Hello again race fans.
The Keystone Cup sprint car series is in full swing. Daryn Pittman managed to win at Grandview Speedway Wednesday night while Greg Hodnett finished second. Hodnett has been looking better the last couple weeks after spanking the World of Outlaws at Williams Grove Speedway. Not only did Hodnett do well, but everyone did. Donny Schatz was the only Outlaw traveler to crack the top 10. Lucas Wolfe was the top time trialer among the travelers. Wolfe set the 11th-quickest time. But one thing that could help local racers across the country is that the Outlaws have lost five full time teams since the season began. That has to mean more opportunities for the hometown guys.
Getting back to the Keystone Cup series, Lincoln Speedway has action tonight. Selinsgrove hosts tomorrow's Cup race and Port Royal closes things out Monday night starting at 7 p.m. That's right - 7 p.m. and not 5 p.m. as was previously announced. That's because of the conditions that occurred during the recent All-Star race at Port Royal. Hopefully the track will hold up and allow for a good race. Pro stock drivers should also note that their race will now be a 50-point appearance show and drivers will draw for starting positions. This will allow outside cars the chance to compete.
We have a battle of the late models taking place this weekend. Bedford Speedway hosts the Three-State Flyers Series tomorrow night. The $3,000-to-win show also includes action for the super sportsman, street stocks and four-cylinder cars. Monday night is reserved as a rain date.
At the same time Bedford is running that show, the All-Star late models are running a $7,000-to-win race at Central Pa. Speedway, near Clearfield. The All-Star show has a low admission price and also reserves Monday as a rain date. Who will go where? The 12 cars committed to the Three-States series will be at Bedford. So will the locals. So I wonder what will happen at Clearfield and I also wonder what the fans will do. I don't like to see these kinds of events taking place at the same time. But I feel surely this won't be the last time this type of thing happens this season.
One driver that struggled May 15 at Bedford was Bo Feathers. The late model star was stuck in the rear of the field during the feature event. That doesn't happen often. Scotty Haus was the feature winner.
Tonight, Port Royal Speedway hosts the 358 & 305 sprint cars, late models and powder puff cars. Action gets under way at 7 p.m.
The Hagerstown Speedway hosts the Three-State Flyers series and a pure stock special. Selinsgrove has its regular show. Both tracks starts at 7 p.m.
Before I forget, there are a couple items I have neglected the past couple weeks. Mcveytown driver Roger Laughlin recently won the late model feature at Dog Hollow Speedway, near Strongstown. Laughlin is no stranger to victory lane and is a former Selinsgrove Speedway star. He comes from the racing family that started with Ron Grassmyer, of Longfellow. Another member of that group is late model driver Todd Snook. who has been absent the past couple of weeks due to mechanical problems. But he should be back in action tonight.
Most area speedways were rained out last Saturday night. Lincoln Speedway tried to operate and managed to get their heat races in but the show was canceled after two laps were run in the feature.
Rick Eckert broke his winless streak last weekend at Lincoln (Ill.) Speedway. Eckert was winless since last June in Canada. Eckert beat "Kid Rocket" Josh Richard Sunday night in a World of Outlaws late model race.
I notice that the Clinton County Speedway has a nice field of sprint cars which include several local stars. Daryl Stimeling, Curt and Rod Stroup competed there last week. Also in the field were "Cowboy" Jim Kennedy, Roger Fickett and Bobby Howard who won the feature. Look for Kennedy to be in action tonight at Port Royal in 305 sprint car action.
Two western Pa. drivers that used to race regularly at Port Royal ran 1-2 last Friday night at Lernerville Speedway. Rod George outdueled Kevin Schaeffer to record the win. The pair beat Ed Lynch Jr., who had won three straight races.
As most of you know, most of our car manufacturers are basically bankrupt. General Motors announced it is eliminating Pontiac and possibly Saturn. Roger Penske has indicated he is interested in purchasing the Saturn brand from General Motors. Penske owns the second-largest automotive retail chain in the country as well as Detroit Diesel motors. Most of what he touches turns out well. Hopefully some American jobs can be saved by his interest.
I haven't commented on the Jeremy Mayfield situation with drugs in NASCAR until now. Mayfield was suspended after failing a drug test and some of his peers immediately piled on making Mayfield appear guilty until proven innocent. Mayfield has come out and stated he took a prescribed drug which interacted with an over-the-counter medicine that caused him to test positive. NASCAR's doctor is currently denying that claim. However, Mayfield has been pretty open in his discussions about the situation and now other drivers are stepping forward and want a list of all types of drugs that are being tested for.
Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman and Brian Vickers are asking NASCAR to clarify the situation publicly to the drivers and fans. NASCAR is stating it may reevaluate the situation if enough drivers request it. Come on. I don't know if Jeremy Mayfield was doing something he shouldn't have been but he doesn't look like a guilty party right now. This situation could have been handled in a better way than it was. Guilty until proven innocent is not what this policy should be about.
If Mayfield didn't test positive for marijuana, cocaine or heroin and it was prescription drugs, maybe NASCAR could have asked for clarification before jumping straight to a suspension. Since NASCAR always seems to do things in private, folks don't get the whole story. I understand the need for privacy, but a man's life and career is at stake here. And his fans want to know the truth.
Just my opinion.
Good job Tony Stewart on winning last week's NASCAR All-Star race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Stewart is the second driver/owner to win the event in 25 years. Geoff Bodine was the other.
The All-Star race was the best NASCAR show I've seen in years. NASCAR needs to look at the format for some of its other races in hope of putting some excitement back in the program.
The Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600 are Sunday. Both are major events in the world of racing. Richard Petty and John Andretti entered a car at Indy and made the show. I might actually watch some of this race because of that. The IndyCar Series never realized its goal of returning champ car racing to American drivers. What it needs is a couple of sprint car racers entered in the program to create some excitement.
Just one more opinion.
While Memorial Day weekend is full of racing, let us not forget those who have left us. That is the real reason for this holiday. Spend some time with family and friends while paying respect to loved ones who went before us. Then we can go racing. Thank goodness I don't normally say 'boogity, boogity, boogity!' Who else besides me thinks Darrell Waltrip should moth ball that saying for awhile?
Until next time please drive safely!
Craig Rutherford writes about motorsports for The Sentinel. He is affiliated with Port Royal Speedway.