Track boosts payout
Late model drivers will be racing for more money at Selinsgrove Speedway this season and this year's track champions in the 358 sprint cars and late models will earn more money as well.
The speeway announced this weekend that all 24 positions in the late model main event have been increased. The weekly races will pay $1,500 to win and $200 to start out of a $9,020 purse. The total increase is $1,465.
"For the past 50 years, the late models have shared the spotlight with the sprint cars at Selinsgrove," said promoter Charlie Paige in a speedway press release. "This purse increase is to help support one of the most talented and competitive fields of late models in the northeast."
In addition, the late model division will be featured in special events with increased purses throughout the season. The crown jewel event will be the World of Outlaws Late Model Series sanctioned 15th annual Late Model National Open on Saturday, Aug. 31 and Sunday, Sept. 1. Sunday night's finale will pay $10,000 to win.
The divisions' $9,050 point funds will be paid out to the top 10 finishers rather than the top 15 this year. The 358 sprint car and late model champions will each earn $3,000, up from $2,000 last year.
"When we reviewed the stats from the last couple of seasons, we found that drivers who finished in the top 10 in points were the ones who raced in most if not all of the races during the year," said Paige.
For 2013, the speedway also eliminated the handicapping penalties if a driver misses a race in any division. Previously, the rule mandated drivers who missed a race at the track to start at the rear of a qualifying event and fill the back positions in a feature for the next two events upon his or her return to the track.
"The expenses involved in racing today are making it harder for drivers to be able to compete in every race," said Paige. "We want to encourage drivers to come back and race with us, and we found that this penalty was more or less discouraging teams."
After losing its first scheduled regular show of the season on Saturday due to cold weather, the speedway will return to racing action Saturday at 6 p.m. with the 358 sprint cars, late models, pro stocks, and roadrunners.
The speedway will hold an Easter egg hunt for kids prior to the start of Saturday's racing program and hand out candy to the first 100 kids. Track gates will open at 4 p.m.
The first practice session of the season on the half-mile track is slated for 6:30-9 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, and is open to any full-size race car for a fee of $100 per entry.
358 sprint car and late model purse: 1) $1,500 2) $900 3) $700 4) $600 5) $450 6) $400 7) $375 8) $350 9) $325 10) $300 11) $275 12) $265 13) $255 14) $245 15) $235 16) $225 17) $215 18) $205 19-24) $200 TOW: $25
358 sprint car and late model point fund: 1) $3,000 2) $1,300 3) $900 4) $800 5) $750 6) $600 7) $500 8) $450 9) $400 10) $350
NOTES: Craig Von Dohren won the season opener for the 358 modifieds at Big Diamond Raceway, near Minersville, on Sunday evening. Kevin Albert, Jon Willman, Bobby Varin and Duane Howard completed the top five. Kevin Smith, Ray Swinehart, Kyle Weiss, John Willman and Justin Grimm completed the top 10. He earned $3,000 for the win in the 30-lap main event.
Lincoln Speedway, near Hanover, completed its fourth race of the season on Saturday night with Ohio driver Cole Duncan getting the win over Brian Montieth and Brent Marks. Montieth, Jimmy Siegel and Marks won early season Lincoln sprint car features.
Williams Grove and Port Royal Speedways both postponed their scheduled season openers because of the cold weather. Williams Grove is set to open on Friday night at 7:30 and Port Royal at 5 p.m. Saturday.