Shaffer Gets Third Open Win In 30-Lap Selinsgrove Open Thriller, six lead changes with five leaders highlight tremendous event as Shaffer's cousin T.J. Stutts takes 358's. 9/15/01, SELINSGROVE, PA -- In what could only be called a sprint ...
Shaffer Gets Third Open Win In 30-Lap Selinsgrove Open Thriller, six lead changes with five leaders highlight tremendous event as Shaffer's cousin T.J. Stutts takes 358's.
9/15/01, SELINSGROVE, PA -- In what could only be called a sprint fans dream, Saturday nights 19th Annual Alexander Family Dealerships Sprint Car Open at Selinsgrove Speedway went to Millerstown's Todd Shaffer. With Open wins in 1993 and '94 and with no brakes on his racecar, Shaffer came out on top in a fantastic event that had fans guessing who would win right to the end.
Likewise, in the 358 portion of the show, Shaffer's cousin T.J. Stutts pedaled to victory in his part of the program, keeping the money in the family. The win was Stutts seventh win of the season although it was his first in nearly two months at the Snyder County oval.
Tickets for the 2001 Selinsgrove Speedway/Selinsgrove Raceway Park awards banquet are now on sale. At a price of $28.00, tickets can be purchased at the speedway office on race nights or by calling 570-374-2999 and leaving a message.
The 2001 banquet will be held on Saturday, November 24 at the Harrisburg-Hershey Marriott. Along with championship rings courtesy of Foss Jewelers and Hoosier jackets and trophies, a total Hoosier Point Fund in excess of $14,000 will be distributed at the banquet.
Aspers driver Niki Young jumped into the lead from the outside of the front row at the start of the 30-lap Open for the super sprints ahead of polesitter Todd Hestor and fourth starter Greg Hodnett. Young was firmly in command of the field with three laps down when a two-car incident in turns three and four slowed action for the first time.
Middleburg's Hestor made his bid for a first open triumph on the restart when he ducked inside Young to assume the lead. Hestor was hotly pursued over the next several laps however by both Hodnett and Keith Kauffman. The 1998 winner, Hodnett swept around the outside of turn number two with ten complete to take the lead but sixth starter Kauffman of Mifflintown refused to let him get away. At 51-years old, Kauffman looked like he was shot out of a cannon over the next several laps, moving by Hestor on the same circuit before blistering past the leader in turn one with 12 completed to begin annihilating the field. The veteran had opened up a full straightaway over his closest pursuers when disaster struck just past the halfway point.
It was with a huge cloud of smoke that enveloped the frontchute when Kauffman expired the engine in his Middleswarth No. 7, surrendering the lead to Hodnett, with seventh started Todd Shaffer in second.
"Keith was real good early," noted Mr. Excitement from victory lane. "When I got up through, Keith was far too ahead but I knew it was a long race so I wasn't in a panic because I knew there would be yellows. When he blew the motor though, It was time to sit up in the seat.
Hodnett held Shaffer at bay on the restart but was slowed a lap later when Brook Weibley slowed to a stop. Shaffer then tried his best to get around the Memphis, Tenn., driver on the restart but to no avail. It took until Hodnett hit traffic with eight to go for Shaffer to seriously challenge Hodnett's No. 12.
Over the next few loops, Shaffer hounded Hodnett until seizing his moment in turn one with just two to go. Running the bottom, Shaffer used lapped traffic as a pick to snare the win as he went three wide for the top spot and the $3,000 top prize, which he picked up by .87 hundredths of a second. "Right when I got to Hodnett earlier, I thought I was having motor trouble but I smelled brakes," said Shaffer. "Then, I had to hook my tow under the pedal to pull it up. I had no brakes at all but maybe that's good cause when I lost my brakes that's when I started to get them!"
Hodnett rode home second, followed by Lance Dewease, Fayetteville, Hestor and five time Open winner Fred Rahmer of Salfordville. Sixth through tenth went to Sean Michael, Allentown; Mark Smith, Newville; Alan Cole, Berwick; Young and Shawn Keen, Carlisle.
