The Tuscarora 50 is scheduled for tonight, weather permitting. The week has not been good weather wise, and that's especially true for the racing community. Monday's Labor Day Classic was washed out at Port Royal Speedway, and Friday's Night Before the 50 was called when a storm hit the area.
The Tuscarora 50 is the the biggest race of the season at the Juniata County oval. Brian Montieth won last year's event. Three drivers have won the event four times: Doug Wolfgang, Lance Dewease and Fred Rahmer. Mitch Smith, Lynn Paxton, Todd Shaffer and Greg Hodnett have won the race three times. Shaffer and Hodnett both have a good shot at winning this year's event.
The points titles are on the line and Scotty Haus need only show up to claim the late model championship. Ryan Taylor has come into his own this year and holds a 60 point advantage over Mike Wagner entering weekend action. I am guessing the points chase will stay open until the Dream Race, scheduled for Friday, is run.
Sentinel photo by TIM?SHUMAKER
The pit area at Port Royal Speedway during Friday’s rain storm, which eventually forced the postponement of the Living Legends Dream Night Before the 50.
Aaron Ott is out for the remainder of the season. Ott was injured at Williams Grove Speedway last Sunday night when his sprint car flipped over the third turn fence during the Billy Kimmel Memorial Race. Ott suffered a neck injury that will take several months to heal.
Big Diamond Speedway near Minersville will attempt to complete the final 72 laps of the Coalcracker 100 Sunday evening. Rain hit the speedway last weekend.
Selinsgrove Speedway will be in action this evening with 358 sprint cars, late models, pro stocks and daredevil cars. Action starts at 7. Williams Grove, Susquehanna and Lincoln Speedways will all be in action this evening also.
No Dream makeup
Word was received late Friday that the Living Legends Dream Night Before The 50 twin 20s at Port Royal Speedway will not be made up.
All of the contingency money and prizes slated to be given away at the Friday show will now be distributed at the Tuscarora 50.
In addition, the Living Legend honors and awards for Keith Kauffman and Walt Dyer will also be conducted at the Tuscarora 50.
The 50 will close the 2011 season at Port Royal and crown the sprint car track champion as well as the late model champion.
There will be no time trials for the sprint cars.
Last week's Butch Renninger Memorial Race was a classic. Bumping, banging, crashing, a few tempers flaring and I'm sure Butch Renninger was smiling down on the event. Ed Spencer gave the command to start the engines and it was good to see the Spencer family on hand. Around 20 members drove down from Berwick to attend the race.
McClure driver Tim Wilson had the misfortune of tearing up two cars. The team had plenty of work to do for this weekend.
One driver that wasn't happy was Scotty Haus.
"We try a bunch of little things and they don't work. We make changes and nothing helps. If it was easy, I guess every one would be doing it," Haus told me after the event.
Congratulations go out to Lewistown driver Nick Dickson on winning the closing race at Bedford Speedway last Friday. Dickson controlled the race from the start.
I want to join other sports fans in mourning the loss of former Indian Valley football coach J. Gawen Stoker. Coach Stoker was a class act and will be missed by many. Football was his passion, however, Stoker paid attention to local sports in general and would talk to me about local racing at times. I had the privilege of speaking with him regularly while employed locally.
Richmond International Raceway hosts Sprint Cup action this evening. ABC has coverage at 7 p.m. The green flag is scheduled for 7:30. Denny Hamlin is the defending race champion. Kyle Busch won the spring event. Richmond ends the regular season and the Chase will start next week.The top 10 in points and top two winners this year will enter the run for the Sprint Cup Championship.
Drivers that have clinched a spot in the chase include five-time and defending champion Jimmie Johnson, Kurt and Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick and Ryan Newman. Drivers that could still make it include Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Brad Keselowski, Paul Menard, Marcos Ambrose and David Ragan. Some must win the race to move on to the chase.
The season ending races are upon us so I urge you all to get out to those events. It's been a rough year for auto racing and the tracks need your support to survive. It's going to be an interesting off season. Until next time, please drive safely!
Craig Rutherford writes about motorsports for The Sentinel.