“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”Charles Dickens, A Tale Of Two Cities
Rivalries are the life blood of any sport – the Redskins and the rest of the NFC East, the Red Sox and Yankees, Harvard and Yale.
Often though, it’s something we experience at a distance or no more than once or twice a year. But what if you could watch the home team twice a week right in your backyard? And how would you feel when your deadly rivals show up several times a year trying to claim the glory of winning on your home field? And when they do, your blood boils.
Well, that’s how a comatose Pennsylvania Posse fan reacts, never mind one on his feet in the stands, hoarse from cheering and needing rotator cuff surgery from waving their favorite car to the front.
God, in his wisdom or just maybe a sense of whimsy, combined all the action on Saturday night after raining out the Friday night show. And then, in a most Solomonistic fashion, He provided a split decision.
At Williams Grove Saturday night a Pennsylvania racer won. It’s just that he races with the World of Outlaws.
Cody Darrah, driving the Kasey Kahne No. 9 Sprinter, survived a wild race that saw two cars flip, a car on fire, Tony Stewart come in eighth, top drivers like Doug Esh and Brian Montieth not qualifying and Tyler Walker not exploding in the pits like a potty mouthed R-rated baby.
Starting second on the pole, Darrah quickly moved to the lead, and that would be a good place to be and stay out of trouble.
Fast Freddy Rahmer was high on the outside coming out of Turn 2 with Outlaws Swindell and Kinser low. Rahmer and Swindell pulled away from Kinser, just before the bridge, but touched and Rahmer somersaulted down the back stretch before coming to a rest in the third turn. One look at the track photo on the Grove website will show you just how long a ride that was.
Not to be outdone, Craig Dollansky, too, flipped a few laps later in the fourth turn but made it back to the track after the caution. That didn’t last long, and he coasted to a stop when a fuel fire broke out.
At the end of the night there were no injuries other than to the race cars and the confused feelings of the Posse fans seeing a local driver win one for the mortal enemies. For the Posse fans it’s just nine more weeks of teeth- grinding agony until the Outlaws return on the last weekend of September.
Rules are rules if you’re going racing and sometimes the old adage applies. “Some days you eat the bear, other days the bear eats you.”
Two top drivers, Tyler Walker and Jessica Zemken, both fell afoul of the rules a couple of weeks ago. Walker, at the Grove, exploded in a profanity-laced tirade. Zemken was two pounds light across the scales in her 410 Sprinter after winning at Rolling Wheels in New York. She tried to bounce in her seat to trip the scales, was called for it by other teams and lost. Her arguing caused her a two- month suspension from ESS events and her father a year ban for choking an ESS official to no good effect. Yeah, smart.
Walker is a gypsy driver, suspended from NASCAR in 2007 for substance abuse, who roams the country for Sprint Car rides where he can find them. Zemken, however, is an up and coming driver who runs a full 410 schedule and recently raced the wicked fast Super Modifieds and could easily climb into a NASCAR ride. But what top race series or sponsor wants another potential Kurt or Kyle Busch? Think you have a future in racing and hope to move up? Remember, in this world, past is prologue.
This Saturday, the Late Model world descends on Hagerstown Speedway with the Lucas Oil Late Models 31st annual Conococheague 50 lapper. Points are tight, the money is big and the prestige of winning huge. You’ll also be able to watch Hedgesville’s Tony Catlett fight to preserve his 14-point lead in the Ernie D’s Pure Stocks. If you’re a fan of Ford, you need to be here to support Catlett.
Finally, tomorrow, Wednesday the 25th, I’ll be on my regular bi-weekly section of Eastern Panhandle Talk with Rob Mario on WRNR 740 AM and 106.5 FM from 8:40 to 9 a.m. talking about all things racing. This week we’ll have the winningest female driver in America, Deana Groves of Morgantown, as a guest. She just became the first female winner in the Modifieds at the daunting Tyler County Speedway and on the Renegade Circuit. Tune in as we talk to this very personable and passionate racer.
Remember, if you don’t have dirt on ya, it wasn’t a race.
-Questions, comments, tips or story ideas reach me at: email@example.com