By Steve Inch
SELINSGROVE, Pa. – Selinsgrove Speedway will present two complete racing programs on the half-mile track this Saturday, May 26, featuring the 358 sprint cars, late models, pro stocks, and roadrunners, followed by the running of the Keystone Cup Ray Tilley Classic for 410 sprint cars plus super sportsman on Sunday, May 27. Race time is 7 p.m. both nights.
Saturday’s four-division racing card will be sponsored by Sunbury Eagles Club No. 503. Race fans can tune into Selinsgrove Max Media radio stations B98.3 and Y106.5 this week for a chance to win tickets to this Saturday’s four division racing program. Radio station personalities will also be on-hand at the track for a live pre-race remote this Saturday. Track gates will open at 5 p.m.
The speedway will swing back into action on Sunday with the second appearance of the season by the 410 sprint cars as part of the Sixth Annual Keystone Cup Series sponsored by Icon Legacy Custom Modular Homes of Selinsgrove.
This year’s Keystone Cup event at Selinsgrove will be a tribute to the late legendary race car driver Ray Tilley of Pine Grove, who clinched four career sprint car titles (1965-66 and 1968-69) at Selinsgrove and remains on top of the track’s all-time win list with 69 career victories. Tilley passed away on Aug. 19, 2011, from complications of a stroke at the age of 77.
“On behalf of my mother, Ruth Tilley, and my two brothers, Bryon and Roger, I would like to express our gratitude and thanks to Selinsgrove Speedway for honoring my father and his accomplishments by having the Ray Tilley Classic as part of the Keystone Cup series,” said Thurmon Tilley of Clearfield, Utah.
Members of the Tilley family from Utah, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania are planning to attend this weekend’s race. Tilley’s grandson, Andrew Tilley, who is attending ministry school, will deliver the invocation and family friend Linda Herrold of Selinsgrove will sing the National Anthem.
Two Tilley race cars, one restored and one re-created by Marlin Heller of Dover, will be on display as well as photos of Tilley’s racing career and one of his driving suits, weather permitting.
The restored racer will be the Bud Grimm Ford No. 88 sprint car that Tilley steered to some 39 victories in 1967 and 1968. The recently completed re-created car will be the 30×90 Bud Grimm Ford “bug” that won 47 races in 1965, more than any other driver in the United States that year.
Sunday’s race at Selinsgrove will mark the debut of the 30×90 replica to the public, as only a select number of people—including Tilley himself—have seen the meticulously re-created race car. According to Heller, Tilley had the opportunity to sit in the replica last summer and gave Heller and his collaborator Jim Strausbaugh of Dover his stamp of approval just prior to his passing. Heller said the original 30×90 was sent to a salvage yard and never recovered.
The Keystone Cup Ray Tilley Classic for 410 sprint cars will be a 30-lap main event paying $5,000 to win. Time trials, heat races, and a B-main will be the qualifying format. Greg Hodnett of Thomasville is the defending Keystone Cup winner at Selinsgrove. Daryn Pittman of Owasso, Okla., won the 410 sprint car season opener at the track on March 11.
The super sportsman will compete in qualifying events and a 20-lap feature. Rich Eichelberger of York Springs is the defending super sportsman winner.
Selinsgrove Raceway Park will present a program of go kart and micro sprint car racing at 7 p.m. this Friday, May 25. In the Selinsgrove Ford micro sprint car standings, two-time winner David Utt of Bloomsburg holds a 10-point lead over one-time winner Nathan Ritter of Selinsgrove entering this weekend’s racing action.
For a complete schedule, the latest news, results, and race status, visit selinsgrovespeedway.com or follow us on Twitter and Facebook. The speedway office can also be reached at 570.374.2999.