Blane Heimbach. - Rick Rarer / Sprintcarnews.com Photo

Blane Heimbach. - Rick Rarer / Sprintcarnews.com Photo
From Selinsgrove Speedway

SELINSGROVE, Pa. – Blane Heimbach of Selinsgrove made a late-race pass by Cody Keller of Selinsgrove to win the 11th Annual Middleswarth Potato Chips Firecracker 30 for 358 sprint cars Saturday night at Selinsgrove Speedway.

The $2,000 victory at the wheel of the Creasy Signs/Goff Racing No. 12 was the second of the season for Heimbach and the 35th of his career at the Snyder County oval. He became the third driver to repeat a victory in the Firecracker event, with his last win in the race in 2006 when the distance was 40 laps. Nate Snyder of Halifax and Dave Calaman of Carlisle also have two wins in the Firecracker race.

Pat Cannon of Etters was the night’s Fast Tees Fast Qualifier for the second time this season with a lap time of 17.773 (107.27 average miles per hour). Cannon was leading the feature but had to restart at the back of the pack following a stoppage for a flat tire on lap 22.

Jeff Rine of Danville won his fourth race of the season in the 25-lap late model feature. The win marked Rine’s 76th career at the track and strengthen his points lead over one-time winner Steve Campbell of Danville.

In the 15-lap pro stock feature, rookie Hayes Mattern of Beavertown took the checkered flag for the fourth time this season.

Brian Johnson of Ashland won his second race of the year in the 12-lap roadrunner event.

Selinsgrove Speedway will host sprint car racing two times again next weekend. On Saturday, July 7, Central Builders will be the title sponsor of the four division program of 358 sprint cars, late models, pro stocks, and roadrunners at 7:30 p.m. The speedway will swing back into action at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, July 8, with the Jan Opperman Memorial PA Speedweek Finale for 410 sprint cars plus super sportsman. Track gates will open at 5 p.m. both nights.

Cody Keller drew the pole position for the start of the sprint car feature and put the Central Builders No. 74 into the early race lead at the drop of the green flag. Keller was chased by second-place starter Derek Locke until a flat tire on lap four forced Locke to restart the race on the rear of the field.

On the lap five restart, Keller was pressured by fourth-place starter TJ Stutts for several laps in a wheel-to-wheel duel as sixth-place starter Pat Cannon advanced to third. When third-place starter Mark Smith fell off the pace on lap six, fifth-place starter Blane Heimbach took over the fourth spot.

The race was stopped on lap seven when Phil Walter’s car crashed hard in turn one. Walter escaped injury in the rollover. On the lap eight restart, Cannon challenged Stutts for second as Keller continued to lead. A lap later Cannon secured second and set his sites on Keller.

On the 10th circuit, Cannon made an inside pass for the lead entering turn three while an intense race unfolded for the top five positions between Keller, Stutts, Heimbach, and 12th-place starter Josh Beard.
At the halfway point, Cannon held a half straightaway lead over Keller. With 10 laps remaining, however, the leaders began to encounter heavy traffic.

Racing into turn one on lap 22, Cannon’s car drifted into the guardrail and a lap later rolled to a stop with a flat tire. Keller got the lead back at this point and dueled with Stutts for the front spot when the race resumed. Then Heimbach powered into second and began to pressure Keller for the lead.

Heimbach made the winning pass in turn two on lap 25. The race was stopped a second time when Snyder flipped his car in turn three but was not injured. On the final restart, Heimbach steered his No. 12 to a one-second margin of victory over Keller, Stutts, Beard, and 2003 winner Bob Beidleman.

Second-place starter Tony Adams beat out his teammate and polesitter Jeff Smith for the lead entering turn one at the start of the late model feature. At the completion of the first lap, a melee unfolded on the frontstretch when Meade Hahn’s car spun sideways and collected several other cars.

When the race resumed, fifth-place starter Donnie Schick made an inside pass in turn four to take the lead away from Adams. By the fourth lap, 10th-place starter Jeff Rine advanced to third and began to pressure Adams for second.

On a lap five restart, Rine raced into the second position and began to reel in Schick. On another restart for lap six, Rine made the winning pass in turn four. Several laps later, eighth-place starter Jim Bernheisel began to show a lot of speed and moved into second. For the remainder of the race, Bernheisel remained in striking distance and on several occasions nearly pulled alongside of the leader.

At the finish, Rine was victorious by a mere .62 of a second over Bernheisel, Adams, ninth-place starter Steve Campbell, and 12th-place starter Dylan Yoder.

The pro stock feature was an all out war on wheels as second-place starter Nathan Long pulled into the early lead with a platoon of pro stocks chasing him down. In the first half of the race, the lead pack consisted of Long, third-place starter Kyle Bachman, fourth-place starter Hayes Mattern, sixth-place starter Nate Kerstetter, and fifth-place starter Jason Smith.

On the eighth circuit while battling for the lead with Mattern, Long lost the handle in turn four and turned his No. 63 sideways. Mattern inherited the lead at this point and had to contend with Bachman on the restart.

