Tommy Classic on docket at Williams Grove tonight
Mechanicsburg's Williams Grove Speedway presents a 30-lap, $6,000-to-win feature event for the 410 sprint cars, with the 305 cubic inch sprint cars also on the card. Time trials and qualifying events will set the field for the main event.
"The Tommy Classic", is tonight's special program honoring a very special man. Notice it doesn't carry a last name; anyone who knows sprint car racing, and Pennsylvania racing can quickly tell you "the Classic" pays tribute to arguably one of the best racers to ever come out of the Keystone State, and some say the entire country.
Tommy Hinnershitz, also known as the "Flying Farmer" or the "Flying Dutchman" was born and raised in the farmlands of Oley and became a very accomplished driver during his racing career.
Driving sprint cars, midgets and champ cars throughout the 1930s, 40s and 50s, the popular and friendly Hinnershitz was widely regarded as a talented driver.
The Oley farmer scored the first win at the first racing event ever held at Williams Grove Speedway in 1939, along with winning the track championship as well in that first season. He also won track titles in 1949 and 1952 at the Pennsylvania oval, along with amassing wins across the United States.
Not only was he talented on dirt tracks, the "Flying Farmer" qualified for three Indianapolis 500s (1940, 1941 and 1948) collecting two top 10 finishes in the Memorial Day classic, with a best finish of ninth in 1948.
His talents were widely acclaimed, both near and far. The Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame inducted him in 1975 and the friendly driver was a first ballot inductee in the first class in the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame.
Although he died in August of 1999 at the age of 87, Hinnershitz's legacy continues to live on, as "The Tommy" takes the green flag tonight night.
In other racing action around the area, Big Diamond Speedway looks to return to action tonight following last week's rainout. The modifieds, sportsman and roadrunners will be joined by the street stocks, with an 8:15 starting time
Plenty of action is on the slate Saturday as Selinsgrove Speedway presents a four division show of 358 sprint cars, late models, pro stocks and roadrunners at 6 p.m. Williams Grove Speedway hosts the opener of its Saturday Night Series of winged super sportsman, limited late models and street stocks with a $5 general admission ticket..., Lincoln Speedway hosts the 410 sprint cars, 358 sprint cars and thundercars..., Port Royal Speedway hosts Camera and Autograph Night for the fans with a three division show of 410 sprinters, late models and 305 sprint cars..., The Lucas Oil Late Model Series makes a stop at Hagerstown Speedway Saturday night as the locals battle the touring pros..., and Grandview Speedway presents its three division show of modifieds, sportsman and limited late models.
Drag racing action began locally at Numidia Dragway last Saturday. Area winners in the Summit Series points were Jeff Krushinskie taking the Pro honors and Elysburg's Jason Vought in the Street class. Street legal drag racing is scheduled for tonight, and the Summit Series points racing actionreturns Saturday at the Numidia facility.
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series returns to action this weekend for the fifth of 24 events on the 2013 schedule as the tour heads into the Charlotte, N.C., area for the 4th Annual Dollar General 4-Wide Nationals at the zMAX Dragway.
The spacious zMAX Dragway is the only NHRA national event that features four lanes of racing action at one time, which provides a very intriguing view for the fans.
Winners at the 2012 event were Spencer Massey (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car) and Greg Anderson (Pro Stock), the P/S Bikes will be competing in competition this weekend as well. ESPN2 will provide two hours of qualifying action tomorrow at 5 p.m. and three hours of eliminations on Sunday at 7 p.m.