A Super Night at Silver Springs
Author : Dean Neal

Imagine this is your lot in racing each and every night for your 70 or so races for the
upcoming season: There are more than 70 cars in the pits. You are currently season highpoints, there are no time trials, you are inverted on your season points so you run
off the backmark in your heat of 20 cars. You know that only the top 6 directly transfer
to the feature. If you make the cut, you know once again the Feature field will be inverted according to points! If you fail to directly qualify via your heat, you will be in 1 of 2 "consi" races that each transfer 4 cars to the Feature event. This is exactly what the best in the Super Sportman class out of Pennsylvania have to deal with each and every time they race!

 

Super Sportsman are an interesting class in that they are not strictly Sprintcars but are closely resembled to them. They basically run a 360 Carburetted engine, no nose wing, no power steering, steel wheels, narrow top wing and a chassis that has the bottom rails changed to utilize box tubing. The rest of the car is standard Sprintcar fare - quick change diff, axles etc.

Whilst the Super Sportsman run at all the well known tracks in the area, it is at Silver Springs Speedway in Mechanicsburg Pennsylvania where they run most often. The spec changes brought to this class of car certainly produces close racing! The cars are very competitive and the racing is white hot from the very start. Silver Springs is a very neat and tidy 3/8 mile banked track and these cars handle the track like a hot duck does to water. What was even more impressive was the very substancial crowd on hand to watch this very exciting class of car in action. Racing was often 3 wide and the large fields ensured that fans are thoroughly engaged in the nights' action.

Many of the current PA Posse cut their teeth in the Sportsman category including Shawn Keen. There were a lot of very young drivers strutting their stuff when we watched this class at Silver Springs on Staurday Night. Also many former great legends of Pennsylvanian Sprintcar racing are still plying their craft in this class - the most noteworthy being Smokey Snellbaker, he still has the ability I assure you!

The cars of Carmen Perigo and Frankie Herr were the season point leaders and the two to watch all night. With over 4,000 people on hand to watch these and also 358 Late Models (which were also very racey and impressive) I guess if done right, restriced racing can be a vibrant arena in it's own right!

 


The very Well Presented Sportsman of JR Fry

 


Sportsman lining up for their heat race

 

Super Sportsman at Silver Springs...cars cars and MORE cars!

 


In the Pits


Did I mention there are a damn lot of these cars racing?

 


Racing action down the main straight

 


Hard at it through turns 1&2

 


A famous name in Pennsylvania - Smokey Snellbaker