The biggest Port Royal Speedway racing weekend of the year is upon us. The Tuscarora 50 is tonight , weather permitting. This year's race pays the winner $11,000. It keeps getting better and better.
There's also a dash event sponsored by four area businesses that will determine the eight top starting positions for tonight's event. In the event of rain, tomorrow night is the rain date.
The Tuscarora 50 Foundation holds its annual chili cook off on the speedway grounds this morning starting at 8:30 at the horse ring. Chili will be auctioned off at noon plus bowls and quarts may be purchased. All proceeds benefit the injured drivers fund. The drivers fund has paid out a considerable amount of money this season.
Doug Esh is recovering from a broken back. While he is out of commission, his car is being driven by rookie Brent Marks. Kevin Frey is the mechanic on the car.
Tonight at Selinsgrove Speedway, the 358 sprint cars are joined by the late models, pro stocks and roadrunners. Race time is 7. The sprint car point title is up for grabs on the final night of points racing. Nate Snyder leads Blaine Heimbach by 80 points. Jeff Rine has already clinched the late model title. Rine also won last week's late model open at the Snyder County oval.
Hagerstown Speedway hosts the Hub City 100 tonight. $5,000 awaits the winner of the 50-lap test. The super sportsman also are in action in a points race. Their main event will run 50 laps as well.
The URC sprint group heads to Bedford Speedway for a special show Sept. 19. The race was moved up a day to help with travel plans. The limited late models will be joined by the cruiser/hobby, street stock and 4-cylinder cars. The points races are final and Jack Pencil has clinched the late model title for the fifth time. Bedford's Labor Day 55 Three States Flyer Series race was rained out Monday. Track officials are working on a possible race to be run on Oct. 17.
Bedford Speedway's Mary Ann Keiffer is doing better and will be home soon. It sounds like she will be in her own home within the week. I hope and pray for as complete a recovery for her as possible. She is another strong women in racing and I have a lot of respect for her and her family. Cards reach her at 108 Short Street, Bedford, PA 15522.
It was nice to see Kevin Nouse back behind the wheel of Pete Postupack's No. 25 car Monday afternoon at Port Royal. It was also good to see The Man from Mifflintown, Keith Kauffman, back behind the wheel of the Michael Heffner No. 27. Kauffman will finish the year in the car. Sean Michael tried to come back too soon and wasn't quite ready. He will continue to rehab his knee this fall.
Bill Powell opened the 155th annual Juniata County Fair by winning the enduro 100. Lewistown driver Brian Henry finished second. It was Powell's second straight Fair win. Monday afternoon, Mike Wagner won the Labor Day Classic for sprint cars. It took 22 years of trying before Wagner added his name to an impressive list of winners.
Wagner told me following the race that his season was good, but that he was glad to win because the team needed the money. I joked maybe his wife could go to the doctor since they had won, and he jokingly said Ellen would have to tough it out. At that point Ellen was talking with friends and she spun around and said to me, "what did you say?" I repeated my comment and she said maybe she would go.
That got me thinking about how tough she and several other racing wives I know are. I'll likely hear about this but here goes. Four names come to mind. These are four racing wives who know what's going on and are not people I would want mad at me when a mistake is made or things go wrong. They are all good people and nice but don't try and slide anything by them because it isn't going to happen. They understand rules, handicapping, pill draws, etc. They also known when an official has made a mistake or another driver has done something wrong. Actually I admire them for being on top of their game and not taking any crap. I would rather know where I stand with a person than wonder what they think. Who are they?
Ellen Wagner, who will lock horns if she feels an injustice has been done. Also, Patty Beam, Allison Shaffer and Jody Zembower. Patty and Allison are double trouble because they are on the same race team. Allison knows race procedure and rules better than some officials at area tracks. As for Zembower, if something stupid happens, she will let you know it. Word to the wise - don't mess with any of these ladies unless you've got your A game going.
Richmond International Raceway hosts the Cup cars tonight at 7:30 p.m. ABC has TV coverage starting at 7. Defending race champion Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin and Jeff Gordon all have locked up Chase positions. Carl Edwards is fifth in point standings despite having a broken right foot.
That's going to do it for another week, have a great racing week. I hope to see you at the races!
Craig Rutherford writes about motorsports for The Sentinel. He is associated with Port Royal Speedway.