Selinsgrove Speedway race report 2002-06-08

WHITCOMB BREAKS THE STREAK - CLAIMS LAYTON BOUNTY FOR FIRST OVAL WIN Smith claims third in late models, Kratzer third in pro stocks. SELINSGROVE, PA -- It finally happened. Chad Layton has been beaten at Selinsgrove Speedway. And it was ...

WHITCOMB BREAKS THE STREAK - CLAIMS LAYTON BOUNTY FOR FIRST OVAL WIN

Smith claims third in late models, Kratzer third in pro stocks.

SELINSGROVE, PA -- It finally happened. Chad Layton has been beaten at Selinsgrove Speedway. And it was Millersburg's Joe Whitcomb who did it, breaking Layton's win streak that was halted at five in a row.

Whitcomb claimed a hefty bounty that was placed on the Selinsgrove Speedway dominator's head amounting to $900 plus a pair of tires from Hoosier. In all, he pocketed $1,900 for his first ever speedway win and the second overall of his career on Advanced Concrete Systems Night at the oval. "Chad has been really hooked up but it was just a matter of time until we beat him," said the former go-kart standout from victory lane. "I'll take the bounty."

The initial start of the 25-lap sprint car feature was halted when New Cumberland driver Babe Mader flipped his 1M in turn three. No injuries were reported.

Polesitter Brian Buckwalter zoomed into the lead when action restarted and streaked away in the 56V ahead of Jimmy Layton and Brian Powell. Buckwalter was way out in front with five down when the red flag again unfurled, this time for a spin by Todd Reed that found TJ Stutts flipping onto the scene.

Reed was transported to an area hospital with complaints of a leg injury. Tenth starter Joe Whitcomb made his move on the restart, moving from fourth to second behind the leader as Selinsgrove's Blane Heimbach also began moving forward. As Whitcomb wrestled the lead away from Buckwalter on the ninth loop, 18th starter Heimbach settled into sixth.

The pace was slowed just past the halfway point when one-time winner Jim Nace stopped. Whitcomb found Buckwalter, Jimmy Layton, Chad Layton, Brian Powell and Heimbach lining up behind for the restart.

Layton pounced when action resumed, moving into second with ten to go. Likewise, aboard his Beavertown Block No. 12, Heimbach streaked into third with seven remaining and began closing on the leaders. Another yellow appeared with five to go, setting up a wild dash when Buckwalter stopped. When Layton made a play at the new green, Heimbach brought the fans to their feet with a rousing outside move in the first and second turns, passing the Harrisburg driver. A dominating Layton refused to lie down however, seeking his sixth win in a row and battled back on the low side.

After Layton seized second for a moment, Heimbach again rolled the topside in one and two to reclaim second from Layton and pull away. Another amazing yellow regrouped the star-studded pack with three to go, allowing 19th starter Darren Eash to claim the fourth spot behind Layton.

Heimbach lost a heartbreaker with two to go when he came up with a right rear flat, withdrawing from the event, giving Layton new life on a restart. Layton gave it all he had over the final distance but Whitcomb slammed the door in turn one and pulled away to win by a half-straightaway.

"He almost got me on that last restart," said Whitcomb. "But I gassed it and somehow we prevailed. We hit the setup from the start and the car was so hooked up tonight. I followed Chad around the bottom and saw where he was running so I just went there and got by him."

Layton settled for second followed by Jimmy Layton, Darren Eash and Rick Hench.

Sixth through tenth went to Powell, Buckwalter, Bob Camilli, Troy Long and John Miller.

Heats for the 29 entries went to Buckwalter, Troy Long and Jimmy Layton. Eash won the consolation event.

In the 20-lap late model feature, Bobby Croop jumped from the pole to lead the first nine laps of the event before giving way to two-time winner Jeff Smith of Blain. Sixth starter Smith used an outside move in the second corner to blister past Croop and drive off from the field.

Once at the front aboard his Krenn Trucking No. 32, Smith pulled out to a straightaway to record his 25th career speedway win. Croop rode home second followed by Jeff Rine, Dale Kerstetter and Eric Hons.

"I knew it was going to be close with Bobby," said Smith. "I knew I couldn't fool around with Rine back there. I knew I had to get moving. Our Kriner Engine was working well tonight."

Late model heats went to Croop and Smith.

Gerald Kratzer took the lead from Matt Johnson on the third loop of the 12-lap pro stock feature and appeared to be home free before a lone caution flag unfurled with three to go. On the restart, Troy Miller swapped the lead with Kratzer only to see the sixth starter reclaim the top spot and drive to his third win of the season at Selinsgrove.

Billy McNeal wired the field from the pole to win the 10-lap nightcap roadrunner feature. The win was McNeal's fifth of the season at the speedway.

Selinsgrove Speedway returns to racing action on June 15 with the second camera and autograph night of the season sponsored by Penn Lyon Homes of Selinsgrove. Gates for the four-division program of sprints, late models, pro stocks and roadrunners open at 5 p.m. with racing slated for 7 p.m.

General admission fans will be permitted access to the pit area prior to warm-ups, allowing the fans to come face to face with the cars and stars of the Snyder County oval.

The June 15 program features the Dave's Lawn Care Five-Lap Dash For Cash for sprints. The sponsor of Nate Snyder's No. 56 sprint car, Dave's Lawn Care of Halifax will post $500.00 to win the added event for sprint cars.

Competitors for the high-dollar, low-distance event will include the top-two finishers in each of the sprint heats. Drivers will draw for dash starting positions. Snyder's sprint car and the No. 14 late model of Dave Reed will be on display behind the grandstand prior to racing action.

The Middleswarth Potato Chips Susquehanna Valley 410 Sprint Series returns to Selinsgrove Speedway on July 7 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 seasons speedweek event at Selinsgrove.

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About this article
Series Sprint , Stock car
Drivers Matthew Johnson