Selinsgrove Speedway report 2002-06-29

Nace survives for win in thrilling Selinsgrove Firecracker 40. $5,000 challenge goes unclaimed by Heimbach. SELINSGROVE, PA -- Sponsored by Middleswarth Potato Chips, the Chip Challenge was accepted but it was not claimed Saturday night at ...

Nace survives for win in thrilling Selinsgrove Firecracker 40. $5,000 challenge goes unclaimed by Heimbach.

SELINSGROVE, PA -- Sponsored by Middleswarth Potato Chips, the Chip Challenge was accepted but it was not claimed Saturday night at Selinsgrove Speedway in the running of the Firecracker 40 for sprint cars.

$5,000 was on the line if the man who earned the pole for Saturday's Firecracker 40 opted to start at the rear and could win the event and although he came close, he failed to do so. He was 20-year old Blane Heimbach of Selinsgrove.

Instead, it was experience that prevailed in the form of perennial track champion Jimmy Nace of Thompsontown. He pocketed over $1,800 for the victory.

"I'll tell ya, I'm about wore out," screamed Nace upon exiting his No. 6 sprinter after the grueling run. "I am just mentally stressed. Our motor was running hot and I was just praying we could make it."

Only one lap of the 20-mile race was put in the books when the first caution flag unfurled, finding outside front row starter Jim Nace in command over TJ Stutts and Chad Layton. The red flag appeared just one lap later for a three-car tangle in the second corner.

With Nace stretching out his lead, eyes turned to Heimbach who restarted the sixth circuit in 12th. At the quarter mark, the one-time winner was battling with Billy Dietrich for tenth and before lap 11, Heimbach was up to ninth.

But York's Adrian Shaffer was on the move as the race approached the halfway point. Running against the outside rail, the likable driver dueled with Stutts and Layton, seizing third and then losing it before one swoop netted his 21 second with a fantastic three-wide turn three move on lap 15. From there, Shaffer ran down leader Nace and drove to the outside to claim the lead on lap 19.

For the next eight circuits, Shaffer was out to the rail and down to the berm while widening his margin, at times making contact with both while staying on four wheels. However, Chad Layton motored by Nace for second on lap-22.

The volley of non-stop action was slowed with 13 laps left when Brian Buckwalter slowed on the backchute, bunching the field. The return to action found Layton lurking in second followed by Nace, Nate Snyder, Darren Eash, Stutts and Heimbach.

Shaffer had the race in the bag, pulling away from Layton with three to go when a series of events drastically changed the outcome of the exciting 40-lapper. As Shaffer went to the outside of Brian Powell to put the Jersey driver down a lap, Powell checked up resulting in disastrous contact between the pair.

After nearly steering his 21 out of a turn three spin, Shaffer backed the car into the outside rail that had led him to the lead minute's earlier, stopping action. Simultaneously, Layton slowed and pulled pitside, handing the lead back over to Nace with 15th starter Darren Eash in second followed by Snyder, Stutts and Heimbach for the dash to the checkered.

Eash threw every trick in the book at Nace over the duration but veteran Nace was up to the challenge, holding off the Maryland driver to claim his second win of the season at the oval and his third career. His margin of victory was .53 seconds.

"Cooling down the motor helped us hold off Eash," said Nace. "That really helped."

"We've been doing this so long that I'll tell you what we are going to do next week," exclaimed a shaky winner. "If you come to the track next week with a Nace shirt on, I'll give you $1.00 off admission and if you come with one of my very first shirts, I'll give you $3.00 off."

Eash rode home second followed by Stutts, Billy Dietrich and Snyder. Sixth thru tenth went to Heimbach, Brian Powell, Chad Layton, Scott Ausherman and James Layton.

Heats for the 28 entries went to Adrian Shaffer, Chad Layton and Jim Nace. James Layton won the consolation event.

Blane Heimbach walked off with the dash checkered flag, earning the first option to take the $5,000 Chip Challenge. Heimbach tied Joe Whitcomb's five-lap track record with the run. TJ Stutts claimed second in the five-lapper.

In the 25-lap late model feature, Jimmy Adams roared to the lead from the outside of the second row to wire the field for his second win of the season. Ironically, Adams drove his No. 8 to the winner's circle 30 years to the day that his father Jim Sr. performed the same feat.

Adams had to contend with the challenges of tenth starter Jeff Rine over the final ten laps of the main event. On several occasions, Rine was side by side with Adams for the top spot only to see Adams surge ahead. At the finish, Adams was driving away from Eric Hons, who took second with a pair of laps remaining.

Third went to Rine followed by Bobby Croop and Tony Adams. Late model heats went to Kerstetter, Dave Shulski and Brian Cochran. In the always exciting pro stock feature, Peanut Heintzelman took the lead from Matt Johnson on the fifth loop of the 12 lapper and then held off a bumper to bumper challenge from point leader Kyle Bachman over the rest of the distance.

For Heintzelman, the win was his third of the season at the Snyder County oval and the sixth of his career, which he took in track record time. Matt Drum won the 10-lap nightcap roadrunner feature.

Selinsgrove Speedway returns to action this weekend with back to back nights of racing on July 6 and 7.

Sponsored by Salem RV and Philips Products, Saturday night's show features the 4th Annual, 30-lap Late Model National Open paying $1,500 to win and $200 to start. Sprints, pro stocks and roadrunners will join the late models for competition. Orefield driver Chris Shuey is the defending Late Model Open winner. Late Models will draw for starting spots in their heat events.

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 30-lap event will pay $4,000 to the winner and it carries a raindate of July 8.

Todd Shaffer was the winner of last season's Speedweek event at Selinsgrove and he along with Mike Erdley and Todd Hestor will sign autographs prior to the show from 5:30 until 6 p.m. The first 1,000 fans passing through the gates will receive a free bag of chips courtesy of Middleswarth Potato Chips.

The Speedweek finale will be an open-wheel doubleheader including the 358 sprint cars. 358 drivers will draw for starting spots in their heat events and the top 12 will redraw for starting position in the 25-lap feature.


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About this article
Series Sprint , Stock car
Drivers Matthew Johnson