Monday, June 22, 2015

My Thoughts on a racing weekend gone by 6/22/15

Well another racing weekend is in the books, and for the first time ever people are yelling DAMN YOU BILL, and not talking to me. Tropical storm Bill hit the area Saturday night and washed out all of the racing action in Central PA, but Friday night both Trail Way and Williams Grove Speedway's got their races in the books.

Friday night at Trail Way Speedway 2nd generation driver and former guest of Slicks and Sticks last week (yeah I know cheap plug), Cody Fletcher scored his first and long over due win. Cody has led a bunch of laps at the bull ring this season only to have misfortune strike as he wrecked out of the lead twice. Well, this week he finally put everything together and put the local favorite red Fletchers Amoco 66a back in Victory lane. He would hold off the defending 358 point series champion Brad McClelland and Trail Way point leader Isaac Sneeringer to collect his first win. And for everyone keeping track at home, those two drivers have 6 total wins between them in the area, 5 at Trail Way Speedway alone.

Also for those keeping track, that makes 6 different winners at Trail Way in 2015. The most of any 358 track in Central PA. So much for that track being dominated by just 1 driver.

At Williams Grove Speedway the 410's and 358's put on one hell of a show again, this week. Lucas Wolfe would pick up his 1st win of the season at the historic half mile and the 2nd of 2015 by catching Kyle Reinhardt on the last lap to steal the win. Lucas was by far the class of the field Friday night, but I'm not sure what has people talking more: his last corner pass for the win, or his headers he had on his car in warm-ups? Now, I don't know if he was trying something new or just trying the old bait and switch move by having everyone worry about that, but whatever he was doing it worked. Congrats to the former outlaw driver on a great win.

Now the feature itself wasn't the best race I've personally seen at Williams Grove this season, because there really wasn't a lot of passing going on. Although, Brian Montieth jumped out at the beginning of the feature and looked to be the man to get to the front first, but something happened to the 21's wing and it slowed his progress around the 5th spot that eventually led to him falling backwards to a 12th place finish in the end. The big surprise for me (and maybe it shouldn't have been to be honest) was Freddie Rahmer, who started 3rd would run a great race and bring the Miller Brothers Chevrolet home in 3rd. Marking his best feature finish at Williams Grove in just his 2nd season behind the wheel of a 410 sprinter. The biggest surprise (yeah I know don't even say it ok) was Greg Hodnett spinning out in turn 4 during the feature event and only finishing 14th. Now that sounds great after spinning, but I don't think he was actually passing any cars, his finish was because all the guys in front of him dropped out. The track was definitely  tricky Friday night so I guess not everything can be blamed on missed setup this week.

In the 358 feature event Matt Campbell picked up his 2nd career feature win at Williams Grove Speedway after leading all 20 laps. The big story was the start of the feature when Bill Stine got turned around and caused a 9 car pileup in turn 1 taking out some good cars. Bill was shaken up after the wreck, and took his time getting out of the car, but walked away (THANK GOD). Chase Dietz chased Campbell the entire 20 laps and looked to be closing with 2 to go; but smacked the wall pretty good coming out of turn 4 and just ran out of time to make up the difference, even with a last lap bonzi move going into turn 3 & 4. It was great watching 2 of the feature stars in our area race each other hard. Remember folks the 358 division is where the future of Central PA sprint car racing starts, and I'm pretty sure the future is looking damn good.

Hope you all took the time to check out Matt Campbell's interview this past Thursday night on Slicks and Sticks. From the numbers I have been seeing from the station I would say a hell of a lot of you are, so THANK YOU for that, but something Matt said during the interview sort of struck me as both funny and made me happy at the same time. Host Kristina Chambers asked Matt about him moving up to the 410 division, and his answer was "I'm not in a big hurry, I'm still young and have plenty of stuff to learn before jumping in a 410." Now I don't know about you but I love that answer. Not just because I want to watch him in the 358 division, but I just don't see why these kids (and yes folks some of these guys and gals are just kids) have to be rushed to the 410 division so damn quickly. When Cole Young won at Lincoln Speedway earlier this season, you started to hear people say they cant wait to see him in a 410. but the kid is just 15 years old. Matt Campbell is just 17 years old. I know we are a 410 sprint car area, and you are not anything unless you are running a 410 (or a 360 depending on the person), but damn folks let these kids grow up and mature as human beings before they make the jump to the 410's. God willing, we will have plenty of years to enjoy watching these two youngsters as well as guys like Leiby,Lehman,Halligan,Quirk and a bunch more. Give them time to grow up and enjoy being a teenager before you push them into the deep end where everyone looks miserable and the stress is 10 fold. In other words, just chill folks if they truly do have the talent then we will see them in a 410 in a few years. Until then, I'm going to enjoy shaking hands with them in victory lane that first time like I always do.

Okay folks it's that time of the year again and Speed Week 2015 is about to begin. Friday night the racing kicks off at Williams Grove Speedway, while Trail Way Speedway will host the 358 sprinters in the only race for the Central PA 358 Point Series presented by Capitol Renegade this week. I'm looking for a good car count this Friday because of that, so if you don't feel like watching another Time Trial race you have another option down in Hanover. Saturday Speed Week jumps to Lincoln Speedway, then it's off to Path Valley, Grandview, Hagerstown, back to Lincoln Thursday, then back to Williams Grove, Port Royal on Saturday, before finishing up at Selinsgrove Speedway on Sunday. Don't forget July 3rd and 4th the 358 sprinters will be in action at Trail Way and Lincoln Speedway's so there is another option besides TT.....just sayin.

My picks for the week will be....

Williams Grove - Brian Montieth
Trail Way Speedway - Seth Kearchner
Lincoln - Brian Montieth
Path Valley - Lucas Wolfe
Grandview - Greg Hodnett
Hagerstown - Stevie Smith
Lincoln - Danny Dietrich
Williams Grove - Greg Hodnett
Trail Way - Brad McClelland
Port Royal - Greg Hodnett
Lincoln - Doug Hammaker
Selinsgrove - Greg Hodnett

Speed Week Champion - Greg Hodnett

With that everyone have a great week. I will see everyone on Friday night at Trail Way Speedway. Keep an eye on Twitter and periscope this weekend as I plan on having some behind the scenes stuff from both Trail Way on Friday night. Going to give everyone who has never seen the track before a glimpse into why it's one of my favorite tracks and the hidden gem in Central PA. Saturday night I will be at Lincoln Speedway so look for the crew in the parking lot early as we will be tailgating and enjoying the day and night at The Fabulous Lincoln Speedway. Until then hope your work week goes fast, the weather stays warm, your beer stays ice cold, and the racing no matter where you see it is red hot.

©Bill McIntyre and Central PA Racing 2015

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