By Shawn Wood
For The Daily Item
As I started to write this week’s column, the calendar had turned to May.
It is hard to believe that a month and a half of the racing season had gone by and Mother Nature has sure won her fair share of checkers.
The month of May also means the Indy 500 is not too far way and it will be interesting to see what Kurt Busch can do in an Indy Car for Andretti Autosport this year.
It was will also be the last time that Jim Neighbors preforms “Back home again in Indiana” in person at the speedway. We’ll cover that in a column in June, but I can say with certainty there won’t be too many dry eyes during that part of the prerace ceremony.
Our column this week is more or less a hodgepodge of things that have happened recently.
MEMORIES OF AN OLD FRIEND: I’ll start by saying that I received a email the other day from the wife of the late Jerry Reigel, the longtime sports reporter for the Harrisburg Patriot-News. Jerry was a good friend and a big fan of what retired sports editor Harold Raker and I do for our motorsports coverage in The Daily Item. It was nice to hear from her as it has been nearly two years since cancer took Jerry’s life. I miss our talks about the way the industry is going.
WORLD OF OUTLAWS: York’s Rick Eckert has six top-10s in eight races with the World of Outlaws late model series heading into the weekend. Eckert is third in the point standings, 66 markers behind last year’s runner-up Darrell Lanigan.
YOUNG GUNS: There was a trio of 14-year-old winners last weekend here in the Northeast.
Dillion Groove won the crate sportsman feature at Woodhull Raceway in New York. If you have not been to the third-mile high-banked track, you owe it to yourself to make the short trip across the N.Y. border to see a neat track that offers plenty of action.
At Mahoning Valley Speedway in Lehighton, Kyle Stroh won the 35-lap asphalt modified feature and become the youngest driver to ever win at the track.
Andrew Yoder made it two straight wins in the 355 Econo late model division at Port Royal while 15-year old Kyle Lee, a student at James Buchannon High School, won the 358 late model feature at Williams Grove Speedway on Saturday night.
Youth was definitely served last weekend.
ROUGH START: It was a tough start to the year for Coleby Frey, of Dover. Last week an aero push sent his late model into the first turn wall at Selinsgrove, which lead to a series of violent barrel rolls. He was OK. It was the first race of the year for the team as well.
With all the rain we had this week, here’s hoping May flowers offer sunshine and warm weather and fewer rainouts as we hit the second full month of the season.