There's one main game in racing this evening, and that race is at Port Royal Speedway.
Sue Pontius and company present the Dream Race Extreme. It wasn't about Pontius having a dream while sleeping. It's about giving drivers a race they can dream about winning.
Fred Rahmer said it best: "There's 30,000 reasons to be at Port Royal Saturday."
It's called money. Even though Lincoln Speedway has decided to race sprint cars in direct competition with Port Royal, most of Lincoln's top drivers plan on racing tonight at Port. Rahmer, Cody Darrah, Brian Leppo and Stevie Smith all are expected. It might cost Rahmer, the current Lincoln points leader, a track championship at the Pigeon Hills oval. But the risk is worth taking.
Rahmer, Darrah and Smith all have won at Port Royal. They and a lot of other drivers know that they have a chance. That's good enough for them to give it a shot. The Port Royal regulars will be ready and I know Jeff Shepard and defending champion Sean Michael will be ready to go as well. And don't count out Greg Hodnett, Todd Shaffer and Keith Kauffman. These drivers have passed as many cars this year as anyone at the Juniata County oval.
Hodnett looks like he's close to striking paydirt. He ran second to young John Westbrook last week. Fifty laps is a long distance and anything can happen. Shaffer, the opening night winner, is hungry and knows he is overdue. So is Kauffman, who told one of my informants his team may have a trick or two up its sleeves for tonight's race.
All of these drivers and others are capable of winning this race. I predict the cream will rise to the top tonight and an established star will win the Dream Race Extreme. But, I've been wrong before.
The Pro Stocks also are part of the program. Racing starts with warm-ups at 6:30 p.m.
Plenty of extra money has been posted for this race. All heat race winners will win $500. There will a minimum $700 bonus for the hard charger and at least $1,000 for setting fast time in time trials.
If you're attending today's Dream Race Extreme, you might want to get there early. There's professional wrestling this afternoon starting at 1 p.m. A second show will be presented at 4. Greg Hodnett and Sean Michael serve as celebrity managers for the first show. There will also be a meet and greet event, tire changing contest and Smokey Snellbaker playing the spoons. The program is also a "Challenge at the Port" night. Fans can register to win a Fair Week party pack of tickets plus autographed driver merchandise, and pre-race steak dinner/picnic. That all takes place on Tuscarora 50 night. A 410 sprint car driver will win a new J&J racing chassis that same night. John Garloff, Steve Ramsey and Jack Elam are challenge night organizers.
Selinsgrove Speedway has a four division show tonight of 358 sprint cars, late models, pro stocks and road runners. Racing starts at 7.
In a race cut short by six laps due to severe fog blanketing the track, Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., became the 20th different driver to win a Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event Thursday night at Bedford Speedway.
Francis, in the Dale Beitler owned Rocket GTO, led all 24 laps in winning the $7,000 Paul Beamer Memorial.
The start of the A-main was delayed due to a pop-up shower, but after about two hours and after running the track back in, the race was ready to go, with Francis on the pole. Francis managed to motor ahead of the field, as he led all 24 scored laps.
At the halfway mark, fog started to overtake the race track. With 10 laps to go, there was enough visibility for the drivers to continue but they would only be able to race for four more laps. During a caution at that point, the drivers stopped on the front stretch and relayed to the Lucas Oil officials and track officials that it was unsafe to resume the race. The decision was made to wave the checkered flag as the cars came back around the front stretch and the race was officially ruled complete.
You can find out more about the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series by logging on to www.lucasdirt.com.
Tony Stewart is at it again. Stewart was fined $10,000 this week as a car owner. One of his racers had problems and wasn't immediately taken to the pit area for repairs. After finally getting to the pit area, repairing the problem and attempting to restart, the driver was told he was too late and not allowed back out. Stewart went after the USAC Official and allegedly pushed and knocked his headset off.
Whether you like Stewart or not, at least he shows some emotion and isn't a politically correct clone as NASCAR wants its drivers to be. To me it's fitting he is going to drive a car No. 14 next year. That's the same car number Stewart's hero, A.J. Foyt ran.
The Sprint Cup cars are at Pocono this weekend. Kurt Busch is the defending race champion. Hopefully the tires will hold up this week as last week's race at Indy was a disaster. All parties involved apologized to the fans. I feel the problem was a combination of Car of Tomorrow, tires and a possible manufacturing defect. The fans were cheated out of a race which Dale Earnhardt's crew chief called " heat races."
Until next week, please drive safely!
Craig Rutherford writes about motorsports for The Sentinel. He is affiliated with Port Royal Speedway.