Selinsgrove race report

Whitcomb proves himself in second Selinsgrove Sprint win, Kerstetter races new No. 7 to 27th career oval checkered flag, Bachman wins fifth SELINSGROVE, PA -- He came to the track with something to prove. And he did just that. In what could...

Whitcomb proves himself in second Selinsgrove Sprint win, Kerstetter races new No. 7 to 27th career oval checkered flag, Bachman wins fifth

SELINSGROVE, PA -- He came to the track with something to prove. And he did just that. In what could only be termed annihilation, Millersburg driver Joe Whitcomb turned back all challengers in Saturday night's 25-lap sprint car feature at Selinsgrove Speedway to record his second win of the season at the Snyder County oval, worth $1,000.

"We are really getting hooked up here," firmly stated Whitcomb. "Hopefully this shuts up all the cynics that said the last one was a fluke. We came here tonight to prove something and we did it, thanks to this maxim (chassis)."

He began proving himself at the drop of the green, when he motored from eighth to fourth by the completion of the races first circuit. Rookie driver Scott Tate jumped from the pole to lead the first four circuits of the feature before Brian Powell slowed to a stop bringing out the caution flag. Tate found Richie Jensen, Nyle Berkes, Whitcomb and TJ Stutts lurking behind for the restart.

Tate maintained control at the new green but eighth starter Whitcomb soon challenged. The pair were nose to tail with eight down and with the completion of the next loop, the roles were reversed as Whitcomb took command. The Millersburg driver was pulling away just past the halfway point when caution appeared once more for a slowing Justin Zimmerman. Under the yellow, point leader Chad Layton pulled pitside with suspension ills. Tate, Berkes, Stutts and Rick Hench pursued Whitcomb for the return to action.

All was for naught in the race for the win however as no one could even come close to Whitcomb's No. 71 over the rest of the distance. In traffic, Whitcomb took the checkered flag by more than a half-lap ahead of Stutts of Liverpool, a margin that equated to 6.69 seconds.

"We are all just finally catching up to Layton now," mentioned the winner of his and other fellow competitors recent improved runs against powerhouse Layton. "We were super fast in the heat but that doesn't pay anything, this does. The more money we win, the faster we'll go." In the last three weeks, he has pocketed some $3,400 at the track.

Friday night's Williams Grove Speedway winner, Rick Hench of New Bloomfield rode home third followed by a magnificent run by rookie Tate of Middleburg and Berkes of Nescopeck.

Sixth through tenth went to 22nd starter Adrian Shaffer, York; 17th starter Billy Dietrich, Aspers; Bill Fannasy, Enola; Blane Heimbach, Selinsgrove; and Jeff Weaver, Lock Haven.

Heats for the 34 entries went to Whitcomb, Richie Jensen, Brian Powell and Tate. Kyle Purks won the consolation event. In the 25-lap late model feature, outside front row starter Dave Reed of Sunbury led the first 13 laps before giving way to tenth starter Dale Kerstetter on a restart.

Aboard a brand new machine, Kerstetter's pace was slowed with ten to go but the fastest car on the track was clearly at the helm and the Liverpool veteran went on to prove so, scoring his first win of the season by a margin of 1.66 seconds over rookie Reed. The win was the 27th of his storied career at the half-mile oval, giving him sole possession of the seventh on the all-time win list.

"This thing was a real hotrod tonight, wasn't it," exclaimed an animated Kerstetter. "That old car wouldn't let me win, but by darned this one will!"

Alan Sagi, Hagerstown, Md.; rode home third followed by Eric Hons, Benton; and Jeff Smith, Blain. Smith was competing with a broken wrist. Late model heats went to Bobby Croop, Reed and Kerstetter.

Selinsgrove driver Kyle Bachman took over at the front for Meade Hahn on the fifth lap to head to his fifth pro stock win of the season and extend a narrow point lead over eventual third place finisher Gerald Kratzer.

For the final six laps, Bachman had to fend off the challenges of two-time winner Peanut Heintzelman to pick up his 18th career oval win. The victory tied him with Tim Krape at the top of the track's all time career win list. Matt Drum won the 10-lap nightcap roadrunner feature.

Selinsgrove Speedway returns to racing action on June 29 with the Firecracker 40 for sprints, paying $1,500 to win, $250 to take the green flag and featuring the $5,000 Chip Challenge sponsored by Middleswarth Potato Chips. Fireworks will also be a part of the night's program along with the late models, pro stocks and roadrunners. Gates open at 5 p.m.

The $5,000 Chip Challenge will be extended to the polesitter and if declined, to the outside front row starter. If accepted, the pilot that takes the challenge must forsake his front row starting spot in exchange for the last one and then proceed to win the 40-lapper to pick up the cash. Drivers will draw for starting spot in their heat events. The heat winners and the drivers who do not win heats that have the highest point standings as of June 29 and who qualify through their qualifier will transfer to a five-lap dash. The number of heat events contested in the program will dictate the number of point transfers (one/heat) and the point transfers will be across the board as opposed to heat specific. Lined up by luck of the draw, the finish of the dash will determine the starting lineup for the first several rows of the feature field.

July 6 and 7 will be packed with racing action at Selinsgrove Speedway. Sponsored by Salem RV and Philips Products, Saturday night's show features the 4th Annual, 30-lap Late Model National Open along with the sprints, pro stocks and roadrunners. Orefield driver Chris Shuey is the defending Open winner.

The Middleswarth Potato Chips Susquehanna Valley 410 Sprint Series returns to the speedway on Sunday when the oval hosts the finale of the 12th Annual Pennsylvania Sprint Speedweek Series. The event carries a raindate of July 8. Todd Shaffer was the winner of last season's speedweek event at Selinsgrove and will sign autographs prior to the show from 5 until 5:30 p.m.


Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Sprint , Stock car
Drivers Jeff Smith
Teams Williams