March heralds the beginning of the racing season for most county drivers.

For car owners and mechanics, it's time to test their off-season work.

Hagerstown Speedway in Washington County got the jump on racing with its season-opener last Sunday in spring-like weather. After 45 years of Sunday racing, promoter Frank Plessinger will switch to Saturday nights starting April 11.

Hagerstown returns to Sunday racing in September.

With the switch, Hagerstown hopes to attract more fans from Baltimore and Carroll counties. Hagerstown also hopes to attract late-model fans from Lincoln Speedway in Hanover, Pa., which has dropped that class.

Hagerstown will run late models, limited lates,semi-lates and pure stocks each week, with Camel Pro motorcycles in July and monster trucks in August.

Lincoln Speedway was to open its season yesterday and will run Saturdays with super sprints, semi-lates and thundercars.

Carroll County sprint standouts Jeff Shepard,Cris Eash, Jesse Wentz and Rick Schmelyum Jr. are planning to compete at Lincoln every week.

Today will be the season-opener for several area tracks, including Trail-Way Speedway in Hanover.

The versatile one-third mile oval offers something for nearly everyone. The two- and four-wheel motorcycles headline today's action, with the four-and eight-cylinders and micro-sprints next Sunday.

Friday night action begins March 27 with four- and eight-cylinders, enduros and micro-sprints.

Motorcycle races are planned for Saturdays, starting March 28, and Carroll drivers are well represented in each class at Trail-Way.

Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa., will startits 53rd season today with super sprints. The Grove will run Sunday afternoons before switching to Friday nights April 17.

Mason-DixonDragway, east of Hagerstown on U.S. 40, begins its season this afternoon. Several county drivers make the Hagerstown drag strip their home track each year.

Keymar resident Wayne Wachter, part owner of the facility, has scheduled racing every Sunday, with special events throughout the year on Saturday nights and four Friday cards planned.

75-80 Dragway in Monrovia, Frederick County, opens next Sunday afternoon and switches to Friday and Saturday nights in May.

Cart racing got a big boost last year when the Monrovia Kart Club reopened theasphalt cart course adjacent to the 75-80 drag strip.

The club opens next Sunday and will be in action every week.

Highlight of theyear will be on June 12-14, when the course will play host to the National Manufacturers Cup Race.

Area auto racing drivers also compete regularly at the Potomac Speedway in Budds Creek, Charles County, and Winchester, Va., Speedway.

Potomac opens its season on Friday night, March 27, and Winchester opens the next night, both with late models, semi-lates, thundercars and four-cylinders.

This year willthe first time Hagerstown and Winchester, less than 50 miles apart, go head to head. Drivers such as Charlie Schaffer of Hampstead, Gary Stuhler of Westminster and Paul Crowl of Westminster must decide where to race Saturday nights this year.

Results of county drivers andupcoming schedules will appear regularly in The Carroll County Sun. Please send results and story ideas to Motor sports, The Carroll County Sun, 15 E. Main St., Westminster, Md. 21157-5052 or fax your information to us at 876-0233.

Information: 857-0550 or 876-8771.

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