Hello again race fans. Weather is an issue again this weekend in racing. Friday's program at Williams Grove Speedway was lost to weather. They are scheduled to race tonight with their first Saturday night $5 general admission show of the year. The street stocks, 358 late models and super sportsman are in action. Race time is 6:30 p.m.
At Selinsgrove Speedway, the 358 sprint cars are joined by the late models, pro stocks and roadrunners. Racing gets under way at 6 p.m. Selinsgrove had a low 358 sprint car count last week and hopefully they will bounce back this week. Originally it was thought that Mark Smith would join the 358 action last week at Selinsgrove, but with Port Royal running a draw for position 410 sprint car show, Smith stuck with the 410 class. That will likely be the case if racing takes place tonight. Port Royal will run a draw show again this evening.
Speaking of Port Royal, the sprint cars are joined by late models, pro stocks, and enduro cars this evening 7. Ryan Taylor won the sprint car feature at Port Royal last week.
Hagerstown Speedway is running a three-division show tonight at 7. The late models headline the show. Jeremy Miller held off two-time World of Outlaws champion Josh Richards last week in the opener. Lewistown's Nick Dickson finished 10th in the event.
Lincoln Speedway has a three card program of 410, and 358 sprint cars, plus thundercars tonight at 6. Mark Bittinger won his second career sprint car feature last week and flipped after the checkered flag. Bittinger didn't realize the race was over and crashed while trying to pass a lapped car. Fortunately, little damage was done to his racer.
That leads me to a point. Many drivers I talk to have told me they seldom watch the flagman. They are concentrating on watching the safety lights. That is especially true today since speeds have escalated in short track racing. It's a wonder more incidents like Bittinger's do not occur.
There is 410 sprint car action scheduled tomorrow at the Susquehanna Speedway. The ARDC midgets are also on the card. Racing starts at 6 p.m. Susquehanna is also scheduled this evening for its popular stock car program.
Bedford Speedway is scheduled to open Friday night. A decision will be made early in the week if that's going to happen. Promoter J.R. Keiffer told me it is very wet and crews have been unable to get on the track to perform needed work. This weekend's rain isn't helping the problem.
Returning to last week's program at Port Royal, Ryan Taylor won the 410 race. It was the second time Taylor has won an event at the track. His first win came in 2008.
Tyler Walker did not fare well in the feature event. Walker broke the fibula bone in his right leg when a clump of mud came into the car. I could tell it was quite painful as he stopped in front of where I was seated. Despite it all, Walker may be able to race this weekend.
Keith Kauffman was leading his sprint car heat until engine problems sidelined him. Kauffman did not start the feature event.
Waylon Wagner, of Lewistown, won the late model feature last week at Port Royal. It was Wagner's first opening-night late model win of his career. Wagner was concerned his engine may have been hurt during the race and the team had work to do this week.
I had a hunch either he or Tim Wilson was going to win the program and told them both my thoughts before the race. The pair ran well, along with Jeff Rine and early race leader Andy Haus, until trouble came exiting turn 4, where Haus and Wilson made contact.
After contact, Haus was into Rine, who was trying to slip by on the outside. The trio stopped in turn 1 and Rine and Haus were towed to the pits. Wilson checked his car and tried to continue but the toe in was knocked out of the front end and he parked his racer. Wilson will be ready to go this evening.
Wilson and I spoke Friday about track conditions and he gave me some good insights. He compared Hagerstown and Port Royal Speedway's track surfaces and came to the conclusion that part of it is just the design of the two tracks.
"Hagerstown, you more drive the car through the corners," Wilson said. "At Port Royal, it's a momentum deal. You go into the corners and just wing it in there. The sprint cars sometimes bottom out the left frame rail and gouge the track. Then we come out and load the right rear tire the way we do and throw more (dirt) around."
The Sprint Cup racers of NASCAR are at Texas Motor Speedway this evening. Fox has TV coverage starting at 7. Denny Hamlin is the defending race champion. Kevin Harvick beat out Dale Earnhardt Jr. last week at Martinsville. It was Harvick's second win in a row.
Check the weather before heading out to the track tonight. I'll be back next week with more news and opinions. Until then, please drive safely!
Craig Rutherford writes about motorsports for The Sentinel.