Local races host plenty of action

Area auto racing continues this weekend with plenty of action planned.

Port Royal Speedway hosts camera and autograph night tonight starting at 6 p.m. Fans will be admitted to the pit area between 4 and 5 p.m. to meet drivers and take pictures. Students also enjoy a bonus as anyone between the ages of 12 and 18 will receive a general admission ticket free.

The 410 and 305 sprint cars are joined by the late models for a three division show.

At Selinsgrove Speedway a regular four division program takes the green flag tonight at 6 p.m. as 358 sprint cars, late models, pro stocks and roadrunner cars compete. The Snyder County oval is paying both the sprint cars and late models $1,500 to win and $ 200 to start the main event.

Lincoln Speedway races this evening at 7 p.m. Its successful three-division show of 410 and 358 sprint cars plus thundercars continues to draw nice crowds to the pigeon hills oval near Hanover.

The Sprint Cup racers invade the midwest at Kansas Speedway for the running of the STP 400. The 267-lap grind is on a 1.5 mile oval. Denny Hamlin is the defending race champion holding off Martin Truex in last year’s event. Race time tomorrow is 1 p.m. Fox has TV coverage which gets under way starting at 12:40.

Jimmie Johnson is the Sprint Cup series points leader, nine points ahead of Brad Keselowski whom I will talk about further in a bit. Kyle Busch, who won last week’s race at Texas, is third, 18 points back. Clint Boyer won last weekend’s truck race at Rockingham, N.C. Speedway. It’s nice to see the Rock back on the NASCAR schedule.

Fines were a part of last week’s NASCAR action. Penske Racing received the bulk of them as Keselowski and Joey Logano, plus crew chiefs, team managers, engineers and Penske Racing are on probation for the remainder of the season. Rear end housing parts not approved by NASCAR are at the heart of the decision.

Martin Truex was punished for having a front end that was too low. Points were deducted from Truex and car owner Michael Waltrip. Crew chief Chad Johnson was fined $25,000.

Is Tony Stewart a NASCAR driver or sprint car driver? We all know Stewart makes his living from NASCAR. However, Stewart continues to return to his roots. Stewart raced at Susquehanna Speedway near York last Sunday night where he finished 10th in the feature event. He was scheduled to compete with the World of Outlaws last night. With NASCAR competing at Richmond, Va., next week will Stewart try in fly back to Pennsylvania to race with the All Stars at Williams Grove next weekend.

Hill Valley Speedway near Orbisonia in Huntingdon County is enjoying a comeback with Saturday night racing. Juniata County businessman Bob Dunn is helping out with duties at the track. This evening longtime former Port Royal Speedway announcer Tommy Little will step behind the microphone to call action. Welcome back to the man affectionately know as “Johnson” to his friends.

Last week’s racing at Port Royal Speedway was great. The track took some rubber but no significant dust was noticed. Doug Esh scored his first win in the Chiapelli sprint car which travels in from Johnstown to race. Esh was chased to the finish line by Port Royal youngster Dylan Cisney who I feel drove his career best race to date. Cisney is going to win soon if he continues like last week. He tried every thing he could to pull off the win and came up a bit short. Still Esh knew he was there challenging and had to work for the win.

Don’t forget the Trackside Restaurant is hosting a race car show next Saturday morning starting at 8 a.m. All Star and regional sprint car drivers, late model, pro stock enduro and drag car racers will be on display. The PA Sports Network with host Jed Donahue will broadcast live from the event. All Star President Guy Webb, plus Port Royal and other area speedway personnel are expected for a media and fan day which is a prelude to the Bob Weikert Memorial race next Saturday night at Port Royal.

Fred Rahmer won two races last season in 410 sprint car action. Already this year Rahmer has three wins. Rahmer took over the driving chores on the Sell Racing no. 20 from York County and reunited with mechanic Moon Byers. The pair are clicking. Look for more success from the pair.

That’s going to do it for this week. Please drive safely and visit your favorite race track soon.

Craig Rutherford writes about motorsports for The Sentinel.