Heats for the super sprints went to Lance Dewease, Todd Shaffer and Greg Hodnett.
Polesitter Todd Reed led the first three laps of the 30-lap open for Selinsgrove's weekly sprint car division over fellow front row starter T.J. Stutts of Etters. A six-time winner in 2001, Stutts's sights were set on the $2,000 winners share early in the event as he raced wheel to wheel with Reed on the backstretch to take the lead with four down.
The red flag unfurled on the fifth lap when Tony Strine flipped outside the speedway in the fourth corner only after collecting Tracy Templin, Blane Heimbach and Tom Fraschetta. Luckily all drivers escaped injury after a lengthy delay for Strine's twisted roll cage.
Sixth starter Joe Whitcomb blasted into second on the restart but it was all Stutts at the front of the field two laps later when yellow again appeared. Whitcomb pulled event with Stutts when green replaced the yellow but all eyes soon shifted to the battle for fifth between track champ Chad Layton and Bob Camilli. With ten down, both drivers drove deep into turn three only to collide and come to a rest against the guardrail.
With Layton tagged to the rear, Stutts pulled away on the restart but it was Layton who was putting on the show, moving into fifth at the halfway point. The Harrisburg driver then moved into third with nine remaining and had just tracked down the leaders as all three front cars tested the outside guardrail with four to go only to see yellow wave on the field.
But after zooming back to the front, Layton pled no contest on the restart as Stutts and Whitcomb battled to the end for the biggest win of their careers. At the finish line, Stutts proved victorious by just .75 hundredths of a second over Whitcomb, Layton, Reed and Nate Snyder.
"Our car was real good," said Stutts. "We've been struggling the last couple months. I have to thank my cousin Todd Shaffer and the Beam team. They've been helping us. I have to thank everyone who did anything for me this year. I've been getting tired of seeing that U1 (Layton) win and I'm glad to get back to victory lane."
Joe Whitcomb, Chad Layton, Tim Higgins and T.J. Stutts won heats for the 31-car field. Daryl Stimeling won the consolation event.
After an impressive outpouring by the fans during intermission in response to this past week's national tragedies, a donation in excess of $2,800 will be made to the local chapter of the Red Cross. After an emotional tribute to the Stars and Stripes, drivers scoured the stands, returning with vast contributions including individual amounts of $100. Thank You and God Bless America!
358 Sprint Cars - 31-entries
Heat winners: Joe Whitcomb, Chad Layton, Tim Higgins, T.J. Stutts.
Consolation: Daryl Stimeling.
Feature finish: 1. T.J. Stutts, 2. Joe Whitcomb, 3. Chad Layton, 4. Todd Reed, 5. Nate Snyder, 6. Rick Hench, 7. Jim Nace, 8. Blane Heimbach, 9. Daryl Stimeling, 10. Scott Ausherman, 11. Jamie Schwartz, 12. Billy Johns 13. Tim Seiler, 14. Tim Higgins, 15. Charlie Anderson, 16. Bill Fannasy, 17. Bill Heltzel Jr., 18. Kevin Nouse, 19. Bob Camilli, 20. Tom Fraschetta, 21. Jimmy Layton, 22. Alan Krimes, 23. Tracy Templin, 24. Tony Strine.
410 Sprint Cars -- 25- entries
Heat winners: Lance Dewease, Todd Shaffer, Greg Hodnett.
Feature finish: 1. Todd Shaffer, 2. Greg Hodnett, 3. Lance Dewease, 4. Todd Hestor, 5. Fred Rahmer, 6. Sean Michael, 7. Mark Smith, 8. Alan Cole, 9. Niki Young, 10. Shawn Keen, 11. Mike Erdley, 12. Rod Stroup, 13. Troy Whitesel, 14. Daryl Stimeling, 15. Jeff Weaver, 16. Dustin Hoffman, 17. John McDonald, 18. Dan Bolger, 19. Brook Weibley, 20. Keith Kauffman, 21. Darren Eash, 22. Ron Rough, 23. Jim Campbell, 24. Mike Markey.