Selinsgrove race report 2002-05-04

Layton wins season first in Selinsgrove pack the track, standing room only crowd sees oval earn fourth sprint winner in as many events. Croop, Kratzer victorious in stock cars. SELINSGROVE, PA -- Having won Friday night's event at the Williams...

Layton wins season first in Selinsgrove pack the track, standing room only crowd sees oval earn fourth sprint winner in as many events. Croop, Kratzer victorious in stock cars.

SELINSGROVE, PA -- Having won Friday night's event at the Williams Grove Speedway, Harrisburg's Chad Layton made it two on the weekend in last nights Pack The Track sprint car event at Selinsgrove Speedway. In its second year, the promotion featured free general admission for the night in an effort to showcase what the speedway has to offer on a weekly basis.

And the historic oval offered much to the standing room only crowd in attendance for the program. A record high 40-winged sprints entered competition and in the end it was 26 year-old Layton who took the $1,000 payday, which was his second in a row in the Pack The Track event. It was also his first win of the season at the Snyder County oval.

"I have to say this track right now is totally awesome," said the winner of recent track re-conditioning efforts and the resulting product.

"I commend everyone who poured their time and effort into re-working this racetrack because this place is going somewhere with car counts and a surface like this. Big things are going to happen!"

Lock Haven's Jeff Weaver jumped from the pole to lead the first four laps of the 25-lap sprint car feature over Justin Zimmerman and Jason Shultz before Grantville's Dean Kline rolled to a stop with a left front flat.

Promoter of Clinton County Speedway, Weaver appeared strong on the restart, pulling out to a half-straightaway lead over Zimmerman. The leader's pace was slowed again with nine laps down however when Shultz climbed the fourth turn guardrail and stopped just short of turning over.

Weaver found Zimmerman, one-time winner Jim Nace, Todd Reed and 11th starter and Layton lining up behind him for the return to action.

Aboard the U1, Layton looked in winning form, having moved into fourth at the halfway point behind Nace. Sticking to the bottom groove, Layton passed Nace with ease when green replaced the yellow and immediately closed on Salem's Zimmerman.

Layton got a clear shot with nine to go when Zimmerman slipped while trying to snare the lead on a restart, surrendering second. Weaver was then next in line as the defending speedway champion closed on and then tussled with the leader for three laps before taking over the lead with a low turn two pass with just three circuits to go.

Once at the front, Layton cruised to the 13th oval win of his career and in doing so became the tracks fourth different winner in four events contested to date.

"I absolutely have the best crew and they put the best 358 sprint car underneath me that ever was on plane earth," said Layton.

Weaver rode home second followed by Jake Radabaugh of Carlisle, Nace of Thompsontown and Zimmerman.

Sixth through tenth went to Todd Reed, Bob Camilli, 20th starter Craig Eshenaur, TJ Stutts and 23rd starter Don Beaver. It was Beaver's second ever start behind the wheel of a sprint car.

Sprint car heats for the 40 entries were won by Weaver, Shultz, Tim Higgins and Nace. Craig Eshenaur won the 15-lap B-Main.

Sunbury's Don Schick led the first 10-laps of the 20-lap late model feature from the front row while withstanding several restarts. By the halfway point, Schick was feeling pressure from fifth starter Bobby Croop and it was the eight-time track champion who took over the lead from Schick on a restart with nine to go.

Croop slipped high with four to go allowing JR Kieffer and Alan Sagi to close in for the lead. Croop gathered it up with two to go however and took a narrow win with defensive driving over Kieffer of Bedford. Atop the all-time win list, the victory was the 66th of Croop's Selinsgrove career. Liverpool's Dale Kerstetter rode home third followed by Sagi of Hagerstown, Md., and Schick.

Late model heats were picked up by Jeff Smith, Croop and Kieffer. Sixth starter Gerald Kratzer of Selinsgrove passed Mark Benson on a fourth lap restart to take over the lead in the 12-lap pro stock feature. Kratzer proved victorious for the second time this season over Jake Buck, Troy Miller, Peanut Heintzelman and Kyle Bachman.

Billy Mcneal won the 10-lap nightcap roadrunner feature.

Selinsgrove Speedway returns to racing action this Saturday, May 11 with Apex Homes Camera and Autograph Night. Sponsored by Apex Homes of Middleburg, a leader in the modular and pre-fabricated home building industry, the four division program of sprint cars, late models, pro stocks and roadrunners gets underway at 7 p.m.

General admission fans will be permitted access to the pit area prior to racing action for the chance to meet their favorite drivers. Gates open at 5 p.m.

In speedway news, it has been announced that the June 15 program at Selinsgrove will be highlighted by the Dave's Lawn Care Sprint Car Dash for Cash. June 15 will also be the second of three scheduled camera and autograph nights and the program carries sponsorship from Penn Lyon Homes of Selinsgrove.

Sponsor of Nate Snyder's No. 56 sprint car, Dave's Lawn Care of Halifax will post $500 to the winner of a five-lap dash on June 15. Contestants for the high-dollar, small-distance event will include the first and second place finishers from each of the nights sprint car heats.

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About this article
Series Sprint , Stock car
Drivers Jeff Smith
Teams Williams