SELINSGROVE, Pa. -- "Awesome." That's what 2004 track champion Jeff Rine of Danville said to describe his winning the biggest late model race ever at Selinsgrove Speedway in the inaugural running of the 63-lap, $6,300-to-win Paul Long Memorial on...
SELINSGROVE, Pa. -- "Awesome." That's what 2004 track champion Jeff Rine of Danville said to describe his winning the biggest late model race ever at Selinsgrove Speedway in the inaugural running of the 63-lap, $6,300-to-win Paul Long Memorial on Saturday.
The special event, which drew a standing room only crowd, was held to honor the memory of the former 1966 and 1973 Selinsgrove Speedway late model champion and track employee.
"I'd like to thank the Long family for everything they did to put this race together," Rine said. "I'm tired from racing 63 laps but it's great to be standing here. This is my biggest win."
The win was Rine's seventh of the season and the 24th of his career at the track. He started the event in the sixth position and made the winning pass by Jeremy Miller of York Haven on the 30th circuit in turns three and four.
Second-place starter Ken Trevitz took the lead at the start of the Long Memorial. Trevitz was trailed by polesitter Devin Friese for the first four laps. The race was stopped on lap five for a multi-car incident in turn three which saw Jeff Smith's No. 32 go out over the guardrail. No drivers were injured. Under the red flag, Friese forfeited his second spot when he entered the pit area to change a tire.
When the race restarted, Trevitz led third-place starter Jeremy Miller, eighth-place starter Al Shawver, Jr., Rine and 14th-place starter Jim Bernheisel. On lap 27, Trevitz' race car began to pour smoke and he was forced to withdraw from the race. At this point, Miller inherited the lead with Rine racing second.
Rine passed Miller on the 30th circuit for the lead before the race was stopped on lap 32 for fuel. When the race resumed at the midway point, Rine was leading Miller, Shawver, 11th-place starter Gary Stuhler and 17th-place starter Scott Haus.
On lap 37, Miller struck a disabled car in turn three, which put Shawver into the runner up position for the restart. The last one-third of the event saw the top four drivers break away from the pack. Stuhler, in close contention in third, was sidelined on lap 47 due to mechanical problems.
The final 16 laps went non stop with a close battle unfolding between Rine, Shawver, Haus and 25th-place starter Donnie Schick for the win. With five laps remaining, the leaders encountered traffic, setting up a suspenseful finish. Shawver put in several bids for the lead to no avail. At the finish, Rine was victorious by just .50 of a second over Shawver, Haus, Schick and Bernheisel.
The B-Main event for late models was marred by a spectacular crash on the frontstretch involving five cars. Len Stroud's No. 18 racer had its front end completely torn off. Stroud, of Lock Haven, was transported to Sunbury Community Hospital, where he was being held overnight for observation, according to his family members.
The sprint car and pro stock features were postponed until Saturday, September 11 due to the speedway's imposed curfew. There will be no racing at Selinsgrove over the Labor Day weekend September 3-6 for the Festival of Nations event.
SELINSGROVE SPEEDWAY SUMMARY -- 28 August 2004
Sprint Cars -- 28 Entries
25-Lap A-Main: Postponed until September 11
Heat Winners: Scott Tate, Larry Kelleher, Adrian Shaffer
Consolation Winner: Jason Shultz
Late Models -- 49 Entries
63-Lap Paul Long Memorial: 1) 2J Jeff Rine $6,300 2) 215 Al Shawver, Jr. 3) 33 Scott Haus 4) 6 Donnie Schick 5) 119 Jim Bernheisel 6) 7C Paul Crowl 7) 87 Chad Ruhlman 8) 88 Tony Adams 9) 8 Dave Reed 10) 33W Chris Wilkinson 11) 16 Brian Cochran 12) 7NY Alan Sagi 13) 4S Dave Shulski 14) 90 Gary Stuhler 15) 24 Jeremy Miller 16) 92 Randall Paxton 17) 61T Ken Trevitz 18) 98 Bobby Croop 19) 88X JR Kiefer 20) 12 Devin Friese 21) 32H Brian Hack 22) 5B Kirk Bradley 23) 7 Dale Kerstetter 24) 32 Jeff Smith 25) 45 Eric Hons 26) 28 AY Schilling
Heat Winners: Alan Sagi, Jeff Rine, Kenny Trevitz, Dave Shulski, Al
C-Main: Jim Stine
B-Main: Eric Hons
Pro Stocks -- 20 Entries
15-Lap A-Main: Postponed until September 11
Field locked into A-Main by points (no heats)