SELINSGROVE, PA – Selinsgrove Speedway officials waited out a few afternoon rain showers before race cars took to the smooth and fast racing surface Saturday evening and set several new track records.
Jason Shultz of Carlisle drove to his first win of the season in the 25-lap 360 sprint car feature, holding off a late-race charge by opening night winner Davie Franek of Wantage, N.J. The $2,000 victory was Shultz’s 16th career at Selinsgrove at the wheel of the Horstcraft Millworks No. 29.
In qualifying, Cody Keller of Selinsgrove set a new eight-lap track record for 360 sprint cars in 2:15.76.
Bryan Bernheisel of Jonestown shared the front row with his father Jim Bernheisel for the start of the 25-lap season opener for super late models and drove to his fifth career Selinsgrove victory worth $2,000.
Brad Mitch of McClure made his first start of the season in the pro stock division’s biggest race and became the third driver to win three A&A Auto Stores Pro Stock 20s. Mitch collected $1,000 for the win in the 17th annual race. Shaun Lawton of Bloomsburg set a new one-lap track record of 23.455.
Ryan Zook of Mifflintown made a thrilling last lap pass coming off the fourth turn for his second win of the season in the 12-lap roadrunner race.
Selinsgrove Speedway will present the highly-anticipated first-ever appearance by the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series (ASCS) National Tour at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 5, presented by Eleven Oaks Farm and Mach 1 Chassis. The race will pay $5,000 to win and $400 to start. The limited late models and pro stocks will share the racing card with the 360 sprint cars. Track gates will open at 4 p.m
Polesitter Jason Shultz bolted into the lead at the start of the 360 sprint car main event. Shultz had third-place starter Ryan Kissinger chasing him with second-place starter Kevin Nagy in the third position.
On the eighth lap, a three-car tangle involving Larry Kelleher, Mallie Shuster, and Chad Layton in turn four brought out the caution flag and regrouped the field for a lap nine restart. When the race resumed, Shultz held a commanding lead over Kissinger, third-place starter and defending champion Davie Franek, and sixth-place starter Curt Michael.
On the 15th circuit, Franek made an inside pass in turn one by Kissinger for the second position and set his sights on Shultz. In the final five laps, the leaders had to navigate their way through traffic, allowing Franek to gain real estate on Shultz.
Franek made a last-ditch effort to steal the lead and win away from Shultz on the final lap but came up just .49 of a second short at the finish line. Shultz was victorious over Franek, Kissinger, Michael, and fifth-place starter Derek Locke.
Jim Bernheisel started on the pole with his son Bryan Bernheisel sharing the front row for the drop of the green flag in the super late model opener. B. Bernheisel beat out of his father racing into the first turn for the early race lead. J. Bernheisel chased his son around the sweeping half-mile oval while defending champion and fourth-place starter Hayes Mattern raced in the third spot.
On the fifth circuit, a close battle for the third spot unfolded between Mattern and sixth-place starter Gene Knaub. The caution flag unfurled on lap six when Dan Green’s car spun in turn four. Green’s car later caught fire and rolled to a stop in the same turn on lap 23. He escaped injury.
At the halfway point, the Bernheisels raced in the first and second spots while Mattern, Knaub, and third-place starter Randy Christine held down top five positions. Mattern made several attempts to get around J. Bernheisel for second to no avail.
In the closing laps, Knaub showed some speed and advanced to second in heavy lapped traffic. At the checkered flag, B. Bernheisel was victorious by just .98 of a second over Knaub. J. Bernheisel, Mattern, and seventh-place starter Brett Schadel completed the top five.
Second-place starter Brad Mitch drove into the lead at the start of the Pro Stock 20 and never looked back. Mitch was trailed by fast qualifier Shaun Lawton for all 20 laps while third-place starter Brandon Moser held the position for the duration of the event.
