Selinsgrove Speedway and the family of the late racer Ron Keister of New Berlin will honor his memory with one of the biggest super late model races in the history of the track at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 18. Keister was a 28-year-old rookie in late model competition in 1976 when he lost his life in a racing accident at the Snyder County oval.
The Big Wrangler Ranch Ron Keister Memorial will pay $11,000 to win the 52-lap A-Main out of more than $40,000 in prize money and contingencies. Time trials, heats, and B-Mains will be the qualifying format. The fast qualifier will receive a $520 bonus with heat and B-Main winners picking up $110 bonuses. The hard charger in the A-main will earn $520.
“Ron’s brother Randy contacted us on behalf of the family about doing a race to remember Ron,” said speedway general manager Steve Inch. “It’s an honor for all of us to put together this race for one of our sport’s fallen heroes. The generous contribution from the Keister family will make this one of the biggest—and most special—late model races of the year.”
Keister was a crew member on former champion Paul Long’s late model team before his father Eugene Keister fielded the No. 11 for his rookie season. A standout kart and snowmobile racer, Keister showed early promise as a dirt track racer until tragedy struck on April 10, 1976. In the first late model heat race that night his car made contact with the outside guardrail on the backstretch and was then struck broadside by another car, according to published reports.
Keister was a 1966 graduate of Mifflinburg Area High School where he was a star football player who campaigned the No. 52 on his jersey. He later enrolled and graduated from Penn State University in 1974 with a degree in architectural engineering. At the time of his accident he was married and the father of two children.
Keister’s former numbers 11 and 52 will serve as tributes—$11,000 to win and 52 laps—on May 18 at Selinsgrove Speedway. The 360 sprint cars will also compete in a 25-lap main event.
Keister’s brother Randy along with Randy’s wife Jody and son Michael continue the family’s racing tradition as the owners of the super late model No. 22 driven by Herndon’s Brett Schadel.
Purse for Big Wrangler Ranch Ron Keister Memorial for Super Late Models Saturday, May 18, 2019:
2019 NATIONAL SPRINT CAR CHASSIS MODIFICATIONS ARE RECOMMENDED BUT OPTIONAL FOR 2019 AT SELINSGROVE SPEEDWAY
THESE MODIFICATIONS WILL ALSO BE OPTIONAL FOR WILLIAMS GROVE / SELINSGROVE AMERICAN SPRINT CAR SERIES “BATTLE OF THE GROVES” WEEKEND MAY 3-4
The 2019 national recommended sprint car chassis modifications will be optional this season at Selinsgrove Speedway. Track officials will consider making the modifications mandatory beginning in 2020.
Race teams that make the recommended modifications for this season must abide by the specifications outlined in the speedway’s official technical rules. All other technical specifications will be required to compete.
Williams Grove and Selinsgrove Speedway officials confirmed this week with the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series (ASCS) that the new modifications will be optional for the upcoming May 3-4 360 sprint car “Battle of the Groves” events with the United Racing Club. 2019 RECOMMENDED SPRINT CAR CHASSIS SPECIFICATIONS AS OUTLINED IN SELINSGROVE SPEEDWAY TECHNICALRULES. See diagrams in technical rules located HERE.
AXLE TETHERS: Approved front axle tether systems are highly recommended. The tether mounting must meet the SFI 55.1 specification which includes two (2) Vectran® HS V-12, or Dynemma 12 tethers attached to the chassis. Tether systems must include a “king pin to king pin” tether that will attach to the axle clamp/band. Tether cables should be installed using the manufacture’s provided fasteners.
Tether systems of any type must be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If utilized, a tether is required on both left, and right sides of the Front Axle. Tethers must be mounted from the Front Axle, just outside the Radius Rod hookups on both sides of the Front Axle, utilizing the aluminum mounting brackets provided by the manufacturer. Tethers must extend to the second upright of the frame and be attached below the front engine mounts. Tether must be attached with a slipknot around the upright. Crews cannot alter the intentions of the Axle Tethers.
SUPPORT BARS: All chassis will be required to have additional bars installed to support and decrease the span between the front and rear uprights in the driver’s area. The new support bars must be in addition to the front and rear uprights. Any attempts to manipulate the front and rear uprights to conform to these measurements will not be allowed. These additional bars will be minimum 1.375 X .083 ASTM4130 normalized steel or equivalent material.
Support bar may be designed similar to what was known as a “safety bar”. It must be attached to the top rail at a point 15” to 20” from the rear of the front upright. It must attach to the hip rail and have a gusset attached to the rear upright near a point opposite of the rear brace/shock mount bar. The curve must be between 4” and 7” measured from outside of the rear upright tube to the outside of the support bar.
Existing chassis with a left side support bar installed (formerly called safety bar) that do not meet the option one specification above, may add a gusset that attaches to the top rail 15” to 20” from the rear of the front upright and angle to the support bar. The existing support bar tubing must meet the minimum as described above (1.375 X .083 ASTM4130 normalized steel or equivalent material).
A support bar may be added to the top rail at a point 15” to 20” from the rear of the front upright and to the rear upright near a point of the rear brace / shock mount bar but no higher than 7” above the hip rail. This bar may have a slight curve near the rear upright to accommodate elbow room and ease of fitment.
Selinsgrove Speedway’s 2019 Season Opener is slated for 6 p.m. Saturday, April 6, featuring the 360 sprint cars, super late models, pro stocks, and roadrunners.
For 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 570.374.2266.
Tentative Order Of Events
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REMINDER THAT ONE WAY RADIOS CAPABLE OF RECEIVING CHANNEL 454.000 ARE REQUIRED FOR ALL DIVISIONS RACING AT SELINGROVE SPEEDWAY.
TRANSPONDERS ARE REQUIRED FOR ALL DIVISIONS RACING AT SELINSGROVE SPEEDWAY WITH THE EXCEPTION OF ROADRUNNERS. RENTALS ARE AVAILABLE.