Hello again race fans. Weather continues to drive local racing - in some cases this week, right off the track.
The inaugural Appalachian Mountain Late Model Speedweek has been an artistic success. Large car counts have filled area race tracks. Hagerstown kicked off the series with 65 cars. There were 54 at Selinsgrove, 49 at Williams Grove, 48 at Winchester and 48 at Lincoln Speedway. But Williams Grove had a dismal fan turnout in large part due to the weather. Lincoln Speedway was unable to finish Wednesday. Bedford Speedway had backup plans before the race set to run Friday.
As promised, several national stars have arrived, including Steve Francis and Rick Eckert. The series is pretty amazing in the fact that it is something new and being tried during an economic downturn, yet racers and fans are coming out to support it. If tracks stick with it and build on what they have started, the series is going to grow big, just as the sprint cars have done.
The All Star Circuit of Champions sprint cars invade the region this weekend. They were to compete Friday at Williams Grove. Tonight they participate in Lincoln Speedway's 57th anniversary race. The ARDC midgets are also part of the show. Action starts at 7. Tomorrow the All Stars head north to Central PA Speedway.
Last weekend, several locals went to Lernerville Speedway and raced against the All Stars after Williams Grove was rained out. As reported Monday, Lance DeWease was one of them and DeWease now finds himself on the shelf for the next four to eight weeks. The rear axle broke on DeWease's car and parts struck him in the back, causing a crushed vertebrae. He is walking around, and was one of several sprint car drivers who took in the late model show Tuesday night at Williams Grove. Kasey Kahne also raced in the Lernerville event. Greg Hodnett fared well, finishing second. Fred Rahmer was fourth and Mark Smith fifth. I can't believe Smith is winless so far this season at Port Royal.
Greg Hodnett also won last Saturday night at Port Royal Speedway. Hodnett survived numerous caution periods. Hodnett's team came to life during the middle of May when he beat the World of Outlaws at Williams Grove.
Tonight at Port Royal the sprint cars are joined by the late models and super sportsman. Racing starts at 7.
Selinsgrove Speedway hosts a regular four-division show this evening consisting of 358 sprint cars, late models, pro stocks and roadrunner cars. Last week, Duane Mausteller, of Bloomsburg, broke his leg and ankle in a crash at the Snyder County oval. Cards reach Mausteller at 331 Scott Ave., Bloomsburg, PA 17815.
Hagerstown Speedway hosts a regular four division program tonight. The late models are the headline class.
Next Friday at Bedford Speedway, the Williams Grove Old Timers will visit. There will be an autograph session with retired drivers starting at 6:00 p.m. This program is always special to me because some of the greats always show up.
Here's a show worth taking in. Susquehanna Speedway hosts the 358 modified's, 358 sprint cars and legend cars Sunday starting at 6.
Williams Grove Speedway's Saturday night stock car programs are starting to take off. It's reminding me of the Silver Spring days. Admission is just $5. Last weeks show had 115 cars and a good crowd. Carmen Perigo Jr. is the current super sportsman point leader. Chad Criswell is the only repeat sportsman winner this season.
Tony Stewart scored his first Sprint Cup point win as an owner/driver Sunday at Pocono. Stewart also raced at his own track, Eldora Speedway, where he finished sixth in the late model Dream Race. Stewart continues to prove he is versatile and a throw back to the old days. He sure isn't Kyle Busch. That's a good thing. I like Busch as a racer, but smashing a Les Gibson guitar after winning at Nashville like a rock star concluding a concert is bush league in my opinion. Busch had to know the guitar was valuable and not something the artist would want to see destroyed. He has tried to smooth things over by saying he was frustrated at the track and wanted to share pieces with his team. Busch gets away with being more politically incorrect in a sport that is trying to be correct. Joe Gibbs needs to take Busch to the wood shed. Just an opinion.
It's official: Keith Kauffman and the Middleswarth team have parted ways. Dave Middleswarth went on the record last week in The Daily Item. Kauffman has remained quiet in public, so far. This has not been an amicable split from what I've been told. However, I have not spoken with Kauffman and he has way too many people calling him already. Here's one thing I will say to all of us that are fans: Think about laying off calling the Kauffman house. This family works day time jobs and is entitled to some privacy, peace and quiet. Kauffman is a class act and will land on his feet when he continues his career. When he is ready to announce something we will hear about it.
Chad Layton will drive the No. 7 car full time. Layton has a second- and fifth-place finish in the new car that was put together.
Craig Rutherford writes about Motorsports for The Sentinel. He is associated with Port Royal Speedway.