HOUSEHOLDER: A look back at the 2017 champions of sprint car racing
With the 2017 season at a close, it's time to take a look at some of this year’s stock car champions and then a glance at some of the special awards winners from some recent banquets.
In the super late model ranks, Mike Lupfer won his third Port Royal title in the past four years. Lupfer scored one win on his way to the title.
At Selinsgrove, there was a tie for the point championship in the super late model ranks. Tony Adams tied with Hayes Mattern for the title. For Adams, who won once, it was his second Selinsgrove championship, while for three-time winner Mattern, it marked his second title.
A little farther away, Newberrytown’s Jason Covert won the Potomac point title, with three wins there, while Jeff Rine won another Bedford title with two wins.
In the limited late model ranks, Travis Mease won the overall title between Trailway, Lincoln and a few races at Susquehanna. In Susquehanna’s regular season, Manchester’s Randy Christine Jr. scored his second consecutive title on the strength of four wins. Tim Fedder won the Econo late model title at Port Royal.
Strinestown’s Tommy Slanker won the pro stock title at Selinsgrove thanks seven wins. Craig Morgan was the Susquehanna street stock titlist.
Alex Updegraff won Susky’s xtreme stock title, while Bill Powell was the champion in that division at Port Royal. Selinsgrove’s roadrunner class also had a tie for the title between multi-time champion Kieth Bissinger and Will Bunson.
Banquet awards: Lincoln and Port Royal held banquets last Saturday, Nov. 11, while Selinsgrove held it’s awards banquet a week earlier.
As always some special awards were handed out along with the points awards.
At Lincoln, second-generation driver Cole Young was named the sprint car Rookie of the Year, while second-year 410 racer, Dillsburg’s Anthony Macri, was named Most Improved. The Harry Fletcher Memorial Sportsmanship award went to York’s Glenndon Forsythe. York’s Scott Zellers won the Mechanic of the Year award.
In the 358 sprint class, veteran super sportsman racer Steve Wilbur won Rookie of the Year, while Ashley Cappetta was the Most Improved driver. Veteran Phil Walter got the Harry Fletcher Memorial Sportsmanship award.
At Port Royal’s banquet, western Pennsylvania driver A.J. Flick, who won the Lernerville point title, was named Rookie of the Year, while second-year 410 racer Kody Lehman was the Most Improved. The Sportsmanship award went to veteran racer Mike Wagner.
In the late models, Chad Myers was named Rookie of the Year, while Dave Brouse Jr. was Most Improved. Trent Brenneman was the Sportsmanship award winner.
Sportsmanship awards went to Zach Newlin in the 305 sprints, J.R. Toner in the Econo late models and Kevin Imes in the xtreme stocks.
At Selinsgrove, Jim Collier won the Joe Whitcomb Memorial Sportsman Ship award, while Rookie of the Year honors went to Justin Whittall in the 360 sprints, Nathan Long in the late models and Shaun Lawton in the prostocks.
Indoor racing: The indoor racing season will start very soon with the northeast’s first indoor dirt race in many years.
The event will host the 600cc micro sprints and will be held in Trenton, New Jersey from Dec. 1-2.
A number of drivers from many ranks will be competing in the micros for this event. Of note to local sprint car fans, Lincoln 410 sprint champion Brian Montieth will take his first indoor micro ride, while Ryan Smith, who finished second in the All-Star Sprint series, will return to indoor racing. Smith’s previous indoor experience came on the cement with the TQ Midgets.
Brothers Michael and Brian Carber will also be competing. Younger brother Brian has been active in outdoor micro and sprint car competition for a number of years. Michael has not raced for a few years while serving on pit crews, first for Kasey Kahne’s sprint car teams, and more recently for Roger Penske’s NASCAR operation.
A few other noteworthy competitors include modified ace Billy Pauch Jr., midget standouts Alex and Brendon Bright and the versatile Tim Buckwalter. There are sure to be many more, as 100 cars are expected.
Thunder in the PA Mountains: As he has for every year since 1986, Dillsburg’s Lynn Schaeffer has released another edition of Thunder in the PA Mountains.
Schaeffer’s video productions are known worldwide as a recap of the PA openwheel racing season.
As always Schaeffer’s productions are first class, with four hours of highlights from the local sprint car, and super sportsman racing season. There is also coverage of the winter indoor series, some midget and micro sprint racing, all the visiting touring groups, and, not to mention, PA Speedweek.
— Reach Bryan Householder at email@example.com