By Steve Inch
SELINSGROVE, Pa. – While the 2011 racing season at Selinsgrove Speedway is beginning to wind down, the championship chases are heating up, particularly in the A&A Auto Stores 358 sprint car and Jeff’s Auto Body & Recycling Center late model divisions, in which the top two drivers are separated by only 130 and 15 points, respectively.
Those championship chases will resume this Saturday, Aug. 20, when Selinsgrove Speedway presents a four division show of 358 sprint cars, late models, pro stocks, and roadrunners sponsored by Reinhart Food Service at 7:30 p.m.
This Saturday’s racing program, weather permitting of course, will be a first on the half-mile track since July 23. Last Saturday’s cancellation marked the sixth of the season due to inclement weather.
Three-time winner Blane Heimbach of Selinsgrove leads the 358 sprint car standings by 130 points over one-time winner TJ Stutts of Liverpool. Heimbach, the 2005 and 2006 champion, is seeking his third career title at Selinsgrove in the track’s weekly headline open wheel division. Stutts, who led the standings earlier this season, remains in striking distance of claiming his first ever championship.
While Pat Cannon of Etters, the defending Selinsgrove, Williams Grove, and Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic overall 358 sprint car champion, leads the division in the feature win category with five victories, he currently sits in the third position in the track’s standings, just 175 behind the leader.
In the late model standings, one-time winner Jim Yoder of Selinsgrove holds a narrow 15-point margin over seven-time winner Jeff Rine of Danville. Like Stutts, Yoder is hoping to clinch his first career Selinsgrove title this season. Rine, who became the division’s all-time career leading feature winner this season, has four consecutive and six career championships at Selinsgrove.
During the month of July, three-time winner Jason Smith of Williamsport was able to erode a portion of seven-time winner AJ Hoffman’s point lead in the Salem RV Center/Byers Built Engines pro stock division. Hoffman, the defending champion from Richfield, has a 280-point lead over 2009 champion Smith entering this weekend’s racing action.
In the Collier Paving & Construction roadrunner division, four-time winner Bob Bussey of Northumberland has a 300-point lead over three-time winner Ricky Bender of Jolliett. Bender is the defending champion, while Bussey is racing for his first career championship this season.
Track officials recently announced the 13th Annual Foss Jewelers Late Model Open has been rescheduled for Saturday, Aug. 27, and the Fifth Annual Collier Paving & Construction Roadrunner 20 will be run on Saturday, Sept. 24, which will also be the final point race for all four of Selinsgrove’s weekly divisions.
Selinsgrove Raceway Park will present a regular program of go karts and micro sprint cars at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19. Defending champion Todd Hoover of Mt. Pleasant Mills won his fourth micro sprint car race of the season last Friday night and extended his points lead in the Selinsgrove Ford standings over Tyler Snook of Beavertown.
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 570.374.2999.