Sunday, August 30, 2015

My Thoughts on a Racing MONTH gone by....

Hello folks and welcome back to a special My thoughts on a racing MONTH gone by. Sorry for the lack of articles or updates on the site the past few weeks but work has been brutal the past few weeks. Working a lot of OT and 6 nights a week so not a lot of time to write or even go to the races for that matter. Unfortunately I have had to miss quite a bit, and I'm not real happy about it. Missed a few history making things in our area, but we will cover all of that in a bit.

First up this week I wanted to drop a big special announcement. Last year we here at Central PA Racing Scene did a series of special fan voting to see who the fans thought where the best 410,358,360 and 305 drivers in Central PA. We also saw fans vote on rookie of the year and their favorite event, and even the best track in Central PA. Well this year we are proud to say we are bring this back again starting in a few weeks, but to make it even bigger we will be giving out awards to the to the best 410 and 358 drivers in Central PA, as well as what the fans think is the best track in Central PA. The fans will be able to cast their votes on those 3 awards which will be presented to the winners, but also vote on a slew of other categories like top 305 driver, top 360 driver, the top rookies in 358 and 410 division. Which event the fans think was the best of 2015. The voting for best 410,358 and track will see the fans cast their vote and then a panel of us here at Central PA Racing Scene will have a debate as to who we think should win the award. So be on the lookout for voting to start the week after the National Open at Williams Grove Speedway.

Don't forget race fans this Thursday night Slingin Dirt presented by Slicks & Sticks will be back on the air with another awesome show. You can check it out at Slicks & Sticks every Thursday night at 8 pm.

Now lets get to everything that has happened the past month since the last time we shot the bull folks....

Its been an up and down month for fans here in Central PA. Sadly we lost one of our drivers 3 weeks ago as Jim Campbell lost his life in a tragic accident during warmups at Williams Grove Speedway. I was so proud of the fans here in Central PA as with the help of Kyle Pruitt and Kristina Chambers they where able to collect over $19,000 at Williams Grove Speedway. I'm not going to lie folks, I was worried that some people just didn't seem to care because Jim was not a driver most people had ever invested in, heck it took me a few minutes to remember who he was, and up until Tuesday morning when I started talking about it on social media, I had not seen anything being posted about trying to raise something for Jim's family. But I'll be damned if the fans here in Central PA didn't come through in spades. Just goes to show, it doesn't matter who the driver is,a big name national driver, or part time "I race for the fun of it" hobby driver, fans care.

I have been pushing the youth movement here in Central PA since I re-launched this website in 2013. Well the past month has shown us what I have been saying was true. Look at the 4 young drivers who have won 410 races in the past month or so. Logan Wagner got it started up at Port Royal and since then Chase Dietz has won his 1st career 410 feature at Lincoln, Austin Hogue won his 1st career 410 feature at Williams Grove on Friday night, and then last night at Lincoln Speedway Brandon Rahmer finally found victory lane after coming close twice this season. Wagner was the fans vote for the 2014 410 rookie of the year here at Central PA Racing Scene picked up his 2nd career 410 victory. Logan who had won numerous 305 races at Port and other race tracks, and even has a 358 victory at Path Valley was finally able to stand on the big stage at Port where his father has stood for years. Dietz the 2014 358 champion at Lincoln Speedway jumped into the Scott Gobrecht 44 410 in 2015 and has admittedly struggled at times. Chase who only had 1 top 5 before his big win looked great taking the lead from another young driver Jordan Mackison and holding off 3 of the best drivers at Lincoln to pick up his first career 410 win. Austin Houge started off this weekend of the youngster with a big win at Williams Grove showing that the 2nd year 410 driver and former 358 champion could race with the big boys and not get rattled passing Cory Haas on the last lap to take the popular win. Saturday night Brandon Rahmer would share the front row with his twin brother Freddie and like most people I thought Freddie would be the first brother to sit in victory lane. Like Gomer Pyle would say... SURPRISE SURPRISE SURPRISE. Brandon would hold off Montieth to score the upset win to cap off a great month for the youth movement here in Central pa.

But that's not to say the veterans have not had anything to say around these parts. Greg Hodnett has visited victory lane three times at three different race tracks, Danny Dietrich scored big victories at Lincoln and Williams Grove, and Blane Heimbach finally got back on track after taking a few weeks off to re group and found victory lane at Port Royal. With their wins Greg and Danny now have won 29 features in Central PA, 30 total with Greg's win in Florida back in February. The rest of Central PA have 43 wins total. That's called domination folks.

