With the last major holiday weekend of the summer upon us, many area tracks are offering multiple race nights on this Labor Day Weekend holiday.
Big Diamond, Williams Grove and Port Royal Speedways along with Beaver Springs Dragway are looking to take advantage of the extra day of racing action.
Kicking off the weekend will be Big Diamond with the season-ending Coalcracker Weekend. The Coalcracker 40 for the Sportsman division highlight tonight’s activities, with $1,800 awaiting the winner of the 40-lap Sportsman feature event. Also on the card will be the roadrunners, street stocks, vintage stock cars, Central PA Legends Series and a non-winner’s race for the Modifieds, with the winner of the 15-lap event collecting a qualifying spot for Sunday night’s Coalcracker 72. An Enduro series of races will complete tonight’s program, which starts at 7:30.
The Minersville oval returns to action Sunday evening, with gates opening at 4 p.m. and action starting at 7:15 for the prestigious Coalcracker 72 for the Modifieds. Recently crowned Track Champion Duane Howard is the defending event winner along with the all-time event wins leader, scoring seven career Coalcracker victories. Following on the all-time win list are Jeff Strunk with four and Ryan Godown and Craig Von Dohren with three Coalcracker wins each.
The Sportsman division, along with the roadrunners and 600cc modifieds, will also be in action on Sunday night. Monday will serve as a rain date.
Williams Grove Speedway honors one of the most popular car owners in sprint car racing tonight, hosting the Al Hamilton Tribute Race for 410 sprint cars.
A Hall of Fame car owner, Hamilton’s iconic crimson red No. 77 sprint cars were known as one of the premier rides in Central PA and respected nationwide, collecting eight track championships and sitting atop the car owner winner’s list with 92 checkered flags during its reign from the late 1960s until the 2006 season.
Some of the former drivers of the Hamilton Motorsports 77 expected to be in attendance tonight with Hamilton include Fred Rahmer, Lynn Paxton, Greg Hodnett, Lance Dewease, Todd Shaffer, Keith Kauffman and Kenny Jacobs. The Patriot Sprint Tour 360 sprint cars will also be in action, taking on the URC sprint car group.
The Mechanicsburg oval returns to action on Sunday night with the Billy Kimmel Memorial for the 410 sprint cars and winged super sportsman series. The 27-year-old Kimmel lost his life in a sprint car accident at Williams Grove in 2007, and the track and friends honor his memory annually with the event.
Port Royal Speedway will kick off the 164th Annual Juniata County Fair with racing action tomorrow, featuring the ULMS Late Models, 410 sprint cars, econo late models and extreme stocks, beginning at 7 p.m.
The half-mile oval returns to action Monday with the 67th Annual Labor Day Classic for the 410 sprint cars. Action starts at 1 p.m. and the econo late models and four-cylinder pure stocks also be part of the show, with a demo derby following the racing action.
Beaver Springs Dragway has an aggressive four-day race weekend scheduled, highlighted by the “Queen of Diamonds” jet dragster tomorrow and Sunday nights. Friday night street racing, IHRA Summit Series points racing, United Nostalgia Stock and Super Stock Series, the MANDRA Series are also part of the excitement at the quarter-mile.
Following tonight’s show at Williams Grove, the New York-based Patriot Sprint Tour 360 sprint cars will head to Baps Motor Speedway tomorrow night, joining the winged super sportsman, street stocks and 305 sprint cars. A rare Sunday night slot finds Selinsgrove Speedway hosting the Patriot Sprint Tour Series joining the late models, pro stocks and roadrunners on Jeff’s Auto Body and Recycling Center Night at 7 p.m. The sprints and late models will each run 30-lap features, paying $3,000 to the winner of each event….Lincoln Speedway hosts the Bob Leiby Memorial for the 410 sprint cars, along with the 358 sprints and a make-up feature for the limited late models, tomorrow night….Mahoning Valley Speedway is offering a whopping $1,000 paycheck to the winner of the 75-lap street stock feature event. The modifieds, late models, dirt modifieds, sportsman modifieds, pro four cylinders and hobby stocks will also be in action….other Saturday night action finds Grandview Speedway hoping the third time is the charm for the twice rained out, Forrest Rogers Memorial for the NASCAR Modifieds. The 50-lap Rogers memorial joins the Big Diamond Coalcracker, with each weekend event offering $10,000 to the winner. The sportsman and limited late models are also in action at the Bechtelsville oval….Five Mile Point Speedway is idle this weekend, after crowning their track champions last Saturday night, while Woodhull Raceway hosts their final point’s event, tomorrow night.
The final point’s race of the “regular season” for the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series is this weekend with the running of the 64th Annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, this weekend. The six-race “Countdown to the Championship” playoff begins at Maple Grove Raceway on the weekend of September 13-16. Tickets are available for the Dodge Nationals by calling the track off (610) 856-9200.
FOX Sports and FOX Sports 1(FS1) will be providing plenty of television coverage for the event. FS1 will offer two hours of qualifying action at 4 PM on Sunday and another two hour time slot on Sunday evening at 10 PM. Monday finds FS1 hosting two hours of Live eliminations action at 11 AM, while coverage switches to FOX at 1 PM for three hours of Live eliminations action.
2017 event winners were Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), JR Todd (Funny Car), Drew Skillman (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (P/S Bike). Going into the final point’s race of the regular season, Steve Torrence (T/F), Courtney (F/C), Greg Anderson (P/S) and Andrew Hines (P/S Bike) lead their respective classes.