The 1991 racing season for county drivers is slated to begin today, weather permitting, at Hagerstown and Trail-Way speedways.

Hagerstown in Washington County kicks off its season with a double-header program of super sprints and late models.

Hagerstown will run every Sunday with special events on Friday and Saturday throughout the year. Late models, limited late models, modified stock and daredevils are the main divisions.

Westminster's Gary Stuhler will try to retain his title in the late model division. Stuhler has 43 career wins at Hagerstown and has been the leading feature winner the past five years.

Other Carroll County drivers expecting to see action today include Charlie Schaffer of Hampstead, who captured his first feature at the half-mile clay oval last October, and super sprint drivers likely will include Cris Eash, Rick SchmelyumJr. and Jesse Wentz. Eash, after two years traveling across country on the World of Outlaw circuit, will stay and race close to his Woodbine home this year.

Trail-Way Speedway also opens today. The versatile one-third mile speedway in Hanover, Pa., offers something for everyone. By the end of March, Trail-Way will be racing nights on Friday and Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

The supercross cycles headline today's action and will be back the following week. The four- and eight-cylinders and micro-sprints are scheduled for March 10. The first Saturday program is March 16 with supercross cycles and four-wheel ATVs.

Friday night action will begin March 29 and will feature thefour- and eight-cylinder divisions and the semi-lates. The micro andmini-sprints and four-wheels odyssey will be in action every Sunday beginning April 7.

As many as a dozen county drivers compete in the various Trail-Way events, especially in the cycles and micro-sprints.

Both Hagerstown and Trail-Way Speedways will be in action through Nov. 3.

Next week, the rest of the area oval tracks open. Lincoln Speedway in Hanover, Pa., will kick off a 39-event schedule on March 2.

Several improvements have been made by the new promoters over the off-season. A new enlarged infield pit area will make it easierfor the fans to see the backstretch.

Look for new records to be set at the three-eighth-mile clay oval as the banking in the turns have been increased. Super sprint drivers will be anxious to get on the track on opening day.

Another addition to Lincoln will be the super stock late models as a regular division. This makes Lincoln the only track in the area to run two top divisions on a weekly basis. The first late model program is April 6.

Lincoln will run Saturday afternoons until April 13, then switch to their regular 7:30 p.m. starting time.

Westminster's Dave Green will be seeking his second thundercar title at Lincoln while Don Zechman will have a late model for 1991.

Westminster's Rick Jones, the leading feature winner in the semi-late division, will also have a late model ride. Jones will continue to drive the semi-late as well.

Next Sunday, historic Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa., will start their season. Duringthe off-season, Bob and Bill Leiby became new partners in the Sel-Wil Corp., promoters of the speedway.

Super sprints and limited sprints are the main divisions at the Grove and the half-mile clay oval will run Sunday afternoons before switching to Friday nights on March 29.

The World of Outlaws will be making five visits to Williams Grove. The track will have its longest season with the Williams Grove Nationals bringing the season to an end on Oct. 6.

The area's two dragways also will open the first weekend in March.

The 75-80 Dragway will run Sunday afternoons through the spring and switch to Fridayand Saturday evenings in May.

The 75-80 Dragway, in Monrovia, Frederick County, is popular with Carroll County drivers, with as many as two dozen competing there.

Mason-Dixon Dragway is east of Hagerstown, Md., on U.S. 40. Traditionally a Sunday afternoon track, Mason-Dixon has installed lights and will run selected events on Friday andSaturday nights.

Street racing will headline the first Friday night event on July 5.

In addition to new lights, other improvements to the track include bleachers and restroom improvements and an enlarged scoring tower with new computer equipment. In April, the return road will be repaved.

Some of the special events scheduled by Keymar resident Wayne Wachter, part owner of the facility, include Funny Cars in April, top fuel bikes in June, wheel-standers trucks in May and Jet Cars and Trucks in July. Several county drivers make the Hagerstown drag strip their home track each year.

Both drag strips will operate through Nov. 3.

Potomac Speedway in Budd's Creek, Charles County, will open March 29 and Winchester Speedway in Virginia will open the following night. Both tracks feature late models, semi-lates,thundercars and four-cylinders. Stuhler is the most frequent Carrolldriver at those tracks, but others occasionally make the trek.

Results of county drivers will appear regularly in The Carroll County Sun.

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