Lots to watch during Memorial Day weekend

Memorial Day is a race fan’s dream. Central Pennsylvania is full of special events – here are a few of them:

Port Royal Speedway presents the Fallen Heroes program tonight at 7. Three 25-lap feature events will be run: sprint cars, late models and 305 sprint cars. With an added purse, $5,000 awaits the sprint car winner and $2,000 for the late models. Plenty of giveaway items for fans and fireworks also are part of the show.

So what is a Fallen Heroes night about at Port Royal Speedway? The program honors deceased drivers who died racing at the track.

Selinsgrove Speedway’s big track is dark tonight but there is a $10,000 to win go kart race at the Snyder County small oval this evening. Tomorrow the Ray Tilley Classic will be run, which honors the long time sprint car competitor.

While on the subject of Selinsgrove, Mark Smith has been red hot in 360 sprint car action. Smith won three of five 360 races run there this season.

Last week a terrible crash occurred at Selinsgrove and two drivers were admitted to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville. Jamie Collard of Ontario, Canada, and Duane Maustellar of Bloomsburg were hospitalized. Collard was released earlier this week. Maustellar was still listed in critical condition as of Thursday night suffering from head injuries. A third driver, Shawn Donath of New York, was not injured in the mishap.

At Lincoln Speedway the sprint cars also race for a $5,000 top prize, which honors long time promoter Hilly Rife, who was a pivotal force in Pennsylvania auto racing. In addition to his involvement in Lincoln Speedway, Rife was involved in a number of other area auto racing operations.

Bedford Speedway races tomorrow night and the show includes 305 sprint cars, late model sportsman and support classes. Action starts at 7:30 pm.

Don’t forget Beaver Springs Dragway is in the midst of its traditional Memorial Day weekend program, which features four days of racing. Visit the track website for more details.

If Tim Wilson didn’t have bad luck he would have no luck at all. The McClure late model driver has been struck by mechanical problems the last several weeks and has not finished many races. Here’s to a change in luck.

The World of Outlaws conquered Central Pa. and New York during their first eastern swing of 2014. Daryn Pittman won every event except the Lincoln Speedway program last week. Four out of five wins netted Pittman and his Kasey Kahne-owned team more than $40,000. Not bad.

NASCAR regular Dave Blaney made two sprint car starts in the state last week and left Roaring Knob Speedway Sunday night a winner after an exciting battle with Jac Haudenschild and Mike Wagner. Wagner edged out Haudenschild for the second spot.

Greg Hodnett destroyed a sprint car in a crash last Saturday night at Williams Grove Speedway. Hodnett was not injured.

Happy Memorial Day holiday to all. Please drive safely!


Craig Rutherford writes about motorsports for The Sentinel.