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SAXTON: Maybe I’ll take a drive in a NASCAR car

If I can fit it in, perhaps I will give it a try. Dover Motor Speedway offers, on April 29 and May 4, the opportunity to drive or ride a real NASCAR race car.

Riding will cost you $157.29 and to drive the cost is $302.49. It is as real as it gets. I have seen fans try it but I have not tried it though I have tried other forms of racing. There is no lead car, no in-car instructor and PASSING is allowed. Get details at 704.886.2400. I am thinking about it.

If Friday night, Aug. 9, wasn’t big enough with the mighty winged 410 sprint cars making an appearance at Big Diamond Speedway along with the Quandel Concrete Modifieds, USS Achey Crate 602 Sportsman and the Red White and Blue Roadrunners. It will also mark the return of the General Lee of Dukes of Hazzard fame.

Appearing on Dukes of Hazzard night along with the famous car will be co-star Tom Wopat who played “Luke Duke” on the show. Also, making an appearance that night will be Rick Hurst who played “Deputy Cletus Hogg” and Jeff Altman who played “Hughie Hogg”.

The General Lee and Tom Wopat were a big hit in 2023 when they appeared with kids and adults alike and this year should be more of the same especially with the fastest dirt cars in the world making their annual appearance in Coal Country.

To check out all of the happenings and the complete schedule for Big Diamond Speedway in 2024, please visit their website


I remember being part of the early NASCAR meetings with the late Jim Hunter and a few other NASCAR execs.

Being sanctioned under the NASCAR umbrella for over three decades now, the 2024 race season will be the 33rd consecutive year that Grandview Speedway participants will be enjoying the benefits of being NASCAR members. Benefits include racing for the NASCAR point fund money which is available for the National, Regional, State and Track championships, as well as the great insurance coverage provided by NASCAR.

Here are some impressive numbers as just last season, Grandview Speedway NASCAR Modified Track Champion Brett Kressley picked up not only $10,000 from the track in championship point fund money, but received $3500 from NASCAR for winning the Track championship, another $7000 for being the NASCAR Northeast Region runner-up, $1500 for being the NASCAR Pennsylvania State Champion, an OMP Firesuit valued at $2000, and a new track champion Bell Helmet.

Several other Grandview Speedway drivers with top finishes in NASCAR Northeast Regional points included Mike Gular (3rd), Jeff Strunk (6th), Craig Von Dohren (7th), and Doug Manmiller (9th).

In NASCAR Northeast Region points for the Sportsman in Division II, Track Champion Logan Watt finished (3rd), Brian Hirthler (9th), and Kyle Smith (10th).

As has always been the case, all participating drivers at Grandview Speedway must have a NASCAR license to be able to race and collect point fund money, with the Modified drivers listed as Division I, and the Sportsman drivers competing under Division II.

Grandview Speedway management does encourage everyone to purchase a NASCAR license to enter the pit area for the outstanding extra insurance coverage, however you will be allowed to enter the pit area as a non-member for an increased admission. Those holding a NASCAR license will receive the extra insurance coverage and enter the pits at a discount at all sanctioned events. Car Owners and crew members can purchase their memberships the same as they have in the past if they desire the same coverage.

Speedway management is still offering the always popular season passes. The grandstand passes cover all Saturday night events, from the Bruce Rogers Memorial Money Maker Season Opener through to the Freedom 38 Sportsman and Freedom 76 Modified championship races in September. The season pass does not include the Rogers Family/Bob Miller promoted Thunder on the Hill special events, or the Outlaw Racing Series Enduro/Vintage events.

On track action will begin on Saturday, March 23 with the first Outlaw Racing Series Enduro and Outlaw Racing Series Vintage Car double-header starting at 12 Noon. Rain date is Sunday, March 24.

The following Saturday, March 30 will be the annual Free-to-the-public open practice session, open to all divisions starting at 12 Noon. Grandstand admission is free to all spectators while the driver’s test their equipment for the new season.

