SELINSGROVE, PA -- Greg Hodnett won the battle but Fred Rahmer won the war in Monday night's conclusion to Pennsylvania Speedweek at Selinsgrove Speedway sponsored by Middleswarth Potato Chips. Originally slated to take place Sunday night, rain...
SELINSGROVE, PA -- Greg Hodnett won the battle but Fred Rahmer won the war in Monday night's conclusion to Pennsylvania Speedweek at Selinsgrove Speedway sponsored by Middleswarth Potato Chips. Originally slated to take place Sunday night, rain forced the postponement of the show until Monday night.
Hodnett claimed a $5,000 victory in the 30-lap event but it was Rahmer of Salfordville who claimed his seventh speedweek crown with a ninth place finish in the series eighth event of the week.
"You have to finish to win and right now we're doing that," said Hodnett after his intense run to the victory, which did not come without its challenges.
Outside frontrow starter Chad Layton of Harrisburg led the first seven circuits before fourth starter Hodnett squeezed by him at the line after going low and splitting a lapped car with Layton while exiting the fourth corner.
Once at the front, Hodnett of Memphis, Tenn., stretched out a comfortable lead before the races first caution flag unfurled with 18 laps completed. Sean Michael was the reason for the yellow, rolling to a stop with mechanical ills while holding down the third spot.
Hodnett pulled away at the new green and appeared to be home free with ten to go but it was Layton who came back to thrill the crowd. He forced Hodnett to sit up in the seat to preserve the win, his fourth of the speedweek series and 13th overall this season.
After slowly reeling in the leader prior to a caution flag for a stopped Lance Dewease with three to go, Layton bolted his No. U1 to the inside of the leader's No. 12 and pulled even with Hodnett in the first and second turns. Hodnett pulled to a car length advantage on the backstretch but Layton again dove low and this time drove Hodnett all the way up to the turn-four fence before allowing Hodnett to slip by and maintain the lead.
Winner of the Jan Opperman Memorial at Selinsgrove in May and the defending Selinsgrove speedweek winner and speedweek series champion, Hodnett took the checkered flag by .81 seconds ahead of Layton, fifth starter Mark Smith of Newville, 15th starter Alan Cole of Berwick and Todd Hestor of Middleburg.
"I kind of went in a little to easy there on that last restart and let him get under me," said Hodnett. "I was a little better than him early so I could run the bottom." The win was the sixth of Hodnett's career at Selinsgrove.
Given his win the May Opperman Memorial at Selinsgrove, Hodnett's win puts him two-thirds of the way to claiming the $10,000 Middleswarth Potato Chips Chip Challenge in the track's Middleswarth Potato Chips 410 Series in 2003. If one driver can claim three of the five series events at the track he will claim the 10G.
Sixth through tenth in the speedweek finale went to 16th starter Blane Heimbach, Selinsgrove; Keith Kauffman, Mifflintown; Mike Erdley, Herndon; Fred Rahmer, Salfordville; and Todd Shaffer, Millerstown.
Heimbach won the first heat event and set a new 10-lap track record of 2:54.66, eclipsing the old mark of 2:59.37 that was set by Kenny Adams in 1989. Mark Coldren and Shaffer also won heat events. Hodnett set quick time with a fast lap of 16.972 seconds.
Rahmer claimed his seventh career speedweek title after winning one feature during the series, at Susquehanna Speedway in Newberrytown on Thursday night. He also posted three runner-ups on his way to the title. Rahmer finished with 965 points.
"We had a good week but Hodnett deserved to win this thing (the title) cause they are faster," said Rahmer. "We've got work to do. Greg (Hodnett) and them just make us race a lot harder."
Hodnett finished second in series points with 916 points followed by Dewease with 815, Michael with 799 and Kauffman with 764. Sixth through tenth in the series points went to Hestor, Smith, Layton, Len Thompson and Shaffer.
Frontrow starter Dale Kerstetter of Liverpool appeared headed to a win in the 25-lap late model feature before heavy smoke spewed from his machine with 13 laps completed.
Sixth starter Travis Dillman of Loysville then inherited the lead and picked up his first career win at the speedway after claiming three victories at Port Royal speedway earlier this season.
Rounding out the top-five were Scott Haus, Dan Stone, Jeff Smith and Steve Campbell.
Dave Reed, Eric Hons and Jim Yoder took late model qualifying events.
The 2003 Middleswarth Potato Chips Susquehanna Valley 410 Sprint Series returns to Selinsgrove Speedway for the Labor Day Classic on September 1.
7/7 RACE SUMMARY
Sprint Cars - 24 Entries (22 returned for Monday raindate)
30-Lap Speedweek Finale: 1. Greg Hodnett, 2. Chad Layton, 3. Mark Smith, 4. Alan Cole, 5. Todd Hestor, 6. Blane Heimbach, 7. Keith Kauffman, 8. Mike Erdley, 9. Fred Rahmer, 10. Todd Shaffer, 11. Doug Esh, 12. Mark Coldren, 13. Jason Hagenbuch, 14. Len Thompson, 15. Billy Sims, 16. Mike Walter, 17. Lance Dewease, 18. Sean Michael, 19. Adrian Shaffer, 20. Ron Kramer, 21. Rod Stroup, 22. Dustin Hoffman.
Lap leaders: Chad Layton 1 -- 7, Greg Hodnett 8 -- 30
Heat winners (10 laps): Blane Heimbach -- New 10-Lap Track Record 2:54.66, Mark Coldren, Todd Shaffer
Qualifications (conducted Sunday 7/6): 1. Greg Hodnett 16.972, 2. Sean Michael 17.027, 3. Chad Layton 17.062, 4. Fred Rahmer 17.184, 5. Mark Smith 17.192, 6. Todd Hestor 17.270, 7. Keith Kauffman 17.292, 8. Lance Dewease 17.312, 9. Mike Erdley 17.362, 10. Doug Esh 17.379, 11. Adrian Shaffer 17.387, 12. Ron Kramer 17.403, 13. Jason Hagenbuch 17.428, 14. Len Thompson 17.474, 15. Alan Cole 17.740, 16. Blane Heimbach 17.765, 17. Mark Coldren 17.786, 18. Todd Shaffer 17.907, 19. Billy Sims 17.969, 20. Mike Walter 18.039, 21. Rod Stroup 18.042, 22. Randy Baughman 18.057, 23. Dustin Hoffman 18.107, 24. Jim Campbell Jr. 18.703.
Late Models -- 24 Entries
Heat winners (8 laps): Dave Reed, Eric Hons, Jim Yoder
Feature finish (25 laps): 1. Travis Dillman, 2. Scott Haus, 3. Dan Stone, 4. Jeff Smith, 5. Steve Campbell, 6. Jeff Rine, 7. Chris Shuey, 8. Mike Lupfer, 9. Don Schick, 10. Bob Spahr, 11. Eric Hons, 12. Bill Thubborn, 13. JR Kieffer, 14. Dale Kerstetter, 15. Waylon Wagner, 16. Dave Reed, 17. Tony Adams, 18. Chris Wilkinson, 19. Billy Wampler, 20. Glenn Heddings, 21. Jim Yoder, 22. Dave Shulski, 23. Bill Trometer, 24. Scott Lupfer.