Hello race fans. This weekend's action is at Lincoln Speedway, where the Hank Gentzler Manufacturer's Appreciation Race will be presented. Hank Gentzler left us several years ago after a bout with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). Gentzler's wife, Denise, has continued his vision of making racing equipment available to teams at the time of the year they can use it most. Gentzler was a speed shop owner and fabricator and was popular with racers and fans. No one that knew Hank Gentzler will ever forget him. Manufacturers will give away more than $60,000 in parts to race teams tonight.
Action gets under way at 6 p.m. at Lincoln with gates opening at 4.
Selinsgrove Speedway presents the URC/ESS/358 Challenge National Open for 358 sprint cars this evening. The winner will leave the Snyder County oval with at least $8,000 dollars in his pocket. The pro stocks are also part of the show. Charlie Paige, Selinsgrove's promoter, has had a busy month that included the World of Outlaws Late models, Jim Nace Memorial National Open for Sprint Cars and now the 358 race. Paige has paid out a lot of money this month to area racers and I commend him for that.
Don't forget Port Royal Speedway will be back in action Oct. 11-12 for the Blue Collar Classic for 305 sprint cars, 358 late models, a pro stock/street stock challenge and enduro dash.
Next week Lincoln will run a 40-lap makeup, $7,000 to win Kenny Weld Memorial for sprint cars. Everyone who ever was a true sprint car racer has run in this event. Lap money and other extras are part of the program. Lincoln has added a show and finishes the year Oct. 19 with the "Last Call" race, which pays tribute to Fred Rahmer in his final appearance. Rahmer has won 169 times at the Adams County oval. Steve Smith Sr. is in second place with 150 wins; no one else is close to the pair and they will not be passed any time soon.
Look for Patriot News columnist Jeremy Elliott to join Jed Donahue today on the PA Sports Network to discuss the latest local news as well as Dover International Speedway information. Elliott will have an update on Kyle Larson's racing plans for 2014, which include a sprint car. Elliott's interview will air around 11:30 am. today.
The Sprint Cup cars are at Dover. Race time on ESPN is 2 pm. Brad Keselowski is the defending champion.
Belated congratulations go out to retired late model racer Kenny Dickson, who celebrated a birthday this past Thursday. Dickson was a multiple-race winner at Port Royal and Selinsgrove speedways. Dickson resides in Strodes Mills and is the father of current driver Nick Dickson.
I had the opportunity to speak with 410 sprint car driver Cory Haas this week. Haas, a Myerstown driver, is one of the up and coming, personable drivers in local racing. He is connected to another racing family with ties to Port Royal Speedway - the Tim Dietz clan. Dietz's son is married to Haas' sister. Nephew Chase Dietz is racing 358 sprint cars at Lincoln Speedway while Cory races 410 cars for owner Michael Barschinger. Cory's father Larry is wrenching on both race cars and the group has enjoyed a decent year.
Haas moved up from 358 sprint car action where he won the Williams Grove titles in 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2009. He also came out on top at Lincoln Speedway where he was victorious in 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2007. This young man knows how to win and it will only be a matter of time before he is on top of 410 action.
The Williams Grove World of Outlaws National Open will be run next weekend and local drivers are gearing up for the traveling invaders. It is also the final points race of the year for the Grove track championship and Fred Rahmer is holding on to a slim lead over Greg Hodnett. Rahmer already won the Lincoln title and would like to finish out his career with another trophy.
Port Royal Speedway has announced it is shutting down the pro stock class for 2014 and replacing it with a 358 limited late model division. The Juniata County oval assures everyone it is trying to merge the current pro stock drivers into this new class and not leave anyone behind. Lack of junkyard parts have doomed the pro stock class. They haven't really been stock for the last several years and it's sad because it's been some of the best racing area tracks have presented.
For another week, that will wrap things up. I'll be back next time with more news and opinions, Until then drive safely and remember speed is for the speedway and not the highway!
Craig Rutherford writes about motorsports for The Sentinel.