Stutts Wins Patriot Feature at Selinsgrove

T.J.Stutts in victory lane at Selinsgrove Speedway. - Image courtesy of ESS

From Steve Inch

Selinsgrove, PA — (June 14, 2014) — TJ Stutts of Liverpool and Mark Smith of Sunbury exchanged the lead several times before Stutts settled the suspenseful war on wheel s with a victory in Saturday night’s 30-lap Patriot Sprint Tour/11th Annual Joe Whitcomb Memorial for 358-360 sprint cars at Selinsgrove Speedway.

The $2,571 win was Stutts’ third of the season and third career in the Whitcomb Memorial at the wheel of the Mountain View Travel/Shimock’s Furniture No. 23.  The victory also marked the 20th of his career in 358-360 sprint car competition at the track.

Brock Zearfoss of Jonestown was the night’s Fast Tees Fast Qualifier with a lap time of  17.414.

Dylan Yoder of Selinsgrove won his first race of the season at Selinsgrove and fourth overall this year in record-setting fashion in the 25-lap super late model feature. Yoder became the division’s seventh different feature winner in eight races and set a new track record for the distance in 9 minutes, 3 seconds, and .30 of a second.

Nathan Long of Selinsgrove scored an exciting win in another close finish in the 15-lap pro stock feature. Long became the division’s third different winner this season.

Selinsgrove Speedway will present a four division show of 360 sprint cars, late models, pro stocks, and roadrunners on Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Night (JDRF) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 21. Track gates will open at 5 p.m.

At the start of the Whitcomb Memorial, second-place starter Mark Smith pulled into the lead over polesitter Jason Shultz. Before the completion of lap one, sixth-place starter TJ Stutts raced into the third position.  The caution flag unfurled on lap two when Ryan Kissinger’s car made contact with the first turn wall.

When the race resumed, Stutts passed Shultz for the second spot and set his sights on Smith. A two-car tangle in turn three regrouped the field for a lap five restart. Stutts drew even with Smith entering turn one but Smith maintained the lead with momentum around the top of the racetrack.

In the early laps of the race, Smith led the field over Stutts, fourth-place starter Cody Keller, 11th-place starter Pat Cannon, and Shultz. On the 14th circuit, Smith drifted high in turn two traffic and allowed Stutts to make a pass for the lead using the inside groove.

A caution on lap 15 became a red flag for a fuel stop. During the second half of the race, Stutts maintained a solid lead while Smith kept him in his sights. Ninth-place starter and fast qualifier Brock Zearfoss entered the top five with nine laps to race. The final caution flag waved on lap 25, setting up a five-lap dash to the checkered flag.

The final laps produced an exciting wheel-to-wheel duel between Stutts and Smith, swapping the lead several times through the turns. Stutts eventually settled into the lead and went on to post a mere 1.3-second margin of victory over Smith, Cannon, Shultz, and Zearfoss.

Second-place starter Eric Hons powered into the lead at the start of the late model feature. Hons was chased by polesitter Matt Cochran. By lap five, fourth-place starter Jerry Bard moved into the third position and the top three began to pull away from the field.

On the eighth lap, 10th-place starter Dylan Yoder advanced to fourth and quickly reeled in the leaders. At the halfway point, Yoder showed a lot of speed and moved by Bard and Cochran to take over the second position. Hons and Yoder dueled for the lead and it wasn’t until lap 17 when Yoder made the winning pass using the inside lane through turns one and two.

Late in the race, Jeff Rine rocketed into the top five and eventually took over the second spot with two laps to go. At the finish, Yoder was victorious by two seconds over Rine, Hons, Bard and Cochran.

In the pro stock feature, second-place starter Matt Wilson led the first lap with sixth-place starter Nathan Long in pursuit. On a lap two restart, Long took command of the field with an inside pass racing off turn four. At the same time, fourth-place starter Jake Buck followed Long into the second position.

