Green flag drops on PA Speedweek

PA Sprint Car Speedweek is here.

Action began last night at Williams Grove Speedway. Lincoln Speedway hosts the racing tonight. Tomorrow Fred Rahmer promotes what may be the the most popular event at Path Valley Speedway in Dry Run.

Monday is an off day before moving on to Grandview Speedway Tuesday. Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway hosts action Wednesday. It’s Port Royal Speedway’s year to double dip with action planned for Thursday and Saturday. Next Friday it’s back to Williams Grove with the finale next Sunday night at Selinsgrove.

Nine races in 10 days – there’s a pile of money on the line. Most events pay $5,000 to win. The exceptions are the Mitch Smith Memorial race next Friday at Williams Grove and both Saturday shows at Lincoln and Port Royal. The Smith event is worth $10,000 and the Saturday races worth $7,000 each.

The schedule is grueling but can be profitable to teams that are prepared. And no one is better at Speedweeks than Greg Hodnett. Hodnett seems to surface as the man to beat when the money is on the line. I heard an interesting observation concerning Hodnett this week: A race fan stated Hodnett doesn’t look like a race car driver – he later stated all Hodnett does is win. I would say Greg Hodnett is the front runner for the speed week title. Hodnett has won four speedweek titles to date.

Kids Nights and other special race programs are right around the corner at Port Royal. Fans should pencil in July12 because Port Royal and Lincoln speedways have special events planned for children. Information on those events may be found at the respective track websites.

There’s also another interesting event scheduled July 12, when the Millerstown Moose Lodge presents its second annual Race Day summer program. The lodge has a bunch of activities for kids and adults. Doors open at the at 7:30 a.m. for a breakfast buffet, which will be followed by lunch specials.

No less than 15 current and retired drivers will be on hand. Some will display race cars. There will be current racers and restored race cars from yesteryear. Kids big wheel racing is scheduled and local celebrities will take part in the fun. Current plans have sprint car driver Doug Esh doing battle on an adult tricycle against Millerstown native Terry Ritzman. There are adult trike team races planned also. T-shirts and other items will be given away to patrons and proceeds raised benefit Moose Charities. A big thank you goes out to Port Royal Speedway management for their assistance with this event.

I was glad to see Dylan Cisney win last Saturday night’s Port Royal Speedway sprint car feature. Cisney held of a fast-closing Doug Esh to score his second career win at the Juniata County oval. Robbie Kendall hung on to defeat Brian Montieth at Lincoln. Brock Searfoss was victorious at Selinsgrove in 360 sprint car action.

Look for USAC racing star Brady Bacon to run at least the first six PA Speedweeks programs this year. Bacon is one tough competitor is wingless racing. It will be interesting to see how Bacon performs in winged sprint action.

Danny Dietrich has been running decent in his first Ohio Sprint Car Speedweek programs sanctioned by the All Star Circuit of Champions. Dietrich finished ninth last Saturday night at Eldora and was leading at Waynesfield Speedway last Sunday before he spun out. Dale Blaney won that event.

Until next week please remember speed is for the speedway and not the highway.


Craig Rutherford writes about motorsports for The Sentinel.