Sunday, April 12, 2015

My thoughts on another racing weekend gone by....

Hello race fans, what a weekend we had here in Central PA. For the first time all season, we saw racing at every race track but Selinsgrove Speedway who cancelled Friday afternoon because of wet grounds (sic).

Friday night saw Williams Grove Speedway and Trail Way Speedway both  race after a weeks worth of rain hit the area. Friday morning I would have bet there was no way in hell we where going to see any racing at either track. But I woke up from a quick power nap (yeah us old folks who work 3rd shift need those) to find the rain was gone, and both race tracks where going to try and get their races in. I was stoked. The plan for me was to head to Williams Grove Speedway and check out the 410's along with the season opener for the 358's. The track was wet, and when I say wet I mean WET!!! Check out these pictures posted on social media by a few of the drivers...
 This is Brent Marks helmet after the feature. Brent said he used 40 tearoffs during the 25 lap feature.
This was Danny Dietrich's helmet after his heat race.

Now I don't know about you, but from the drivers perspective I bet racing in those kind of conditions where not fun at all, but from where I was sitting I was having a blast. The track was super tacky and didnt make for a lot of passing, but for just flat out balls to the wall racing it was great. Was glad that no driver was hurt and nobody tore anything up.

Rodney Westhafer picked up his 2nd career 410 feature win. Was good to see the youngster nicknamed D.L. Slapnuts back in VL this early. Rodney is a good kid and showed he is going to be fun to watch for many years to come. Adrian Shaffer picked up the 358 feature win with a great last lap pass of Phil Walter. Walter looked to be gone with 3 to go, but Adrian ran him down with some help from lapped traffic, and made a great pass. Thats his 2nd opening night win in a row, and everyone in the 358 division better be watching him, because I can tell you he is on a mission in 2015. Was told before the season started "I'm ready to show these young kids, this old dog can still hunt." After Friday night I sure believe him.

One last quick note from Williams Grove... I actually heard Bruce Almighty say theses words.... 358 SPRINT CARS.... were making progress

Trail Way Speedway saw 8 cars....yeah you read that right...8 cars take the green flag for their season opener. Issac Sneeringer picked up his 8th career feature win at the Hanover area bullring. Fans who don't pay to much attention to Trail Way are missing a hell of a story. Issac has been one of the best drivers over their the past few years, and has some big wins at the track. With McClelland not running there weekly this year, look for the 19z to have a breakout season. Now about those 8 cars....more on that later......

Saturday night me and the family decided to make the trip up north and catch a race at The Speed Palace Port Royal Speedway. Absolutely love that race track. The 2 hr ride keeps us from going up there as much as we like, but everything about that place we love. Saturday was $1 hotdog night at the track, and if you don't think that was a big deal your crazy. Those guys sold a hell of a lot of hotdogs Saturday night. Hell my family spent almost $10 and my wife didn't even eat any. If you ever run into her at the track ask her why, its a great funny story. We no sooner pulled into the parking lot when someone from the track ( I'm not good with names....whats that saying about old age?...) came over to say hi to the family, shake my hand, and thanked us for making the trip up to the track tonight. My wife was in shock. She looked at me when the gentleman walked away and said..."I can't remember the last time I ever say a race track do that to some fans". She said that was pretty cool, and makes her wish we could come back more often, as they really seem to want us to enjoy our stay there. On the way home from the track we talked a little bit more about it and I told her she was right. I can't remember the last time I saw a promoter walking around saying thank you to the fans who came to his or her race track. Hell some race tracks are so bad at PR they openly tell race fans if they don't like something to just stay home. Makes you wonder why that is, and why only Port Royal does what they do. One last thing before I tell ya about the AWESOME feature event. Everyone up there is super nice. When getting our $1 hotdogs the guy selling me asked us how our night was going, while the lady who took our money wished us a great night and thanked us again for coming to the track. That my favorite race fans is what these 3 guys liked to call some SUPER SERVICE...
The racing in the feature was absolutely hands down the best feature I have seen so far in 2015, and when I sat down in my great seats for the night I thought I was in for another night where I wished I had brought this with me
But damn I could not have been more wrong. The feature started out normal but if you where not paying attention to the middle of the pack you where missing one of the best passing performances in a long time. Greg Hodnett came from 13th starting position to win in just 20 laps. Hands down the most fun I have ever had watching a race on a half mile race track. I love to mess with race fans about how most of the races at Port are wo from the front row, but lets see if any race track can top what we saw last night. A driver coming from that deep in the starting field happens once a year tops at each race track, Lincoln had 12th last season, the Grove had 12th the season before that, now Port upped it by 1. Congrats to Greg and the whole 27 team on an outstanding win, and thank you Port Royal Speedway for the great night of entertainment. My family will be back in 2015 for sure.

