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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Thoughts on a racing weekend gone by.....

Well folks what a weekend of racing we had here in Central PA. Every track sans Selinsgrove who had another mysterious rain out (hey they might have gotten dumped on who knows), ran incredible shows for the fans this weekend, and we saw the 2 hottest and best 410 drivers continue to show why they are who we think they are. We also where treated to an upset at Port Royal, and 2 of the future of our sport park it in victory lane in the 358 division, while a 358 champion won again at Trail Way Speedway.

Friday night I ventured back up to Williams Grove Speedway to catch the 410/358 double header. The 410's brought with them 19, yeah you read that right, 19 cars strong. Now before you even say something, I'm not a guy who gets hung up on car counts = good racing BS like everyone else does. Hell I go to Trail Way most Friday nights and they have the lowest car counts of any track in Central PA, and guess what? They normally have outstanding action.

Getting back to Williams Grove.... The 410 feature was down right breathtaking to watch. Greg Hodnett was masterful working his way through lapped traffic on his way to picking up his 7th feature win on the season in Central PA. Yes I know he has the big win down in Florida to start the season, but hey this is Central PA Racing Scene, and I only worry about Central PA. Cory Haas ran an great race leading most of the feature, but the fun was watching Greg and Brian Montieth come from mid pack 10th and 11th respectively, in a race to see who was going to get the win. I was watching them fight their way through the field and it reminded me of Maverick and Ice....you know these guys......
driving their sprint cars through the field like to fighter pilots in the movie Top Gun. Yeah I know dated reference, but hey I was raised in the 80's so it fits for me.

Greg got the win after trading sliders with Haas , who put on a hell of a show trying to keep Greg at bay the last 5 laps or so, before Greg finally got that run off of turn 4 and cleared Cory for the win. Some of can say what we like about Williams Grove Speedway  but that was the best 410 feature I have personally seen there in q few years. Lucas Wolf, Montieth, and Austin Hogue (my pick on Friday night in the dollar poll) completed the top 5.

Chase Dietz would pick up his first 358 feature win in the Godfrey #5. After having motor issues opening night in the car, and having them again the 2nd week out in his heat race, Chase and that 5 car have been BAD FAST. He finished 2nd the last time the 358's where their (a close 2nd I might add) before doing that 1 better this weekend. Congrats to him and the whole team on the outstanding win. Oh and in case you didn't know, they helped raise over $1,000 to the Heather Baker Foundation. That right there should earn Chase and the whole race team a big nod on Winged Nation Tuesday #HintHint

Down at Trail Way Brad McClelland picked up his 3rd win of the season after what some have told me was a real bad slide job on Seth Kearchner, which lead to Seth hitting the wall and tearing up his car. To make things worse it was Seth's Birthday. Dwight Leppo finished 2nd, Cody Fletcher (who continues to have a strong season on the bull ring) was 3rd, Tyler Reinhardt and Isaac Sneeringer completed the top 5.

Saturday I got to watch another set of sprint car features that matched my viewing enjoyment from Friday night. Down at Lincoln Speedway Brian Montieth would pick up his 7th feature win of the season catching leader Gerard McIntyre and Adam Wilt and then cruising to the victory. McIntyre who finally showed some life after a pretty bad start to the season in the family owned 16, took the lead from Brandon Rahmer and held of a fast Adam Wilt for mot of the race, only to have Montieth catch them both, pick them off one at a time, and then watch Brian just drive away. McIntyre would fade in the last 5 laps to a 4th place finish, Danny Dietrich would claim third at the end of the feature. Was as much fun if not more watching Monteith and Dietrich slice through the field at Lincoln Saturday, but then again almost everything is more exciting at Lincoln. I tend to favor short track racing, I'm not a "Speed" guy myself, I tend to like close, hard, RACING action. If I need my speed fix I can always head to a drag strip, which for the record I have never been to in my life.