During the second half of the race, a torrid battle unfolded at the front of the pack between the top six runners. Long kept his No. 63 in front of the pack by the slimmest of margins. At the finish, Long took the checkered flag by just .58 of a second over 10th-place starter Brad Mitch, who made a late-race charge into the runner-up position. Rounding out the top five were eighth-place starter Derrick Garman, seventh-place starter AJ Stroup, and ninth-place starter Andrew Shoop.

360 Sprint Cars – 27 Entries
30-Lap Whitcomb Memorial:  1) 23 TJ Stutts  ($2, 571)  2) 1 Mark Smith  3) 3 Pat Cannon  4) 29 Jason Shultz  5) 1W Brock Zearfoss  6) 99K Cody Keller  7) 35 Jared Zimbardi  8) 76 Larry Kelleher  9) 98 Joe Trenca  10) 79 Jordan Thomas  11) 21F Jared Fink  12) 61 Parker Evans  13) 19 Colby Womer  14) X Dan Mazy  15) 67 Steve Collins  16) 54J Dave Just  17) 71C Charlie Anderson  18) 00  Dane Lawerence  19) 66 Ryan Kissinger  20) 54Jr Scott Just  21) 13 Kevin Ward Jr.  22) 29S Derek Steward DNS  23) 81 Derek  Jonathan DNS  24) 38 Brad Knab DNS  25) 33W Michael Walter II DNS  26) 3Z Bobby Parrow DNS  27) 77 Derek Locke DNS
Heat Winners:  Brock Zearfoss, Cody Keller, Joe Trenca
Time Trials:  1)  Brock Zearfoss 17.414  2) Mark Smith  17.478  3) Ryan Kissinger  17.495  4) Derek Locke 17.546  5) TJ Stutts 17.652  6) Pat Cannon 17.673  7) Jordan Thomas 17.765  8) Larry Kelleher 17.792  9) Cody Keller 17.801  10) Jason Shultz 17.820  11) Colby Womer 17.845  12) Steve Collins 17.892  13) Joe Trenca 17.952  14) Kevin Ward Jr. 17.957  15) Parker Evans 18.007  16) Jared Zimbardi 18.060  17) Michael Walter II 18.069  18) Brad Knab 18.157  19) Dan Mazy 18.384  20) Jared Fink 18.489  21) Derek Steward 18.493  22) Dave Just 18.504  23) Charlie Anderson 18.639  24) Derek Jonathan 18.684  25) Dane Lawerence 18.932  26) Scott Just 19.082  27) Bobby Parrow DNT
Late Models – 24 Entries
25-Lap A-Main:  1) 24 Dylan Yoder  2) 2J Jeff Rine  3) 45 Eric Hons  4) 26 Jerry Bard  5) 16 Matt Cochran  6) 32 Coleby Frye  7) 2 Steve Campbell  8) 119B Bryan Bernheisel  9) 6 Donnie Schick  10) 88 Tony Adams  11) 9 Hayes Mattern  12) 27 Jim Yoder  13) 4D Chad Hollenbeck  14) 61 Ken Trevitz  15) 99Z Dave Zona  16) 41 Derrick Casner  17) 2Y Andrew Yoder  18) 93 Pancho Lawler  19) 23P Bud Phillips  20) 111 Dave Shulski  21) 7M Meade Hahn 22) 8K Kyle Rapp  23) 10 Dave Stamm  24) 5E Glenn Elliott
Heat Winners:  Steve Cambell, Matt Cochran, Eric Hons
Pro Stocks – 19 Entries
15-Lap A-Main:  1) 63 Nathan Long  2) 10M Brad Mitch  3) 111 Derrick Garman  4) 26 AJ Stroup  5) 8S Andrew Shoop  6) 11 Jake Buck  7) 99 Kyle Bachman  8) 1C Jamin Chapman  9) 40 Tommy Slanker  10) 71 Kurt Wray  11) 2C Adam Campbell  12) 3 Brandon Moser  13) 83 Matt Wilson  14) 6C Pete Lauver  15) 01 David Berry  16) 28J Jeff Ceballo  17) 28 Dan Condo  18) 4 Jim Payne  19) 32 Tom Hartman
Heat Winners:  Kurt Wray, Jake Buck