1970’s Port Royal Heroes Part Of Saturday Tribute – Snyder & Thompson Lost

Big holiday program is May 25 with big races, big money, big prizes and fireworks for fans!

Port Royal – Saturday’s Memorial weekend Fallen Heroes Championships at Port Royal Speedway will be special for several reasons including fireworks, big money being paid out to drivers, extra distance races and nearly two hundred Pepsi prizes being given out to fans but most importantly it will be special because the night is meant to pay tribute to five men who paid the ultimate price while racing at the track.

The early 1970’s saw the track endure a pair of losses after already losing Hal Hoose and Hal Swarmer in 1958 and AAA racer Frank Bailey in 1947.

It was May 27, 1972, when Dennis Snyder of Strodes Mills, PA, took to the track for the sprint feature.

An identical twin, Dennis and his brother Dwight at age 33 would take turns driving their family No. 15 sprint back then but on this night it was Denny who crashed at the entrance of turn one at the end of the frontstretch early in the sprint feature.

His car went airborne and flipping before being struck directly in the cage during a seven-car pileup on the second lap.  Hero Snyder left behind his wife Patsy and daughters Kim and Stacey.

And then a little over a year later, on June 23, 1973, local boy Randolph “Randy” Thompson of Mifflintown took to the track in uncharted waters.

Thompson was 21 that night when he strapped in for the first ever race at Port Royal for the newly formed Amateur “Hobby Stock” division.

An outstanding varsity wrestler and graduate of Juniata High School, Thompson crashed at the end of the backstretch on the third lap of the 15-lap main event.

Several cars at the front of the field crashed with Thompson piling into the scene, getting ejected form his auto onto the track.

A brakeman for the Penn Central Rail Road at the time, Thompson was already a hero by the time he arrived at Geisinger Medical Center from Lewistown Hospital, leaving behind his mom Margaret and brother Chester

And so it will be that Port Royal Speedway will honor its five fallen heroes with this Saturday’s Fallen Heroes Championships for super sprints, super late models and 305 sprints.

Racing will begin at 7 pm with gates opening at 5 pm.

The event will kickoff the summer season and honor those lost with a fireworks display by Skyshooter Pyrotechnics at intermission. 

It will be Pepsi Night at The Port with the first 100 fans entering the stands receiving either a FREE Pepsi shirt or hat.

And Pepsi will be giving away nearly 50 12-paks of soda to general admission fans plus tickets to NASCAR at Pocono Raceway, Hershey Park and Knoebels Grove Amusement Resort. 

Packers Concessions of Centre Hall will also be offering various new food items on the grounds for the event. 

Saturday’s championships will see the super sprints vie for $5,000 to win their 25-lap main that also pays $350 just to start while the late models will race for $2,000 to win their 25-lap feature and $200 to start.

The 305 sprints will also race for more to win in their 25-lap nightcap. 

Time trials will set the starting lineups for the 410 sprints and late models. 

The exciting holiday program is sponsored by Packers Concessions along with Lelands.com, CRANKWERKZ, Newville Electrical Services and Mr. Terry Ritzman.

It will also be York County Racing Club Night at the track.

Adult general admission for May 25 will be JUST $20 with students ages 12 – 18 JUST $5.