers Bob Frey, Eric Gordon, Terry Gray, Tim Green and Tony Stewart.

Mechanic or owners selected for the hall included Walter T. Ross, Dennis Roth and local legend Ralph Hentzelman. Hentzelman spent many years on the local circuit, with his time with drivers Jan Opperman and Lynn Paxton most noteworthy. 

The promoter/media picks included Johnny Gibson, Jack Kromer and Robin Miller.

The pioneer induction for those competing before 1945 went to “Slim” Rutherford.

Brad Sweet

The 2021 410 sprint poll found Outlaw champion Brad Sweet at the top, with Kyle Larson, David Gravel, Donny Schatz and Carson Macedo in the top five. Hanover’s Logan Schuchart was seventh, Brent Marks was eighth, Lance Dewease was 10th, Dillsburg’s Anthony Macri was 12th Danny Dietrich was 14th and Logan Wagner was 20th.

Blake Hahn topped the 360 sprint poll over Dominic Scelzi, with JJ Hinkle, local racer Mark Smith and Justin Sanders in the top five

The wingless poll found Brady Bacon at the top over Kevin Thomas Jr., Justin Grant, CJ Leary and Logan Sevey. Local racer Alex Bright was16th.

Poll awards for the year found Sweet’s Kasey Kahne-owned No. 49 team garnering the Team of the Year Award. Larson won the Wild Car Award and Ryan Timm was named Rookie of the Year.

Port Royal’s Steve O’Neal was again named Promoter of the Year, while Maxim Chassis got Builder of the Year. 

Brian Dunlap of Dirt Vision was named Media Member of the Year.

The Tom Schmeh Outstanding Contribution to the Sport Award voting ended in a tie, with Tod Quiring of Hussetts and Jackson Speedways sharing the honor with longtime World of Outlaws official Carlton Reimers.

PIT STOPS:

Motorsports show: The Motorspoirts show held each winter in Oaks is suburban Philadelphia, returns this weekend after one year off for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Plenty of race cars and racing products, along with racing equipment and novelties, will be on display.

This year, Motorsports will be held on Friday and Saturday, with the famed Ms. Motorsports competition moved to Friday evening.

There will be several seminars during the show, but one that should be termed a don’t-miss event goes off at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

Fred Rahmer

Racers Richard Tobias Jr., Billy Pauch, Fred Rahmer and Mike Mahaney will discuss the topic: “Racer or Just A Driver.”

I’d say all four fit the racer side of things.

ARCH banquet: The Auto Racing Club of Hagerstown will bring back its annual banquet on Saturday evening after one year off because of the pandemic.

The club will have two years’ worth of awards to present at this banquet. 

ARCH is known for presenting sportsmanship awards for drivers from tracks they attend.

ARCH also has its own hall of fame and makes two inductions each year.

Coming weeks: Next weekend, Jan. 28 and Jan. 29, is the Gamblers Classic indoor race in Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall, with action on Friday and Saturday evenings.

The following weekend, Feb. 4 and Feb. 5, is the Racing Xtravaganza at the York Expo Center.

The local outdoor racing season is set to open Feb. 26 with Lincoln’s Icebreaker for the 410 sprint cars.

YCRC meeting: The York County Racing Club hosts a general membership meeting on Wednesday evening at the club hall in Zions View. 

The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. with food available beforehand.

This is the meeting where positions on the board of directors are open for nomination.

The guest speaker for the evening will be second-generation late-model racer Bryan Bernheisel.

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