The 2012 racing season is winding down in Central Pennsylvania. This weekend is the final wrap up for some area tracks.
Port Royal Speedway hosts the 410 sprint cars and super sportsman machines tonight starting at 6. The program is the makeup Labor Day Classic event. Jeweler Howard Foss and his family have supported local racing for many years and present championship rings to title winners. Area racers appreciate their support.
Lincoln Speedway has a three-division show of 358 and 410 sprint cars, and thunder cars. Racing gets under way at 6.
Hesston Speedway is in the middle of a major weekend of racing that includes a 71-lap late model feature paying $10,000 to win. Action gets under way today at noon with support classes.
Beaver Springs Drag way is winding down the 2012 season with two more Friday night street racing programs remaining. The track is also available on Saturday and Sundays for test and tune sessions. Special shows have been a big success at the Snyder County track this season.
The All Star Circuit of Champions run at Tony Stewart's Eldora Speedway this evening. The World of Outlaws are at I-55 Raceway in Missouri.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup racers are at Charlotte, N.C., this weekend. It is the fifth race of 10 to determine the season champion. Matt Kenseth won last year's race. ABC has coverage tonight starting at 7.
Last week at Talladega the Sprint Cup racers had another wild finish. Kenseth won the race after a major crash on the final lap. Brad Keselowski holds a 14-point lead over Jimmie Johnson.
Here are some other items of interest. Our area will apparently loose Daryn Pittman as a regular as he will replace Joey Saldana at Kasey Kahne Racing for 2013. Also, Doug Esh will be searching for a ride after a successful finish to the current season. Esh car owners Dick and Leslie Leach have announced their retirement from the sport after a long career. Esh recently won the Tuscarora 50 at Port Royal Speedway.
Tire testing continues for sprint car racers as tracks determine which company will supply rubber in 2013. American Racer has the upper hand with the World of Outlaws and All Star Circuit of Champions. After conversations with officials, I feel confident these two groups will pick American as their supplier, which is good in the sense they are a Pennsylvania supplier.
However, I can't predict what will take place in locally where many 410 sprint car teams want to buy Hoosier tires. Testing has taken place at Lincoln and Williams Grove speedways in the past week. Whatever does happen, I feel area raceways will adopt the same rules.
In essence, it comes down to this: What Williams Grove Speedway does will likely dictate the course Lincoln and Port Royal take. It would be counterproductive for a tire switch at the Saturday night tracks unless someone could persuade both manufacturers to provide point fund money and let the tire rule open.
PA Sports Network host Jed Donahue will devote time today to area racing starting around 11:30 a.m. Sean Brouse of Port Royal Speedway will be one of the featured contributors. Current plans for 2013 include a media day for area tracks and drivers with all media invited. PA Sports Network intends to expand its motorsports coverage next season.
I will be taking a short break as the local season ends and will be back with more information as necessary. Until next time, please drive safely!
Craig Rutherford writes about motorsports for The Sentinel.