When it comes to the Central Pennsylvania sprint car scene, there is one name that stands along at the top as the dominant name so far this season, and that name is Greg Hodnett. The Memphis, Tenn. transplant who turned into a Pennsylvania Posse regular years ago is by far the most experienced driver who is running on a weekly basis, and combine that with the Mike Heffner-owned team and you get the results that Hodnett has so far this season.
Greg Hodnett – Hodnett currently leads all Central Pennsylvania regulars with 16 feature victories. That is also tops in the United States for wins, and the majority of those wins have come in a 410, while a handful have been in the Heffner 360 ride. Hodnett stumbled a little bit by not winning the Speedweek championship as many expected him to do, but the main reason for that was a DNF on Thursday night at Port Royal after making contact with Australian invader James McFadden early in the event. Look for Hodnett to continue his great season and possibly have a very good run at Knoxville next month.
|Pat Miller Photo|
Danny Dietrich – Dietrich’s stock has risen considerably over the last week. After a very up and down season that only saw him pick up two wins to that point, one in a regular show at Lincoln and the other in an All Stars Circuit of Champions event at Selinsgrove, Dietrich picked it up considerably during Pennsylvania Speedweek after racing some Ohio Speedweek shows the previous week. Dietrich came out as the PA Speedweek champion, and picked up victories in the Mitch Smith Memorial at Williams Grove, and the finale at Selinsgrove. Look for Dietrich to continue this hot streak throughout the season, and look for him to be a threat when the World of Outlaws and All Stars invade again later this season.
Lance Dewease – Perhaps the most consistently dominant car in Central Pennsylvania has been Dewease this season, but they have raced only sparingly. After joining National Sprint Car Hall-of-Famer Donnie Kreitz’s race team during the off-season, nobody could predict the success this team has had thus far. In only 12 starts this season the Dewease/Kreitz combination has picked up six victories. That’s right SIX. Including a World of Outlaws victory at Williams Grove. This team will continue to be tough every night they unload the rest of the season.
|Pat Miller Photo|
Brian Montieth – Montieth has had a very up and down season, but has showed some more speed lately. I would expect for him to pick it up and win some more features before the season concludes, but he is a ways away from competing with Hodnett and Dewease in a night in-night out basis.\
Alan Krimes – Krimes has quietly had a good season. He is currently the Lincoln points leader over Montieth which is a surprise, and he has one victory at Lincoln. Krimes is a guy who probably does the most with the least amount of resources in Pennsylvania. If he can continue the consistency that he has built up to this point, he could very well shock the central PA racing scene again and win another Lincoln championship.
Stevie Smith – Another guy who is not a full-time guy but plenty fast. Smith found speed during Speedweek even though they didn’t pick up a win. A couple of runner-up finishes have helped the Fred Rahmer-owned team get back on the right track. Little Stevie will be a threat once again when the Outlaws roll into town and will be looking to defend his National Open title in October.
Ryan Smith – After watching some of his Speedweek efforts, one that had him leading at Grandview before the rains came and contact with Davey Sammons took him out of the event, I believe that Ryan Smith has turned the corner. After picking up multiple victories while traveling with the All Stars Circuit of Champions last season, Smith returned to central Pennsylvania this season with eyes on picking up victories. So far that hasn’t happened, but he is starting to get faster and I think wins are going to happen.
There you have it. It’s been a great season so far with a lot of great races, and I look for that to continue throughout the rest of the season.