Racers enjoyed Speedweek, looking to the future
Sprint Car Speedweek has come and gone. Nine of 10 events were completed this year.
Lucas Wolfe won the overall Speedweek title for the third time in his career. The event is truly a national and international event with racers attending from Australia and the West Coast of the United States.
NASCAR star Kyle Larson won three races. Washington state drive Trey Starks drove Scott Gobrecht’s racer to victory at Williams Grove. Rico Abreu made the trip from California and won the finale at Selinsgrove. Lance Dewease won a pair of races for the PA Posse. Kasey Kahne raced several shows. Australian James McFadden enjoyed success in the Keystone state.
Most of the drivers indicate they want to return next year. Some hope to increase their participation.
While chatting with promoter Alan Kreitzer last weekend, we reached consensus that this year’s Speedweek was the one that took the whole series to a new level. It’s only going to get bigger and better from here.
So what do you do after nine races? People are tired. So is the equipment. Do you take off a week? Not likely. It’s right back at it tonight as Port Royal Speedway hosts its annual Kids Night with plenty of fun activities and prizes for children. The 410 sprint cars are joined by late models, econo lates and xtreme stocks. Action starts at 7 p.m.
Selinsgrove Speedway offers a fan and driver appreciation night this evening. 360 sprint cars, late models, pro stocks and roadrunners are in action. Lincoln Speedway offers 410 sprint cars, super sportsman and central PA Legend cars.
Port Royal, Lincoln and Hesston speedways are dark next Saturday. Why? The World of Outlaws sprint cars return to Williams Grove for the track’s Summer Nationals program. PA Posse racers are going to have to find some speed and fresh equipment if they are to earn a hard fought win against the travelers.
Next week is also special because Eldora Speedway hosts the NASCAR Truck Series, the fifth appearance of the circuit on dirt. Kenny Schrader and Rico Abreu are planning to compete. It’s my opinion this race is the best NASCAR race of the year. Just a reminder, the TV telecast is on Fox Business Network due to Fox Sports 1’s commitment to international soccer.
Tonight is the Kings Royal sprint car race at Eldora Speedway. One might think Donny Schatz would be the man to beat in this race. Schatz has won eight of the last 11 Outlaw series championships. He’s won the last three championships in a row. But no one in the 33-year history of the Kings Royal event has won the race two years in a row.
Tyler Walker planned to compete at Eldora but problems with the Sorokach team’s race hauler will keep them home. Walker will race this evening at Port Royal. Walker won the Kings Royal race previously.
In the NASCAR Cup world Matt Kenseth will be replaced at Joe Gibbs Racing next season by Erik Jones.
ISC Corporation, operators of numerous NASCAR tracks, announced a $30 million renovation to the infield at Richmond International Raceway. The project is scheduled to be done for the fall 2018 race. New garages will be built and an 8,800 capacity fan zone section will allow fans up close access to the pits and victory lane.
Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway continues to rebuild itself in hopes of again hosting NASCAR racing. Last week Nashville held a nostalgia late model program. A name from the past entered the event and won the $5,000 top prize. Sterling Marlin, eight years detached from his last Cup start, scored a popular win. The 60-year-old driver wore a Coors Light racing uniform to share the nostalgia theme.
Port Royal Speedway hosts the Living Legends Dream Race in two weeks. Mike Wagner is an award recepient. I’ll have more on that next time. Enjoy the weekend!