Hello and welcome back to another edition of My Thoughts on a racing weekend gone by.....The April Fools Edition. I am Bill McIntyre your resident loud mouth, and I'm ready to talk some sprint car racing folks so lets get right into it shall we?
Friday night we saw Williams Grove Speedway get week 3 in the books with the 410 sprinters and the opening night for the 358 sprints. Wind was the word of the night as it played havoc with the track conditions making passing difficult for both divisions. The heat races for the 358's where a snooze fest as the driver who got out front just took off and killed it in all 3 heat races. 1 thing I noticed was the speed of Chandler Leiby. Now that is nothing new for the youngster, but what caught my eye was his driving style. Sitting with my friends one made the comment that if that kid ever keeps the car under control in the corners he is going to be really hard to beat. Tend to agree with him on that. The 410 heats had some outstanding actions with the 1st 2 heat races having outstandings 2 car duels for the lead. 1 major thing between the 2 heat races though where the styles of the 4 drivers involved. The first heat saw Brian Montieth and Doug Esh battle the first few laps for the lead by throwing some nasty blocks and slide jobs on each other. I tweeted my thoughts on it by asking how much the heat races pay? Is it really worth it to potentially taking yourself out of the heat because you hate running 2nd in a darn heat race? Yes I know....No driver likes to finish 2nd but sometimes discretion is the better part of valor. Just sayin.... the 2nd heat saw Danny Dietrich and Tim Glatfelter stage an awesome 2 car fight for the win. Dietrich hound Glatfelter for the lead the entire way and did it the safest way possible. Never once putting either driver in a spot where they might not be able to finish the heat.
The features where a lot better then they had any right to be to be very honest. With the wind blowing hard the entire night, it was not the best track conditions, yet both divisions put on very entertaining races. Brock Zearfoss would lead most of the 410 feature until Pat Cannon would take the lead and go on to win his first feature in 2016 over a hard charging Alan Krimes, Doug Esh, Zearfoss and Brian Montieth. One thing I was seeing was there was a lot of very hard racing shall we say going on through the pack. Lots of times I was waiting for someone to get spun coming down the front stretch by the guy behind him. Almost every lap coming out of turn 4 guys where making sharp bold moves just missing the guy in front of him. One other thing about the 410 feature was it was the first handicapped race of 2016 and Williams Grove's first Yellow Breeches 500 race. It payed $500 to start. The thing most fans where wondering was would the extra money attract more cars then last seasons handicapped races? Guess what? It did but not in the way most including the track had hopped. 24 cars was all they managed. Hope more guys if possible can show their support for the extra money management is giving them.
The 358 feature was a good one as well as Adrian Shaffer would pick up his 3rd season opener at Williams Grove Speedway over Lincoln Speedway's opening night winner Chris Arnold. Arnold looked great but had issues the last few laps allowing Shaffer to claim the win. Doug Hammaker would just get by Arnold for 2nd at the line. All in all an outstanding night of action at Williams Grove Speedway.
Saturday at Lincoln Speedway wind and cold where the words of the night, but non of us could have foreseen how much wind we would get when it finally showed up. Holy cow!!!! Track was in great shape for as much wind as we had in the area all day. To Lincoln Speedway's credit they didn't screw around and pushed the show along at a great clip trying to make sure the fans and race teams got everything they paid for.
The 410 feature was a wild one for sure. Brandon Rahmer started on the pole and got the jump, only to loose it in turns 1 and 2 on lap 2. It caused a chain reaction that would take out both of the heavy favorites to win the feature Danny Dietrich and Brian Montieth. Brandon would actually get the lead back by not stopping and would control most of the race, with a hard charging Adam Wilt working his way through traffic like we haven't seen him do in a long time. Wilt definitely has that car hooked up so far in 2016, BUT he would make a big mistake going into turn 1 with only a few laps to go, and would not only take himself out of the running but also Brandon Rahmer. When everyone would look up the top 3 all fell from the front in 1 lap as Austin Hogue was pulling into the infield at the same moment with a blown engine. When the dust cleared Freddie Rahmer Jr would be the new leader and nobody had anything for him the rest of the way. Freddie would go on to score his 2nd career feature win.
