What might seem unfathomable at some ovals, Shellhammer Dirt Track ran a show in two and a half hours — with 10 features, 20 to 25 laps each. Rain knocked out four of the six features the previous week. The track added those races to their regular six-feature show last Wednesday.
“It’s been a battle with the weather all season long,” said promoter Dave Cordier Jr. “Wednesday-night racing here took a brutal hit.”
Shellhammer Dirt Track in Shoemakersville, Pennsylvania, regularly attracts full fields for its six classes. They average more than 120 cars a night.
“We start at 6 p.m. and I have to keep a strict 10 p.m. finish deadline to keep my neighbors happy,” Cordier said.
Rain threatened last Wednesday’s show, too.
“Last week, it was just before 7 p.m. and the showers had just ended,” said Cordier. “I was working the track from the water truck and I called my wife and said it looks like we’re going to have to pull the plug.”
Cordier takes pride in preparing a well-groomed surface for his racers.
“I don’t like to have the racers run the track in,” said Cordier. “I called the booth and told them, ‘We’re done. Let’s cancel.’”
That’s when the track announcer, Mike Feltenberger, rose to the occasion. He got on the PA and said, “If you want to race tonight, you have to work the track in.”
Cars lined up to help, much to the surprise of Cordier.
“Nothing can pack a track like a bunch of 600cc micro sprints,” Cordier said. “I applauded them. Everyone worked together for a common goal. The track was ready at 7:20. The track crew made sure the lineups kept coming. The show went flawlessly for more than 200 laps.”
The season closes after tonight’s show at Shellhammer Dirt Track.
“There’s finally nothing but good weather in the forecast,” said Cordier.
This year marks the Outside Groove Director of Photography’s 51st year of covering auto racing. Adaskaveg got his start working for track photographer Lloyd Burnham at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway in 1970. Since then, he’s been a columnist, writer, and photographer, in racing and in mainstream media, for several outlets, including the Journal Inquirer, Boston Herald, Stock Car Racing, and Speedway Illustrated. Among Adaskaveg’s many awards are the 1992 Eastern Motorsport Press Association (EMPA) Ace Lane Photographer of the Year and the 2019 National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) George Cunningham Writer of the Year.