By Steve Inch
SELINSGROVE, Pa. – The powerful 410 sprint cars return to Selinsgrove Speedway Friday, June 16, in the 30-lap Ray Tilley Classic paying $4,088 to win and $300 to start out of a $16,500 purse. Joining the 410 sprint cars on the rare Friday night racing card will be the 355 econo late models.
Track gates for the Friday night show sponsored by Icon Legacy Custom Modular Homes will open at 6 p.m. with qualifying slated to begin at 8 p.m.
Time trials, heats, and a B-main will be the qualifying format for the Tilley Classic.
The late Ray Tilley of Pine Grove clinched four career sprint car titles (1965-66 and 1968-69) at Selinsgrove Speedway at the wheel of the Bud Grimm Special No. 88 and remains on top of the track’s all-time sprint car win list with 69 career victories. Tilley passed away on Aug. 9, 2011, from complications of a stroke at the age of 77.
The Tilley Classics in 2012 and 2014 were cancelled due to weather. The 2013 race was won by Brent Marks of Myerstown. Greg Hodnett of Thomasville was the 2015 winner and Danny Dietrich of Gettysburg is the defending winner.
The winner of the Tilley Classic, the first 410 sprint car race of the season at the track, will also receive the custom crystal trophy cup provided by the Tilley family.
The 355 econo late models will compete in a 15-lap main event paying $650 to win.
The following night, Saturday, June 17, the Patriot Sprint Tour will sanction the 14th Annual Joe Whitcomb Memorial for 360 sprint cars at Selinsgrove Speedway. The tribute race will honor the memory of the late open wheel racer from Millersburg who succumbed to injuries sustained in a sprint car racing accident at the track on June 21, 2003.
Saturday night’s racing program will be sponsored by Advanced Concrete Systems and will also feature the super late models, pro stocks, and roadrunners at 7:30 p.m. Track gates will open at 5 p.m.
The 25-lap Whitcomb Memorial will pay $2,271 to win and $271 to start.
Previous winners of the Whitcomb Memorial include Nate Snyder of Halifax (2004); Kevin Nagy of East Brunswick, N.J. (2005); Blane Heimbach of Selinsgrove (2006, 2007, 2008); Pat Cannon of Etters (2009, 2010, 2013); TJ Stutts of Liverpool (2011, 2012, 2014, 2015); and defending winner Davie Franek of Wantage, N.J.
Whitcomb, a dedicated racer most of his life, began his career in go-karts at the age of seven. He won hundreds of races in karting and was a three-time national karting champion. A highlight during his karting career was an appearance on ESPN.
In 2001, Whitcomb became a regular competitor at Selinsgrove in the 358 sprint car, driving his trademark blue and yellow number 71 racer. That year, Whitcomb became Selinsgrove Speedway’s Sportsman of the Year.
Whitcomb won his first sprint car race at Selinsgrove on June 8, 2002, ending the five-race winning streak of champion Chad Layton. Whitcomb also won sprint car races at Williams Grove and Bridgeport Speedways during his racing career.
For the latest news, results, and race status, visit selinsgrovespeedway.com or follow us on Twitter and Facebook. The speedway office can also be reached at 570.374.2266.
Purse for 30-Lap 410 Sprint Car Ray Tilley Classic Friday, June 16, 2017: 1) $4,088 2) $1,600 3) $1,200 4) $1,000 5) $800 6) $700 7) $675 8) $650 9) $625 10) $600 11) $500 12) $400 13) $350 14) $325 15) $315 16-24) $300
Also Racing: 355 Econo Late Models / $650 To Win
Gates Open: 5pm Race Time: 8pm
Admission for Friday, June 16, 2017: Adults $15; Students (12-17) $8; Kids 11 & Under FREE; Pit Passes $30
Purse for 25-Lap 360 Sprint Car Joe Whitcomb Memorial Saturday, June 17, 2017: 1) $2,271 2) $1,200 3) $1,000 4) $800 5) $700 6) $600 7) $550 8) $500 9) $450 10) $425 11) $400 12) $375 13) $350 14) $325 15) $300 16-24) $271
Also Racing: Super Late Models, Pro Stocks & Roadrunners
Gates Open: 5pm Race Time: 7:30pm
Admission for Saturday, June 17, 2017: Adults $15; Students (12-17) $8; Kids 11 & Under FREE; Pit Passes $30