Flag drops on 2017 Speedweek
Sprint Car speedweek is here!
Ten days of racing began last night at Williams Grove Speedway. Port Royal Speedway is dark this evening as Lincoln Speedway hosts the first of two shows this week. Sunday, Fred Rahmer puts on his promoter cap at Path Valley Speedway as the 410 cars make their first appearance there this season.
Thursday night Port Royal hosts the first of its two Speedweek shows. On July 7 it’s back to Williams Grove for a $10,000-to-win program. Port Royal hosts again their second show of the week. The series closes out July 8 at Selinsgrove Speedway. More than $270,000 of prize money is up for grabs during this grueling run.
Past title holders from include 13-time winner Fred Rahmer. Greg Hodnett has won the championship four times. Lance Dewease is a three-time winner. Lucas Wolfe owns two speedweek championships.
Who are the Pennsylvania drivers most likelyto win this year’s title? I boil it down to three people: Lucas Wolfe, Greg Hodnett and Danny Dietrich. Depending on weather and rainouts, Lance Dewease is a sleeper. I say that because the Kreitz, Brown, Dewease team does not plan to run all the shows.
Look for Dale Blaney to be a longshot and possibly earn his first Speedweek win or feature win along the way.
Speedweek is attracting national attention as an impressive list of drivers plan to compete. NASCAR drivers Kyle Larson and Kasey Kahne will run with the series Saturday through Thursday. California drivers Rico Abreu and Tyler Walker are also expected to compete, as is Australian driver James McFadden. There are rumors Tony Stewart may show up for part of the week,
Congratulations to Lucas Wolfe on his win last week at Port Royal Speedway. Wolfe rolled his car over on the opening lap, went to the rear of the field and worked his way back to the front for the win.
Kyle Larson had a big week. After a NASCAR win at Sonoma, Larson went east to Ohio where he won two All Star sprint car features.
The automotive thrill show business continues as a few key members of the former Joey Chitwood show are touring with a new name. They call themselves the Lucky Devil Helldrivers. The troupe performed last week at the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing’s annual fair. These stunt drivers perform in antique street cars dating back to the 1930s.
Last weekend’s Frank Sagi Memorial race at Hagerstown Speedway was well received by racers and fans. The Maryland oval was full with at least 25 super late models on hand.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Larson, Abreu and Stewart raced in sprint cars last weekend in California. Larson drove a second Stenhouse/Wood Racing car to victory while subbing for released driver Joey Saldana. Following that situation will be tough. Jac Haudenschild is temporarily filling the seat until a driver can be named.
Miss Hurst Shifter Linda Vaughn is having a tough time of it health wise. Vaugh suffered heart problems earlier this year and Doctors have decided a lengthy operation will be performed shortly. Should you desire to send cards you may mail them to PO Box 0348 , South Laguna, CA 92677.
I had the pleasure to meet Linda Vaughn at the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing in Dillsburg a couple years ago. Vaughn is a wonderful person and ambassador for our sport.
It’s great to see Todd Hestor and Mike Erdley have teamed up to field a sprint car for competition at Port Royal and Selinsgrove speedways. The pair competed at Port Royal last Saturday.
I’ll return next week with more news and opinions. Have a great holiday weekend.
Craig Rutherford writes about motorsports for The Sentinel.