|Photo courtesy of Jason McConnell|
Saturday was the rescheduled Firecracker 30 for the 360 Sprint Cars from July 1 at Selinsgrove Speedway. Coming into the night no driver had won the event more than two times. Hometown driver Blane Heimbach was in search of his third win when he drove by early race leader Jason Shultz on lap four of the 30-lap, $3,000-to-win event.
Shultz immediately began to pressure Heimbach as he tried to take the spot back. That pressure was short lived as Heimbach pulled away from Shultz and Selinsgrove Speedway point leader Davie Franek. By the halfway mark Heimbach’s lead was comfortable, but he was working into lap traffic.
Shultz wasted no time beginning his charge back to the rear bumper of the race leader’s car. As Heimbach tiptoed his way through lap traffic Shultz quickly made up ground. The leaders, although battling each other, extended their lead over Franek to nearly half the race track.
The blistering pace continued as Shultz made his best bid for the win diving to the inside of a lap car and Heimbach at the same time. Heimbach was able to power around on the top back into the top spot with three laps left. Shultz kept within striking distance to the race leader, but never got close enough to take the lead away from Heimbach as he drove to his third win in the Firecracker 30.
“We haven’t been very good this year, but this is where I started so it feels good to come here and get a win at a track I’ve run so many laps on,” said Heimbach in victory lane. Heimbach was a contender for the National Open win a week ago before he had a mechanical failure sideline him with five laps to go.
Shultz settled for second. Mark Smith closed out the podium finishers after starting mid-pack. Davie Franek and Eric Tomecek were the top five finishers.
Derek Locke crossed the line in sixth followed by Chad Layton, Adam Carberry, Michael Walter, and Nate Snyder.
Shultz and Heimbach won heat races for the 360 Sprint Cars.
Hayes Mattern certainly looked like the car to beat in the Late Models on Saturday night. Mattern used a long green flag run to pull a big lead over the field. As the run continued on, Bryan Bernheisel began to show some muscle as well as he closed in on the race leader.
Once again as lap traffic covered much of the speedway in front of the leaders, Bernheisel continued the pressure. Bernheisel stayed loyal to the inside line while Mattern used the high side of the race track. Mattern had the advantage as many of the lap cars ran the inside of the race track.
Bernheisel threw a slide job on Mattern on lap 19 to take the top spot away, just before a yellow flag came out.
Bernheisel used a great restart to break away from the field on his way to his second win of the season. Mattern and Gene Knaub were the top three finishers. Donnie Schick was fourth followed by Tony Adams. Adams was caught up in a first lap wreck, but recovered to finish fifth and salvage a good point night in the championship race.
Jim Yoder was sixth just ahead of point leader Steve Campbell. Dave Stamm, Meade Hahn, and Ken Yoder were the top ten finishers.
Tony Adams and Andrew Yoder took checkered flags in heat races for the Late Models.
Shaun Miller almost won the first Econo Late Model race of the season at Selinsgrove Speedway in June, but he was passed late in the race for the win. Saturday night had a similar feel when Tim Krape, the winner at the track last weekend, took the top spot off a restart with only five laps to go. Miller had lead every lap up until that point.
Krape’s car seemed very fast. In racing sometimes that’s when things go wrong, and in this case that is what happened. With five to go Krape’s car slowed to the infield.
Miller was back into the race lead with Todd Snook right there. Miller opened the lead up a little bit to give himself some breathing room over the last few laps on his way to his eighth career Selinsgrove Speedway victory. It was Miller’s first Econo Late Model win to go with his seven wins in the Pro Stocks.
Snook was second ahead of JR Toner, Eric Irvin, and Andrew Stotler. Sixth through tenth spots went to Tim Fedder, Cahse Bowsman, Ken Yoder, Andrew Shoop, and Doug Ishler.
Econo Late Model heat races were won by JR Toner and Todd Snook.
Ken Yoder competed in both Late Model divisions on Saturday night scoring a top ten in both.
The night cap belonged to the Pro Stocks and they did not disappoint. Dustin Snook slid into the race lead after an early race yellow flag. Snook set sail away from the rest of the field.
