The trio of pilots take the first victories of the racing season
Trinity Thomas talks about the 50th anniversary of Title IX
University of Florida gymnast Trinity Thomas speaks on the 50th anniversary of Title IX during a celebration hosted by Sport York at Historic Ashland in Wrightsville, Thursday, July 28, 2022.
Three drivers took their first 410 sprint car victories of the season in the region last weekend. On the one hand, it was his first victory in this category.
It all started Friday when the 410 Sprints made a special visit to Big Diamond Speedway in Schuylkill County. There, Mark Smith took his first 410 sprint car win of the season. Although this is his first in the 410s this season, Smith has won eight 360 sprint car races this year, most of them in the Deep South. For the record, the victory was Smith’s 57th career win in the 410. He also has over 100 wins in the 360 sprint cars, nine in the 358 sprints and 24 in the super sports cars.
On Saturday at Lincoln, Troy Wagaman Jr. earned his first-ever 410 sprint car win. The Hanover driver has been close all season, and Saturday it happened. During a three-week stretch in June, Wagaman finished third, third and second, so a victory was certainly something highly anticipated.
A former Lincoln champion in the 358 sprint cars, Wagaman has won seven times in this class.
That same night in Clinton County, the 410 sprints made a special appearance and Billy Dietrich earned his first 410 sprint car win of the season. While Dietrich spent much of his career in the 358 sprints, he has now won eight times in the 410s to go along with 32 victories in the 358s. His father, Dan Dietrich, and younger brother Danny Dietrich also frequently won the sprints 358 and 410.
Eckert on a roll: York’s Rick Eckert has had a great streak lately in the super late model competition. On Friday, Eckert won the ULMS event at Path Valley, while on Saturday he finished second to Gregg Satterlee at Hagerstown. Eckert has now won six times this season: twice at Port Royal and once each at Williams Grove, Selinsgrove, Bridgeport, New Jersey, and now Path Valley.
These wins bring Eckert’s career total in super late models to 218 wins. It’s second all-time on the list of wins for Super Late Model riders in this region. Only legendary driver Gary Stuhler has more.
Wilbur picked up another victory: Another veteran rider had a great season. Last week I mentioned that Steve Wilbur celebrated his 60th birthday with a wingless super sportsman victory in Hagerstown. This week, Wilbur won again in the wingless super sports, this time at Lincoln.
Wilbur’s win total for the year now stands at six. Three have come to Path Valley, while he also has one in Lincoln, Port Royal and Hagerstown. For his career, Wilbur has nearly 50 super sportsman victories, both winged and wingless. That goes with torque in the 358 sprint cars.
Shark Racing Shines at Knoxville Nationals: The Hannover-based Shark Racing team, founded by legendary racer Bobby Allen, had a great week at the Nationals in Knoxville, Iowa. It all started the previous Sunday when Allen’s grandson Logan Schuchart won the Capitani Classic in Knoxville. Schuchart backed that up with a victory in the Nationals opening night preliminary race on Wednesday. Although he won that night, Schuchart did not score enough points to qualify for the Nationals, so he had to win Saturday’s B-Main to enter the show. He then moved from 17th place to third place.
Allen’s son, Jacob Allen, backed up his nephew’s performance with a victory in Thursday’s preliminary event. Allen earned enough points to lock into Saturday’s final, where he finished fifth.
Bobby Allen himself won the Knoxville Nationals in 1990.
This week: This week’s racing action begins Thursday at the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds with USAC’s modified 358 and 360 fenderless sprint cars from the USAC East Coast.
Williams Grove returns to action on Friday with the latest World of Outlaws models moving to the area for an event at the track where the series held its first race. Williams Grove 410 sprint cars will join the latest Outlaw models. The event for the sprint cars will be a makeover of the Billy Kimmell memorial race that recently rained.
Saturday finds three openwheel divisions in Lincoln for the Barry Skelly Memorial event. Held in honor of the longtime track photographer and novelty person, this event features the 410 sprint cars, the 358 sprint cars in a “Summer Series” event and the ARDC Midgets.
Port Royal features Open Wheel Madness on its Saturday show. 410 sprints, USAC East Coast Wingless 360 sprints and PASS 305 sprints are all competing.
At BAPS, super sports cars will be in action, as well as the Carl Billett Memorial for limited late model, street stock and extreme stock. The race for the latest limited models pays tribute to the first winner of the track in this category.
Hagerstown offers the late model sportsman, pure stocks and hobby stocks on Saturdays, while Path Valley offers a wingless super sportsman and 358 sprints as part of its Saturday program.