PA Sprint Car Speedweek arrives this evening at Port Royal Speedway.
The 305 sprint cars are also part of the program. Mifflintown's own Keith Kauffman is scheduled to make his first start of the season at the Juniata County oval. Kauffman recently turned 60 and took over the Trone Outdoor Advertising No. 39 for Speedweek. Doug Esh struggled in the ride and has moved on to the Pancho Lawler No. 93. Both Esh and Kauffman are good drivers and hopefully they can get their new teams headed in the right direction.
Kauffman won the Speedweek title back in 1996.
Speedweek concludes tomorrow night at Selinsgrove Speedway when the Jan Opperman Memorial race will be presented.
I notice Dave Blaney raced a sprint car at Hagerstown Speedway Wednesday night during the Speedweek race. Blaney has been a start and park NASCAR Cup driver the last two years. It will be nice to see Blaney actually be able to race.
Tyler Walker won the Grandview Speedweek race Tuesday night. Walker did his normal back flip. Then he went to the hospital. His diagnosis - a torn ACL ligament in his knee, caused by doing the back flip. Not good for a guy who is just turning his racing career around.
Ed Lynch of Apollo won Sunday night's sprint car feature at Bedford Speedway. Lynch normally races in Western Pennsylvania and Ohio. The Bedford late model feature was a good one for the second week in a row. Jack Pencil beat Derek Byler on the final lap to record the win. Pencil was not aware that his pass came on the way to the checkered flag. He was so intense while concentrating on racing, that he never saw the flag man.
Here's a neat little note. One, two , three at Lakeside Speedway in an Outlaw race recently were Steve Kinser, Jac Haudenschild and Sammy Swindell. Their ages are 56, 52 and 54, respectively. All are Hall of Famers and it speaks well for age and experience. Age is only a number if reflexes, eyesight and most of all, desire are present. I'm glad for them and Keith Kauffman. Only they can say when it's time to call it a career. If they're having fun, that's all that matters. Joe Paterno is another example of that.
I was glad to see young Eric Tomecek win the 358 sprint car feature last Saturday night at Port Royal. Tomecek was driving the John Westbrook-owned car. Westbrook called Tomecek a diamond in the rough. They won their second night racing together.
There's a new sprint car point leader at Port Royal Speedway. Chad Layton holds a five-point lead over Rick Lafferty. Tim Wilson leads Scotty Haus in late model points by 45.
In the NASCAR Cup division, action returns to Daytona Beach this weekend. The Coke Zero 400 is tonight starting at 7:30. TNT has TV coverage starting at 6:30. Tony Stewart is the defending race champion. Jimmie Johnson enters the race fresh off a win at New Hampshire International Speedway last week. Kevin Harvick remains on top of the Cup point standings, 105 ahead of Johnson.
The Nationwide race was Friday night. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was scheduled to race the Wrangler Jeans Machine No. 3 in honor of his father. The event also marked the introduction of new car models.
Ford debuted the Mustang and Dodge unveiled the Challenger. Ford may also run the Mustang in Cup racing starting next year. NASCAR will allow bumpers that look like the street cars to start making them like what a person can buy in the show room. That's a good thing for manufacturers if they want to sell cars and win races.
Have a safe and happy holiday weekend. I'll be back next week with more news and opinions. Until then, please drive safely!
Craig Rutherford writes about motorsports for The Sentinel. He is associated with Port Royal Speedway.