The 358 feature saw another of our feature sprint car stars finally get the monkey off his back and pick up his first win of the season. Matt Campbell would make up for last week, picking up his 6th career feature win in the division. The 358 feature was fun to watch, and felt bad for all the fans who left right after the 410 feature, but then again I always feel bad for them. CJ Tracey lead the first part of the feature and held off Campbell in a great side by side race between the 2 drivers. The actually banged wheels, heading into turn 1, and all of us sitting in the stands still cant figure out how either of the them (or both for that matter) didnt go for a serious set of flips into the turn 1 catch fence. The both not only managed to save it, but both ran each other harder coming out of turn two and down the back stretch. Matt would get the lead and Tracy would have a tire go flat under caution. The Central PA 358 Point Series presented by Capitol Renegade point leader Doug Hammaker who was having a hell of a race with Jeff Rorbaugh and 1 time winner at Williams Grove this season, Brie Hershey would come home in 2nd. Hershey, Rohrbaugh and Jeff Halligan rounded out the top 5.

Up at Port Royal Kevin Nouse would pick up his 1st 410 feature win in over 7 years at the "Speed palace". Nouse who started driving for an injured Will Rose would hold off Greg Hodnett, Brent Marks who hauled ass to get back to PA Saturday to race, and two of the young stars at Port Royal Logan Wagner and Dylan Cisney.

 Congrats to Kevin and the whole 21a team. I know how much that win means to Kevin and his family. While Kevin has not gone looking for a 410 ride, everyone knows who listened to his interview on Slingin Dirt 2 weeks ago, knows how much he enjoys running them, and loves racing at Port Royal Speedway.

Speaking of interviews on Slingin Dirt, did anyone happen to catch the great and very honest interview Thursday with Steve Buckwalter? If you didn't do yourself a favor and check it out right here . Steve was very honest on his views on what he thinks is wrong with 410 racing in Central PA. If you don't already listen to Slingin Dirt on Slicks and Sticks you better start. Trust me you might be the only person who doesn't. The past 4 weeks they have had the Central PA 358 point series leader Doug Hammaker, this weeks 410 winner from Port Royal Kevin Nouse, The Central PA 358 Point Series Champion Brad McClelland, and Steve Buckwalter all sharing their open and honest opinions on everything and anything concerning sprint cars. From which driver things the 358/360 challenge races suck and are a joke, to which driver thinks just a little more attention should be paid to the 358 division, to this week when 1 driver called out Williams Grove for lack of track prep and said they absolutely need to go back to handicapping every week to bring back better racing. And I can promise you for a fact this weeks guest will be the same way, so make sure you tune in every Thursday night. Oh and 1 more thing about racing shows.....Wanna bet me Kevin Nouse gets a call to be on 1 this week now that he won a 410 feature even though he had 10 win last year in a 358 and wasn't good enough to be interviewed? Ill take what ever action your looking for on that.

Now for some fun....

Have you ever been driving home from a race track and have one of the those  moments or thoughts where you think...Damn that makes so much sense it hurts? Well I had that happen to me on Friday night heading home from Williams Grove Speedway. Now I am a big fan of pod cast. I have about 8 or so pod cast I listen to every week depending on the guest that week. Some are the normal sprint car related shows, Winged Nation, Penn Live with Jeremy Elliot, and of course Slingin Dirt. I'm also a huge wrestling pod cast guy. I check out 3 or 4 different shows every week plus being a huge music guy I just started listening to Jamey Jasta the singer for Hatebreed and his damn good show. Now Friday night I stumbled upon a wrestling podcast with Jasta as the guest talking about wrestling and music, and Jasta made a comment that really struck a power cord with me (get it power cord....heavy metal? Oh come on that was good damn it) The host and Jamey where discussing the similarities between wrestling and music fans on social media. How no matter what each type of entertainment the fans are into to, someone always bitches about something. Jasta noted how he was receiving tweets all week before a show telling him the band should play all the old stuff, then after playing 8 songs off the first album (which for the record only had 14 songs and clocked in at 26 minutes tops) fans where taking to twitter complaining about not getting to hear any of the new stuff they just released.
Cover of the album Satisfaction is the death of desire by hardcore band Hatebreed

