The Labor Day holiday weekend is always busy at the local race track, and then it leads into a month of very important local racing.
This weekend’s racing action kicks off on Friday at Williams Grove. The 410 sprint car portion of the program will be the scheduled Joe Harz Tribute Race. In keeping with its theme, this race honors a top car owner from the past. Earlier this year, the Grove honored former driver Randy Wolfe.
This Friday, it’s car owner Joe Harz. Harz fielded winning sprint cars for some of the area’s best drivers. His familiar yellow No. 88 race cars carried drivers like Meme DeSantis, Kenny Adams, Fred Rahmer, Lance Dewease and Sean Michael to many local wins and numerous track championships.
An interesting note here, the Harz car was wearing the No. 88 because Harz won on August 8, the eighth day of the eighth month.
As well as the 410 sprint cars, the 358 sprints will also have a big program on Friday at the Grove. This one was not originally planned for this weekend; the rain-interrupted “Match Race” has been restarted for Friday. This race has matching funding from donors and Williams Grove, making it one of the largest purses the 358 sprints have ever seen.
Lincoln Highway: On Saturday at Lincoln, the 410 sprinters compete in the Elijah Hawkins Memorial Race. This event is in honor of racing fan Elijah Hawkins, 8, who was tragically lost in a house fire in York a year ago.
The Hawkins family has come up with a unique way to increase the race purse in memory of Elijah. They collected discarded damaged race car parts from top competitors and then auctioned them off in a silent auction last Saturday. Some left for this week. The market for such things is big, and there should be a big increase in the sprint car market.
Also on Lincoln’s list for Saturday are 358 Sprints and Legends cars.
Port Royal Expressway: Port Royal has a big weekend for the kickoff of the 168th Annual Juniata County Fair. On Saturday, sprint cars compete at the Port, but it will be the latest models that will take center stage in the Butch Renninger Memorial Race. Renninger was an integral part of the fair council that runs the racing action at Port Royal. He was also a top-tier late model driver who won 69 super late model races during his career. The latest limited models also compete on Saturday night.
Port Royal is back in action on Monday afternoon with the 71st Annual Labor Day Classic for speed cars. There was a time when the afternoon racing surface made this more of an event than a race, but in recent years even the daytime races have been great. Also competing are the wingless supercar and 4-cylinder front-wheel drive stock cars.
Other races: Selinsgrove fills the Sunday void over the bank holiday weekend with sprint cars alongside super late model ULMS and road runners.
BAPS Motor Speedway hosts the 48th annual Gary Wolford Sportsman 100 on Saturday. Throughout its course, the famous Sportsman 100 has been held in Silver Spring, Lincoln and now at BAPS race tracks. Joining the sport racers at BAPS will be the modified 602 and limited stock.
Path Valley has a two-race weekend planned, with limited late models on both the Friday and Saturday schedules. PASS 305 sprints are also part of the show on Friday.
Scary moment: During the vintage race car show at Williams Grove on Friday night, things went awry when one of the racers blew a wheel and flipped violently. The car, a former Howie Locke supercar, was being driven by its current owner and restorer Wayne Godshall.
Godshall, 63, was seriously injured in the incident and was airlifted from the circuit by medical helicopter. While his injuries are serious, Godshall is doing much better and the injuries do not appear to be life-threatening.
We all wish him the best for a speedy recovery.
With the crash fresh on everyone’s mind and the action continuing in Latimore Valley during the EMMR convention, it was decided to eliminate Saturday track time for old riders at Lincoln.
Added event: Lincoln Speedway has added an event to its schedule for the end of the season. Right after the Williams Grove National Open, Lincoln will host a Brian Montieth Tribute Race on Tuesday, October 4. Montieth stepped away from the sport a couple of years ago after a career that included numerous wins and several Lincoln points titles.
Montieth has agreed to be available for this great event.
CHAMPION RACING OIL CENTRAL PA SPRINT CAR SERIES presented by Hoseheads.com
List; position, car number, driver, points, series won
1. 39m/11 Antonio Macri 1475 17
2. 48 Danny Dietrich 1329 11
3. 19 Mark Brent 1052 8
4. 8/51 Freddy Rahmer 1031 5
5. 13 Justin Peck 732 4
6. 69K Lance Dewease 616 4
7. 39 Chase Dietz 589 3
8. 23 Devon Borden 552 1
9. 1 Logan Wagner 536 5
10. 5w Lucas Wolfe 529
11. 44 Dylan Norris 511 2
12. 45 Jeff Halligan 474 2
13. 5 Dylan Swan 438 1
14. 55 Mike Wagner 370
15. 12 Blane Heimbach 327 2
16. 67 Justin Whittall 311
17. 6/10x Ryan Smith 273
18. 19 Troy Wagaman Jr. 269 1
19. 87/27 Alan Krimes 267
20. 33w Michael Walter 260
21. 99M Kyle Moody 254
22. 11 TJ Stutts 248
23. 75/5 Tyler Ross 244
24. M1 Mark Smith 233 1
25. 8 Billy Dietrich 232 1