Selinsgrove rainout gives Speedweek title to Hodnett
SELINSGROVE - The Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek race scheduled for Selinsgrove Speedway Sunday night was rained out when a thunderstorm hit the speedway about 5 p.m., giving the Speedweek title to Greg Hodnett, 44, of Thomasville. Hodnett just took the point lead on Saturday night after a fifth place finish at Port Royal Speedway.
"I started with the points lead and the good thing is I ended with the points lead," said Hodnett. "It was a great team effort. I was fortunate to have a good run last night to help us. A couple guys had some problems that helped us out. That's the way it goes."
Sam Hafertepe Jr. of Sunnyvale, Texas, led the points for most of the week, but qualified poorly at Port Royal and was forced to start last in the main event and finished 12th.
The chase for this year's Speedweek title was very close headed into Selinsgrove. Fred Rahmer, who has 13 Speedweek championships, finished second to Hodnett and was only 15 points behind him. Rahmer's best finish was a runner-up at Lincoln's first race.
Stevie Smith finished third in points and was 24 back of Hodnett. Hafertepe fell to fourth after Port Royal, but was still in contention and finished 27 points behind Hodnett.
Seven different drivers won Speedweek races and seven different drivers finished second.
The highest car count was Port Royal with 40 followed by Lincoln's second race with 39. Other car counts: Lincoln's first race (36); Williams Grove (34 both races); Hagerstown (30); Big Diamond (24). That's an average of 34 cars per race.
A total of 72 drivers participated in at least one race.
In its 23-year history, there have been 155 Speedweek races held at 12 different tracks with 32 different winners.
Rahmer still leads the way with 30, but hasn't won during Speed Week since 2008. Hodnett now has 23 wins and Dewease 19.
Selinsgrove's rainout was the first time the track has cancelled a Speedweek race since it started hosting the series in 1992.
Earlier Speedweek races
At Port Royal Speedway on Saturday night, it was Selinsgrove's Blane Heimbach passing Doug Esh with one lap remaining to win the Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek race. Heimbach led the first 14 laps after passing Esh at the start. Esh passed Heimbach in turn three following a lap 13 restart and led until Heimbach passed him back. Stevie Smith, Mike Erdley and Greg Hodnett completed the top five.
Danny Dietrich passed Donnie Kreitz with 12 laps to go and would win $10,000 in the Mitch Smith Memorial at Williams Grove Speedway on Friday night. Kreitz held off Hodnett to finish second, while Marks and Logan Schuchart rounded out the top five.
On Thursday night, it was Stevie Smith earning $7,000 by winning the Kevin Gobrecht Memorial at Lincoln Speedway. He held off Brent Marks and Alan Krimes in a very close finish.
In earlier Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek action, it was NASCAR driver Dave Blaney scoring the win at Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway on Wednesday night over Danny Lasoski, Lance Dewease, Hodnett and Rahmer.
Shultz wins Saturday feature
Carlisle's Jason Shultz passed Pat Cannon on lap 21 to win the Firecracker 30 for the 358 sprint cars at Selinsgrove Speedway on Saturday night. Cannon started on the pole and led the first 20 laps before sixth-starting Shultz drove by for the win.
Shultz earned $2,000 for his third win of the year and 11th of his career at Selinsgrove. Shultz led Cannon by only 30 points in the track championship race headed into the event. T.J. Stutts, Kevin Nouse and Larry Kelleher completed the top five. Selinsgrove's Cody Keller set fast time with a lap of 17.936.
Lebanon's Jim Bernheisel won the 25-lap late model feature over Danville drivers Jeff Rine and Steve Campbell. Jim's son, Bryan, finished fourth and Dylan Yoder was fifth.
Brad Mitch won the pro stock feature over A.J. Stroup, Nathan Long, Kyle Bachman and Troy Miller. Bob Bussey won the 12-lap roadrunner feature over Brian Johnson, Dustin Snook, Brandon Shultz and Ray Rothfuss.
Selinsgrove takes next weekend off before returning on July 20 with Fan Appreciation Night and a four-division show featuring the 358 sprints, late models, pro stocks and roadrunners.
Other area racing
Meme DeSantis won $3,300 in the 33-lap Georgie Stevenson Memorial for 358 modifieds at Big Diamond Speedway in Forestville on Friday night. He beat Craig Von Dohren, Jeff Strunk, Doug Manmiller and Ray Swinehart.
In the 20-lap main event for the sportsman modifieds, it was Doug Hendricks getting the win over Billy Moyer Jr., Shawn Light, Kevin Beach Jr. and Mike Lisowski.
Jeremy Becker won the 20-lap roadrunner feature by defeating Chris Holland, Glenn Rowan, Kyle Killian and Ricky Bender.
Brad McClelland won the 358 sprint feature at Trail-Way Speedway in Hanover on Friday night. Jeff Rohrbaugh, Tim Wagaman, Austin Hogue and Isaac Sneeringer rounded out the top five. Gene Knaub won the 358 late model feature.
At Susquehanna Speedway Park in Newberrytown, it was Logan Wager winning the 305 sprint feature, Jared Umbenhauer winning the sportsman modifieds, Tyler Walton in the 600 cc micro sprints and Scott Gobrecht in the legend cars.