The 358 feature saw Friday nights winner Adrian Shaffer and Jeff Rohrbaugh share the front row. Now I don't now about any of you but I was thinking this is going to be good. Wasn't much of a race as Shaffer would get the lead and pull out to a big lead, and looked to be on his way to his 2nd win of the weekend, only to have disaster strike when he would loose control in turn 4 doing a 360 right in front of Rohrbaugh. To Jeff's credit he slowed just enough to miss the spinning 27s and took the lead. A long caution would end the race on lap 17 as mother nature said the hell with racing, and sent a wind storm our way I can't say I have ever seen at a race track. Trash cans where being blown around as fans made their way to the parking lot in a hurry. I stuck around to make sure the 358 feature was official and damn it was not fun walking to the truck in that shit. All in all another great Saturday night spent with friends and family at the races, and you can't ask for anything more then that.
Report cards for this weekend....
Pat Cannon - After the week the Highlands team had it was great to see them in Victory Lane.
Freddie Rahmer - 2nd career feature win at Lincoln, and was fast as hell at Williams Grove Friday.
Adrian Shaffer - 3 opening night wins in a row at the Grove. Almost pulled the clean sweep.
Jeff Rohrbaugh - Is now the all time leading feature winner at Lincoln Speedway in the 358 division. Congratulations to Jeff and the entire 45 team on a great accomplishment.
Steve Buckwalter - Picked up his 1st feature win of the season at Port, only to take right off and head to Indiana. What a true racer.
All the local race tracks - A huge THANK YOU for doing the best you could with what you had to deal with.
Brock Zearfoss - That 1st win is coming and coming soon.
Chris Arnold - Almost had his 1st career feature win at WG on Friday night.
Figured this week I would leave you all with one of the best songs from one of the coolest rock bands on the planet....Clutch !!!!! Hope you all enjoy this as much as me and my daughter do jamming out to this on the way to Lincoln Speedway on Saturday night. Put some Clutch on and everything just gets that much better.
That's it for this week folks. This coming weekend is going to be a good one yet again. Friday night Trail Way Speedway kicks off the 2016 racing season with the 358's as they headliner once again. I'm just praying 358 teams support the track after even more upgrades where made the the bullring in Hanover. I will have a full report from the track next weekend, hopefully with some pictures and maybe some video as well.
Williams Grove Speedway will host the 410's and the Super Sportsman make their 1st appearance of 2016.
Saturday night Selinsgrove Speedway kicks off their 2016 season with the 360's headlining. I also hope to have a report from Selinsgrove as well next week. Gotta show the love to all the tracks right? Support them or loose them.
Port Royal will host the 410's but more importantly it $1 Hot dog night. Get ya Hot dogs right here folks. Love that promotion. Wish more tracks would do that kind of stuff. You know PROMOTING????
Lincoln Speedway host the 410's and the Sportsman for their 1st race of the season in the Pigeon Hills for 2016.
Susquehanna Speedway will host the PASS/IMCA 305 sprints on Saturday night, and the entire Central PA Racing community will be there on Sunday night as they host the 410's for the 1st time in 2016. The 358 sprints will be their with them as they will be kicking off the 1st race for the Capitol Renegade KING of the 358's racing series. Lets hope they not only have a packed grandstand (which I have a feeling will happen) but they pack the pits as well. Lets see the 410's and 358's show their support for the new owners of Susquehanna Speedway.
With that hope non of you blow away today. Stay warm this week folks as mother nature just doesn't want to turn the heat on just yet. Until Friday night hope your work week goes fast, your beverage of choice stays ice cold, and your racing no matter which track you decide to see a show at, stays red hot.
©Bill McIntyre & Central PA Racing Scene 2016