Now I already hear you asking me, WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH RACING HERE IN CENTRAL PA DUDE? A lot!!!! Raise your hand if your reading this and have gone on twitter or your Facebook page or hell even your massage board of choice to complain about what you watched that night at a race track. Yeah my hand is raised so high I'm typing with 1 hand right now. I'm sure most of us have done it at some point, notice I didn't say all of us, just most. Now ask yourself this, how many of us have gone on the same social media to say how great the race was we watched that night? Now my hand is still up high on that one as well. Can I put it down now? I need to type with both hands here. Are we, the people who complain about the crappy track surface, or lack of passing the majority of race fans, or are we just the vocal minority who get on twitter and vent every week? Now I'm not saying we're wrong in how we feel, or what we see, but is everything as bad as we really think it is? Now I tend to think some things are, and Stevie B backed that up this week in his interview Thursday night, but as a fan do we all feel this way, or are we the ones complaining about it just the vocal minority? I don't like the Newest inductee into the Sprint Car Hall of Fame announcing or his elitist views on sprint car racing, and I have no problem sharing that view, but am I the only 1? Am I in the minority in thinking he needs to retire? Maybe we all just need to take a step back once in a while and take a hard look at what we see every week, because lets be real honest here race fans, we pay our good hard earned money to sit and watch cars go around in circles and get dirty doing it. Why are we taking everything so damn serious? Think about that 1 more time....WE ARE WATCHING CARS GO AROUND IN CIRCLES. Do we really need to piss and moan about stuff when if you break it down to its simplest form, its not that big of a seal. At the end of a great night of watching cars go around in circles, we get in or cars or trucks, drive home to our family's, and resume our lives. Hopefully we all have a safe and stress free life till we can all get back to that seat the following week. Its not life or death folks. We have so much crap to deal with in or normal everyday lives, some of us seem to forget we go to the races to have FUN!!!!. Why are we not having fun? If going to Williams Grove is that bad of an experience then why do we go? And I'm just as guilty as anyone over the years for bitching and complaining about every little thing at a race track. I have tried to be more positive this year, and I hope I am succeeding, but I think we all need to take a hard look at why we go to a race track, spend the money we busted our asses to make that week, just to go and complain about it. BTW you have every right to complain if you order pizza and they serve it to you cold......Just Sayin.

With that I say thank you for checking out the site again today. Hopefully you have enjoyed my thoughts on another racing weekend gone by. You can always let me know what you think by Tweeting me or shooting me an Email. You can also leave me a comment in the comment section just dont be a chick #&!% and let your real name. Own those comments folks, I do every time I open my big mouth and stick my foot in it.

This coming week is going to be a fun 1. Tuesday night starts USAC week in Central PA. They kick off their Eastern Storm at Grandview Speedway before moving to my home track Wednesday Lincoln Speedway which will have the most bang for your buck of any race the rest swing. 4 features folks. 2 USAC and 2 360 features. Saturday they head up to Port Royal Speedway. Friday night Williams Grove will have the 410s and the 358/360 Challange race, while the 358's will headline again at Trail Way Speedway. Saturday night at Lincoln Speedway will host the Dirt Classic Qualifier for the September Kasey Kahne Dirt Classic. With Port Royal running USAC I wonder how many of the teams from up north will venture down south to Lincoln? Selinsgrove will try to get back on track as they will host the URC for an exciting night of 360 racing action.

I will see everyone this coming Wednesday night at Lincoln Speedway and Saturday night back at the same track for the 410/358 double header. Who knows might even get to talk to some of you thins week. Until then I hope your work week goes quick, your beer is ice cold (with a little dirt on top), and the racing action is red hot.


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