Selinsgrove race report 2002-05-25

Layton makes it four in a row in 22nd Annual Selinsgrove Gunn Memorial, Jimmy Adams wins career first in late models, Bachman wins pro stocks. SELINSGROVE, PA -- Chad Layton picked up his fourth Selinsgrove Speedway sprint car win of the year in...

Layton makes it four in a row in 22nd Annual Selinsgrove Gunn Memorial, Jimmy Adams wins career first in late models, Bachman wins pro stocks.

SELINSGROVE, PA -- Chad Layton picked up his fourth Selinsgrove Speedway sprint car win of the year in Saturday nights 22nd Annual Jack Gunn Memorial sponsored by HPI of Selinsgrove. Contested each year since 1981, the 30-lap tribute worth $1,500 honored the speedway's former Hall of Fame promoter who led the facility from 1968 to 1979 before succumbing to cancer.

In late model action, Jimmy Adams recorded his first career win in the division after wiring the field from the front row. The 12-lap pro stock feature was claimed by Kyle Bachman.

Only one circuit of the 30-lapper for sprints was put in the books before Bob Camilli spun on the frontstretch, turning over. Lap two restarted with Brian Powell at the helm over Troy Long and Joe Whitcomb aboard the Seiler 54.

13th starter and defending Gunn Memorial winner TJ Stutts of Liverpool appeared to be the man to beat early on as the young gun motored through the field during the first ten circuits. Running the outside, Stutts was up to sixth on the eighth circuit and looking for more when current point leader and defending track champion Chad Layton began moving forward.

Layton motored past both Stutts and Babe Mader to take fifth on the 11th lap. His pace was soon halted however when third place runner Whitcomb slowed with a flat tire on the 12th loop, moving Layton into fourth for the restart behind Columbus, New Jersey leader Powell.

A tremendous event unfolded on the restart as Linglestown's Craig Eshenaur and Layton began a 11-lap battle that ended in disaster for Eshenaur. After restarting third, Eshenaur saw Layton blast under him for the second spot on the 14th lap but Eshenaur then stuck his number five up against the guardrail, reclaiming the spot on the next circuit.

For the next five circuits the pair battled wheel to wheel throughout traffic for the lead as the pair gobbled up Powell. Eshenaur proved to have the hand to beat while flirting with the outside rail. After flirting with disaster repeatedly, Eshenaur's torrid pace ended his chance at the $1,500 payday when he entered the third turn, looping the car in traffic having come upon a backmarker rapidly.

Layton inherited the top-spot with seven to go and found Stutts close behind for the restart. The defending event winner refused to let Layton slip away and made a fantastic last lap charge to claim the win but fell short behind Layton, crossing the finish line less than a car length behind.

"I'll tell you what, I haven't seen someone race a limited sprint as hard as Craig Eshenaur has for a long time," said Layton. "He is one hell of a race car driver. His car was a bit faster than mine and when we got into traffic, that's a strong point for me."

"TJ has been getting his car better and better too and I heard him the last lap but just had to keep on going."

Stutts settled for second followed by Blane Heimbach, Powell and 21st starter Nate Snyder.

Sprint car heats for the 32 entries were won by Heimbach, Troy Long, Whitcomb and James Layton.

Charlie Anderson won the consolation.

Sunbury driver Jim Adams wired the field for his first career win in the 20-lap late model feature. Aboard his No. 8, Adams motored from the pole to pick up the win, worth over $1,200.

The pace was slowed only once for Adams and no one seriously challenged him for the lead. Jeff Rine moved into second prior to the halfway point but failed to close on the rapid running Adams, who recorded the win by a straightaway over Rine, JR Kieffer, Dave Reed and Tony Adams.

Late model heats were picked up by Jimmy Adams and Reed.

In pro stock action, Steve Byers led the first trio of circuits before spinning on the backstretch. Byers' misfortune handed the lead to Kyle Bachman who went on to win his fourth event of the season at the speedway over Troy Miller.

Matt Drum won the 10-lap nightcap roadrunner feature, his second of the season.

Selinsgrove Speedway returns to racing action with a huge two-day weekend on June 1 and 2. The oval will host back to back nights of competition featuring the return of the 410 sprints to the Snyder County speedplant. Sponsored by Philips Products of Selinsgrove, a leading manufacturer in doors and windows for the housing industry, the speedway will be in action June 1 with a five-division program of sprints, late models, pro stocks, roadrunners and the first appearance of the season by the vintage race cars. Gates open at 5 p.m. with racing slated for 7 p.m.

The track then returns the next night, Sunday, June 2, with the Inaugural Jan Opperman Memorial for 410 sprints and Super Sportsman. The kickoff of the Middleswarth Potato Chips Susquehanna Valley 410 Sprint Series, the 30-lap memorial will feature the $10,000 chip challenge. If one of the front-row starters opts to go to the rear and can win the already prestigious event, he will take home $10,000. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. with time trials scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

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.

In other speedway news, co-promoters Charlie Paige and Earl Zechman have announced that the track's late model division will compete in 25-lap main events if the division's car count reaches 20 or more on any given Saturday night.

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About this article
Series Sprint , Stock car
Drivers Jim Adams