Hello again race fans. There's plenty to discuss this week in local racing. First let's talk about the weekend's schedule.
Port Royal Speedway presents a four division show of sprint cars, super sportsman, late models and pro stocks tonight. Race time is 7.
Selinsgrove Speedway presents the URC/358 Jack Gunn Memorial Race tonight starting at 7. Other classes in action are the late models and roadrunners.
The World of Outlaws late models race at Hagerstown Speedway this evening at 7. The 29th annual Conococheague 50-lap feature will pay the winner $10,000. Pure stocks fill out the show.
Lincoln Speedway host 410 and 358 sprint cars plus thundercars. 7 is the starting time there. Hesston Speedway has limited late and crate late models plus support classes at 7.
And it's not too early to talk about the Keystone Cup sprint car series, which starts May 26 at Grandview, then the cars visit Hagerstown, Williams Grove, Lincoln and Selinsgrove through May 30. The finale is at Port Royal on May 31. The website for details is www.keystonecupsprints.com.
Here is a schedule correction for Port Royal fans. The ladies powder puff cars will race at the track May 22 instead of the enduro cars, which will be there on May 29.
Bedford Speedway canceled Friday after morning rain. Crews were unable to work on the track all week due to weather and the rain finished things off. Bedford hosts the World of Outlaws late models Memorial Day weekend. The May 28 show includes the American Outlaw series and street stocks.
Williams Grove Speedway raced Thursday night with the World of Outlaws sprint cars. The Outlaws got beat. Chad Layton was the winner. There were 46 cars; 28 started the feature. The Grove also was slated to race with the Outlaws Friday.
Please keep WJUN Racing Round Up personality Cowboy Teen Little and his family in your thoughts and prayers. Cowboy has been battling health issues for a couple years now and took a downhill turn this week. Little has accomplished a lot in life. He is an accomplished singer, performing in bands and presenting the National Anthem at Port Royal. Little has also been active in the Millerstown Moose Lodge for years.
It's with sadness that I mention the passing of a great race track announcer from the area. Jack Frazier, the longtime voice of Silver Spring Speedway, departed us May 7. Frazier was 84 and battled heart problems for some time. Frazier also announced in Fredericksburg, Pa., and once owned race cars. His trademark slogan was "What time is it? It's feature time at Silver Springs." Frazier is survived by three sons.
John Snyder penned a good column on race track preparation last week in trade paper Area Auto Racing News. Snyder correctly states that preparing a track is not an exact science and that what works at one track may not work at another. The state Department of Environmental Protection has been visiting dirt tracks in our region and are urging the use of chemicals to control dust.
One, called Water Wetter, has been somewhat successful at Selinsgrove and Bedford. Pennzoil also is making a product which is supposed to help sand surfaces by making the sand heavy enough that it drops back to the ground. I have no idea if it works. Sources tell me Bedford and Hesston Speedways have been visited by DEP officials.
Indy car racing is coming to the streets of Baltimore in 2011. A road course will be erected through the streets around Inner Harbor and Camden Yards. The IRL also would like to race in Philadelphia through streets and Fairmount Park. Talks are quietly going on with politicians.
Hats off to Nicole Bower on becoming the first female to win a sprint car race at Williams Grove Speedway. Bower won the 358 race there last weekend. Bower also won a 358 race at Port Royal last year.
Speaking of female racers, I recently was asked about Judi Bates, the only woman to win a 410 sprint car feature at Port Royal. Bates recently competed at Clinton County Speedway, finishing third.
Cody Darrah is healing well and hopes to race the Knoxville, Iowa Sprint Car Nationals in August. Darrah was injured in a traffic accident during Speed Weeks in Florida in February.
Jeff Swinell returned to racing in a 360 sprint car and won at Riverside International Speedway in Arkansas last weekend.
Dale Blaney took some heat from All Star Officials and fellow All Star drivers for not coming to Pennsylvania last weekend. Blaney stayed at Eldora Speedway in Ohio. He faces penalties from the All Stars for not supporting the series. Blaney is a past champion who is under contract to run All Star shows.
Congratulations to Derek Byler on winning his first super late model feature last Friday night at Bedford Speedway. Byler's parents were celebrating their wedding anniversary so it made their night extra special. Byler finished second to Waylon Wagner at Port Royal two weeks ago. While Byler was winning at Bedford, Wagner won at Clinton County Speedway. These guys keep tabs on their friends and Wagner wanted to know how Byler and Nick Dickson had made out. Wagner was happy to hear Byler won. It goes to show that they are competitors on the track, but there are a lot of friends in the pit area later.
Matt Parks had a career high second place super late model finish last Friday night at Bedford. Parks has been doing some Saturday racing at Port Royal.
Bob Altman has taken possession of Mercer Speedway in Butler. Altman already raised the purse for sprint cars and the track is off to a great start.
Until next week, please drive safely!
Craig Rutherford writes about motorsports for The Sentinel. He is associated with Port Royal Speedway.