The battle on the track was for the fourth and fifth positions between fourth-place starter Kyle Bachman and sixth-place starter AJ Hoffman. In the final two laps, Moser closed in on Lawton in a race for second while Mitch drove to a 1.2-second margin of victory.
Lawton finished second with Moser, Hoffman, and eighth-place starter Cory Long rounding out the top five.
The night-cap roadrunner feature produced the most exciting finish. Second-place starter Smith Cope powered into the lead and was closely chased by third-place starter Ryan Zook. At the halfway point, a duel for the lead unfolded between Smith and Zook as well as for the third position between fifth-place starter Bob Bussey and eighth-place starter Will Brunson.
On the final lap, Cope, who was seeking his first career win, slipped high in turn four and allowed Zook to make a dive to the bottom of the race track. Coming down the homestretch to the checkered flag, Zook edged out Cope by just .26 of a second for the win.
Cope settled for second followed by Bussey, Brunson, and sixth-place starter and one-time winner Keith Bissinger.
SELINSGROVE SPEEDWAY RACE SUMMARY – 28 April 2018
360 Sprints – 18 Entries
25-Lap A-Main: 1) 29 Jason Shultz 2) 28F Davie Franek 3) 66 Ryan Kissinger 4) 5G Curt Michael 5) 77 Derek Locke 6) 99K Cody Keller 7) 45 Kevin Nagy 8) 67 Justin Whittall 9) 47 Adam Carberry 10) 76 Larry Kelleher 11) 11 Jim Shuster 12) 5 Brian Nornhold 13) 71 Charlie Anderson 14) 83 Larry McVey 15) 49 Mallie Shuster 16) 35 Chad Layton 17) 99 Shane Yost 18) 21 Eric Valinsky Heat Winners: Cody Keller, Adam Carberry Late Models – 18 Entries 25-Lap A-Main: 1) 119B Bryan Bernheisel 2) 1 Gene Knaub 3) 171 Jim Bernheisel 4) 9 Hayes Matten 5) 22 Brett Schadel 6) 27 Jim Yoder 7) 61 Ken Trevitz 8) 63 Nathan Long 9) 74 Randy Christine 10) 62 Devin Frey 11) 7M Meade Hahn 12) 10 Dave Stamm 13) 46 Dan Green 14) 88 Ernie Millon 15) 5M David Michael 16) 36W Tyler Wagner 17) 32 Shawn Jones 18) 79 Dave Bowsman Heat Winners: Jim Bernheisel, Bryan Bernheisel Pro Stocks – 12 Entries 20-Lap A-Main: 1) 10M Brad Mitch 2) 92 Shaun Lawton 3) 8M Brandon Moser 4) 6C AJ Hoffman 5) 00 Cory Long 6) 11B Jake Buck 7) S8 Andrew Shoop 8) 14C Bill Conrad 9) 99B Kyle Bachman 10) 89 John Schoch 11) 40 Tommy Slanker 12) 85 Terry Lauver Heat Winners: Shaun Lawton, Brad Mitch Time Trials: 1) 92 Shaun Lawton 23.455 2) 10M Brad Mitch 23.465 3) 8M Brandon Moser 23.552 4) 6C AJ Hoffman 23.598 5) S8 Andrew Shoop 23.677 6) 99B Kyle Bachman 23.695 7) 40 Tommy Slanker 23.742 8) 00 Cory Long 23.828 9) 11B Jake Buck 24.625 10) 14C Bill Conrad 25.015 11) 89 John Schoch 25.278 12) 85 Terry Lauver DNT Roadrunners – 12 Entries
12-Lap A-Main: 1) 28Z Ryan Zook 2) 1 Smith Cope 3) 76 Bob Bussey 4) 8B Will Brunson 5) 11 Keith Bissinger 6) 12 Tom Underwood 7) 28 Nick Decker 8) 7S Butch Shaffer 9) 7 Jake Jones 10) 992 Terry Kramer 11) 2B Brian Mabus 12) 44C Cory Collier
Heat Winners: Jake Jones, Smith Cope