By Shawn Brouse
For The Daily Item
An upcoming threeweekend stretch spanning the majority of September offers up a battery of can’t miss races that all should have on their schedule as the season heads toward its conclusion.
Action gets started on Friday, Sept. 3 when Williams Grove Speedway hosts the 28th annual Jack Gunn Memorial triple 20s for 410 sprints. That’s three features in one night and when you leave the Grove, head north to Selinsgrove Speedway for the annual Nationals for 358 sprints, combined this season with 360 competition, on Sept. 4.
The track announced mid-last week that, thanks to sponsorship from NRG controls, the very respectable purse that was released just days earlier had already been upped by $15,000 to now total $36,500. The winner of the 35-lapper is going home with $8,000. The top-five finisher’s portion of the purse comes to over $22,000 alone.
And it pays $500 just to start and $1,000 back to 10th.
With that kind of green on the line, Selinsgrove should bat 1.000. In fact, 410 sprint regulars Mark Smith and Daryn Pittman are already confirmed entrants.
Take a day’s rest Sunday and then head out to the 59th annual Labor Day Classic for 410 sprints at Port Royal Speedway on Monday afternoon as part of the annual Juniata County Fair. Then, just camp out in the speedway’s parking field until the season-ending Tuscarora 50 races at the end of the week, Sept 10 and 11. Friday is the preliminary with the 43rd annual 50 on Saturday.
Wrap it all up a week later, Sept. 18, with the 28th annual National Open Jim Nace Memorial for 410 sprints at Selinsgrove Speedway. What a night this will be! Twin 22- lap features are on tap with each paying $6,000 to win.
The top six finishers in the first main will be inverted for the second feature and if the same driver can win both 22s, he gets a bonus of $14,000 on top of the $12,000 he already And those, my friends, are races you can’t miss if you’re a fan.
RESULTS: Over the weekend, Daryn Pittman and Brian Montieth scored twin 20s for 410 sprints Friday night at Williams Grove Speedway. Montieth came back Saturday for the victory in the 58th Anniversary event at Lincoln Speedway on Saturday. Semi-Selinsgrove regular 358 sprint driver Matt Boland took the 358 win at Lincoln with 37 358s in the house. Logan Schuchart and Dale Hammaker are currently tied for the 358 point title with the final race slated for Sept. 11. Port Royal didn’t run 410s Saturday, in honor of the Lincoln anniversary show, but Gary Beward won Port late models with 22 cars signed in. Jamie Bodo won Clinton County sprints Friday.
Blane Heimbach won a sprint feature at Selinsgrove Speedway Saturday, only it wasn’t in the 358 division.
Instead he claimed the 360 URC sprints portion of the night. Pat Cannon won the 358 sprint show and went back on top in the season point standings by just 15 markers. There were 27 358s.
Jeff Rine won his eighth late model main of the year with 19 lates in action. Cannon’s win was his eighth as well.
TOP DRIVERS: With roughly eight weeks left in the local racing season, here’s a look at the top area sprint winners. 410s: Daryn Pittman, 9; Lance Dewease, Brian Montieth, 7; Greg Hodnett, 6; Chad Layton, Fred Rahmer, 5; Mark Smith, Tyler Walker, 4. 358s: Pat Cannon, 13; Brad McClelland, 6; Jeff Rohrbaugh, Eric Tomecek, 3; Mike Bittinger, Davie Franek, Scott Geesey, Dale Hammaker, Adrian Shaffer, Nate Snyder, Chad Trout, 2.
-- Shawn Brouse writes a weekly motorsports column for The Daily Item. E-mail comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.