All Stars set to contend in Weikert Memorial

The UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars invade Port Royal Speedway this evening for the Bob Weikert Memorial race.

To date, the PA Posse regulars have not been defeated. In fact, only once has an All Star regular won a sanctioned event at the Juniata County oval. That driver was Dale Blaney. Blaney is the best bet to beat the PA drivers this evening, having won last week’s Port Royal Speedway show. Other All Star drivers expected tonight include Jac Haudenschild, Chad Kemenah, Danny Holtzgraver, Caleb Helms and Tim Sheaffer.

Several western Pennsylvania drivers could join the field. There is an outside chance that Dave Blaney could show up this evening. Blaney failed to qualify for tonight’s Richmond NASCAR Sprint Cup race, and he previously indicated that, should he prove unsuccessful, he will be in Port Royal tonight.

Mark Coldren announced he will be stepping out of the driver’s seat of his 410 sprint car and remain a car owner. The reason? his wife is expecting twins late next month. Coldren’s phone has been ringing and Rick Lafferty will drive the car this weekend in All Star competition. No permanent replacement has been named. Look for some one outside the state to become the full-time pilot of this car.

What can fans expect this evening at Port Royal? When arriving Weikert’s Livestock, the race sponsor, will have coolie cups or hats for the first 400 fans through the gates. Twenty fans will win a 5-pound package of choice Weikert’s Livestock ground beef. Ten children will go home with a new bicycle. There will be at least $400 for the fast timer and heat race winners also will be paid. The feature event winner receives $10,000 plus lap money. Doug Esh is the defending race champion. Greg Hodnett won in 2011 and 2012.

Paul “Captain Crunch” Pitzer, Lenny Krautheim III and Danny Dietrich will sign autographs prior to tonight’s Weikert Memorial event. Dietrich will campaign a Weikert replica car this evening.

Lincoln Speedway will operate tonight starting at 7 p.m. with 410 and 358 sprint cars plus Central Pa. Legends cars on the card. Alan Krimes won last week’s 410 feature event.

At Selinsgrove Speedway a regular four-division program of 360 sprint cars, late models, pro stocks and roadrunner cars are planned. Race time is 7. An interesting note about tonight’s event is that it will be a pay-one-price night for immediate family members. That means mom, dad and all kids 17 and under will be admitted for just $20. There is no limit on kids. I like that idea, and more tracks should do that from time to time. Selinsgrove hosts the Three States Flyers late model series May 3.

Susquehanna Speedway races this evening with 305 sprint cars and late models as the top classes. Race time is 6.

America’s Motorsports Park in Clearfield opens this evening and will include 305 sprint cars as part of the show. It will be interesting to see where cars will race and if there are enough race cars to go around for both tracks. I can’t remember this happening before locally.

Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway raced last night with the Lucas Oil Late Model Series. Tonight the series is at Roaring Knob Speedway near Markleysburg for a $10,000 to win feature event.

Beaver Springs Dragway is in the middle of a two-day Ford enthusiasts race, car show and swap meet. Gates open today at 9 a.m. with show time set for 2 p.m.

The World of Outlaws late model series finishes its two-day program tonight with the Illini 100 at Farmer City (Ill.) Raceway. Rick Eckert of York is currently in third place in points. Eckert has just taken over the Rocket Chassis house car ride from Brandon Sheppard, who has returned home to Illinois due to his wife having a baby. Sheppard is second in Outlaw points behind Darrell Lannigan.

It is with sadness I pass along notice of the death of Paul “Huey” Wilcox of Mastersbuilt Chassis. Huey was the main man behind many area late model racers in our area. His cars have been fast in Central Pennsylvania and won many races. Wilcox suffered an apparent heart attack driving home last week from Potomac Speedway in Budds Creek, Md., where he was helping race teams with their cars.

Jeff Gordon’s daughter Ella ran her first laps in a quarter midget this past week. She is 6 years old. Her dad was competing in a quarter midget at the same age and went on to win to win 35 races and set five track records that year. I don’t expect that ambitious a schedule for his daughter but it will be interesting to watch her compete.

Until next week, please drive safely.

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Craig Rutherford writes about motorsports for The Sentinel.