Local racing season comes to an end with Susquehanna’s Sprint Showdown

The 2016 racing season comes to a close in Central Pennsylvania this weekend.

Susquehanna Speedway presents the Sprint Showdown race this afternoon. Gates open at noon. Time trials are set for 2 p.m. with heat races to follow; 410 and 358 sprint cars are on the card.

Current weather forecasts look good for today’s race. Just in case, management reserved Sunday as a rain date.

The 2017 Racing Xtravaganza at York Fairgrounds is set for Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 4-5. The show was previously known as Dirt Trackin’, but changed names with a change in ownership.

Don’t forget the Port Royal Speedway Awards Banquet is set for Nov. 19 at the Port Royal Community Building on Fourth Street. The deadline to purchase tickets is Friday.

CBS Sports Network has teamed up with the World of Outlaws sprint cars and late models to broadcast racing from the 2016 season on the network. Upcoming dates include Nov. 27, Dec. 11, 18 and 24, with reruns after each telecast. More than 30 hours of programming will be presented. Cedar Lake, Wisconsin, late models and World Finals racing from Charlotte are being featured.

The World of Outlaws shortened its season slightly in 2016. Apparently that is gone for 2017. Outlaw schedules are not finalized but a few race dates have been released. Dodge City, Kansas, will return to the sprint car schedule Oct. 27-28 next season. The World Finals at Charlotte will move back to the first weekend in November.

The newly created One Track Short Track Championship will be held at Charlotte Oct. 26-28, 2017.

Big Game Motor Sports recently released driver Danny Lasoski after what appeared to be a successful season. The sprint car team moved quickly announcing this week they have hired Kerry Madsen to pilot its car next season. The team will base in the midwest and travel to major All Star and Outlaw races next season.

I hate cancer. No surprise there, most folks do. The dreaded disease has been especially tough on auto racing over the past couple weeks. George Fisher, longtime car owner and crew chief for Dale Blaney, passed away on Oct. 27. Fisher lived in Columbus, Ohio. Fisher was 60 years old.

Sprint car driver Bob Beidleman passed away this week after a bout with brain cancer. Beidleman, who raced 358s, was 55. And sources inform me cancer was present in longtime driver Dave Kepner, who passed last week at age 70.

Finally, Doug Yates announced this week that his father, NASCAR Hall of Fame engine builder Robert Yates, is battling liver cancer. Please keep these folks and their families in thoughts and prayers.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup racers are in action at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. Two items of interest: Reed Sorenson’s No. 55 will sport a Trump-Pence paint scheme in the final week before the election. And Matt DiBenedetto’s car will honor police officers by being painted as a black and white patrol car. I can’t remember that being done before. I like the retro-type paint schemes racers have used this season.

I’ll be back next week with more news and opinions. Have a great racing weekend!

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Craig Rutherford writes about motorsports for The Sentinel.

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