By Steve Inch
SELINSGROVE, Pa. – Mark Smith of Sunbury has won a lot of races in four different open wheel divisions throughout his career at Selinsgrove Speedway. On Saturday night he finally captured what had been an elusive first victory in the Mach 1 Chassis 360 Sprint Car Open after making an exciting late-race pass by Pat Cannon of Etters.
Smith earned $5,075 for the win in the 30-lap championship race at the wheel of the CRC Brake Cleaners/NTK Spark Plugs No. M1. It was Smith’s 29th overall 358-360 sprint car win at the track.
Garrett Bard of Wells Tannery scored his third Selinsgrove win of the season in the 20-lap 305 sprint car feature, while Adam Campbell of Danville notched his first career roadrunner win in the division’s 12-lap race.
Selinsgrove Speedway will present the 75th Anniversary Race featuring 410 sprint cars and super late models plus a professional fireworks display at 7:30 p.m. TUESDAY, JULY 20, the actual anniversary date of the track’s opening in 1946. Each of the 25-lap main events will pay $5,075 to win. Track gates will open at 5 p.m.
Polesitter and former four-time 360 Open winner Blane Heimbach took the lead at the drop of the green flag in the main event. Heimbach was trailed by second-place starter Davie Franek for the first lap until sixth-place starter Pat Cannon stormed into second. A lap later, third-place starter Michael Walter got by Franek for the third spot.
On the fourth lap, a water line reportedly broke loose from the engine block on Heimbach’s car and ended his hopes of a fifth victory in the race. Cannon inherited the lead and had Walter and Franek lined up behind him. On the sixth lap, fifth-place starter Mark Smith took the third position and set his sites on the leaders.
At the halfway mark, Cannon led Walter, Smith, seventh-place starter Jason Shultz, and 11th-place starter Derek Locke. On the 18th lap Smith got by Walter for second and started to reel in Cannon.
The final caution flag unfurled on lap 26 when Brett Wright stopped in turn four with a flat tire. On the ensuing restart a war on wheels unfolded between Cannon and Smith for the lead and win.
With two laps to go Smith made the winning pass using the inside line on the frontstretch. He went on to take the checkered flag by the slimmest of margins over Cannon, Shultz, Locke, and Walter.
Fourth-place starter Garrett Bard shot into the lead at the start of the 305 sprint car main event. Bard was chased by polesitter Nick Sweigart for the entire distance. By lap five, eighth-place starter Kassidy Kreitz moved into the top five.
At the halfway point, Sweigart and sixth-place starter Derek Hauck dueled for the runner-up position. Three laps later, Kreitz powered into the third position.
While Bard was holding the lead, Kreitz closed in on Sweigart in a race for second. At the checkered flag, Bard was victorious by 3.2 seconds over Sweigart, Kreitz, Hauck, and Domenic Melair.
Polesitter Adam Campbell wired the field for his first roadrunner win but not without several challenges from second-place starter Curtis Lawton.
On the sixth circuit, third-place runner Jake Jones got sideways off turn two and collected Tom Underwood. Jones was able to rejoin while Underwood was sidelined for the remainder of the event.
When the race resumed, Campbell kept his No. 2 at the front of the pack with Lawton and fourth-place starter Keith Bissinger in pursuit. Campbell was victorious over Lawton, Bissinger Terry Kramer, and Jones.
SELINSGROVE SPEEDWAY RACE SUMMARY – 10 July 2021
360 Sprint Cars – 26 Entries
30-Lap Open: 1) M1 Mark Smith ($5,075) 2) 23 Pat Cannon 3) 35 Jason Shultz 4) 77 Derek Locke 5) 33 Michael Walter 6) 27 Devin Borden 7) 63 Josh Weller 8) 79 Jordan Thomas 9) 47 Adam Carberry 10) 7 Alex Bright 11) 28F Davie Franek 12) 4S John Smith 13) 3 Todd Gracey 14) 66 Ryan Kissinger 15) 75 Nash Ely 16) 11 Ryan Stillwaggon 17) 23T John Stehman 18) 669 Brandon McGough 19) 1Q Thomas Radivoy 20) 14B Brett Wright 21) 12 Blane Heimbach 22) 07 Colby Womer 23) 10K Joe Kata III 24) 5Z Zach Burd
Heat Winners: Joe Kata, Michael Walter, Jason Shultz
B-Main Winner: Thomas Radivoy
305 Sprint Cars – 37 Entries
20-Lap A-Main: 1) 95 Garrett Bard 2) 8 Nick Sweigart 3) 69K Kassidy Kreitz 4) 33 Derek Hauck 5) 36 Dominic Melair 6) 20 Doug Dodson 7) 99A Devin Adams 8) 97 Kenny Heffner 9) 67 Ken Duke 10) M1 Justin Mills 11) 2 Erin Statler 12) 11M Mikell McGee 13) 19 Kruz Kepner 14) 71 Josh Spicer 15) 1M Paul Moyer 16) 25 Dustin Young 17) 54 Mike Melair 18) 14 Logan Spahr 19) 7 Drew Young 20) 41 Jared Zionkowski 21) 44 Christian Rumsey 22) 46 Mike Alleman 23) 35 Buddy Schweibinz 24) 24 Will Brunson 25) 0Z Zach Rhodes 26) 03 Branstin Shue
Heat Winners: Josh Spicer, Garrett Bard, Kenny Heffner, Doug Dodson
B-Main Winner: Logan Spahr