Weather becoming a pain for local racers as spring washouts continue
While it is true that the local racing season starts very early, and some bad weather can be expected when racing in late winter and early spring, this season seems to be worse than most.
Strangely, it seems the weather patterns have changed in recent weeks. Early in the season, Williams Grove lost its first four shows — the first on a Sunday, and the next three on Friday. Now the Grove has completed three consecutive Friday programs, the last two with really nice warm weather.
MORE:Marks nabs win at Williams Grove ahead of Saturday’s washout
On the other side of the coin, Lincoln opened the season with five consecutive shows, although the opener was moved to a better day (Saturday to Thursday). Since then, Lincoln has only completed one of the last four shows. Port Royal has lost five early-season shows while completing three.
One effect of last weekend’s weather was bringing several different faces to Williams Grove for the Friday show.
Earlier this season, former USAC wingless star Chris Windom came east to drive a few races for local car owner Michael Heffner. Last Friday, Windom was here driving his regular All Star ride, the Lane Racing No. 4.
Of course, Justin Peck has been a semi-regular local competitor with the Brownstown-based Tom Buch team, but I don’t think last weekend was to be one of his planned local visits.
USAC wingless star Brady Bacon, a multi-time champion with that series, made a visit to the Grove last Friday as well. It marked his first winged start at the Grove in many years.
Sean Rayhall, an Ohio winged sprint racer, made his second local start of the season, while former 360 sprint racer J.J. Hickle made the long tow to compete at the Grove on Friday as well. Hickle is from Washington state, but plans to race regularly at Knoxville from his temporary home in Des Moines. Hickle made the trip after Knoxville’s World of Outlaws weekend was postponed by bad weather.
Third-generation Western PA racing star Sye Lynch also made a stop at the Grove on Friday. Lynch is the grandson of Ed Lynch Sr and the son of Ed Lynch Jr.
Of the visitors, Bacon faired best with a 15th-place run. Peck appeared headed for a win until mechanical problems sidelined his efforts. Ironically, Windom in 16th, Hickle 17th and Rayhall 18th all followed right behind Bacon. Peck was credited with 19th. Lynch won the B-Main but dropped from feature competition and was credited with 22nd.
Many of the visitors stuck around for Sunday’s show at Selinsgrove, won by Danny Dietrich.
Elsewhere, York’s Matt Adams won Friday’s limited late model feature at Clinton County.
The big news for this weekend is that the nationally-known super late model touring series known as the Lucas Oil Late Models will be visiting the local area. The three-day swing will include races in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware.
The swing starts Friday evening with the Melvin Joseph Tribute race at Delaware’s Georgetown Speedway. On Saturday, the series moves to Maryland’s Hagerstown Speedway for the Conococheague 50. The tour wraps up Sunday evening at Port Royal for the Battle in the Borough.
The event at Georgetown honors the memory of the man who built the speedway. Melvin Joseph also built an even more widely known Delaware speedway, the Monster Mile in Dover. This race will award the winner $18,049. The Hagerstown event is named for the creek that flows just behind the speedway, and for which the speedway was originally named. It offers $15,000 to the winner. Hagerstown’s semi lates will also be racing that night.
Port Royal’s second night of racing on the weekend offers $10,000 to the late-model winner. The limited late models are also on the program. The Port also races Saturday evening with the sprints gunning for $6,000 to win, while the super late models and limited late models have full programs as a tune up for Sunday.
Local sprints: Looking to the rest of the weekend schedule, Williams Grove is in action on Friday evening. The 410 sprints will be joined by the URC group with a 358/360 sprint car challenge event.
The USAC East Coast wingless 360 sprints venture out to Bedford on Friday to join the late model sportsmen and several other stock car classes.
Lincoln is in action on Saturday with the 410 sprints, the 358 sprints and the Penn Mar vintage racing series.
At Path Valley on Saturday, the wingless super sportsmen are joined by the Central PA Legends series racers and the micro sprints.
BAPS Motor Speedway has a two-race weekend on the books. Saturday is the Larry Jackson Tribute Race, which honors one of the true legends of super sportsman racing. Jackson won 83 times in the series and stands fifth on the all-time career win list. The super sportsmen will headline, with the limited late models going in twin 20-lap features. Scramble cars will also be in action.
On Sunday, BAPS is right back in action with the 410 sprints headlining a show that also includes the 358 modifieds.
2023 J & S CLASSICS CENTRAL PA SPRINT CAR SERIES presented by HOSEHEADS
Listing: position, car number, driver, points, series wins
1. 48 Danny Dietrich 333 1
2. 23 Devon Borden 291 2
3. 8/51 Freddie Rahmer 276 2
4. 39M Anthony Macri 231 1
5. 99M Kyle Moody 160 1
6. 13 Justin Peck 145 1
7. 5 Dylan Cisney 142 1
8. 2D Chase Dietz 140 1
9. 91 Kyle Reinhardt 119
10. 19 Brent Marks 115 1
10. 69k Lance Dewease 115 1
12. 5w Lucas Wolfe 113 1
13. 75/5 Tyler Ross 90
14. 26 Zeb Wise 80 1
15. 5e Brandon Rahmer 68
16. 45 Jeff Halligan 63
17. 67 Justin Whittall 58
18. 33 Gerard McIntyre Jr 54
19. 39 Troy Wagaman Jr 52
20. 24 Rico Abreu 50 1
20. 44 Dylan Norris 50
22. 11 T J Stutts 46
22. 16 Matt Campbell 46
24. 1x Chad Trout 45
24. 4 Zane Rudisill 45