Dirt-track promoters dream of nights like Georgetown Speedway had last Friday, July 20, for the annual Blue Hen Disposal-All Night — stands packed to capacity, the pit full of race cars and perfect weather helping the track surface evolve from tacky to slick for a great night of dirt racing on the half-mile dirt oval.
In addition, late last week, B.D. Motorsports LLC, which operates Georgetown Speedway, announced that, thanks to several local businesses’ generosity, purses were increased from their originally posted amounts. Stockley Tavern, just south of the track, contributed a $250 cash bonus to the Sunoco Modified winner, upping Duane Howard’s payday to $3,250.
With contributions to the Super Late Model purse, from JD Shuckers restaurant for $400 and the County Seat Cruisers group for $300, 23-year-old Millsboro racer Amanda Whaley also went home with $3,250 in her pocket.
In addition to her purse winnings, Whaley is guaranteed a starting position for the prestigious Keystone Cup — worth $1,000.That race is scheduled for Sept. 28-29 at the Bedford, Pa., track. Only two of these starting positions are offered across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region.
Whaley fought through traffic, and took the lead late, in the 25-lap Super Late Model race. Every time she got rolling and gained some real estate over the lead pack, the caution flag reeled them back to her rear bumper.
“The restarts didn’t bother me,” Whaley said after her first Georgetown win. “I was told I had a pretty big lead. I just kind of kept calm and the hammer down. The car’s been great; it’s been great the last couple of races. I can’t ask for better. This is a high-paying race at my home track, and that’s always exciting.”
Crossing the stripe behind Whaley in the top five were Jason Covert, Seaford native Austin Hubbard, Millsboro-based Donald Lingo Jr., Nick Davis and Georgetown racer Ross Robinson.
Duane Howard won the second $3,250 purse. Howard dominated the 30-lap Sunoco Modified Feature. Racing veteran and Milford native Jordan Watson climbed through the field, reaching second in the final laps, but Watson didn’t have anything for Howard, even though a late-race caution flag brought them bumper-to-bumper.
Farther back, Modified legends David Van Horn Jr. and Jimmy Horton finished third and fourth, followed by Matt Stangle, who completed the top five.
“The one caution actually helped us,” said Howard of Oley, Pa. “It slowed us down, but you know what — we had a real good race car. The car was really balanced. I needed that one caution to clear the 1J [Watson]. On the restart, I crossed over in front of him, which I really needed to do. We really had a good stout race car.”
Competing support classes included L&J Sheet Metal Crate 602 Sportsman, captured at the end of 20 laps by Connor King of Morgantown, Pa., for his second straight Georgetown feature win in that class. Greg Humihanz, Jason Rush, Steve Kemery and Ryan Riddle rounded out the top five.
Robinson ruled the Southern Delaware Vintage Stock Car class. C.J. Schirmer, Charlie Moore, Jamie Schirmer (who was also the Sportsman winner) and David Parsons were second through fifth.
“We started 12th behind all of the Modifieds,” Schirmer described. “We managed to work our way to fourth. So it was a good run.”
Piloting a 1964 Ford Galaxy, Landy Adams of Seaford led the Little Lincoln cars racers under the checkers after 20 laps. Following him across the finish line in the top five were Joseph Tracy Jordan, Herbert, Matt White, Ryan Walsen and Bunky White.
Dale Elliot, driving a 2000 GMC Sonoma, dominated the Delaware Super Truck Feature wire-to-wire for 12 laps, for his second straight truck-race win at Georgetown.
“We’ve been trying to get here for a number of years,” Elliott of Laurel explained. “The Sonoma handled great around the turns. I was just slinging it, and steering fine like you would on the road. It was a good race between David Smith and all of those boys.”
Smith was second. Jerry Hill was third. Kirk Miller Sr. followed in fourth, and Mike Kennedy completed the top five.
Geoff Carey captured the 12-lap Delmarva Charger feature. Chris Martinez, James Hill, Robert Paczkowski, Ashley Merritt and Derek Swafford completed the top five.
Georgetown Speedway will be silent until Thursday, Aug. 16, when the Fulton Bank 40 World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Models Series stops by with a 40-lap $10,000 purse. Also racing that night are Delaware Super Trucks, Delmarva Chargers and Little Lincoln cars.
On Tuesday, Aug. 28, the speedway will feature Blast at the Beach 5, with the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) fueled by Sunoco Velocita; a South Region Modifieds 35-lap race with $5,000 to win, $400 to start; along with STSS L&J Sheet Metal Crate 602 Sportsman with $1,000 to win; Delaware Super Trucks; and Delmarva Chargers. The rain date for that event is Aug. 29.
On Friday, Sept. 21, URC 360 Sprint cars will highlight the program, with Sunoco Modifieds $3,000 to win L&J Sheet Metal Crate 602 Sportsman, Delmarva Chargers, Delaware Super Trucks, Southern Delaware Vintage Stock Cars and Little Lincoln Cars.
By Bruce C. Walls
Special to the Coastal Point