Disappointment, frustration and understanding was wrapped into a rain-soaked Friday in central Pennsylvania.

Some of the best Sprint Car drivers in the country converged on Williams Grove Speedway this weekend for one of the crown jewels in the sport: The Champion Oil National Open paying $50,000.

They were greeted with rain. The type that forced track officials and the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series brass to cancel the first two nights and postpone Saturday's finale to Oct. 14.

Because of the move, the purse was also cut. The 40-lap feature now pays $25,000 to the winner and $1,000 to start.

"Obviously as a competitor and racing for a living, I'm disappointed the race isn't for the full purse," central Pennsylvania ace Greg Hodnett said. "But in the same respect, I understand that if the track loses money, we won't have a track to race at.

"I think [Williams Grove] has to be realistic with what they can do. Last year, they tried a one-day show paying $50,000 to win, and my understanding is that it didn't do well financially.

"Looking at the bigger picture, they know their business model better than any competitor, so they need to do what is realistic to survive. To lose money paying $50,000 to win doesn't make sense, and I understand that."


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