Local auto racing notebook: Lernerville prepares for 2013 season
The star4t of local racing season is not too far away.
Lernerville Speedway again has decided to open the season in April. Opening night for regular four-division racing is April 19, but there is still a bit of leftover racing to be completed.
There will be a test and tune session April 13; that will be followed by the DIRTcar Round Up Steel City Stampede Finale on April 14 — a carryover from October.
The 2013 schedule is anchored again by two of the biggest events in the country. First is the World of Outlaws Firecracker 100 for Late Models June 27-29. The main event pays $30,000 to win the 100-lap feature.
July 16 is the World of Outlaws Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup XXII headlined by twin 30-lap features.
The first special show of the season is May 10 with the All-Star Sprints and the newly formed RUSH Late Models, which have replaced the FASTRAK Late Models as the main crate engine Late Model Series in the Northeast.
The RUSH Late Models are scheduled for two other appearances at Lernerville this season: July 5 as part of the BOSS Wingless Sprint show and as part of the fifth Annual DIRTcar Steel City Stampede Oct. 24-26.
Other dates of note include the annual holiday fireworks show June 14. Autumn-Motive-Fest is scheduled for Sept. 7, the Back to School Bus Races with the Senior Series is Sept. 14 and the World of Outlaws $10,000 to win Commonwealth Clash for Sprint Cars is Sept. 21.
Halls of Fame
The offseason is typically the time for various halls to announce their inductees, and there are plenty to go around.
Closest to home, Lernerville Speedway will induct its 2013 class at the track's banquet Saturday at the Comfort Inn in RIDC Park. The class includes drivers Jimmy Hawley, Dick Rankin and Craig Rankin. Smokey Schempp is most recently known for his work in the pits at both PPMS and Lernerville.
In January, the Pittsburgh Circle Track Club inducted Ed Ferree, Albert “Ouch” Roenigk, Dick Thomas and Bud Garvey.
Ferree has been a champion driver and car owner and is now involved in racing through his company, Franklin Racing Supply.
Roenigk was involved with Lernerville Speedway from the beginning and even helped Don Martin to build the track in the late 1960s. Roenigk specialized in track preparation but he is also responsible for helping to keep the track on the cutting edge of fan safety and viewing pleasure.
Roenigk retired from the track after the 2007 season.
Thomas began his racing career as a car owner in the early 1960s and spent significant time on both dirt and asphalt as a driver and owner. His racing career lasted four decades and featured championships on both surfaces. After racing, Thomas continued to help the racing community by providing towing services at PPMS and also through the Racers for Tots program.
Garvey's career featured more than 200 victories from 1960 to 1977.
The National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Iowa, rannounced that Jean Lynch and Lou Blaney wil be inducted this year.
The induction ceremony is June 1. Jean Lynch will be just the third woman inducted.