Hodnett Hustles to Mach 1 National Open Win

Greg Hodnett. (Tim Moran photo)

Greg Hodnett. (Tim Moran photo)
From Tim Moran

SELINSGROVE, Pa. (July 30, 2017) — Greg Hodnett used his pole starting position to power to his first Capitol Renegade United Racing Club win of the 2017 season and the $6,000 payday to go along with it.

With 28 cars signed into the pits for night 2 of the Mach 1 360 National Open, three heat races were used to determine the starting lineup of the 30-lap event.

Blaine Heimbach and Curt Michael brought heat race 1 to the green flag as the 12 of Heimbach jumped out to the early race lead; Curt Michael was under fire for the runner up position, which was finally taken by the M1 of Mark Smith. Heimbach cruised to the heat race 1 victory followed to the line by the M1 of Smith, 5g of Curt Michael, 19 of Colby Womer and the 89 of Robbie Stillwaggon who started in the 9th position.

Heat race 2 found New York invader Billy VanInwegen and URC regular Troy Betts. Billy V gained redemption from Friday night as the 56v lead all 8 laps heading to a heat race 2 win. Following Billy V to the line was 49 of Mallie Shuster, 22 of Betts, 56 of Nate Snyder and 33 of Michael Walter.

The last and final heat race, the 66 of Ryan Kissinger and 28f of Davie Franek brought the field to the green flag with the 28f of Franek jumping out to an early lead. Meanwhile, the 29 of Jason Shultz was on the move reeling in the leader and finally pulling off a last lap pass of Franek to head to the heat 3 win. Josh Weller failed to make the call after the 63’s night was done with motor issues before the night started.

Larry Kelleher used the high side to take home the B-Main win. Following Kelleher to the line was the 35 of Chad Layton, 1 of Eric Tomecek, 42 of Eddie Strada, 99 of Cody Keller and the 73b of Brett Michalski all transferring to the feature event.

Hodnett used the redraw to pick the pole position for the 30-lap feature event and lead the field of 25 cars to the green flag along with outside pole sitter and previous night winner Mark Smith. At the drop of the green flag, Hodnett jumped out to a comfortable lead with the M1 of Mark Smith in tow. By lap 10, the top 5 was beginning to take place, Hodnett lead over Smith, 6th place starter Blaine Heimbach, 29 of Jason Shultz and the 49 of Mallie Shuster who was having a great run.

A lap 14 red flag for 56 of Nate Snyder gave the crews a chance to work with their drivers during the open red to adjust and set up their cars for the final 16 laps. Once Snyder’s badly damaged car was removed from the speedway, the field went back to green with once again Hodnett cruising to the lead with Smith in tow but Smith was now under siege from 3rd place runner Blaine Heimbach for the runner up position. Heimbach took away the runner up position and set his sights on the leader Hodnett. Smith continued to hold down third and Jason Shultz back in fourth. The car on the move was the 5g of Curt Michael up from his 10th starting position Michael picked off the 28f of Davie Franek and the 49 of Mallie Shuster and was pressuring Shultz for fourth when the 12 of Heimbach slowed on the front stretch. With Heimbach’s night done, on the restart Hodnett continued to lead followed by Smith, Shultz, Michael and Franek rounding out the top five. Lucas Wolfe was up to sixth from his 13th starting position.

On the lap 25 restart, Hodnett continued to lead followed by the M1 of Smith but now Michael was looking to take the third position from Shultz. As Michael overtook Shultz for third, the green and white 5g was clearly one of the fastest cars on the track. Michael set sail for the runner up position but ran out of laps as, Hodnett lead the field to the checkered flags, followed by Smith, Michael, Shultz and Franek.

URC Tidbits: Missing from the previous night’s roster was the 77 of Derek Locke and 67w of Justin Whittall who were both home with motor issues. The 7K of Kris Lilick did not return for the 2nd night due to work commitments. Also missing was the 47 of Adam Carberry who was happy to roll the 47 car into the trailer the night before and did not want to push his luck. After drawing for the pole the previous night, Brett Michalski drew 74 out of a possible 75 on Sunday night starting in the final position of heat race 1. Joining the field for night two was the 27 of Greg Hodnett, 12 of Blaine Heimbach, 5w of Lucas Wolfe, 74 of JR Berry and the 11 of TJ Stutts.

Finish: 1. 27 Greg Hodnett, 2. M1 Mark Smith, 3. 5G Curt Michael, 4. 29 Jason Shultz, 5. 28f Davie Franek, 6. 5w Lucas Wolfe, 7. 11 TJ Stutts, 8. 67 Steve Collins, 9. 35 Chad Layton, 10. 89 Robbie Stillwaggon, 11. 49 Mallie Shuster, 12. 33 Michael Walter, 13. 56v Billy VanInwegen, 14. 66 Ryan Kissinger, 15. 19 Colby Womer, 16. 76 Larry Kelleher, 17. 42e Eddie Strada, 18. 22 Troy Betts, 19, 73b Brett Michalski 20. 12 Blaine Heimbach, 21. 56c Chris Coyle, 22. 56 Nate Snyder, 23. 1w Eric Tomecek, 24. C4 Jim Shuster, 25. 99 Cody Keller.