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Rick’s Racing Roundup: Weather Gets in the Way of Opening Weekend
(Photo by Rick Rarer)
With rain on the way track officials elected to postpone the season opener to Sunday, April 29. Racing is slated for a 6 p.m. start and will be headlined by the ULMS late model series. The RUSH late models, emods, and open stock cars will round out the card.
With the cancellation at Tri-City several area late model drivers headed east to Port Royal Speedway where the Moon Shine series late models joined the All-Star Circuit of Champions sprint car series. Former Lernerville champion Alex Ferree was the most successful winning his heat race and finishing fifth in the feature. Other area drivers Colton Flinner and Matt Lux were scored seventh and eighth respectfully. Port Royal ace Jeff Rine was the winner of the $2,200 to win feature.
Tony Stewart’s All-Star Circuit of Champions spent the weekend in central Pennsylvania completing two of their three scheduled events. It was a great weekend for Lance Dewease who dominated both nights of action scoring wins at Williams Grove Speedway Friday, and Port Royal on Saturday night. Sunday’s race at Bedford Speedway was canceled due to rain. Tony Stewart was in action both nights but failed to qualify on both occasions.
Lernerville Speedway completed their test and tune practice this past Wednesday with nearly 50 cars in the pits getting ready for this Friday’s season opener. With the late models taking the week off, the new RUSH wingless sprint car series is set to make their debut this Friday at the Sarver oval. They will be joined by the 410 sprint cars, big block modifieds, and the stock cars. Once again racing is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. sharp. The super late models will return the following week.
The late models will take center stage this Friday at Sharon Speedway as they open their season with the “Steel City 50” featuring the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. Some of the nation’s best late model drivers in the country will gather for the $12,000 to win event. Racing gets underway at 7 p.m. and the RUSH modifieds will round out the card Friday. From Sharon, the series will move to Hagerstown Speedway in Maryland on Saturday and finish out the weekend Sunday at Port Royal Speedway.
Thunder Mountain Speedway will open its gates this Saturday with a test and tune getting underway at noon. Grandstand admission is free for fans and $20 for pit admittance. The Brookville oval will open its season the following Friday, April 27 with the ULMS Late Model Series as they battle for a $3,000 top prize. Street Stocks and FWDs will round out the opening night card.
The Arctic Cat All-Star Circuit of Champions will spend the weekend in Ohio with races scheduled at Attica Raceway Park and Wayne County Speedway in Orrville. The All-Stars boast a strong group of traveling teams this season with nearly twenty drivers following the tour this year. Defending point champion Chad Kemenah will lead the charge this weekend in the Buckeye state.
Sprint car fans and drivers alike are busy preparing for one of the biggest races of the season that is almost upon us. The Sprint Car World Championship is scheduled for April 27 & 28 at Mansfield Speedway in Mansfield, Ohio. This huge two-day event will find $100,000 going to the winner. The entry list for the race features some of the best drivers in the country and is closing in on 100 drivers.
Several area drivers are entered for the event including Clarion’s Mike Bauer, Danny Holtgraver, Brandon Spithaler, Carl Bowser, Brandon and Brent Matus among others. With the caliber of drivers entered for this event it is shaping up to be a must-see race for 2018.
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Rick Rarer, a Franklin resident, is the owner of Racestud.com and SprintCarNews.com. He has been covering racing for 18 years, taking racing photos for 13 years, and has covered races at over 100 tracks in 15 states. Most recently, Rick won the Bill Steinbach Media Award at the Lernerville Speedway Annual Awards Banquet.
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