Hello again race fans. Today marks the end of the outdoor racing season here in central Pa. Susquehanna Speedway Park hosts the 410 and 358 sprint cars this afternoon. Gates open at noon with racing at 2. The race has an open tire rule.
The Juniata County Agricultural Society held their annual membership meeting Thursday night. Two new Board of Directors will be seated at a re-organization meeting, which will be held Tuesday night. Area businessman Dick Aumiller of Milroy and Dave Cisney of Port Royal have been elected to the board. Leaving the board was Carol Renninger and Francis Cooper, who informed President Tom Little he would not accept another term. Marian Mark, Perry Shellenberger and Joanne Heckert were returned for another four-year term. At Tuesday night's meeting, directors will vote on 2011 officers. The Society has operated Port Royal Speedway since 1965 when they took over control from the Penn Central Racing Association.
Things could be changing at the historic track. One of the items under discussion in coming weeks will be if the speedway will continue business as usual or be leased to a private party who will assume day-to-day operation of the track. At least two individuals are interested in securing a lease of the facility - one a car owner and another is a promoter of another facility. Out of respect to all parties concerned, I will not divulge their names at this point, but both are good people and could do the job. The bigger question is if the votes are there to lease the track out. Currently it appears that the group is split on which way they will proceed. Make no mistake - whatever happens, change is coming to the operation. It's going to be interesting to watch and there isn't much time to make a decision. I'll keep you posted as issues become clear.
On a good note, injured driver Shane Hmiel was transferred to a hospital near Charlotte after making excellent progress from very serious injuries Oct. 9 at Terre Haute in Indiana. Hmiel is the son of NASCAR race team executive Steve Hmiel. Hmiel suffered a bruised spinal cord, broken neck, back, and shoulder blade. He still has a vent tube in his throat, but is able to sit up in a chair and watched football last weekend. He is expected to walk again. His circulation is good in his feet and he has feeling but his lower back is still too swollen to attempt to walk.
David Pearson will appear at the 2011 Motorsports show at Philadelphia Expo Center near Oaks, PA. The show runs from January 21-23. Pearson will sign autographs January 22. For more information call (609)-888-3618.
Ray Evernham has stepped in to help secure investors to attempt a buyout of Richard Petty Motorsports. Evernham personally financed the last three races to allow the team to finish the season. He indicates he does not want to own the team again, but will do what ever is needed to help Richard Petty succeed.
Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing will remain in the Chevrolet camp for 2011 and beyond. When it came down do it, they didn't want to sever ties with their engine program in cooperation with Richard Childress Racing.
The Sprint Cup cars race at Phoenix this weekend. ESPN has TV coverage. Jimmie Johnson is the defending race champion. Johnson trails Denny Hamlin in the title chase by 33 points.
Justin Henderson plans to stay in the Sorokach Racing No. 35 for 2011. Also Daryn Pittman will return in the Heffner Racing No. 27.
Danny Smith will return from an injury timeout to race with the World of Outlaws next season.
I notice Sharon Speedway has dropped sprint cars from their weekly racing program for next year.
Brian Montieth is headed to Australia to race in December and January. Also look for the driver to follow the eastern All-Star Circuit of Champions chase next year. In fact All Star President Guy Webb informed me he has lined up a number of other Pa. drivers that will go for the separate east coast pa out. It could make the local tracks thin in car counts some weekends.
That's going to do it for another week. Until next time, please drive safely.