Selinsgrove Opperman Memorial race report

Greg Hodnett takes Selinsgrove Opperman Memorial SELINSGROVE, PA -- Scoring his first win of the season anywhere, Greg Hodnett of Memphis, Tenn., romped to a wire to wire victory in Sunday night's 30-lap, 2nd Annual Jan Opperman Memorial at ...

Greg Hodnett takes Selinsgrove Opperman Memorial

SELINSGROVE, PA -- Scoring his first win of the season anywhere, Greg Hodnett of Memphis, Tenn., romped to a wire to wire victory in Sunday night's 30-lap, 2nd Annual Jan Opperman Memorial at Selinsgrove Speedway.

The victory was the fifth of the 34-year olds career at the Snyder County oval and it came in the second leg of the 2003 Middleswarth Potato Chips Susquehanna Valley 410 Sprint Series. Hodnett won two events of the four race series at the track last season and now needs two more wins to claim the 2003 Chip Challenge that offers $10,000 if one driver can win three races of the five-date 2003 series. .

Driving the Bob Stewart owned No. 12, Hodnett set third quick time to begin the night and then claimed second in the five-lap dash to start the prestigious memorial from the outside of the front row flanked by Chad Layton.

And from the drop of the green, the event run in honor of 1973-track champion Opperman belonged to Hodnett. Opperman is recognized the world over as one of the men who put Central Pennsylvania Sprint Car racing on the map and Selinsgrove Speedway is the only place he ever garnered a track title. '

Hodnett was already in lapped traffic on the fourth circuit and by the time the caution flag unfurled with nine down he was ready to lap the 13th position. Kevin Frey brought out the caution when he slowed his 2K in the second corner.

Layton persisted in second the entire distance but was still well behind when an appearance by the red flag halted action with 11 laps to go for a violent flip in the third turn by defending Opperman Champion Todd Hestor of Middleburg. Hestor suffered front-end suspension ills, which sent him careening into the outside wall. He escaped injury.

The final 11 laps went non stop and Hodnett cruised to an easy victory, zipping aroung the half-mile, beating defending 358-sprint track champion Layton of Harrisburg to the finish line by 1.88 seconds. Including contingency monies, Hodnett collected over $3,750 for the convincing run.

Defending Chip Series Champion Lance Dewease of Fayetteville rode home third after starting fourth followed by fast timer Sean Michael of Allentown and Todd Shaffer of Millerstown.

Sixth through tenth went to Mike Erdley, Herndon; Fred Rahmer, Salfordville; Keith Kauffman, Mifflintown; Troy Whitesel, Selinsgrove; and Jason Hagenbuch, Pottstown.

Heats for the sprint cars went to Len Thompson, Hestor and Rahmer. Layton won the dash setting a new five-lap track record while earning the pole for the feature. Rick Lafferty took the consolation and Sean Michael set quick time with a fast lap of 16.457 seconds.

In the 20-lap Super Sportsman feature Russ Mitten led the first 15-laps before giving way to polesitter veteran Rich Eichelberger.

Fifth starter Dave Calaman rode home second followed by Frankie Herr, Mitten and Steve Cannon.

Ken Carberry, Richie Hartman and Herr won Super Sportsman qualifiers. Bill Schoffstall claimed the consolation event.

The 2003 Middleswarth Potato Chips Susquehanna Valley 410 Sprint Series returns to Selinsgrove Speedway for the finale of Pennsylvania Speedweek on Sunday July 6.

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Series Sprint