Season starting to wrap up at local tracks
Port Royal Spedway concluded a successful Juniata County Fair racing program last weekend night when Donnie Kreitz wired the field for the Tuscarora 50 win. Kreitz earned more than $13,000 while dominating the field.
The speedway will be idle until Oct. 11-12 when the Blue Collar Nationals brings the track back to life. I’ll have more details on that show in a future column. The season concludes Oct. 19 when the 410 sprint cars and super late models run their final event.
Blane Heimbach of Selinsgrove won the sprint car track championship. Terry Naugle captured his first late model crown. Congratulations to all on a successful season.
Tonight action shifts to Selinsgrove Speedway where the annual Jim Nace Memorial National Open for sprint cars will be held. Fred Rahmer is a five-time winner of the race. Rahmer sat out last week’s Tuscarora 50 at Port Royal and I’m unsure of his plans for tonight. Rahmer is concentrating on winning the Williams Grove Speedway points title, which will be decided at the end of this month. Rahmer has enjoyed an amazing season and already clinched the Lincoln Speedway title by winning three of his six feature events.
Rahmer has scored 20 top five finishes at Lincoln and 24 top 10s. That’s great for a guy who said he has nothing left and isn’t the same driver he used to be. Those comments came recently after Rahmer won a Lincoln feature event. Rahmer is a great competitor and good guy. Rahmer will retire at the end of the season.
Lincoln Speedway hosts the Sportsman 100 for super sportsman cars tonight at 7:30. This race has been run for 39 years and has its roots at the now defunct Silver Spring Speedway, which was located along the Carlisle Pike near Mechanicsburg. The sportsman cars always draw a good crowd and this show will be more than worth the price of admission. Check it out if you can.
Next week Lincoln Speedway hosts the Kenny Weld Memorial race and it should be another great one. Lincoln concludes its season on Oct. 12th with a Fred Rahmer Tribute show.
Hagerstown Speedway will hold its version of the small car invitational race tonight. Action gets under way for the support classes at 7.
Earlier I mentioned the Jim Nace Memorial at Selinsgrove Speedway. Rahmer is a five-time champ. Other notable winners include four-timer Todd Shaffer; Lance Dewease, Greg Hodnett and the late Maynard Yingst, with three wins apiece; and Donnie Kreitz, who won twice.
Rahmer indicates two of his sons will likely be competitors at Lincoln Speedway in 2014. They will drive 305 sprint cars.
Congratulations go out to Lewistown driver Eric Parker. The 305 sprint car driver is on a tear, having won two weeks ago at Port Royal Speedway and last Saturday night at Lincoln. Parker’s car has been tough to beat. Parker is the grandson of the late Johnny Dubendorf, the 1964 Port Royal Speedway sprint car track champion. Dubendorf drove the No. 39 car when he clinched the ’64 title. His grandson campaigns the same car number and carries a picture of his pap near the cock pit.
Let’s move on to NASCAR where I have plenty to say. A lot of us are really scratching our heads after NASCAR Sprint Cup racing dropped to an all-time low last weekend. Michael Waltrip Racing really messed up by broadcasting the details as Clint Bowyer attempted the worst fake spin of the century.
Nobody – and I do mean nobody – bought that. Waltrip’s team left a big black eye on NASCAR and we haven’t seen all the fallout yet. The sponsors, owners, drivers, fans, crews and who knows who else have been damaged by this team’s actions. Now we have fans and sponsors questioning the sincerity of racers and officials. Sponsors are reevaluating their money commitments and maybe moving to other teams or leaving the sport.
This isn’t good for any one. Fans need to know that what they see is real. This is not WWF and no one should wonder if alterations were made to a race.
So out of the fiasco Ryan Newman ended up being reinstated as Chase eligible. Martin Truex was removed. Bowyer was already in the chase and took a dive and spun his car intentionally. He should, in my opinion, be suspended and removed from the Chase and maybe out for the year. Bowyer was the worst offender, and received little punishment that mattered.
Bowyer went on ESPN Tuesday and denied every thing. That is an insult to every fan’s intelligence. Bowyer and Truex are guilty in my mind. As for Brian Vickers, I read his team’s transcript of what was said and I will give him the benefit of the doubt. Vickers questioned the order to pit and asked if he had a tire going down. Either he is not guilty or needs to received an Academy Award after that performance.
The fines were not enough and I would tell all NASCAR drivers that if you or your team behaves that way again, ever, you are gone from competition permanently.
While on the subject of controversy, Port Royal officials are still trying to reconnect the pieces of an alleged altercation between T.J. Stutts and Chad Layton after last week’s Tuscarora 50. The incident started as a racing altercation and spilled over to the pit area. Officials will talk to all parties before any decisions are made. Stutts allegedly went to Layton’s pit area after an on-track incident and things went downhill from there.
The Middle Road Speedway near the Lewistown Country Club will host a two-day show next Friday and Saturday. The American Lawn Mower Racing Association tractors will be on hand. Find the track on Facebook for details.
Look for the silly season because it is upon us. Stevie Smith and his team will reportedly part ways at season’s end. Rides for other name drivers remain in question as well.
Until next week, please drive safely!
Craig Rutherford writes about motorsports for The Sentinel.