Can't move on from the 410's until I mention Rico Abreu who came east two weeks ago and looked great in not only his midget winning 2 features but also his 410. Rico would score 3 top 5's in 4 races. Dude can flat out drive a race car, and the fans absolutely love the guy. Don't think I have ever seen 1 driver have so many selfies taken with him as Rico did that weekend. And lastly looked like the fans had a blast this past Wednesday night at Lincoln Speedway watching all of our heroes of our childhood strap back into a race car. This will be the 1 race I missed in 2015 that I will never get over not seeing. Sounded like a SRO crowed who saw some great racing with the legends. Todd Shaffer would win the special feature over Kenny Adams.

Before we look back at the 358's the past month need to give a shout out to TJ Stutts who not only won his 4th 360 feature event in a row at Selinsgrove Speedway Saturday night, he also claimed the track championship. Congrats from everyone here at Central PA Racing Scene.

The 358 division has been as hot as the 410 division the past month with 6 different drivers visiting victory lane. Doug Hammaker has kept his breakout dream season going by winning his 5th feature event of the season at his 3rd different race track with his win at Susquehanna Speedway. Brad McClelland picked up his 7th win of the season and 6th at Trail Way Speedway which moved him into a tie with Chad Layton for 2nd all time in the 358 division. Bill Stine picked up his first career 358 feature win at Lincoln Speedway last Saturday night, while Phil Walter would come back on Wednesday and win his 1st feature event of 2015 at Lincoln. This past weekend Adrian Shaffer would win his 3rd feature event of the season with another last lap pass for the win. Down at Trail Way Speedway Cody Fletcher would continue to show why he is the most improved  driver in 358 division after picking up his 2nd feature win of the season. 20 different drivers have visited victory lane in the 358 division in 2015 with 6 of them for the 1st time. Even better 3 of those drivers where able to win multiple times (Halligan 3, Fletcher 2, Lehman 2), and the other three wins where by 358 rookies (Young, Holbrook and Stine). So much for that dying division as a 410 driver told me last year.

Want to wish Kody Lehman a speedy recovery as he has two fractures in his spine suffered at Lincoln Speedway as few weeks back. Kody who was a rookie last year in the 358 division had wins at Williams Grove and Lincoln Speedway in 2015. Hope you have a speedy recovery and we see you back in a race car in 2016. Now when can we get that wing changed on the t shirt Lehamn?

Well that's it for this week folks. Look for a big picture drop this week on the site as I have pictures from the 410/358 race 2 weeks ago as well as pictures from Tony DeSeta to share with you all. I'll also be posting the new Central PA Power Rankings for the 410 and 358 division.

Next weekend is Labor Day weekend, a time for all of us hard working folks to kick back, drink our favorite beer of choice and watch us some great dirt racing 3 nights in a row. Friday night at Williams Grove Speedway they will have the Jack Gunn Memorial Down Under 410 Sprints & PASS 305 Sprints. Anyone wishing to try and explain how they are going to figure out the lineup please share it with me, because I didn't take calc in high school. Trail Way Speedway will host their 2nd to last 358 feature event of the season. The race will be race number 1 for the Trail Way/Lincoln Speedway shootout and will be the 358 teams last chance to get ready for the $2,000 to win Trone Outdoor Championship on September 11th. Saturday night at Lincoln Speedway they are hosting a winged triple header as the 410's and 358's will be joined by the Super Sportsman. At Port Royal Speedway will kick off the 161st Juniata County Fair with the 410's and the 12th annual Butch Renninger UFO Late Models Memorial. Sunday night Williams Grove Speedway will be back in action with the Billy Kimmel Memorial for 410 Sprints & 358 Sprints Nouse Signs & Graphics Summer Series Finale. Selinsgrove Speedway will host the World of Outlaw late models for a special $10,000 win show.

I'm hoping to see everyone Friday night at Trail Way Speedway (if work allows me to), Saturday night at Lincoln Speedway, and Sunday night at Williams Grove, but like always folks hope your work week stays cool and goes fast, your beverage of choice stays ice cold, and your racing no matter where you go this coming weekend, is red hot. Until then have a safe week folks I will see you all Friday night.

© William McIntyre and Central PA Racing Scene

No comments: