Outlaws make race week interesting

The week in racing has been interesting.

The World of Outlaws invaded Pennsylvania Thursday night at Lincoln Speedway. The Adams County oval is dark tonight. Action shifted to Williams Grove Speedway near Mechanicsburg last night and racing continues there this evening. Port Royal Speedway management elected to take the week off and the track is dark tonight.

At Selinsgrove Speedway late model racer Jeff Rine and his business present fan and driver appreciation night with giveaways for fans. Racers take part in a regular show. Overall, it will be a full night.

Now back to the Outlaws and Williams Grove. Sammy Swindell indicated his team was leaving the circuit to concentrate on Knoxville (Iowa) Speedway the next two weeks before the Knoxville Nationals. Swindell has come cloase but not won the prestigious race. Swindell also realizes the time clock is ticking on his racing career and he may not get many more chances to win a Knoxville National so he wants to be prepared when everyone arrives there. It sounds like Swindell is being realistic and using his head. Still, Swindell will be missed here during the outlaw swing.

Last week area racers ventured to the Millerstown Moose for a charity event and area drivers showed up to help out. McClure star Tim Wilson was joined by Lance and Zach Newlin, Tyler Bear, Doug Esh, Port Royal promoters and employees Steve O’Neal and Steve Arnold and others. A good time was had by all. The Moose Lodge announced it will present the second annual Racers Media Day on Super Bowl Saturday. Jan. 31, 2015. Fans are welcome.

This year’s Living Legends Dream race at Port Royal Speedway will be run on Aug. 2. Current driver Lance Dewease and 93-year-young car owner Maynard Boop will be honored. At least four restored Boop cars will be on display and the pair will be behind the main grandstand prior to the night’s racing to sign autographs. Drivers Keith Kauffman, Randy Wolfe, Ed Zirkle and Boop also are expected to sign. Autographs take place from 5-6 p.m.

With the outlaws racing at Williams Grove the obvious question is who do race fans favor in their quest for victory? Donny Schatz is the defending Summer Nationals champion.

Stevie Smith and Kevin Nouse have been racing well in sprint car action, especially At Lincoln Speedway. A lively debate can be made for the prospective winners of this event.

Greg Hodnett picked up a sprint car win Wednesday night at Bridgeport (N.J.) Speedway. That’s the best racing news I’ve heard out of New Jersey in quite some time.

I wish all the news was good this week in area racing but that is not the case. Injured driver John Westbrook and Williams Grove Speedway have been in court fighting over the track’s potential liability for injuries Westbrook sustained while racing there. Incidents that took place several years ago left Westbrook a quadriplegic.

Westbrook alleges unsafe conditions behind turns one and two added to his injuries when he crashed there several years ago. Westbrook alleges that his suggestions and concerns fell on deaf ears and nothing has been done to correct the situation.

The speedway notes Westbrook signed the track insurance release and says he is liable for his injuries. Westbrook argues he did not read the track’s release. On Friday, a race track design expert testified that Williams Grove was in compliance with reasonable safety standards; previous testimony stated that Westbrook was wearing a recommended safety device, although not necessarily the best available.

I have had dealings with all parties involved and can say nothing negative about either side. Somewhere both have a point.

Until next week, please drive safely!


Craig Rutherford writes about motorsports for The Sentinel.