Hot racing action warms up Selinsgrove on cold night as Selinsgrove's Heimbach wins career first in sprints. SELINSGROVE, PA -- For the second week in a row, a rookie graced Selinsgrove Speedway's victory lane when Selinsgrove driver Blane ...
Hot racing action warms up Selinsgrove on cold night as Selinsgrove's Heimbach wins career first in sprints.
SELINSGROVE, PA -- For the second week in a row, a rookie graced Selinsgrove Speedway's victory lane when Selinsgrove driver Blane Heimbach held off all challengers to record his first ever sprint car win. To do it, the young upstart had to hold off defending track champion and 12 time 2001 winner Chad Layton during several restarts.
"Awesome, this is unbelievable," exclaimed a blond headed Heimbach in sub-freezing temperatures as he jumped from his racer before it had stopped in victory lane.
"I don't know what to say. I'm glad to get the first one out of the way. It's all I think about day and night and now I did it!" "We had trouble at the start of the night but I was totally locked down later and I got it done."
Linglestown's Craig Eshenaur roared into the lead from the pole at the start of the sprint car feature over Eric Stambaugh before yellow appeared with two laps complete. Eshenaur continued to lead on the restart and had pulled away from Stambaugh when last week's winner Kyle Purks hit the outside guardrail while running fifth on the sixth circuit.
Aboard the No. 5, Eshenaur had checked out on the field by the halfway point, extending his lead to more than a straightaway over new second place runner Blane Heimbach of Selinsgrove. Eshenaur was flying and attempting to thread his way around the backmarker of Nyle Berkes with nine to go when disaster struck in the third turn.
After striking Berkes, Eshenaur clouted the outside guardrail hard, bringing out the red flag. Heimbach assumed the lead for the restart over Stambaugh, defending track champion Layton and TJ Stutts.
Heimbach held his own when green replaced the yellow and was driving to the win when yellow appeared with six to go. Stambaugh drew even with Heimbach on the restart but a teenage Heimbach surged ahead on the backstretch, pulling his Beavertown Block No. 12 out to a four car length advantage.
With four to go, fourth place runner Billy Dietrich slowed with a flat, bringing out another caution. While Stambaugh and Layton stalked on the restart, a cool head by Heimbach prevailed, yielding the 19-year old his first ever full size sprint win in his rookie season of competition despite a last lap restart.
"I didn't expect it to come this quick," said Heimbach of his first ever win. "I thought we'd be better than last year when we came out but I didn't think we'd be this quick."
"Last week was a disaster when we wrecked in the heat and I made myself sick all week thinking about that crash but tonight is just totally different!" "I was pretty confident and the longer the yellows were the better it was for me," said Blane of the consistent cautions in the 25-lapper.
"I felt slower the longer we ran. I saw Eshenaur when he got to traffic and he drove a heck of a race."
Harrisburg's Layton settled for a distant second over Stambaugh of East Berlin, Stutts of Liverpool and Nate Snyder of Halifax. Sixth through tenth went to Rick Hench, Eshenaur, Dean Kline, Jake Radabaugh and Jason Shultz.
Sprint car heat events for the 26 entries were won by Jim Nace, Rick Hench and Stutts.
Twin multi-car pileups in the second and fourth turns marred the start of the 20-lap sprint car feature but when the first lap was finally scored it was Thompson driver Dan Stone at the point. Fifth starter Scott Haus allowed Stone little time at the front however, surging into the lead on the next circuit.
Driving out of Hamburg, Haus never looked back in recording his 20th career speedway victory aboard his No. 33. He had a half lap separating himself from Stone with two to go when the races final yellow appeared but he sped to the win handily on the restart.
"The track is so fast," said Haus after taking the win. "As long as you guys can keep it like this its unbelievable."
"Stone is good, he's going to really be tough in the coming years." Stone settled for second followed by Jim Yoder, Dale Kerstetter and Scott Sipe.
Late model heats were won by Haus, Bobby Stokes and Steve Campbell. Gerald Kratzer of Selinsgrove edged out Kyle Bachman for the win in the pro stock division. Much like last week, the pair battled over the entire 12-lap distance only with Kratzer taking the win.
Tower City driver Rick Bixler claimed the 10-lap roadrunner feature. Selinsgrove Speedway returns to racing action this Saturday, April 13 with another program of sprints, late models, pro stocks and roadrunners at 6 p.m.