Hello again race fans. The World of Outlaws sprint cars have invaded Central Pennsylvania this weekend and Williams Grove Speedway is hosting a two-day show. Action began Friday night and will be concluded this evening, with the race program beginning at 7:30. Fireworks are part of the show.
Who will win tonight's program? The PA Posse has caught up and now competes on equal footing with the travelers. Of the 22 Outlaw races run at the Grove over the past five years, in-state drivers have won 12 while the Outlaws scored 10 wins. Sammy Swindell is the last Outlaw winner here, having triumphed in last year's National Open. Prior to that, PA Posse cars won nine events in a row.
Port Royal Speedway is dark this evening due to the Outlaws racing at Williams Grove. Last week, the Juniata County oval raced while other area tracks took the night off due to a forecast for bad weather.
A large field of late models (38 cars) invaded the speedway. It was a positive case in point for drawing for starting spots because every one had the same chance for their starting spot. The sprint cars responded with 23 racers and the wingless ARDC midgets had 25 entries. I'm not sure about the final fan count but the pit area was packed.
A major crash off turn two during the midget feature scared me but all ended well. Justin Henderson scored his first sprint car win at Port Royal aboard the Charlie and Dawn Sorokach-owned sprint car. Cliff Brian looked like he was going to win until Brian spun out on the front straightaway late in the race. Keith Kauffman showed me he is as good as ever and looked racy the entire event. I predict if the car stays together Kauffman will be winning soon.
Gary Beward won his first late model feature of the year. Eric Zembower had a brand new Ford engine lock up and was eliminated early in the night. Teresa Kepner scored the powder puff win. Port Royal will host the Keystone Cup sprint car show on Thursday, May 26.
While on the subject of Port Royal Speedway, there will be a fundraiser to benefit, Kids Night which comes up in July. May 19, the Innfield Restaurant & Tavern in Mifflin will host a celebrity bartender night with all proceeds benefiting Kids Night activities. The program runs from 6-10 p.m. Drivers Keith Kauffman, Todd Shaffer, Waylon Wagner, Tim Wilson, Eric Zembower, Terry Naugle, Herm Renninger, Tim and Garett Gray and Mitch Hack have already committed to donate their time and talents to benefit area children. Other drivers are being sought. Come out and meet your favorite driver in a social situation and contribute to a worthy cause.
Lincoln Speedway presents the Sprint Car Spectacular Sunday to benefit the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing. All proceeds from the 410 sprint car race benefit the museum. Why go the races on a Sunday night? World of Outlaws drivers Cody Darrah and Lucas Wolfe are entered along with Knoxville Nationals winner Tim Shaffer. If that's not enough, Kasey Kahne intends to run the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover, Del., and then jet over and race a sprint car in this special show. I bet the place will be packed. Action starts at 7.
Selinsgrove Speedway hosts the Jack Gunn Memorial URC/358 Sprint Car Challenge tonight at 7. Late models and pro stocks are also part of the program. Hagerstown and Susquehanna Speedways have regular shows planned.
As I mentioned earlier, Dover has NASCAR action this weekend. Action gets under way Sunday at 1 p.m. Fox has TV coverage. Kyle Busch is the defending race champion.
Busch and Kevin Harvick were fined $25,000 each and placed on four weeks probation for their actions last week at Darlington. Regan Smith won the Darlington race. It was Smith's first Sprint Cup victory. Carl Edwards holds a 23-point advantage over Jimmie Johnson entering this weekend's action.
Don't forget the Gary Wolford fish fry has been rescheduled for the Latimore Valley Fairgrounds May 29. Wolford's original date was postponed due to flooding.
Rick Eckert of York recently won a World of Outlaws late model race at Swainsboro, Ga. Eckert earned $10, 775 and is the series points leader.
Here is the Keystone Cup schedule for sprint cars: Big Diamond Speedway May 25, Port Royal May 26, Williams Grove May 27, Lincoln May 28, Selinsgrove May 29 and Big Diamond May 30. Daryn Pittman is the defending series champion.
Heston Speedway is set to get under way tonight with a four-division show that features the 358 late models. It's good to see them up and running.
Next week the Bedford Speedway will host a regular five division program on Friday night.
I think I have you up to date. I'll be back next week with more news and opinions. Until then, please drive safely!
Craig Rutherford writes about motorsports for The Sentinel.