Westbrook a ‘sad’ case

This week local racing is taking a break from high dollar events. The Port Royal Speedway show cases local emergency personnel with Juniata County Fire and Emergency Night this evening. Fire truck rides will be available prior to racing and a life flight helicopter is expected to land in the track infield from 5:30-6:45. There’s also a kids money scramble on the front straight away before action begins. The 305 & 410 sprint cars and late models are on the program. The night is also the final tune up before the Living Legends Dream Race. Maynard Boop and Lance Dewease will be honored next week during that event.

While on the subject of Lance Dewease congratulations are in order for accomplishing a career milestone. Dewease scored career win No. 300 against the World of Outlaws last week at Williams Grove Speedway. The victory was worth over $20,000 dollars to the Fayetteville, PA driver in a race that didn’t conclude until 2:30 am.

While the outlaws were in PA last week, the race wins were evenly split between between the PA Posse and the outlaws. Donny Schatz won at Lernerville. Daryn Pittman hit paydirt at Lincoln. Greg Hodnett and Dewease scored wins at Williams Grove.

Selinsgrove Speedway hosts the United Racing Company tonight along with a regular show of late models, pro stocks and roadrunner cars. At Susquehanna Speedway it’s Christmas in July Night with prizes and Santa Claus. The Hagerstown, MD Speedway host the 33rd annual Conococheague 44 lap late model main event.

If you seek something different the Bedford County Fair is in the final night and a demolition derby will be run.

Tony Stewart is back racing sprint cars. Stewart raced twice last week in Michigan and won at Tri-City Speedway in Auburn, MI. The following night Stewart finished third in Sprints On Dirt Racing Action.

By now many of you are aware that Williams Grove Speedway and injured driver John Westbrook went to court over injuries Westbrook sustained at the Cumberland County oval in 2008. Westbrook sued the track for alleged negligence and unsafe conditions. Westbrook’s suit asked for damages that could have totaled over 20 million dollars. The entire racing community sighed a collective relief when a jury ruled by a 10-2 decision Westbrook released Williams Grove Speedway from liability by signing the standard insurance company release used at most tracks. All other considerations were dropped when the jury made their decision leaving Westbrook’s attorney to decide if any justified appeals are warranted. Westbrook was left a quadraplegic from a C5 compression fracture of his spine. It’s a sad situation all the way around. People have been trash talking Westbrook and I understand why folks are upset with him for filing suit. I also understand why Westbrook felt compelled to seek compensation. The jury spoke and that should be it. Don’t bash Westbrook forever over what he chose to do. He still loves the sport and continues to participate how he can. The bottom line is this. John Westbrook chose to be a racer in the top level of dirt track auto racing. He accepted the risks, had a bad situation occur and paid the price. It’s no different than any one else who willingly signs up for military service and is injured or killed. We all know the risks and accept them. Westbrook paid the price. Enough said.