Selinsgrove, Pa. – A field of 67 total sprint cars filled the Selinsgrove Speedway pits on Saturday night for the running of the 17th annual Joe Whitcomb Memorial for 360 sprint cars, sanctioned by the Patriot Sprint Tour.
Blane Heimbach of Selinsgrove came out on top in a thrilling battle with Mark Smith for Whitcomb laurels, scoring the $3,071 payday in the Patriot Sprint Tour main event.
Garrett Bard scored an equally exciting win in the 20-lap 305 sprint car main, keeping 19th starter Derek Hauck at bay for the checkers.
Jake Jones took the win in the 12-lap roadrunner main to close the night.
Heimbach’s win in the 30-lap Whitcomb Memorial was the fourth of his career in the special event but he had to battle Mark Smith of Sunbury and the outside first turn guardrail to get the victory.
After starting on the pole of the feature alongside Justin Barger, Heimbach took the lead at the start over third starter Smith before entering the rear of the field to begin lapping cars on just the fifth circuit.
And in traffic, Smith was able to close the gap dramatically as the pair blistered around the oval with Smith dogging Heimbach for the lead with seven laps away.
Smith pulled the trigger on Heimbach for the lead deep in the third turn as the pair headed for the completion of lap 13 but Heimbach was never out of the running.
Just after crossing the stripe, Heimbach shot low into the first turn to get control back only to see Smith slingshot around out of the second turn and keep control.
At the end of the backstretch Heimbach again blasted low under Smith and again took the lead back but again watched as Smith reclaimed control off of the fourth corner to keep command.
Seconds later the caution flag unfurled for one car stopped in the second corner, calming the hectic action and taking lapped cars out of the field for the restart.
Ryan Smith, Justin Barger and Joe Kata III lined up behind the leaders for the new green.
Smith kept the pace up when action resumed but Heimbach was never out of sight and when the tables were turned and this time Smith entered traffic with the lead, on lap 17, Heimbach was there to settle the score.
The Selinsgrove driver ducked under Smith for control in the first corner on the 21st lap only to again see Smith jet back out front coming out of the second corner.
Two laps later, Heimbach pulled the move again amid heavy traffic and this time drove up across the track in the middle of the corner to take Smith’s line away in order to preserved command.
Heimbach then began getting away from Smith during the final five laps only to bite the outside first turn fence and nearly end his night with two laps to go.
Luckily, after gliding along the rail for a short distance, Heimbach brought the car down off of the fence, regrouped and took advantage of just enough distance between himself and Smith to get back up to speed and maintain control to the finish.
Heimbach’s 41st overall limited sprint car win at the track came by 11.127 seconds over Ryan Smith after Mark Smith suddenly lost power on the final circuit before limping home sixth.
Paulie Colagiovanni of Marcellus, New York, rode home third followed by Adam Carberry, Bensalem; and Barger or Cornelius, North Carolina.
Mark Smith was sixth followed by Jonathan Preston, Geneva, New York; Ryan Kissinger, Sunbury; Chad Layton, Harrisburg; and Joe Kata III., Goshen, New York.
Heats went to Colagiovanni, Ryan Smith and Dave Axton.
Fast time was set by Carberry with a lap of 17.861 seconds.
Garrett Bard started second in the 305 sprint main and would end up leading flag to flag to get the win in an event filled with drivers advancing from deep in the pack while making three-wide passes for position.
Derek Hauck started 19th in the main and blasted through the field to finish a challenging second.
Nick Sweigart, who started 14th in the field, motored forward to net third at the finish.
Third starter Mike Alleman ran a steady race and at one time challenged Bard for the lead before falling to fourth.
Ken Duke Jr. was as high as third during the mid-stages before riding home fifth.
Sixth through 10th went to Doug Dodson, John Walp, John Scarborough, Will Brunson and Jake Frye.
Heats went to Dodson, Brunson, Alleman and Duke. Kassidy Kreitz netted the B Main and Landon Price won the C Main.
Jake Jones led all 12 circuits of the roadrunner feature but Dustin Snook made numerous attempts to get the win.
Snook nosed into the lead on numerous occasions only to see Jones’ outside momentum keep him in command and secure the victory.
Snook settled for second followed by Will Brunson, Curtis Lawton and Scott Dunham Jr.
Twin heats went to Snook and Brunson.
Feature Finishes, 6/6/20
360 Patriot Sprints, 30 laps: 1. Blane Heimbach, 2. Ryan Smith, 3. Paulie Colagiovanni, 4. Adam Carberry, 5. Justin Barger, 6. Mark Smith, 7. Jonathan Preston, 8. Ryan Kissinger, 9. Chad Layton, 10. Joe Kata III., 11. Dave Axton, 12. Derek Locke, 13. Mike Kohler, 14. Jordan Thomas, 15. Dallas Schott, 16. Eric Parker, 17. Steve Glover, 18. Mike Thomas, 19. Ryan Stillwaggon, 20. Brett Wright, 21. Jake Hummell, 22. Davie Franek, 23. Colton Hoover, 24. Todd Gracey, 25. Jason Wagner, 26. Matt Campbell
305 sprints, 20 laps: 1. Garrett Bard, 2. Derek Hauck, 3. Nick Sweigart, 4. Mike Alleman, 5. Ken Duke Jr., 6. Doug Dodson, 7. John Walp, 8. John Scarborough, 9. Will Brunson, 10. Jake Frye, 11. Kassidy Kreitz, 12. Kyle Keen, 13. Landon Price, 14. Dave Graber, 15. Erin Statler, 16. Ron Aurand, 17. Larry McVey, 18. Reed Thompson, 19. Zach Berghoff, 20. Jenna Schotzz, 21. Kenny Heffner, 22. Jaremi Hanson, 23. Josh Spicer, 24. Devin Adams, 25. Nathan Gramley, 26. Jared Zionkowski
DNQ: Jacob Gomola, Cassandra Minium, Marie McVey, Kristina Pratt, Dominic Melair, Fred Arnold, Randy Sterling, Neil Petock, Cruz Kepner, Drew Boyer, Chris Kreider, Jeff Miller, Mike Potts, Rick Romig, Dustin Young,
Roadrunner, 12 laps: 1. Jake Jones, 2. Dustin Snook, 3. Will Brunson, 4. Curtis Lawton, 5. Scott Dunham Jr., 6. John Schreffler, 7. Jimmy Kessler, 8. Cory Lindenmuth, 9. Tom Underwood, 10. Bill Cooper, 11. Darren Rice, 12. Terry Kramer, 13. Miranda Minium, 14. Kevon Dobson
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