The official 62nd season opener will follow on Saturday, April 6 with the 7th annual VP Racing Fuels Bruce Rogers Memorial Money Maker for Big Block/Small Block Modifieds. The race carries a rain date of April 13, and the 602 Sportsman will also join the program.


Also, there is TV news from Grandview. Grandview Speedway along with Astound Broadband are releasing several dates that will see select Saturday Night race programs televised during the 2024 racing season.

Astound Broadband has finalized its schedule of television dates for racing at Grandview Speedway. The Astound TV Network (ATVN) will once again be returning for their 22nd season at Grandview to record the race events on six selected Saturday nights, and then show the broadcasts on a tape-delayed basis. The professionals at ATVN have been covering local auto racing since the early 1970’s, sending them into their 42nd year of auto racing coverage.

Astound TV Network (ATVN) will once again produce the race events and broadcast those races on a tape-delayed basis, with each program this year being split into two separate shows. The heat races will be a complete program shown on the following Tuesday night at 7:30 pm. The features will air the following Friday evening at 7 pm. with further replays to follow.

The six selected Saturday night events, which all include the T.P. Trailer NASCAR Modifieds and T.P. Truck Equipment NASCAR Sportsman, are on May 11 (plus the USAC East Sprints), May 25, June 22, July 13 (Sportsman Firecracker 40), July 27, and the final one will be the 54th annual Forrest Rogers Memorial for Modifieds on August 10.

As has been the case for many seasons, Mike Feltenberger and Randy Kane will be returning as the announcing team for all ATVN broadcasts.


Speedway officials today made an additional announcement of more free fun, live entertainment and excitement planned in Dover Motor Speedway’s Fan Zone throughout the upcoming April 26-28 NASCAR tripleheader weekend. Additional announcements, with MORE activities and live entertainment, will continue all the way up to race weekend!

The Fan Zone opens at the following times each day:

Friday, April 26: Noon

Saturday, April 27: 9 a.m.

Sunday, April 28: 9 a.m.


River Valley Builders, the region’s leader in custom modular home building, is returning in 2024 for its third season of sponsoring the PA Sprint Series, the area’s oldest and largest IMCA/RaceSaver series.

Based in Selinsgrove, River Valley Builders offers quality-built, custom modular homes to buyers throughout the Northeast. Turnkey packages are available within 60 miles of Selinsgrove, with delivery to buyers farther away, who select their own contractor to finish the job. An astounding 200 different models are available, and customization opportunities are virtually endless.

Once again, this year, River Valley’s primary contribution as series sponsor is to fund the PASS points fund, which is designed to reimburse each of the top 25 teams for the cost of its IMCA license.

“These guys are the perfect match for this series,” said PASS Director Rod Ort. “Like RaceSaver, they offer the most affordable options but with something for everybody. They also believe in doing everything the right way.

“From a personal standpoint, they’re also great to work with.”

The 2024 River Valley Builders PASS schedule includes 33 races, with the possibility still existing for late additions. The year fires up on Saturday, March 30, at Path Valley Speedway, which has been hosting the series since 2000. The following weekend, on Saturday, April 6, Port Royal Speedway will run the rescheduled Keystone RaceSaver Challenge (a/k/a the Blue Collar Classic), which was postponed due to weather issues last October.

The series, now in its 26th year, will race on nine different tracks in 2024, with Port Royal and Selinsgrove Speedways having the most stops. 2023 Champion Logan Spahr will lead another large contingent of teams aiming for checkered flags. More than 100 drivers ran at least once last year, with one-quarter of them competing in 10 or more events.

PASS is part of the national IMCA/RaceSaver organization that sanctions affordable sprint car racing throughout the United States, with an estimated 700-800 active competitors. For more information, visit or the PA Sprint Series Facebook page.

Ernie Saxton is an auto racing contributor for MediaNews Group. He co-founded the Eastern Motorsports Press Association, served as public relations director for Grandview Speedway for 47 years, and is in multiple halls of fame for his promotion and journalism related to the sport. He has announced races at more than 100 tracks, and he is the only person to have announced a race at Madison Square Garden. Email him at

Source: Berkshire mont

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