Bender Memorial carries significance. SELINSGROVE, Pa. - The August 17 Bob Bender Late Model Memorial at Selinsgrove Speedway will carry significance this year; the date is the same as the car number the late Bender campaigned so successfully in...
Bender Memorial carries significance.
SELINSGROVE, Pa. - The August 17 Bob Bender Late Model Memorial at Selinsgrove Speedway will carry significance this year; the date is the same as the car number the late Bender campaigned so successfully in stock car racing in Central Pennsylvania during the 1960's and 70's.
This Saturday's 16th edition of the traditional event, sponsored by Insinger Performance Fuels of Dushore, will be a 30-lap main event paying $1,500 to win and $200 to start for the late model stock cars.
Joining the late models will be the Cindy Rowe Auto Glass sprint cars, pro stocks and roadrunners at 7 p.m. Gates open at 5 p.m.
The Bob Bender Memorial is a tribute race in memory of the popular late model car owner and driver who was named Most Popular Driver at both Selinsgrove and Williams Grove Speedways in 1972. While driving his trademark orange No. 17 race car, he recorded 15 career late model wins at Selinsgrove Speedway.
The inaugural Bender Memorial was won by defending track champion Bobby Croop of Nescopeck in 1987. Croop, celebrating his 30th season in automobile racing this season, won subsequent memorials in 1988, 96 and in 97, when he was declared the co-winner with Jim Yoder of Middleburg.
Other previous winners of the race include: Lanny Lyons of Millville (1989), Steve Campbell of Sunbury (1990, 91), Richie Jensen of Nescopeck (1992, 93), Dave Protsko of Berwick (94, 95), Travis Ayres of Mansfield (1998), Jeff Smith of Blain (1999), Scott Haus of Hamburg (2000) and defending winner Jeff Rine of Danville.
In last year's event, the fourth circuit saw Don Schick of Northumberland, Dan Stone of Thompson and Rine race three-wide into turn one, which netted Rine the lead and eventual win over Dale Kerstetter of Liverpool, Eric Hons of Benton, Robbie Smith of Nescopeck and Jimmy Adams of Herndon.
To date, nine different late model drivers have won a main event at Selinsgrove Speedway in 2002, including Haus (4), Jeff Smith (3) of Blain, Rine (3), J. Adams (2), Kerstetter (2), Croop (1), Tony Adams (1) of Sunbury, Schick (1), and Glenn Heddings (1) of New Columbia.
Entering Saturday's event, T. Adams, who will be seeking his first victory in the Bender Memorial, is the divisional point leader. The late models will compete at the Snyder County oval again on Saturday, August 24 and Saturday, August 31.