Down at Lincoln Speedway Lance Dewease picked up his 1st feature win of the season. After a tough Friday night that saw the 14 team's hauler break down on the way to the track, it was great to hear they picked up a much needed $3,000+ for winning his 38th career feature win.

One last thing and I'm getting out of here for the week. And this is kind of important and might take a few minutes so if your tired of reading go ahead and leave now, but as a race fan, and possibly race team (hey I hope they check out my site) yall  might want to read this......

Last week Selinsgrove had 14 cars show up for their season opener while this past Friday night Trail Way Speedway had 8 cars show up. Both race tracks have seen lower car counts in the past few years, and have struggled to get fans through the gates as well. This is not good folks. I ran into some folks from a race team that runs at Selinsgrove Saturday night on the way to Port who told me the track  might not last too much longer the way things are going. I can tell you Trail Way Speedway is hurting as well, even if they put their best face forward and continue to push on with their programs every week. Race teams need to start supporting both of these race tracks, and fans need to try and get to see a race or two as well. Everyone remembers what happened to Silver Springs Speedway don't they? That was a popular race track with packed pits and grand stands every week. If it can happen to the Springs, it can and will happen to both of these race tracks. I know race fans have their favorite tracks to go to every week, but think about this for a second, How many times have we seen Williams Grove Speedway cancel on a Friday afternoon, and then race fans go on social media and piss and moan about how its so damn nice out and they could have and should have raced. Guess what folks? There is another race track 35 minutes down the road that was racing, and instead of sitting at home crying on Facebook and twitter about how much you wanted to see a race, take your ass to Trail Way Speedway and catch a 358 race. Your not only getting to see some great short track action, but you are helping a race track possibly make it another couple of weeks. How is that not a win win for everyone. I hear everyone tell me how much the BeerHill gang and everyone up in turn 3 at Williams Grove does for sprint car racing, well then damn it prove it. Instead of taking your ass home, or going to a bar somewhere go find another race track and support the sport you claim you guys and girls love so much. Yeah I know it's not 410's but how shitty is it going to be when we loose another race track? And it's not just race fans, I have seen photographers claim they wont go to Trail Way because they can't shoot pictures at the track. Is that the only  reason you go to a race track? Would it be so damn bad to just go, watch a race as a fan, and support the track and area racing? Here is 1 more for ya, 358 race teams.....How many of you have enjoyed the almost $100,000 the Central PA 358 Point Series has handed out over the past 7 seasons? Guess what guys and gals....without Trail Way Speedway their is no Central PA 358 Point Series PERIOD!!!!  It was started because of that race track everyone hates, and if we loose another 358 race track (remember we already lost Selinsgrove last year to 360's) you all loose the chance of winning $3,000 at the end of the season. Race teams need to support TW as much as they can. I know most teams have budgets and only plan on hitting a certain amount of races in a season, but if anyone gives 2 shits about not only the 358 point series but just racing history in Central PA, then don't wait till it's to late. Trust me they need it and they need it now. I'm challenging race teams and race fans to step up and help keep 2 of the best race tracks in Central PA from closing their doors for good, because if you don't in a few years we will all sit back and think, damn remember when..... just like we do now when we talk about Silver Springs Speedway.

Well folks that's it for this week. Hope everyone has a great work week (yeah like that will happen). Don't forget tonight Susquehanna Speedway host the 410's and 358's (wish I could go but hey a man's gotta work).
Next week Williams Grove Speedway has the Spring Classic for the 410 sprint cars, while Trail Way Speedway host the 358 sprinters.

Saturday night Lincoln Speedway has another great sprint car double header of 410's and 358's on John H. Myers and Sons Building and Remodeling Supplies Night, while Port Royal will host the 410's and 305's on their Race to Cure Cancer night at the race track. Selinsgrove Speedway host another regular show for the 360's.

If you would like to hit me up and let me know how you feel about anything I wrote about today you can hit me up on  Twitter , through  my email ,  or leave a comment in the comment section of this article.  Thanks again for taking the time to check out Central PA Racing Scene, I'll see you all at the track.

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