Hagerstown Speedway is set to reopen soon for the Frank Sagi Tribute

After a several week hiatus from racing action due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, and in cooperation with local authorities, Hagerstown Speedway will return back to racing with a very special event. 

In what has become the event you do not want to miss, the popular Frank Sagi Tribute Race returns to Hagerstown Speedway for the fourth consecutive season on Sunday, August 16.


For 2020, the race annually named after Hall of Fame announcer Frank Sagi, who spent 39 years on the microphone at Hagerstown Speedway, will honor three former drivers that played huge parts in the history of Late Model racing at Hagerstown Speedway. 

If you ever heard Sagi announce the nicknames “Freestate Flyer”, “Brunswick Bullet”, or “Slurpee King”, then you know the honorees. 

Legendary home state Maryland drivers Denny Bonebrake, Sam Nalley and Larry Gorman will each be honored on the night of this special race, which will be hosted again on a Sunday evening like when those drivers were regularly competing and winning. 

Bonebrake, Nalley and Gorman, all of whom started their driving careers in 1968, and raced competitively against each other for over 15 years.  The successful trio accounted for over 100 combined feature wins and several championships at Hagerstown Speedway, several of biggest marquee events, and they were all interviewed by Frank Sagi in victory lane on each and every occasion.

Nalley and Gorman both retired from active competition in the mid-1980’s; Gorman in 1983 and Nalley in 1986.  Bonebrake continued to race until finally hanging up his helmet in 2014.  All three drivers are members of the Auto Racing Club of Hagerstown (ARCH) and Hagerstown Speedway Hall of Fame.  Bonebrake has also been inducted into the York County Racing Club and National Dirt Late Model Racing Halls of Fame.

On track action will consist of an efficient two-division program of Super Late Models and the Mid-Atlantic Modifieds.


The Super Late Model division will be racing for an increased purse in a 25-lap feature race paying $3,000 to win, plus an increase in pay for all 24 starting positions.  In addition, there will be sponsored bonus cash, products and gift certificates to be distributed to all 24 feature starters.  All non-qualified cars in attendance will also receive bonuses, along with tow money from the track.  

An exciting new bonus has been added to the Super Late Model drivers. For the first time, the Jimmy Spence Memorial Front Row Challenge will be a part of this annual special event.

This unique bonus is in memory of longtime championship and race winning driver/car owner Jimmy Spence of Winchester, Virginia, who we lost on February 1st of this year.  All Super Late Model heat race winners on this night will be offered the chance to race for extra cash, courtesy of the Spence family and Champion Auto Sales, if the drivers are willing to forfeit their upfront starting positions.  

All heat winners will be tempted with a $3,000 bonus if they are willing to drop to the rear of the feature starting field and are able to win the race.  The second option to be offered to all heat winners is a $1,000 cash bonus if they are willing to start at least 9th and are able to win the 30-lap feature event from there.  Any driver who is willing to accept either challenge will receive a guaranteed $200 bonus in memory of hard-charger Jimmy Spence, just for giving it a try.

Joining the Super Late Models on the evening’s card will be the Mid-Atlantic Modified series, who will compete in a 20-lap feature race paying $800 to win.  There will also be various cash, products and gift certificates available for all 24 Modified feature starters and all non-qualifiers.  No racer in the pits for this event will go home empty handed. 

For race fans, nothing has changed with the content for this multi-faceted event, where everyone is a participant in the show. 

Race fans will be treated to free brilliant-colored art prints designed by noted racing artist Jeff Lindsay as they enter the grandstand gates, along with other various free gift items. 

As in the past years, a large assembled group of retired former star drivers will be in attendance to talk to fans and sign autographs from 4:30 until 6:00.

The popular Turn 5 Turnaround show will have their new Mobile Studio set up on the grounds to entertain fans with live interviews of several current and former drivers.

Dozens of free t-shirts will be shot to fans in the grandstand area throughout the evening by the Father & Son duo of Tim and Brent Hottle from the Outback Motor Speedway and Need-a-Sign?, both in Winchester, VA.

Everyone will also get the opportunity to see nationally-known race car builder and Hall of Fame driver Jim Bernheisel take five lucky fans for high-speed rides around the speedway in his custom-built two-seater Super Late Model.  Besides the five fans, one of the evening’s special honorees, Denny Bonebrake, will also be going for a ride with Jim Bernheisel, along with two other mystery riders.

Three iconic restored race cars of the past will be on hand to be viewed and admired.  A late ‘50’s/early ‘60’s era flathead powered 1937 coupe, originally owned by Richard Bonebrake and driven back in the day by Red Nininger, will be brought to the track by it’s current owner and restorer, Red’s son Glenn Nininger. 

 The bright orange 1969 Chevelle raced successfully in the mid-‘70’s by top Central Pennsylvania driver Bob Bender will be in attendance.  The #17, owned by son Bob Bender, Jr., has a big block Chevrolet under the hood, just how it raced.  

The third vintage racer is one of the most famous in the country, the highly-recognizable yellow Yenko Chevrolet #1, expertly driven in the 1980 racing season by the legendary Bob Wearing.  This Howe chassis, big block Chevy powered machine was one of the most feared combinations of it’s day, and will be towed in to Hagerstown from the Western Pennsylvania area by it’s current owner, Kurt Gray.

The Auto Racing Club of Hagerstown (ARCH) will be hosting their annual picnic on the speedway grounds from 1:00 until 3:30.  ARCH members will be offered free admission to the evening’s racing program, courtesy of track General Manager Lisa Plessinger.

