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Trio gets to work at speedway

Commentary

November 27, 2010
By CRAIG RUTHERFORD, Sentinel correspondent

Hello again race fans. The big news of the week comes from Port Royal Speedway, where plenty of changes are being made. Port Royal resident Steve O'Neal has been named race director by the fair board and has two new assistants.

Shawn Brouse of Beavertown will be the primary announcer and public relations person at the track. John Krall of York becomes assistant announcer and will also help O'Neal in organizing race programs. The trio hopes to have a rough draft of the 2011 schedule together in the next week.

This is the second time the speedway has allowed O'Neal to operate independently as a race director. The first one ended badly when O'Neal left the position after several months of hard work after promises were made to him that weren't kept. O'Neal is a good guy and he will do a good job if left to do his job. I wish him the best.

There are some hurt feeling that naturally come when a major shakeup like this occurs. Tommy Little is understandably upset to a point. Newly elected board president Don Clark stated in Area Auto Racing News this week that it "is not all his fault."

Little thought the election would be tied going into the meeting based on his own polling of members. He would have been allowed to cast the deciding vote and been retained as president. But three individuals defected from his camp when the secret ballot was conducted. That has left him understandably hurt and he would rather they told him up front they were not supporting him.

I don't think you have seen the end of his involvement in racing and he will land on his feet in the future.

Eric Zembower has purchased a car from Mike Lupfer for the 2011 season. Zembower has been a Port Royal regular and is a two-time late model winner at the track.

Kenny Wallace will be signing autographs Jan. 22 at the Motorsports 2011 show held in Oaks, near Philadelphia. Wallace joins David Pearson at the show.

Vern Wasson has announced he will have three wingless sprint car races at Clinton County Speedway in 2011.

The Lincoln and Selinsgrove banquets were held last weekend. Brian Montieth was crowned Lincoln's 2010 sprint car champion. Crew chief Scott Zellers was named mechanic of the year. Brent Marks was the most improved driver.

Pat Cannon was crowned Selinsgrove Speedway 358 sprint car champion last week. Jeff Rine went home with late model title No. 6. The last four have been in a row. Rine owns 60 wins at the Snyder County oval. Dylan Yoder was named rookie of the year.

I've been mentioning North Wilkesboro (N.C.) Speedway in recent weeks and they have announced the Pro All Star series will run a 300-lap event April 7-9, 2011. The winner will receive $75,000. Total purse is set at more than $150,000.

Ray Evernham is talking with Rick Hendricks about a possible return to Hendrick Motorsports where he may participate in special projects. Evernham had a non-compete clause in his contract after selling out to George Gillett, who owes Evernham a lot of unpaid money. Evernham supports Richard Petty in his attempts to take control of the race team from Gillett. Current reports indicate Richard Petty Motorsports will close the doors, then the team will resurface as a two-car operation led by Petty under a new ownership group. Ford Motor Co. and other parts suppliers are helping the team stay together.

Kasey Kahne was scheduled to have surgery on both knees this week. The procedure was to clean up cartilage and he will be on the shelf for six weeks.

Plenty of upgrades are being performed to NASCAR Sprint Cup racetracks. New rest rooms and concession stands are being constructed at Martinsville, Va. Phoenix will be rebanked and paved after the 2011 spring race.

It's with sadness we learn car builder Buck Buckley has contracted cancer. Buckley originally built sprint cars in the Kennet Square area. Later he moved west to Phoenix. No word on his status at this point.

That's going to do it for another week. Until next time, please drive safely!

Craig Rutherford writes about motorsports for The Sentinel.

 
 
 

 

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