By Steve Inch
SELINSGROVE, Pa. – A fierce wheel-to-wheel battle between Jason Shultz of Carlisle and Josh Beard of Brogue played into Pat Cannon’s favor for the win in Saturday night’s 25-lap 358 sprint car feature at Selinsgrove Speedway when Shultz and Beard collided entering the third turn on the final circuit.
Cannon, of Etters, inherited the lead and went on to win his sixth race of the season and the 47th of his career in 358-360 sprint car racing at the track driving the Highlands’ Tire & Service Centers No. 3.
Coleby Frye of Dover scored his third win of the season in the 30-lap late model summer championship race. Frye collected $2,000 for the victory, which marked his 12th career the track. Matt Cochran of Williamsport was the late model fast qualifier with a lap of 19.239 seconds.
Brad Mitch of McClure wired the field for his fifth win of the year in the 15-lap pro stock race, while Brian Johnson of Ashland won his fifth race of the season in the 12-lap roadrunner event.
Selinsgrove Speedway will present an open wheel doubleheader featuring the United Racing Company (URC) 360 sprint cars and 358 sprint cars plus late models and pro stocks at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10. Track gates will open at 5 p.m.
Front row starters Bryan Garland and Mike Walter raced wheel-to-wheel for the lead at the start of the sprint car feature. Walter pulled ahead by the completion of the first lap and quickly opened up a sizeable lead over the rest of the field.
On the fourth lap, 10th-place starter Josh Beard passed sixth-place starter Matt Horst for the second position and started to erase the deficit between himself and race leader Walter. On the seventh circuit, Beard passed Walter for the lead using the inside lane off turn four. A three-car tangle in turn two brought out the caution flag a lap later.
When the race resumed, Beard led Walter, Horst, eighth-place starter Larry Kelleher, and 12th-place starter Pat Cannon. On a lap 18 restart, 11th-place starter Jason Shultz showed a lot of speed when he passed both Kelleher and Cannon for the third position. A lap later Shultz drove by Walter for second and attempted to reel in Beard as Cannon raced a close third.
On a lap 23 restart, Shultz pulled alongside of Beard entering the third turn and their two cars made contact, sending Beard’s car into the third turn wall and Shultz’s to the pit area with a flat tire. Cannon inherited the lead with one lap to go and drove to victory by .56 of a second over Kelleher, fifth-place starter Cody Keller, 19th-place starter Derek Locke, and 17th-place starter Ryan Kissinger.
On the start of the late model championship race, polesitter Jerry Bard powered into the early lead. Bard was followed by third-place starter Matt Cochran for the first three laps until Cochran made a pass for the lead exiting the fourth turn on lap four.
Once in front of the pack, Cochran opened up a comfortable lead as fifth-place starter Coleby Frye began to make his way to the front of the pack. On a lap six restart, Frye horsepowered his way into the second position and set his sights on Cochran. By lap 13, Cochran encountered slower traffic and was forced to take evasive action racing out of turn four only to slam into the frontstretch wall.
Frye took command of the field at this point and led the rest of the way as eighth-place starter Jim Yoder and seventh-place starter Dylan Yoder made a run at him on several restarts. At the finish, Frye was victorious by 1.5 seconds over J. Yoder, D. Yoder, Jim Bernheisel, and Tim Wilson.
Fourth-place starter Brad Mitch drove into the lead at the drop of the green flag in the pro stock feature. Mitch was trailed by seventh-place starter Kyle Bachman and sixth-place starter Shaun Miller. On several occasions, Bachman moved into striking distance and even pulled alongside of Mitch in an effort to take the lead to no avail.
Mitch continued to set the pace using the highline of the speedway and took the checkered flag by 1.3 seconds over Bachman, S. Miller, Troy Miller, and AJ Stroup. Mitch set a new 15-lap track record for the pro stock division in a time of six minutes, five seconds and .09 hundredths of a second.
Fourth-place starter Brian Johnson pulled into the lead at the start of the roadrunner feature and was chased by second-place starter Curtis Lawton for the first two laps. On the third circuit, third-place starter John Fowler Jr. took over the runner-up position and began to close in on Johnson.
With two laps to go, Fowler attempted a pass on the outside of Johnson in turns three and four only to brush the guardrail and lose ground on the leader. At the checkered flag Johnson was victorious by 3.3 seconds over Fowler, Butch Shaffer, Curtis Lawton, and John Schoch.
SELINSGROVE SPEEDWAY RACE SUMMARY – 3 August 2013
358 Sprint Cars – 22 Entries
25-Lap A-Main: 1) 3 Pat Cannon 2) 76 Larry Kelleher 3) 99K Cody Keller 4) 77 Derek Locke 5) 66 Ryan Kissinger 6) 100 Mike Walter 7) 19 Colby Womer 8) 99B Nyle Berkes 9) 29S Derek Steward 10) 67 Jason Cherry 11) 38 Scott Wilson 12) 5B Josh Beard DNF 13) 2 Jason Shultz DNF 14) 29 Matt Horst DNF 15) 15 Johnny Smith DNF 16) 22M Brian Garland DNF 17) 33W Mike Walter II DNF 18) 6S Bill Sherman DNF 19) 33 John Troxell DNF 20) 80M Dan Richcreek DNF 21) 35 Shannon Fisher DNF 22) 21 Duane Mausteller DNS
Heat Winners: Mike Walter, Pat Cannon, Brian Garland