Local racing community mourns loss of multiple longtime legends
It’s been a tough couple of weeks for some of the people who helped make this area one of the best for racing.
Over the past two weeks, the local area has lost three people who had long and productive auto racing careers. Two weeks ago, Leroy Felty and Mike Miller passed away. Last week, we lost Sharon Williamson.
Brothers in arms: York’s Mike Miller, along with his brother Jeff Boll, fielded sprint cars on the local circuit for many years. In fact, this season would have been their 50th as car owners. Miller and Boll started with the sprint cars back in the early 1970s and had a host of well-known drivers in their cars for many years. When the old KARS organization started the 358 sprint class, Miller and Boll moved to those cars and have been there ever since.
It was with the 358 sprint cars that they had their most success, scoring a number of wins with several different drivers. Miller will be missed by everyone, but especially by his brother, Boll, who was always by his side.
All-around winner: Leroy Felty was a pioneer driver on the local circuit for many years. His career started in the early 1950s with the full-sized stock cars that competed weekly on local tracks at that time. He progressed through the bugs and into the sprint cars. One thing remained constant in Felty’s long and colorful career — in any of those cars, he was a winner and a champion. When the local area first introduced late models, Felty was at the forefront there and won often with those cars as well.
While the records of many wins from Felty’s early years in the stock cars may never be found, his win stats include at least 118, including 31 with URC, where he was a multi time champion in the early 1970s. In late models, he won at least 22 times.
It was just a few years ago when, at age 90, Felty made his farewell tour, taking his vintage sprint car to many of the area’s vintage meets and making laps at all the venues. On more than one occasion during that year, Felty was asked to slow down as he was going faster than those folks allow.
Felty was to have served as the grand marshal this year at the Old Timers Convention at the Latimore Valley Fairgrounds. Felty’s wife, Betty, passed at the same time he did. Felty was a member of the York County Racing Club’s Hall of Fame.
Family business: Sharon Williamson had been fighting a long battle with kidney disease. She had a donor ready, but her health never allowed the transplant to happen. Perhaps best known as the wife and widow of the late Hall of Fame driver Kramer Williamson, Sharon did much more in the sport.
Her father, Lyle Beahm, was a winning stock car driver in the area during the 1950s. When he stopped driving, Lyle Beahm became a race official at Williams Grove and the other tracks on the Richwine and then Gunn-promoted circuit. Sharon and her sisters followed their father into the racing business, serving as race scorers for many years at those same tracks.
It was while working as a race scorer that Sharon met Kramer Williamson, whom she would eventually marry. While Williamson continued his Hall of Fame career as a driver and car builder, Sharon worked by his side and then also with the URC organization when Kramer raced there.
After Kramer Williamson was fatally injured in a URC sprint car crash at Lincoln Speedway, Sharon and their children, Kurt and Felicia, have been regulars at many events during the season bringing along one of Kramer’s famed Pink Panther No. 73 racers. Each year, they would put together a number of sponsorships for the Kramer Kup race, assembling a large purse for the sprint car racers in the event honoring Kramer’s memory. In recent years, that race has been held at Lincoln Speedway.
Just last January, Sharon Williamson was honored with the Paul Miller Memorial President’s Award by the York County Racing Club.
Williams Grove will be back in action Friday with a Yellow Breeches event for the 410 sprint cars, along with the 358 sprint cars.
Bedford will host the late model sportsmen and the wingless super sportsmen as part of their Friday show, while the USAC East Coast wingless 360 sprint cars are at Clinton County and the URC winged 360 sprint cars are at Big Diamond.
On Saturday, Lincoln with host the 410 sprints and 358 sprints, while the World of Outlaw late models join the 410 sprint cars at Port Royal.
BAPS Motor Speedway will see action for the super sportsmen, limited late models, 602 modifieds and Central PA Legends series cars on Saturday, while at Selinsgrove the PASS 305 sprints, limited late models and roadrunners compete.
Path Valley has action Saturday for the limited late models and micro sprints.
YCRC: The York County Racing Club will host a general membership meeting on Wednesday evening at the club hall in Zions View. The meeting is set to start at 7:30 p.m. with refreshments beforehand. Extreme stock driver Ty Huntsburger will be the guest speaker.
2023 J & S CLASSICS CENTRAL PA SPRINT CAR SERIES presented by HOSEHEADS
Listing: position, car number, driver, points, series wins
1. 48 Danny Dietrich 453 1
2. 8/51 Freddie Rahmer 361 3
3. 39m Anthony Macri 351 3
4. 23 Devon Borden 342 2
5. 2D Chase Dietz 190 2
6. 19 Brent Marks 185 1
7. 99M Kyle Moody 180 1
8. 5 Dylan Cisney 180 1
9. 13 Justin Peck 173 1
10. 91 Kyle Reinhardt 139
11. 75/5 Tyler Ross 133
12. 69k Lance Dewease 131 1
13. 45 Jeff Halligan 118
14. 5w Lucas Wolfe 113 1
15 24 Rico Abreu 105 1
15. 49 Brad Sweet 105 1
17. 5e Brandon Rahmer 102
18. 67 Justin Whittall 92
19. 44 Dylan Norris 85
20. 11 T J Stutts 84
21. 26 Zeb Wise 80 1
22. 39 Troy Wagaman Jr 77
22. 1x Chad Trout 77
24. 12 Blane Heimbach 75 1
25. 35/11a Austin Bishop 62
25. 16 Matt Campbell 62