SELINSGROVE, PA -- "The Bandit," Stevie Smith of New Oxford invaded Selinsgrove Speedway on Sunday night and rolled out of the track with the $7,500 top prize in the running of the speedway's 21st Annual Alexander Dealerships National Open for 410...
SELINSGROVE, PA -- "The Bandit," Stevie Smith of New Oxford invaded Selinsgrove Speedway on Sunday night and rolled out of the track with the $7,500 top prize in the running of the speedway's 21st Annual Alexander Dealerships National Open for 410 sprint cars.
In fine fashion, Smith lived up to his deserved reputation in the event by surprisingly entering competition after competing on the road with the World of Outlaws and All Stars this season.
"I'll be honest with you," said Smith in victory lane. "That (the cash) is why we are here!"
Second starter and defending Open winner Lance Dewease of Fayetteville took the lead at the start of the 30-lap Open followed closely by polesitter Greg Hodnett of Memphis, Tenn.
Hodnett had a lot at stake in the event driving the No 12. Coming into the race he stood to claim the $10,000 Middleswarth Chips Challenge which posted 10G for any driver who could win three of the 410 series races contested at the track in 2003.
Hodnett tried his best to take the money, hounding Dewease as he entered lapped traffic on the seventh circuit. At times Hodnett pulled even with Dewease and all the while third starter Smith was creeping in while banging his No. 19 off of the high half-mile cushion.
A sprint car battle royale erupted with eight completed as Smith caught the front runners just as Hodnett edged in front of Dewease in hectic traffic to lead the field with 20 laps to go.
Lap-11 was a big one for Smith. It was during the tour that he blasted his black and white mount around Dewease for second. Running off of the fourth corner, Smith then edged ahead of Hodnett at the line to be scored the leader before a caution flag bunched the field.
Hodnett tried his best to keep pace with Smith as the pair began negotiating traffic with 11 laps left. Smith was the better car in traffic however and had stretched it out over Hodnett with five to go when Todd Hestor slowed with a right rear flat.
Hodnett went low under Smith for the lead on the restart only to see the move bring out the red-flag when he backed the car into the outside guardrail in the second corner.
After clouting the fence, Hodnett's broadside racer collected the top-ten running machines of Fred Rahmer and Ron Kramer who made hard contact. Also involved were the cars of Mike Walter, Len Thompson and Hestor.
The rest of the race proved academic for Smith whose last win at the speedway occurred in October of 1990.
"I've seen a lot of race tracks in the last 13 years," quipped Smith. "I wasn't sure I remembered what the place looked like."
"This win really means a lot to me cause we've not been to good this year and we just came in here tonight and kind of started out with a real basic deal and just got faster as the night went on."
"We were lucky to get by Hodnett, he's been a tough man to beat this year."
Smith's win was the sixth of his career at Selinsgrove and it was his first Open win. His previous best in the race was a second in 1988.
Keith Kauffman of Mifflintown was second in the Open followed by Lance Dewease, Fayetteville; Chad Layton, Harrisburg; and Todd Shaffer, Millerstown.
Layton claimed the 2003 410 Series title at the track by five points over Todd Shaffer.
Sixth through tenth went to Todd Hestor, Middleburg; Brook Weibley, York Springs; Darren Eash, Ijamsville, MD.; Mike Erdley, Herndon; and Alan Cole Berwick.
Mark Smith won the first heat race setting a new eight-lap track record of 2:13.65. Greg Hodnett, Craig Keel and Fred Rahmer also won heat events. Hodnett won the dash to earn the pole for the Open and set a new five-lap track record of 1:23.75 in the process. Todd Shaffer took the B Main.
Lance Dewease lowered his own one-lap track record of 16.436 to a new mark of 16.207 seconds in time trials. The second through fourth fastest machines of Greg Hodnett, Stevie Smith and Keith Kauffman also timed under the previous track record.
Peanut Heintzelman won the 15-lap pro stock feature to close out the night.
Gary Beward and Peanut Heintzelaman won pro stock heats.
9/14 RACE SUMMARY
Sprint Cars -- 31 Entries
30-Lap National Open: 1. Stevie Smith, 2. Keith Kauffman, 3. Lance Dewease, 4. Chad Layton, 5. Todd Shaffer, 6. Todd Hestor, 7. Brook Weibley, 8. Darren Eash, 9. Mike Erdley, 10. Alan Cole, 11. Mark Coldren, 12. Len Thompson, 13. Greg Hodnett, 14. Ron Kramer, 15. Fred Rahmer, 16. Mike Walter, 17. Craig Keel, 18. Doug Esh, 19. Lucas Wolfe, 20. Kevin Frey, 21. Blane Heimbach, 22. Mark Smith, 23. Josh Wells, 24. Adrian Shaffer.
Lap leaders: Lance Dewease 1 -- 9, Greg Hodnett 10, Stevie Smith 11 - 30
Heat winners (8 laps): NTR 2:13.65 Mark Smith, Greg Hodnett, Craig Keel, Fred Rahmer
Dash winner (5 laps): NTR 1:23.75 Greg Hodnett
B Main winner (10 laps):Todd Shaffer
Qualifications: 1. NTR Lance Dewease 16.207, 2. Greg Hodnett 16.271, 3. Stevie Smith 16.349, 4. Keith Kauffman 16.359, 5. Todd Shaffer 16.489, 6. Chad Layton 16.560, 7. Todd Hestor 16.582, 8. Adrian Shaffer 16.643, 9. Blane Heimbach 16.746, 10. Lucas Wolfe 16.763, 11. Brook Weibley 16.765, 12. Ron Kramer 16.791, 13. Mark Coldren 16.838, 14. Mike Walter 16.844, 15. Len Thompson 16.920, 16. Kevin Frey 16.934, 17. Mike Erdley 16.944, 18. Alan Cole 16.960, 19. Bob Bennett 16.992, 20. Fred Rahmer, 17.008, 21. Mark Smith 17.008, 22. Darren Eash 17.074, 23. Craig Keel 17.104, 24. Doug Esh 17.153, 25. Rick Lafferty 17.180, 26. Josh Wells 17.208, 27. Dustin Hoffman 17.411, 28. Randy Baughman 17.892, 29. Curt Stroup 18.503, 30. Keith Anderson 20.437, 31. Brian Bossinger 20.686
Pro Stocks -- 23 Entries
Heat winners (5 laps): Gary Beward, Peanut Heintzelman
Feature finish (15 laps): 1. Peanut Heintzelman, 2. Nate Kerstetter, 3. Jason Schmidt, 4. AJ Stroup, 5. Steve Stitt, 6. Harry Peffer, 7. Todd Kiger, 8. Dave Newcomer, 9. Gary Beward, 10. Jason Phillips, 11. Daryl Nieman, 12. Jim Payne, 13. Jason Beward, 14. Matt Johnson, 15. Jake Buck, 16. Derrick Casner, 17. Jason Davis, 18. Todd Snook, 19. Meade Hahn, 20. Ken Stitt, 21. Kyle Bachman, 22. Chris Casner, 23. Bill Conrad.