By Steve Inch
SELINSGROVE, Pa. – Selinsgrove Speedway capped off a big two-race weekend Saturday night in thrilling and record-breaking fashion with a strong field of race cars and another super racing surface.
The Patriot Sprint Tour invaded as part of the 14th Annual Joe Whitcomb Memorial for 360 sprint cars to honor the memory of the late Millersburg driver who lost his life in a racing accident at the track in 2003.
Nate Snyder led early in the 25-lap Sprint Car event showing the way over defending Patriot Sprint Tour champion Jarrid Zimbardi. Cody Keller quickly broke into the top three in the early laps.
The caution flag flew on lap 11 for a slowing Jordan Thomas and interrupted a great battle for second between Zimbardi and Keller.
On the restart Jason Shultz threw a slider on Keller to take over the third spot and soon worked his way by Zimbardi into second. Shultz began to close in on the race leader after securing second. Soon Chad Layton and Davie Franek charged to third and fourth.
Over the next few laps the top four closed up and with three to go Snyder led Shultz, Layton, and Franek in a tight high speed chase with no lap cars between them.
Shultz pulled the last corner slide job on Snyder and looked like he might have stolen the victory away. Snyder turned down the speedway and crossed Shultz over coming to the line for the win. Snyder’s victory was by just .052, or half of a car-length, over Shultz. Franek ended up third followed by Layton and Makr Smith.
Jared Zimbardi, Robbie Stillwagon, Derek Locke, Larry Kelleher, and Eric Tomecek made up the top ten finishers.
360 Sprint Car heat race winners were Justin Whittall, Eric Tomecek, and Jason Shultz. George Suprick won the B-Main for the 29 car field.
The Fast Tees Fast Time award was taken by Mark Smith with a time of 17.577.
Tommy Slanker isn’t the current A&A Auto Store Pro Stock point leader for nothing. Slanker drove from his eighth starting spot to make the pass of Dustin Snook for the race lead on lap 9. Snook, the race long leader, tried to come back and challenge Slanker but spun on lap 12 to bring out a caution flag.
John Fowler took over the second spot and gave Slanker headaches over the next two corners before AJ Stroup moved into the runner up spot. Stroup was out of time by the time he got to second as Slanker was crossing the line for his fourth win of the season.
Slanker dedicated the win to his dad and grandfathers on Father’s Day weekend. His grandfather is the reason he runs the number 40. Stroup was second followed by Fower, Brandon Moser, and Lori Croop.
Heat races for the Pro Stocks went to Tommy Slanker and Dustin Snook.
Jeff Rine started in the eighth spot but wasted little time taking the race lead on lap eight from the race leader Tim Wilson.
Rine would pull away from the field and go on to win and set a new track record. Rine shattered the old record (9:02.203) by 17 seconds setting a new time of 8:45.459. Rine dedicated the win to the Eckert family and Rick Eckert who lost his dad Junior earlier in the day.
The battle everyone was watching on the track were for spots two through six. Tim Wilson spent the second half of the race trying to hold off a hard charging Dylan Yoder. Yoder caught Wilson on lap 17 and the two raced side by side for the next five laps before Yoder secured the spot pushing Wilson back to third.
Behind the battle for second was a tight race between Gene Knaub, Steve Campbell, and Hayes Mattern. Mattern held the spot before getting passed by Campbell. Once Campbell went to fourth Knaub followed him by. Knaub then made the pass of Campbell to take the fourth spot.
Rine, Yoder, Wilson, Knaub, and Campbell were the top five followed by Mattern, Dave Brouse Jr., Kenny Trevitz, Donnie Schick, and Jason Schmidt.
Late Model heat winners were Jeff Rine and Gene Knaub.
In a thrilling Roadrunner feature event Will Brunson passed Ryan Leister on the last lap to claim the checkered flag. Brandon Shultz finished third followed by Ryan Zook and Michael Smith.
Smith Cope, Butch Shaffer, Dennis Conrad, Bob Bussey, and Kevin Dobson finished out the top ten in the feature event.
Tom Underwood and Bob Bussey won Roadrunner heat races.
Next Saturday night Selinsgrove Speedway will swing back into action with Kid’s Night featuring the 360 Sprint Cars, Super Late Models, Pro Stocks, and Roadrunners. The event will have a 7:30 start time. Track gates will open at 5 p.m.
Also make sure to mark your calendar for the Saturday, July 1, Selinsgrove event featuring the Selinsgrove Ford Market Street Race Car parade at 4 p.m. prior to the evening’s racing events. The 360 Sprint Cars will compete in the Firecracker 30 along with Late Models, Pro Stocks, and Roadrunners plus Fireworks.
For more information on the upcoming events at the speedway you can visit the speedway web site at SelinsgroveSpeedway.com and on social media via Facebook and Twitter.
SELINSGROVE SPEEDWAY RACE SUMMARY: 17 June 2017
360 Sprints – 29 Entries
25-Lap A-Main: 1) 56 Nate Snyder 2) 29 Jason Shultz 3) 28F Davie Franek 4) 35L Chad Layton 5) M1 Mark Smith 6) 25 Jared Zimbardi 7) 89 Robbie Stillwaggon 8) 77 Derek Locke 9) 76 Larry Kelleher 10) 1W Eric Tomecek 11) 67W Justin Whittall 12) 98 Joe Trenca 13) 47 Kyle Drum 14) 67 Steve Collins 15) 79 Jordan Thomas 16) 87 George Suprck 17) 29S Derek Steward 18) C4 Jim Shuster 19) 81 Derek Jonathan 20) 45 Kevin Nagy 21) 99K Cody Keller 22) 33 Michael Walter 23) 66 Ryan Kissinger 24) 3Z Colby Womer 25) 49S Mallie Shuster
Heat Winners: Justin Whittall, Eric Tomecek, Jason Shultz
B-Main Winner: George Suprick
Time Trials: 1) M1 Mark Smith 17.577 2) 67 Steve Collins 17.637 3) 49S Mallie Shuster 17.672 4) 67W Justin Whittall 5) 35L Chad Layton 17.711 6) 29 Jason Shultz 17.755 7) 28F Davie Franek 17.755 8) 1W Eric Tomecek 9) 56 Nate Snyder 17.808 10) 99K Cody Keller 17.909 11) 35 Jared Zimbardi 17.915 12) 47C Adam Carberry 17.953 13) 77 Derek Locke 17.965 14) 89 Robbie Stillwaggon 17.986 15) 66 Ryan Kissinger 18.044 16) C4 Jim Shuster 18.055 17) 45 Kevin Nagy 18.078 18) 47 Kyle Drum 18.104 19) 98 Joe Trenca 18.159 20) 79 Jordan Thomas 18.170 21)29S Derek Steward 18.197 22) 76 Larry Kelleher 18.223 23) 81 Derek Jonathan 18.419 24) 33 Michael Walter 18.444 25) 3Z Colby Womer 18.495 26) 87 George Suprick 18.510 27) 48 Darryl Ruggles 18.594 28) 17 Josh Azzi 18.829 29) 1J Derrick Juliano DNT