Selinsgrove, PA — (September 1, 2012) — Pat Cannon of Etters turned in a dominating performance to become the first three-time winner of the National Open for 358-360 sprint cars Saturday night at Selinsgrove Speedway. The 12th edition of the 30-lap Open was sponsored by Mach 1 Chassis of Mechanicsburg and offered a purse of $36,000.
Cannon’s seventh win of the season and the 39th of his career at the track in 358-360 sprint car competition was worth $8,000 at the wheel of the Highlands’ Tire & Service Center No. 3. Cannon’s previous 358-360 Open victories came in 2007 and 2008. He is also the defending winner of the Jim Nace Memorial National Open for 410 sprint cars.
Saturday night’s race also marked the conclusion of the inaugural Mach 1 Chassis Mid-Atlantic Championship Series for 358-360 sprint cars in which house driver Mark Smith of Sunbury clinched the five-race series title worth $2,000. Cannon finished second in the series and will receive $1,500, while TJ Stutts of Liverpool rounded out the top three in the series standings and will collect a $1,000 bonus.
Rookie Hayes Mattern of Beavertown scored his sixth win of the season in the 15-lap pro stock feature.
Selinsgrove Speedway will present a four division show of 358 sprint cars, late models, pro stocks, and roadrunners at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8. Track gates will open at 5 p.m.
18-year-old Kevin Ward Jr. started on the pole in the sprint car Open and powered into the early lead while second-place starter Cody Keller chased him around the quick half-mile oval. Fourth-place starter Pat Cannon quickly caught Keller and dueled for the runner-up position for several laps.
The event’s first caution flag unfurled on lap four when Derek Locke’s car rolled to a stop on the backstretch. When the race resumed, Ward maintained the lead while Cannon pressured Keller for the second position. On the sixth lap, Cannon pulled into second and started to reel in Ward. Meanwhile, a torrid battle unfolded for fourth between fifth-place starter Mark Smith and eighth-place starter Lance Dewease.
On the 12th circuit, Cannon made the winning pass by Ward using the inside lane in turn three. Three laps later, Dewease rocketed into second and attempted to reel in Cannon in traffic to no avail. With 10 laps remaining, Cannon was leading by straightaway over Dewease, seventh-place starter Daryn Pittman, Smith, and sixth-place starter TJ Stutts.
The final caution flag unfurled on lap 23 when Michael Parent’s car turned into the backstretch guardrail. For the restart, three lapped cars separated Cannon and Dewease. At the drop of the green flag, Cannon streaked away from the field while a suspenseful race for second took place between Dewease and Pittman in lapped traffic.
With two laps to race, Pittman passed Dewease for second attempted to reel in Cannon. At the checkered flag, Cannon posted a convincing six-second margin of victory over Pittman, Dewease, Stutts, and Smith.
Second-place starter Mike Kiehl took the lead at the start of the pro stock feature and was trailed by fifth-place starter Kyle Bachman. On the fifth circuit, seventh-place starter Hayes Mattern powered underneath Bachman for the runner-up position and set his sights on Kiehl.
Mattern reeled in Kiehl in traffic and made the winning pass using the inside lane in turn three on the 10th lap. With two laps remaining, eighth-place starter AJ Hoffman stormed into second and attempted to catch Mattern.
A caution flag on lap 14 set up a chase to the checkered flag. When the race resumed, Mattern pulled away and posted a one-second margin of victory over Hoffman, Bachman, Shaun Milller, and Pete Lauver.
SELINSGROVE SPEEDWAY RACE SUMMARY – 1 September 2012
358-360 Sprint Cars – 34 Entries
30-Lap National Open: 1) 3 Pat Cannon ($8,000) 2) 27 Daryn Pittman ($5,000) 3) 21 Lance Dewease 4) 23 TJ Stutts 5) 1 Mark Smith 6) 5B Justin Barger 7) 2 Jason Shultz 8) 1S Logan Schuchart 9) 99K Cody Keller 10) 13 Kevin Ward Jr. 11) 18 Ryan Bohlke 12) 99 Brian Leppo 13) 77 Aaron Ott 14) 56 Nate Snyder 15) 1Z Jessica Zemken 16) 3Z John Smith 17) 5G Curt Michael 18) 22 Bryn Gohn 19) 5 Phil Walter DNF 20) 25 Michael Parent DNF 21) 50 Tim Berkheimer DNF 22) 21 Duane Mausteller DNF 23) 66 Ryan Kissinger DNF 24) 99B Nyle Berkes DNF 25) 77 Derek Locke DNF
1st Set of Heat Winners: Lance Dewease, Daryn Pittman, Brian Leppo, TJ Stutts
2nd Set of Heat Winners: Cody Keller, Logan Schuchart, Kevin Ward Jr., Michael Parent
B-Main Winner: Jessica Zemkin
Pro Stocks – 14 Entries
15-Lap A-Main: 1) 9 Hayes Mattern 2) 19 AJ Hoffman 3) 99 Kyle Bachman 4)21K Mike Kiehl 5) 115 Shaun Miller 6) 63 Nathan Long 7) 21K Mike Kiehl 8) 66 Dustin Wolfgang 9) 28J Jeff Ceballo 10) 6 Tommy Jensen 11) 4 Jim Payne DNF 12) 28 Jason Smith DNF 13)1 Troy Miller DNF 14) 99H Peanut Heintzelman DNF
Heat Winners: Kyle Bachman, Jason Smith