Monday, April 06, 2015

My thoughts on this weekends racing action....

Well folks the racing Gods where finally kind to all us racing fans and we got to see some great racing action all throughout the local Central PA race tracks. Friday afternoon rain hit the area and washed out the racing action at both Williams Grove Speedway which was to play host to a 410/Super Sportsman double header, as well as the 2015 season opener for the 358 division at Trail Way Speedway.

Saturday was a completely different story. While we had a windy day, the sun was shinning all afternoon, but once that sun went down boy did it get cold. Saturday saw all 3 local tracks finally get their races in the books. Port Royal finally got their season opener in, as did Selinsgrove Speedway with the 360 division. Lincoln Speedway hosted the Spring Championship as well as the 358 sprint cars in their season opener for the Central PA 358 Point Series presented by Capitol Renegade.

Great to see Aaron Ott pick up his first career feature win at The Speed Palace. Aaron who has been a winning  360 driver picking up a few big wins last season at Selinsgrove Speedway while running part time at bigger 410 races in the area needed a big win in the division to remind everyone that it was not to long ago Aaron was pulling off the double at Williams Grove winning both the 410/360 race in the same night. He showed the fans that he is ready for the 2015 season and now will be a team to watch at which ever race track, and no matter which division he chooses to race in in 2015.

Also great to see former Selinsgrove 358 track champion Nate Snyder pick up his career best 410 finish Saturday at Port with a 2nd place. Nate is a great guy, one of the funniest dude's I have ever had the pleasure of interviewing, and if you really want to have fun, ask him about his love for the 80's hairband KIX.

Looks like Selinsgrove Speedway is going to have a rough 2015 with the 360 division. 14 cars showed up for their season opener, which is not good. The fastest half mile on the east coast hosted a regular show on Saturday night, and with no other 360 organization racing (I'm looking at you URC) only pulling in 14 cars is bad. I know some fans and racing media love to talk about how 360's are the future in Central PA, and race tracks should switch 358's and run the more popular 360's, but I just don't see it happening in Central PA. It just doesn't look like race teams want to support the class. You just don't see 358 teams willing to make the switch to 360's and I haven't seen to many new teams moving to the class. We did see a few new teams in the 358 division but more on that in a bit.

The big question people should be asking is, is it a 360 or is it just a Selinsgrove Speedway issue. Race teams for some reason just do not like supporting that race track. The promoters over the years have raced 410's, 358's and now 360's and have not gotten support from the teams. It's a real shame too, because the track is a great facility, and even with tit being a fast half mile, the racing is unbelievable. Close hard racing, with passing throughout the field. Rumors are already floating around after 1 race about what might happen, I for one just hope car counts pick up and the race track continues to operate.

Lincoln Speedway on Saturday night saw TT on a windy day create havoc on the racing surface. I tweeted during the heat races that I needed to borrow a fishing pole so I could catch me some catfish, as it was huggy pole racing at it's finest. After all the heats where completed Fred Putney worked his magic and laid some water down on the top side and brought new life back into the racing surface. Helped the race teams be able to run all over the speedway, Unfortunately Time Trials put Brian Montieth on the pole for the 30 lap feature, and he just killed it. At one point he had a half track lead on 2nd place before a caution came out. Brian had 8 lapped cars between him and 2nd place Adam Wilt. When the green dropped again Brian just set sail. The best race of the night was between eventual runner up Danny Dietrich and 2014 Track Champion Alan Krimes as those two where all over each other racing through lapped traffic trying to get near Montieth. Congrats to the 21 team as that's 2 in a row for "The Edge" and he looks unstoppable right now on the Hanover area Short Track.

Speaking of Dietrich and Montieth, race teams better step it up or it's going to be another year of watching those two drivers dominate at Lincoln Speedway. While its fun and highly entertaining to watch both drivers fly through the pack every week racing each other for the win, I'm hopping other teams can figure out what those two have already, and make it more then just a 2 car battle.

Nice to see Todd Rittenhouse Jr back in victory lane Saturday night in the 358 season opener. The win was Todd's 1st in the division since 2010. Todd has raced everything in this area, 358's URC, and ran a 410 for a bit at Lincoln so to see him come out opening night and pick up the win was cool, and much needed for the team. Todd lead the points in the 358 division a few years back at Lincoln so with his feature win, Todd could be a tough guy to catch for the title, with just a little luck.

A big shout out to the 2014 358 Point Series Most Popular Driver Ashley Cappetta. Ashley won her heat race pulling away Saturday night, then finished a very strong 4th place in the feature. It was the best finish of her career and it's something the young lady can definitely build on in 2015.

Glad to see a great car count for the 358 division. 31 cars strong showed up at Lincoln Speedway. Some new faces in the division will bring new life to the class, but with rookies brings cautions. Saturday night was not the best track for new drivers to be turning their first laps on, so hopefully as they get more track time we will see less caution flags.

Great to see Tyler Esh back in a sprint car Saturday night as well. Tyler suffered a broken back last year a wreck July 4th weekend at Lincoln Speedway. The youngster was leading the 358 rookie of the year standings by a wide margin  and was well on his way to his first win when the accident happened.

Well that's it for this week. Next week Williams Grove will have the 410s on tap along with the 358 whatchmacalits for their season opener, and only race for the month of April. Trail Way Speedway will try again to get their 2015 season opener in the books. Saturday Port Royal (which is where I hope to be) will have the 410's, while Lincoln host the 410's and Super Sportsman. Selinsgrove Speedway will host the Empire Super Sprints ESS/ Mach 1 Spring Fling for the 360's. The race will pay $3,000 to win so look for a strong car count this week.

Until then hope everyone had a great Easter Weekend, and lets all pray the work week goes by fast, because we all just want to get back to the track.

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