Snook’s lead looked like it was going to be enough to secure his second win of the season. Shaun Lawton had other ideas. Lawton was using a line no one else was around the outside of the speedway and began to close in on the race leader.
Lawton caught Snook and then made the pass for the top spot on lap 13. Right after Lawton took the race lead the yellow flag was displayed to the field. Snook would have another shot to take the lead back on the restart.
Lawton played the restart perfect and held off Snook for his third win of the season. Snook was second with Kyle Bachman third. Tommy Slanker came back from a wreck early on to finish fourth and AJ Hoffman was fifth.
Brandon Moser came across the line sixth being chased by Bill Conrad, Dan Condo, John Schoch, and Nate Stroup.
Hoffman and Snook locked down heat wins in the Pro Stocks.
Next Saturday the excitement will start before anyone ever gets to Selinsgrove Speedway. The annual Market Street Race Car Parade, starting the Selinsgrove Ford dealership, will take place at 4 p.m. When the fans and drivers arrive at the speedway it will be Selinsgrove Ford Night with the United Racing Club 360 Sprint Cars in a $2,500 to win event. Also the Super Late Models take the next step in crowing the Moon Shine Camo Route 35 Challenge series champion. That race will also pay $2,500 to win. The Pro Stocks and Roadrunners are on the card as well.
SELINSGROVE SPEEDWAY RACE SUMMARY - 5 August 2017
360 Sprint Cars – 19 Entries
30-Lap A-Main: 1) 12 Blane Heimbach 2) 29 Jason Shultz 3) M1 Mark Smith 4) 28F Davie Franek 5) 1W Eric Tomecek 6) 77 Derek Locke 7) 35L Chad Layton 8)47 Adam Carberry 9) 33 Michael Walter 10) 56 Nate Snyder 11) 39 Eric Parker 12) 66 Ryan Kissinger 13) 76 Larry Kelleher 14) 99K Cody Keller 15) 22M Nyle Berkes 16) 669 Brandon McGough 17) 00 Chris Frank 18) 22D Hank Donovan Jr. 19 74J JR Berry
Heat Winners: Jason Shultz, Blane Heimbach
Late Models – 18 Entries
25-Lap A-Main: 1) 119B Bryan Bernheisel 2) 9 Hayes Mattern 3) 1 Gene Knaub 4) 6 Donnie Schick 5) 88 Tony Adams 6) 24J Jim Yoder 7) 2 Steve Campbell 8) 10 Dave Stamm 9) 7M Meade Hahn 10) 7 Kenny Yoder 11) 63 Nathan Long 12) 2Y Andrew Yoder 13) 20 Joe Lusk 14)5 Jeremy Ohl 15) 30 Andy Snyder 16) 61 Kenny Trevitz 17) 83 Matt Wilson 18) 77 Taylor Houtz
Heat Winners: Tony Adams, Andrew Yoder
Econo Late Models – 17 Entries
15-Lap A-Main: 1) 115S Shaun Miller 2) 23 Todd Snook 3) 11T JR Toner 4) 87 Eric Toner 5) 50A Andrew Stotler 6) 24 Tim Fedder 7) 79 Chase Bowsman 8) 7Y Ken Yoder 9) S8 Andrew Shoop 10) 21E Doug Ishler 11) 115 Troy Miller 12)07 Tim Krape 13) 21Z Cam Zeigler 14) 2 Andrew Yoder 15) 7 Jason Davis 16) D34 Curt Dunn 17) 5M David Michael
Heat Winners: JR Toner, Todd Snook
Pro Stocks – 15 Entries
15-Lap A-Main: 1) 92 Shaun Lawton 2) 15 Dustin Snook 3) 99B Kyle Bachman 4) Tommy Slanker 5) 6C AJ Hoffman 6) 8M Brandon Moser 7) 14C Bill Conrad 8) 28 Dan Condo 9) 89 John Schoch 10) 26 Nate Stroup 11) 55 Lori Croop 12) 40G Nick Gentile 13) 71 Kurt Wray 14) 86 Wayne Shaffer 15) 6 Cory Long
Heat Winners: AJ Hoffman, Dustin Snook