The Pro Stock division is center stage tonight at Port Royal Speedway.
A 20-lap memorial race honoring the late Deryl Stong will be run. Stong was a racer himself and later owned an auto parts store in Mifflintown. He continued to build engines and assist area racers until his passing from heart problems.
Stong's main interest was in street or pro stock type cars and he was an all around good guy. Tonight fans and drivers remember and honor a friend that left this world too soon.
The rest of Port Royal's racing program includes sprint cars, late model and enduro cars. Action gets under way at 7:30.
At Selinsgrove Speedway it's a URC/358 sprint car show along with late models and roadrunners.
Williams Grove Speedway hosts super sportsman racing tonight along with 358 late models and four-cylinder stock cars. Lincoln Speedway operates with 358 sprint cars and thundercars. All shows get under way at 7:30.
Last Saturday's area racing slate was completely washed out. That's the first total rainout since April. Two race events were rescheduled as a result of the weather.
Port Royal has changed the format and will run the Living Legends Dream Race on Sept. 9. The program will consist of Twin 20s for the sprint cars. The first race will pay the winner $3,300 dollars. The second race is worth more, $4,610 dollars. Both winners will be locked in as starters for the Tuscarora 50.
Keith Kauffman and Walt Dyer are being honored. Josh Dressler was planning on driving a K-33 replica car last week and apparently will now do so tonight. Dressler is Kauffman's nephew.
Also, Selinsgrove Speedway's Late Model Open will be made up on Aug. 27.
The main focus of national sprint car racing will be on Knoxville, Iowa, this evening. The annual Knoxville Nationals have been in competition since Wednesday.
Lance Dewease, Greg Hodnett, Stevie Smith, Tyler Walker, Daryn Pittman, Justin Henderson, Brian Montieth and Fred Rahmer are scheduled to race. I wonder if any other race tracks in the country have as many good cars that could make the big show as do Port Royal, Williams Grove and Lincoln Speedways. Any of these guys can win this race but every thing has to fall in place to do it.
This years A Main pays $150,000 to win and $9,500 to start. The total purse is $1 million. Tim Shaffer of Aliquippa is the defending race champion. Locals turned Outlaws Cody Darrah and Lucas Wolfe also are in competition.
I almost forgot to mention Jim and Sandy Kline are sending their final race car out to the Nationals with Holmesville, Ohio's Kenny Jacobs behind the wheel. Jacobs is well known and respected, particularly here in Central Pennaylvania. It will be good to have the Klines fielding one more ride as they have been missed from area racing. The couple are some of the nicest folks in racing.
Williams Grove Speedway is naming its sportsmanship awards for sprint cars and Saturday night racing in honor of longtime writer Jerry Reigle. I'm glad to see that happen. Reigle, of Camp Hill, is one of the good guys in our sport. He currently works for Area Auto Racing News and has been battling stomach cancer for about a year. I spoke with him a couple weeks back and he feels the treatments have been a success to date. I'm glad for that and I always enjoy chatting with him. Nobody is more deserving of being honored for their love and care to this sport than Jerry Reigle.
How about Logan Schuchart? The 18-year-old grandson of Bobby Allen has won at Lincoln, Williams Grove, Susquehanna and Selinsgrove speedways. Schugart is on top of the Central PA 358 sprint car point series. I'm sure his grandfather is proud. Having a Hall of Fame sprint car pap to mentor you is a big plus, however you have to perform on the track and Schugart is doing that quite well.
Pocono Raceway is shortening its two races to 400 miles in 2012. That's good news and a lot more tracks should do the same. They could be cut even further in my opinion, and change the format around to include a B-Main to qualify some cars instead of all time trials. That's something to think about.
Watkins Glen, N.Y., hosts Sprint Cup racing this weekend on the road course. Juan Pablo Montoya is the defending race champion. Race time is 1 p.m. Sunday. ESPN has TV coverage.
Have a great racing weekend. I'll be back next week with more news and opinions. Remember, speed is for the speedway and not the highway.
Craig Rutherford writes about motorsports for The Sentinel.