Announcing legend gets remembered

Racing fan clubs are out in full force at area speedways this weekend.

Selinsgrove Speedway hosts the York County Racing Club tonight. Club members receive a discount on general admission tickets purchased for the four division racing program. 360 sprint cars are joined by late models, pro stocks and roadrunners. Action gets underway at 7.

The Auto Racing Club of Hagerstown, MD is part of a very special program tonight.

Hagerstown Speedway presents a five division racing program that includes the ARCH Club. It’s also a tribute night to the late great Frank Sagi who many consider to be one of the best racetrack announcers to ever call a race in the Mid Atlantic region.

Sagi performed weekly at Hagerstown for 39 years after getting started in 1957. He also announced at other area raceways through out his career.

He had several trademark callings including “let’s see who has the hot shoe tonight.” He delivered that comment before the weekly super late model feature. Sagi closed his programs reminding folks that “speed is for the speedway and not the highway.” Sagi made most anything sound important and exciting. He could make purchasing a 50/50 ticket seem like an important thing a race fan should do.

Fans and drivers loved him. No one was any better.

Sagi was the life of the party anywhere he went. My son and I went to Daytona during Speedweeks. Who was holding court with anyone that would listen? Frank Sagi. Funny thing was we were at the weekly flea market outside the track. It didn’t matter who you were, Frank Sagi had a way of connecting with you. You just had to like him. I know I did. I announced a Three States Flyers Late Model race with Sagi at Bedford Speedway in 2009 and it was one of the most fun races I’ve worked in my entire career. Sagi made it that way.

Frank Sagi passed away in 2012. He hasn’t and won’t be forgotten. A who’s who of racers are attending tonights Hagerstown race to honor the former PA resident. Tom Peck, Jeff Robinson, Jimmie McBee, Nathan Durborow, Buddy Armel, Larry Gorman, Denny Bonebrake, Walter Dyer, Lynn Paxton, Sam Nalley, Gerald Chamberlain and others are just a few of the retired greats that will be on hand to honor Sagi and greet fans. Over 60 past drivers and car owners are expected.

If you are an old school late model fan this next show could be for you.

Closer to home, the Port Royal Speedway presents Fire Company & EMS Night this evening. 410 & 305 sprint cars are joined by econo late models. Firetruck rides will be given around the grounds.

Lincoln Speedway hosts 410 and 358 sprint cars plus All American Outlaw cars tonight.

Sadly not all news is good news this week. Jr Eckert, father of late model star Rick Eckert of York, passed away from heart complications last Saturday. Eckert, 80, owned a trucking company and raced along with his children. Eckert was a York County Racing Club and Auto Racing Club of Hagerstown, Md. Hall of Fame member.

We’re gaining some sprint cars and drivers here in central Pa. Mike Erdley and Todd Hestor are teaming up to provide Erdley a ride for Port Royal and Selinsgrove Speedway shows. Look for the pair later this month.

Also Tyler Walker is expected to return to central Pa. to compete in speedweek shows.

Kyle Larson has enjoyed a busy week. After Larson’s NASCAR Cup win last week he raced sprint cars and won two All-Star A races during Ohio Sprint Car Speedweek. Look for Larson and Kasey Kahne to enter these shows.

Susquehanna Speedway suffered storm damage earlier this week. If you have time to pitch in and help them clean up debris I’d urge you to contact the speedway office.

Until next week, please drive safely!