Museum, club offer dirt track events
While the local racing season has ended, this will still be a busy weekend for some area race fans.
Both the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing and the York County Racing Club will be active.
It’s an open house weekend at the EMMR. The museum will be open on both Saturday and Sunday, with activities planned for both days. Saturday is dedicated to drag racing. York's Darwin Doll will head up Saturday’s activities.
On Sunday, things move over to the dirt trackin’ side of things, with a discussion of local stock car racing in the 1950s. Four surviving racers from that era are expected to be on hand for the group discussion.
Mechanic Davey Brown Sr. got his start with Johnny Mackison Sr. during the mid-1950s and has been active ever since. Brown, who lives near Pinchot Park, has seen victory lane so many times that his exact numbers may never be known. Estimates place his win total at more than 1,000.
Brown’s most recent win came this past summer with Donnie Kreitz Jr. Along the way, he has been with numerous drivers, including Dick Tobias, Bobby Gerhart, Kramer Williamson, Lynn Paxton, Doug Wolfgang and Kreitz. There are probably several more I have missed.
On the driver side of things, Leroy Felty, Gene Goodling and George Speck will be on hand at the EMMR.
Felty raced from 1950 into the 1980s and was a winner all over the area. He won championships at Port Royal, Selinsgrove and with URC. My totals show him with at least 103 wins in the sprint cars and their predecessors.
Goodling started his career in the 1950s and raced until he was seriously injured at the end of the 1964 racing season. He won several point titles at both Lincoln and Susquehanna. I have found 36 wins for Goodling during his career.
Speck was one of the top runners during the 1950s in the area and did a little late model racing in the 1960s. He won three consecutive track titles at Williams Grove in the 1950s, and was also a Reading champion. I have found 13 wins for Speck during his career in the stock cars that preceded the sprint cars in this area. He also earned a late model win during his brief return to racing.
Brown and Goodling started at the long-gone Bowling Green speedway near Jefferson, while Felty started at another long-gone speedway, Hilltop, near his Jonestown home. I’m not sure where Speck got his start.
The York County Racing Club, meanwhile, has its annual Christmas party planned for Sunday at noon. As always, the YCRC will provide the main course and each family is asked to bring along a covered dish.
There will be entertainment for the children and Santa will make an appearance. Parents are asked to bring a gift for Santa to present to their children.
Leading winners: Here's a quick check of the season record books to find the area’s leading winners this season.
Of course in the sprint car ranks, Spring Grove’s Greg Hodnett is the win leader. Hodnett won 16 local features in the sprint cars, plus one in Florida with the All Stars. Add in a 360 sprint win and Hodnett’s season total stands at 18. Danny Dietrich matched Hodnett with 16 local wins, but none outside the area.
In the 358 sprint ranks, Brad McClelland is the area’s win leader. McClelland won eight times this season, with all but one of those wins coming at Trailway. Overall point champion Doug Hammaker was second with six wins.
Mark Smith led the way in the 360 sprints among local racers. Smith won six races on the local circuit and added two in Canada and one each in Florida and New York state. Curt Michael’s six URC wins rank second.
Sportsman 100 winner Chad Criswell led the winged super sportsman circuit with five wins, one more than Scott Geesey had. In wingless sportsman competition at Path Valley, Carmen Perigo Jr. led the way with seven wins.
Jeff Rine’s nine wins led the local late-model racers. Rine won five times at Selinsgrove, three times at Bedford, and once at Port Royal. Kyle Hardy and J.T. Spence each had six wins.
Ralph Morgan Jr. was the area’s leading limited late model winner. Although five of Morgan’s nine wins came at Hesston, he also won at Lincoln, Williams Grove, Hagerstown, and Path Valley. Scott Palmer’s eight wins at Hagerstown rank second.
In the street stock, pure stock and pro stock ranks, Hagerstown’s big winner, Mike Corbin, ranks first with eight wins. Six-time Williams Grove winner Jeff Haag is second.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.