At the finish, Mattern took the checkered flag by just .26 of a second over Bachman, Smith, seventh-place starter AJ Hoffman, and 13th-place starter Derrick Garman.

Polesitter John Schoch led the first four laps of the roadrunner feature until eighth-place starter Brian Johnson made the winning pass using the outside lane in turn two.

On the eighth circuit, 11th-place starter Ricky Bender flipped his roadrunner in turn three and collected two other cars. There were no injuries reported.

When the race resumed, Johnson continued to set the pace as 10th-place starter Bob Bussey worked his way into the runner up position. The race was stopped again on lap 10 when ninth-place starter Matt Lawrence flipped his roadrunner hard in turns one and two. Lawrence, who was racing in third, escaped injury.

On the final restart, Johnson held off Bussey by .94 of a second for the win. Dennis Conrad, Curtis Lawton, and Brandon Shultz completed the top five.

358 Sprint Cars-26 Entries
30-Lap A-Main: 1)12 Blane Heimbach 2)74 Cody Keller 3)23 TJ Stutts 4)5b Josh Beard 5)81 Bob Beidleman 6)2 Jason Shultz 7)3 Pat Cannon 8)50 Tim Berkheimer 9)1w Eric Tomecek 10)19 Colby Womer 11)14 Mike Walter 12)66 Ryan Kissinger 13)21 Duane Mausteller 14)99B Nyle Berkes 15) 77 Derek Locke 16)42 Alan Spriggle 17)6s Bill Sherman 18)67 Jason Cherry 19)76 Larry Kelleher DNF 20)11 Joel VanBuskirk DNF 21)56 Nate Snyder DNF 22)29w Ryan Wilson DNF 23)38 Scott Wilson DNF 24)29 Derek Steward DNF 25)5W Phil Walter DNF 26)1 Mark Smith DNF
Time Trials: 1)Pat Cannon 17.773 2)Derek Locke 18.023 3)Blane Heimbach 18.081 4)Colby Womer 18.108 5)Cody Keller 18.127 6)Ryan Wilson 18.169 7)Mark Smith 18.172 8)Phil Walter 18.191 9)Duane Mausteller 18.306 10)Bob Beidleman 18.329 11)Tim Berkheimer 18.331 12)TJ Stutts 18.342 13)Josh Beard 18.358 14)Ryan Kissinger 18.363 15)Nate Snyder 18.382 16)Jason Shultz 18.431 17)Larry Kelleher 18.514 18)Scott Wilson 18.578 19)Joel Vanbuskirk 18.616 20)Mike Walter 18.619 21)Alan Spriggle 18.717 22)Eric Tomecek 18.768 23) Bill Sherman 19.444 24)Jason Cherry 19.604 25)Derek Steward DNS 26)Nyle Berkes DNS
Heat Winners: Pat Cannon, Phil Walter, TJ Stutts
Late Models-23 Entries
25-Lap A-Main: 1)2J Jeff Rine 2)119 Jim Bernheisel 3)88 Tony Adams 4)2 Steve Campbell 5)24 Dylan Yoder 6)91 Chad Davis 7)61 Ken Trevitz 8)44 Donnie Schick 9)119B Bryan Bernheisel 10)99Z Dave Zona 11)90 Kyle Rhoads 12)27 Jim Yoder 13)16 Matt Cochran 14)64 Grant Adams 15)24r Jon Rohacevich 16)23P Bud Phillips DNF 17)88T Ernie Millon DNF 18) 99 Jeff Smith DNF 19)M1 Mike Mort DNF 20)76 Josh Wagner DNF 21)7M Meade Hahn DNF 22)14 Dave Brouse Sr. DNF 23)21 Scott Haus DNS
Heat Winners: Meade Hahn, Jeff Smith, Tony Adams
Pro-Stocks-15 Entries
15-Lap A-Main: 1)9 Hayes Mattern 2)99 Kyle Bachman 3)28 Jason Smith 4)19 AJ Hoffman 5)111 Derrick Garman 6)21K Mike Kiehl 7)10M Brad Mitch 8)85L Pete Lauver 9)06 Frank Reisser 10)63 Nathan Long 11)28J Jeff Ceballo 12)115 Shaun Miller DNF 13)8K Nate Kerstetter DNF 14)12 Doug Minium DNF 15)99H Peanut Heintzelman DNF
Heat Winners: AJ Hoffman, Mike Kiehl
Roadrunners-18 Entries
12-Lap A-Main: 1)201 Brian Johnson 2)76 Bob Bussey 3)41D Dennis Conrad 4)28I Curtis Lawton 5)31B Brandon Shultz 6)88 Toby Chase 7)7 Butch Shaffer 8)3 Bruce Wyland Jr. 9)111X Larry Alvord 10)8K Jeremy Kline 11)111 Matt Lawrence DNF 12)29B Ricky Bender DNF 13)2 Adam Campbell DNF 14)89 John Schoch DNF 15)00 Cory Long DNF 16)112 Ben Feree DNF 17)15 Dustin Snook DNF 18)44 Corey Collier DNF
Heat Winners: John Schoch, Adam Campbell