LOCAL AUTO RACING: All-Star invasion at Grove, Port this week
The traveling All-Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car Series will make its first stops of 2013 in this area this weekend with visits to Williams Grove and Port Royal speedways.
Selinsgrove Speedway moves to its regular 7 p.m. starting time Saturday, whiule hosting its first late model special of the season.
The All-Star series has been coming to this area since the early 1970s. Although many talented drivers have competed with the group, the All-Stars have never won at Williams Grove since their first visit in 1970. Dale Blaney, Justin Henderson, Danny Holtgraver, Tim Shaffer, Cap Henry and many other travelers will look to change that tonight, in the $5,000 to win 30-lap feature event. The ARDC Midgets are also in action with the sprinters tonight at Williams Grove.
Tomorrow night, the All-Stars head to Juniata County's Port Royal Speedway for the Bob Weikert Memorial, which pays a whopping $10,000 to the winning driver.
The event honors one of the greatest car owners the Central Pennsylvania sprint car scenehas ever known with his patriotic red, white and blue No. 29 Beefmobile sprinters. The list of drivers in the Weikert's Livestock sprinters is long, as are the victories and championships collected by the car.
Paul Pitzer, Keith Kauffman, Bobby Davis Jr., Lynn Paxton and Doug Wolfgang were some of the most successful drivers for the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame car owner from Fairfield, Pa.
Logan Schuchart, last week's winner at Lincoln Speedway and grandson of sprint car legend Bobby Allen, will be driving a replica Weikert's Livestock car in the memorial race.
Along with track points leader, Chad Layton and regulars Mike Erdley, Doug Esh, Lance Dewease and others, many invaders are expected to challenge. As per the recent Port Royal press release, Californian Tim Kaeding, Kasey Kahne Motorsports driver Brad Sweet, Jac and Sheldon Haudenschild, Danny Lasoski in the ZEMCO No. 1 and Kyle Larson, a recent winner in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Rockingham, are expected to compete for the big paycheck.
Jeff's Auto Body and Recycling Center Late Model Spring Championship headlines tomorrow's four-division show at Selinsgrove Speedway. Also competing will be the 358 sprint cars, pro stocks and roadrunners. Time trials along with qualifying heats and consolation events will set the field for the feature event, which carries a $2,500 paycheck for the winner. Jerry Bard of Shippensburg was the most recent late model winner, while Dylan Yoder and Coleby Frye are the other 2013 victors at the Snyder County half mile.
Following two straight weeks of Mother Nature's interference, Big Diamond Speedway welcomes the Rislone United Racing Company Sprint Car Series for its 66th season opener at the Minersville oval. The modifieds and roadrunners are also on the card for tonight.
Defending series champion Robbie Stillwagon will lead the URC along with plenty of other drivers expected including Davie Franek, Josh Weller, JJ Grasso, Kramer Williamson, Randy West, Billy Pauch Jr., Dave Ely, Joey Biasi, Ed Aikin, Duane Mausteller and Andy Best.
In other Saturday night action, Grandview Speedway hosts a three-division show of 358 modifieds, sportsman and limited late models; Lincoln Speedway presents the 410 and 358 sprinters and PA Legends; and Williams Grove hosts its popular Saturday Night Series of winged super sportsman, limited late models and street stocks.
The Summit Series Points racing program at Numidia Dragway has kicked off for 2013 and the street division continues to be a battle among area drivers, as two Elysburg residents faced off in the finals last Saturday. Brandon Cox scored the win over Tim Vought. The track returns to action tonight with street legal drags and Summit Series points racing tomorrow.
Following last weekend's Dollar General Four Wide Nationals in Charlotte, the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series heads to the Royal Purple Raceway in Houston for the 26th annual O'Reilly Auto Parts Spring Nationals, the sixth of 24 races on the 2013 schedule. ESPN2 will provide live coverage during both broadcasts, the qualifying program at 3 p.m. Saturday and the eliminations coverage on Sunday at 2 p.m..
Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana Jr. (P/S Bike) are the point leaders in their respective classes heading into Houston.
(Kaminski covers auto racing
for The News-Item)