March heralds the beginning of the racing season.
For car owners and mechanics, it's time to test their off-season work.
Hagerstown Speedway and Mason-Dixon Dragway in Washington County are scheduled to get under way today.
The Hagerstown Speedway, on U.S. Route 40 east of town, will feature the super sprints and late models in today's season-opener. As in the past, Hagerstown will run late models, limited late models, semi-lates, pure-stocks and four-cylinder pure stocks each week.
Special events during the year include the Camel Pro motorcycle races and Monster Trucks in July plus World of Outlaws on Memorial Day weekend and again in August.
Hagerstown will race Sunday afternoons through April 4, then switch to Saturday nights.
The Mason-Dixon Dragway, east of Hagerstown on U.S. Route 40, also will get under way today with its annual test and tune day. Several county drivers make the Hagerstown drag strip their home track each year.
Keymar resident Wayne Wachter, part owner of the facility, has racing scheduled every Sunday, with special events throughout the year on Saturday nights. Holiday weekend programs are scheduled for Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day.
The 75-80 Dragway in Monrovia, Frederick County, a track where Carroll County racers are well-represented, opens next Sunday and switches to Fridays and Saturdays in May.
Both 75-80 and Mason-Dixon will have the Junior Dragster Program for youngsters 8 and older.
Adjacent to the drag strip is the Monrovia Raceway. The three-tenths of a mile asphalt road course plays host to some of the best karting for all ages. The opener is scheduled for March 14. Racing switches to Saturday nights on June 5.
Just across the state line in nearby Hanover, Pa., are the Lincoln and Trail-Way Speedways.
Lincoln Speedway will open its season under new ownership on Saturday at 4 p.m. The half-mile, high-banked clay oval will feature super sprints, semi-lates and thundercars.
Special events will include World of Outlaws and the non-winged sprint car group, the CRA (California Racing Association).
Trail-Way Speedway will have an open practice day Saturday. The versatile one-third-mile oval offers something for nearly everyone. The flat-track cycles will begin on March 13, and the two- and four-wheel motorcycles and motocross are scheduled for the following week.
Friday night action will begin on April 2 and feature the four- and eight-cylinder, enduro stocks and micro sprints. New for this year will be the six-cylinder sprints. This division uses the chassis from the super sprints, but run the less expensive General Motors V-6 engine.
The cycles will run every Saturday night. Carroll County drivers are well-represented in each class at Trail-Way.
Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa., will start its 54th season under new promoters. Alan Kreitzer, owner of Silver Spring Speedway and part-owner of Lincoln, will co-promote the historic half-mile clay oval with Robert Jones.
The Grove will open the season on Sunday and run Sunday afternoons before switching to Friday nights April 2. Super sprint and limited sprint racing headline the action.
Area auto racing drivers also compete regularly at the Potomac Speedway in Budds Creek, Charles County and Winchester, Va.
Potomac opens its season on March 26, and Winchester opens the next night, both with late models, semi-lates, thundercars and four-cylinders.
Susquehanna Speedway in York County, Pa., was home to some county drivers. Last month, Kreitzer sold the half-mile clay oval .. to a group of businessmen who were involved in Penn National. (( They will switch to Saturday nights and run sportsman-modifieds and street stocks in place of the super sprints and thundercars.