Selinsgrove Speedway report 2002-5-18

SELINSGROVE, PA -- He's back! Chad Layton is on a tear at Selinsgrove Speedway. He proved so on Saturday during Auto Locator Night at the speedway as the Harrisburg driver picked up $1,425 while taking another win in the track's 25-lap sprint...

SELINSGROVE, PA -- He's back! Chad Layton is on a tear at Selinsgrove Speedway. He proved so on Saturday during Auto Locator Night at the speedway as the Harrisburg driver picked up $1,425 while taking another win in the track's 25-lap sprint car feature.

"I have to thank everyone for running in the track and giving me my line," said Layton of the speedway surface to his liking after days of saturating rains. Layton is notorious for sticking to the bottom at the Snyder County oval.

Elsewhere, Scott Haus won the 25-lap late model feature over Jeff Rine and Kyle Bachman put win number three in the books in the pro stock division. Courtesy of the Locator, all three winners received sizable increases in respective payoffs.

Only one lap of the 25-lap sprint car feature was put in the books before the event was red flagged for a nasty two-car flip in the second corner involving Brian Buckwalter and Ryan Moyer. Buckwalter's mount left the speedway but there were no injuries.

Another soft rollover hampered the restart but when the race resumed, polesitter Tim Hershey continued to lead over Joe Whitcomb and Troy Long. Aboard his No. 6, Dillsburg's Hershey drove away from Whitcomb during the next several circuits before Whitcomb began reeling him in. Driving the 71, Whitcomb, of Millersburg, caught the leader just past the ten-lap mark and ducked underneath Layton for the lead in the first corner on the 13th go-around. Whitcomb then opened up a half-straightaway lead over the field.

Meanwhile, 12th starter Layton pulled the same move on Hershey a circuit later and set his sights on the leader. Whitcomb was in traffic with ten to go and it was that traffic that cost him the top spot at the hands of Layton.

With just six laps remaining, Whitcomb came upon the backmarker of Bill Fannasy and when Fannasy drifted into Whitcomb's chosen path, Layton motored by in the first turn to assume command.

Two final cautions slowed the race late but proved to be no challenge for Layton, who drove to his third consecutive speedway win by nearly a straightaway over Whitcomb.

"Joe is a good clean racer, I gave him enough room," said Layton of his pass for the win. "In lapped traffic you have to slice and dice. Hopefully I gave him enough room."

"This Don Ott engine just runs. If people want to win races, you have to have a Don Ott bullett," said the winner.

Hershey rode home third followed by Jason Schultz and TJ Stutts. Sixth through tenth went to Justin Zimmerman, Jim Nace, Blane Heimbach, Nate Snyder and Troy Long.

Sprint car heats for the 26 entries were won by Hershey, Whitcomb and Brian Powell. James Layton won the consolation.

Liverpool's Dale Kerstetter zoomed from the eighth starting spot into the lead on the first lap of the extra-distance 25 lap late model feature. Using the outside line, Kerstetter passed Tony Adams, Alan Sagi, Jeff Rine, Brian Cochran and Bobby Croop among others. With six laps down, 12th starter Scott Haus motored into second spot and set his sights on the leader. In a matter of moments, Haus caught the leader on the lightning fast half-mile oval and ducked low for the lead on the ninth circuit. A caution on lap nine remanded the lead back to Kerstetter however.

It took Hamburg's Haus a few circuits to garner enough strength to reclaim the lead over Kerstetter but he successfully completed the move to lead the 13th loop.

Haus was never challenged after taking command as no one could touch the high-flying 33.

"My hats off to the track for running this tonight considering the weather," said Haus. "My hats off to everyone for being out here in the cold." Danville's Jeff Rine claimed second over Kerstetter with nine remaining. Kerstetter settled for third followed by Croop and last week's winner Tony Adams.

Late model heats were picked up by Eric Hons, Tim Wilson, Tony Adams and Scott Haus.

Jason Covert won the last chance race for the late models. Kyle Bachman took the lead from Matt Johnson on the sixth lap of the 12-lap pro stock feature and then drove to a straightaway win, his third of the season at the speedway. To get to the front, Bachman waged a spirited battle with Peanut Heintzelman, who eventually rode home second. Rick Bixler won the 10-lap nightcap roadrunner feature, his second of the season.

Selinsgrove Speedway returns to racing action on May 25 with the 30-lap, $1,500 to win Jack Gunn Memorial for sprints sponsored by HPI of Selinsgrove. Liverpool drive TJ Stutts is the defending winner of the 22nd Annual event, which honors the extremely successful former promoter. Fireworks highlight the program, which also includes increased purses for the late model and pro stock divisions. Roadrunners will also compete with gates for the holiday weekend program opening at 5 p.m. and racing slated for 7 p.m.

Hundreds of giveaways, including balloons, shirts, hats, sunglasses and much more will be distributed to fans courtesy of Housing Products Incorporated. For the competitors, HPI is embellishing the sprint, late model and pro stock purses to the tune of $1,500. The top-three finishers in each division will receive an increased payoff.

A huge two-day weekend comes up June 1 and 2 when the oval hosts a regular four-division program sponsored by Philips Products of Selinsgrove on Saturday, June 1.

The speedway then returns to action the next night, Sunday, June 2 with the Inaugural Jan Opperman for 410 sprints and Super Sportsmen. The kickoff of the Middleswarth Potato Chips Susquehanna Valley 410 Sprint Series, the 30-lap memorial will feature the $10,000 chip challenge. If one of the front-row starters opts to go to the rear and can win the already prestigious event, he will take home $10,000.

In speedway news, it has been announced that the June 15 program at Selinsgrove will be highlighted by the Dave's Lawn Care Sprint Car Dash for Cash. June 15 will also be the second of three scheduled camera and autograph nights and the program carries sponsorship from Penn Lyon Homes of Selinsgrove.

Sponsor of Nate Snyder's No. 56 sprint car, Dave's Lawn Care of Halifax will post $500 to the winner of a five-lap dash on June 15. Contestants for the high-dollar, small-distance event will include the first and second place finishers from each of the nights sprint car heats.


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About this article
Series Sprint , Stock car
Drivers Matthew Johnson