By Steve Inch
SELINSGROVE, Pa. – On a night with temperatures hovering around 100 degrees, more than 100 race cars filled Selinsgrove Speedway’s pit area for Saturday’s four division racing program sponsored by A&A Auto Stores.
Defending champion Pat Cannon of Etters battled to the front of the pack from his 10th starting position and scored his fifth win of the year and 32nd career at Selinsgrove in the 25-lap 358 sprint car feature. The victory was Cannon’s ninth overall win in 2011 at the wheel of the Highlands’ Tire Service No. 3.
Jeff Rine of Danville backed up his new all-time late model winner accolade with his seventh win of the year and 71st of his career at Selinsgrove in the 30-lap summer championship driving the Jeff’s Auto Body & Recycling No. 2J.
Tim Krape of Bellefonte won his third straight and fourth overall 15-lap pro stock feature at Selinsgrove, while Bob Bussey of Northumberland took the checkered flag for the fourth time this year in the 12-lap roadrunner race.
Selinsgrove Speedway will be closed Saturday, July 30, due to the World Karting Association-sanctioned event at Selinsgrove Raceway Park. The half-mile track will be back in action Saturday, Aug. 6, with the 13th Annual Late Model Open sanctioned by the All Star Circuit of Champions. The 30-lap Open will pay $4,000 to win. Also on the racing card will be the 358 sprint cars, pro stocks, and roadrunners at 7:30 p.m.
Polesitter Duane Mausteller took the lead at the start of the sprint car feature and was trailed by fourth-place starter Phil Walter. In the early laps of the race, a war on wheels unfolded between Mausteller, Walter, and sixth-place starter Jason Shultz, who took the lead on lap five with an inside pass in turn one.
On the ninth circuit, Walter made a pass by Shultz for the lead. Walter then led the field back the flag on a lap 10 restart, while Shultz, eighth-place starter Nate Snyder, 10th-place starter Pat Cannon, and ninth-place starter Colby Womer raced in the top five. Last week’s winner Logan Schuchart started 14th and passed Womer for fifth on the restart.
At the halfway point, Cannon drove by Snyder and Shultz for second and began to reel-in Walter. On the 17th circuit, Cannon made the winning pass using the inside lane in turn four. Walter continued to race a solid second as Schuchart advanced to third on the 20th lap.
At the finish, Cannon took the checkered flag by three seconds over Walter, Schuchart, Snyder and Shultz.
Polesitter Scott Haus drove into the lead at the start of the late model championship race. Haus was chased by second-place starter Steve Campbell. On the second circuit, third-place starter Jeff Rine advanced to second and set his sites on Haus.
On a lap four restart, Rine made the winning pass using the inside line entering turn one, while point leader and fourth-place starter Jim Yoder took over the second position using the outside line.
By lap nine, Rine began to encounter slower traffic. On the 17th circuit, Yoder spun in turn one from contact with a slower car and was able to rejoin the field. When the race resumed, Rine maintained the front spot, with Haus, sixth-place starter Chad Davis, and Campbell in pursuit.
On a restart with five laps remaining, Haus made a last-ditch effort to stick with Rine but had to contend with Davis for second. At the checkered flag, Rine was victorious by 3.3 seconds over Haus, Davis, Campbell, and eighth-place starter Brett Schadel, who made his first start of the season.
Second-place starter Adam Wray led the first lap of the pro stock feature. On the second circuit, fourth-place starter Jason Schmidt took the lead and soon had to contend with 11th-place starter Tim Krape.
Racing off turn four, Krape took the lead with an inside pass by Schmidt. Once in front of the pack, Krape checked out and posted a four-second margin of victory over Schmidt, 12th-place starter Jason Smith, 15th-place starter Kyle Bachman, and eighth-place starter Dave Brouse Jr.
In the roadrunner feature, polesitter Nathan Engle powered into the lead. Engle led through the sixth circuit, when ninth-place starter Bob Bussey made an inside pass for the lead in turns one and two.
The race was stopped on lap nine for a fire on Brian Johnson’s car. Johnson, last week’s winner, escaped injury. When the race resumed, Bussey held the field at bay and posted a one-second margin of victory over fifth-place starter John Fowler Jr., Scott Dunham Jr., John Schoch, and Butch Shaffer.
SELINSGROVE SPEEDWAY SUMMARY – 23 July 2011
358 Sprint Cars – 29 Entries
25-Lap A-Main: 1) 3 Pat Cannon 2) 5W Phil Walter 3) 1S Logan Schuchart 4) 56 Nate Snyder 5) 1M Jason Shultz 6) 23M TJ Stutts 7) 12 Blane Heimbach 8) 19 Colby Womer 9) 21 Duane Mausteller 10) 8D Billy Dietrich 11) 16H Matt Horst 12) 74 Matt Heimbach 13) 99K Cody Keller 14) 22T Matt Boland 15) 8R Michael Ruttkamp 16) 1N Brian Nornhold 17) 76 Larry Kelleher 18) 71 Jessica Anderson 19) 66 Ryan Kissinger 20) 80M Dan Richcreek 21) 38 Scott Wilson 22) 25 John Smith DNF 23) 3G Jim Gearhart DNF 24) 99B Nyle Berkes DNF
Heat Winners: Brian Nornhold, Matt Horst, Matt Boland
B-Main Winner: John Smith