ARCH officers will also be present to conduct raffles for two great racing collectible items to benefit the non-profit organization.  A beautiful, huge, framed, one-of-a-kind drawing done by artist Jeff Lindsay called “Remembering Our Heroes” will be won by one lucky fan at evening’s end.  The other item is an impressive custom-etched wood plaque featuring cars driven by Denny Bonebrake, Sam Nalley and Larry Gorman.  This is another one-of-a-kind piece, crafted by master woodworker Scott Lorshbaugh.

ARCH will also be selling the great-looking event t-shirts featuring the images of cars driven by Denny Bonebrake, Larry Gorman and Sam Nalley.  These eye-catching, multi-colored shirts were designed by Kevin Quirk of Awesome Race Tees, and will be available in all sizes for just $20.  All proceeds from the sale of these shirts go to the Auto Racing Club of Hagerstown’s Injured Drivers Fund. 

A limited amount of t-shirts commemorating the memory of longtime engine builder Curtis Hershey who recently passed away will also be available. 

This event continues to grow in popularity for the racers and fans alike. 

For this event, to follow protocols in cooperation with local health department authorities, a reservation system is in place to reserve your passes. There are limits to the number of attendees so please visit  https://speedwayshopping.com/ to reserve your place to be able to attend the Frank Sagi Tribute on Sunday, August 16, 2020. 

Please follow the social media of Hagerstown Speedway on Facebook or Twitter for the latest updates and information, or call the speedway office at (301) 582-0640 for more information

Hagerstown Speedway Postpones 2020 Racing Season

Unfortunately, the red flag is out.

It is with deep regret and sadness due to the COVID-19 pandemic, along with local and state mandates of adherence to the CDC guidelines for crowd gatherings and social distancing that the officials and management of Hagerstown Speedway are postponing the 2020 racing season effective immediately for the foreseeable future.

We thank everyone for their patience and understanding with a delayed start to this season. We thank everyone for their loyalty and participation albeit in a shortened season ever since the speedway tried to begin in March before being stricken by the COVID-19 pandemic that has crippled sporting events all over the world.

Due to the high demand of attending events thus far, it has been determined that Hagerstown Speedway cannot properly practice safe social distancing procedures within the speedway grounds that would allow a larger participation/gathering of speedway attendants.

We rely on racers to put on a great show, and we rely on our great fans that come to watch and enjoy a night at the races.  However at this time, we can no longer accommodate the masses due to the restrictions set forth by local municipalities of the Washington County Health Department and the orders from the Maryland Secretary of Health.

We understand this is a cause of great disappointment to the racers and fans of Hagerstown Speedway, and it is a greater disappointment to everyone else involved at Hagerstown Speedway.

Once again, we thank everyone that chose to participate and support Hagerstown Speedway in 2020. We plan on returning back to action as soon as we can, and hope for a full season of racing in 2021.

Please stay tuned to the website and social media pages for any further updates.

Grum Memorial Accolades Go to Kyle Larson

By Brett Rose

HAGERSTOWN, MD – Kyle Larson has been using his time back racing Sprint Cars on a regular basis to his advantage of late in collecting quite a few wins over the last few weeks.

Larson, out of Elk Grove, California drove the Paul Silva No.57 to victory at Hagerstown Speedway on Thursday night in a dominating drive to win the Johnny Grum Memorial in Round 7 of Pennsylvania Sprint Speedweek.

Larson out powered Brock Zerafoss from the pole to maintain the lead coming off of turn two. As the laps clicked down, Larson masterfully navigated through traffic using every groove possible.

As Larson pulled away, Zearfoss, Sammy Swindell, and Brent Marks battled for second, while Danny Dietrich had his hands full racing with Rico Abreu.

Swindell and Marks swapped spots in the runner-up position, and Marks settled in around Swindell before the only caution flag waved on Lap 23 for the spun car of Zearfoss.

On the restart, Larson pulled away from Marks over the final seven laps to take his first career win at Hagerstown. Swindell finished third, followed by Abreu and 2019 Grum Memorial winner Freddie Rahmer in fifth.

“My car was really good……….I could go mostly wherever I wanted to and that helps, especially racing in lapped traffic”, said Larson. “I felt like I lapped a lot of people, so I wanted it to stay green. I felt like I had a big enough gap over second, but I didn’t want to see that caution because I didn’t know where Brent (Marks) was running behind me.”

Notes: Thirty-two teams were pit side on a very warm July evening for the fourth running of the event to honor Grum, the 1966 and 1969 Super Modified/Sprint Car champion.

Out of those 32 cars, Larson was the quickest turning a lap of 15.593 seconds around the Hub City half-mile oval. Larson just missed the weight limit era record of 15.580 seconds set by T.J. Stutts in 2017.

The overall record is still held by Mark Kinser with a 14.945 lap time that has stood since 1999.

Heat winners were Kyle Reinhardt, Marks, Ryan Smith, and Swindell. Robbie Kendall was the B-Main winner.

Feature Results

410 Sprints (30 laps) – 1. Kyle Larson, 2. Brent Marks, 3. Sammy Swindell, 4. Rico Abreu, 5. Freddie Rahmer, 6. Anthony Macri, 7. Ryan Smith, 8. Danny Dietrich, 9. Chase Dietz (Hard Charger), 10. Mike Wagner, 11. Brock Zearfoss, 12. Kyle Moody, 13. Kyle Reinhardt, 14. Logan Wagner, 15. Chad Trout, 16. Brett Michalski, 17. Robert Ballou, 18. T.J. Stutts, 19. Jared Esh, 20. Justin Whittal, 21. Brandon Rahmer, 22. Lucas Wolfe, 23. Dylan Cisney, 24. Robbie Kendall.