Port Royal Speedway hosts one of its premier shows of the season tonight.
The Living Legends Dream Race gets under way at 7:30 p.m. This show is geared toward Pennsylvania racers and includes two 16-lap semi-main events with payoffs worth $2,000 to each winner. The top 10 finishers in each of those races move on to the 35-lap feature, which pays the winner $10,000.
The top three finishers from each semi will revenge draw against each other to determine the top three starting rows of the A-main. All others will line up according to their finishing spots in the semis. Lap money ($20 per lap) is being paid in all those races. A non-qualifiers race will also be run. The total purse exceeds $55,000 with contingency money of more than $3,000. Merchandise given away to racers adds up to an additional $10,000. No heat races will be run.
All in all it should be a big night of racing at the Juniata County oval.
So who are this years Living Legends? None other than 93-year-young retired car owner Maynard Boop and current 410 sprint car driver Lance Dewease.
I remember Boop becoming involved in local racing with Lynn Paxton, which dates back to 1974. Paxton and Boop were set to race just one night per week at Port Royal and the pair were very successful. That translated to more appearances elsewhere and a bunch of wins. Davey Brown Sr. and Jr. were part of that team and no one could stop them.
Paxton reached his career goals and retired. Boop fielded cars for other drivers before hanging it up. Had Paxton continued, I can only imagine what additional records he would have added to his and Boop's careers. Maynard Boop was the right guy at the right time for Lynn Paxton and neither will be forgotten. Tonight Boop is honored at Port Royal.
Saying all that, I can't forget Lance Dewease. The Fayetteville driver might as well be from Juniata County or Mifflin County for that matter. Dewease raced micro sprints at the start of his career and ran at Banana Speedway before moving on to Port Royal and beyond. Dewease married a lady from Tyson Hill and established himself as one great race driver. Recently Dewease scored his 300th career win against the World of Outlaws at Williams Grove Speedway. In addition to being a great driver that is smooth on track, I'm told Dewease developed into a real good golfer.
Congratulations to Maynard Boop and Lance Dewease on being selected this year's Living Legends at Port Royal Speedway.
Scotty Haus has not had the kind of year one would expect for a championship all-time late model winner at Port Royal Speedway. During much of the year one only needs to watch Haus in the pit area to sense his frustration about the year. Last week Haus ventured to Selinsgrove Speedway where he hit paydirt and won the feature event. I'm told Haus may finish out the season at the Snyder County oval.
Jeff Gordon won last weeks Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I had a hunch Gordon or teammate Jimmie Johnson would get the job done. The race was good. Denny Hamlin's team and crew chief were penalized for rules infractions
The Indy race day attendance was down. It's time for NASCAR to do some soul searching and get race fans headed back to the racetrack. NASCAR has a false sense of security that as long as TV ratings hold they are OK. Guess what? When no one except diehards show up to watch the race no one will care about TV and that equates to tracks not making money. NASCAR has to wake up, correct course, and make changes. The first thing I would do is abandon any rule changes next season because the racing hasn't been that bad this year. Heck, it's been pretty good. But then what do I know? Just one guy's opinion.
The All Star Circuit of Champions sprint car circuit now has competition from a new group called the Renegade Sprint Cars. Shane Helms, father of Caleb Helms, is the driving force behind the newcomers, which has current All Star drivers and owner stating they are not being treated the way they feel they should be. It's too early to tell what will happen but I do know this: Racers are racers and it doesn't matter who pays what for a race. If you are a professional racer trying to feed your family, you will be there to race. The Renegade Series hopes to sanction 50 races next season.
Until next week, please drive safely!
Craig Rutherford writes about motorsports for The Sentinel.