PA Posse and Port Royal Speedway fans should be walking tall this week after Tyler Walker won the $50,000 Kings Royale Sprint Car race at Eldora Speedway. Walker inherited the lead on the final lap after Sammy Swindell blew a tire. Still, you have to put yourself in a position to win and Walker capitalized on Swindell's misfortune. To me, Walker reminds me of the late Jan Opperman. His free spirit attitude and talent driving a sprint car shines through. I congratulate him and the entire Jesse Keen owned race team on their win.
I spoke with a number of late model drivers after the most recent Port Royal feature and several had the same concern. They are worried if they will be a regular division in 2012 at the Juniata County oval. They want to be for sure. It is my opinion losing this class would be a mistake and I hope it does not happen. There are so many local cars and fans involved that would be forced to go elsewhere. Time will tell.
Bedford Speedway's shortened season has brought about concerns also. With only two more events scheduled, I have been trying to evaluate the effect this situation will have. Jack Pencil is a multiple Bedford Speedway late model champion and former Mid Atlantic Series champ as well. I spoke to Pencil, who said he is going to cut back some and stay home with his son. He may attend a few Dog Hollow events and other area shows but he doesn't sound like he will travel to other area tracks on a regular basis.
That's a shame but it goes to show what happens when a track closes or scales back. The fans lose out watching some racers. Nobody wins in a deal like this.
Bedford promoter J.R. Keiffer went on the record with Jerry Reigle in Area Auto Racing News this week, saying he signed a one-year lease for this season with an option to renew for two more years. Keiffer indicated he may not be interested in exercising his option for 2012. He is willing to sell out or take on a partner with an equal stake of ownership.
In other news, the All Star Circuit of Champions and the O'Reilly Auto Parts have parted ways. I don't have all the details since I haven't spoken to All Star president Guy Webb recently. I suspect the situation has something to do with payments that were not disbursed last winter. Allegedly, some late model drivers did not receive point fund pay outs.
How about Jeff Rine - he is now the all-time leading late model feature winner at Selinsgrove Speedway. Rine scored career win No. 71 Saturday at the Snyder County oval. It was Rine's eighth win of the season at Selinsgrove.
Here's another notable victory that was scored recently: Jacob Allen, 17-year-old son of National Sprint Car Hall of Fame driver Bobby Allen, won his his first 358 sprint car race ever at Trailway Speedway in Hanover.
Craig Rutherford writes about motorsports for The Sentinel.