Marks, Wolfe secure Speedweek titles
SELINSGROVE Brent Marks started on the pole and led all 30 laps to win the Jan Opperman Memorial Sunday night at Selinsgrove Speedway. It was the Pennsylvania Speedweek finale.
“This is awesome,” said Marks. “We’ve had a lot of bad luck this season. I feel like we should have three or four wins this year and this is our first. My last win was the Ray Tilley (Classic) here last year.”
Despite a flip during warm-ups and a blown engine during his heat race, Lucas Wolfe finished fifth and clinched the 2014 Speedweek championship by six points over Greg Hodnett.
Marks started on the pole and grabbed the early lead over third starter Mike Erdley and second starter Kyle Reinhardt. Hodnett was running fifth before being passed by Blane Heimbach.
Marks got his first win of the season and second career at Selinsgrove by 3.587 seconds over Heimbach, Erdley, Reinhardt and Wolfe. Blaney, Hodnett, Ryan Smith, Mike Walter Sr. and Chad Layton completed the top 10.
“It was a miserable night, but we were able to get enough at the end,” said Wolfe. “Greg is tough and they were going to be the car to beat. We were able to overcome some of the extra things that happened tonight and this week and able to put together a good enough point score to win it.”
The eight-lap heat races were won by Hodnett, Blane Heimbach and Danny Dietrich.
It was a tough start for Wolfe, who had a front axle break at the end of hot laps. He slammed the first turn wall and flipped. The Zemco crew, along with others, went to work and got the car fixed for his time trial lap. He set fast time for the sixth time in eight races. Hodnett set the sixth fastest time so Wolfe was 14 points ahead heading into the heat races.
“It has been an interesting night thus far,” said Wolfe as he accepted his $300 for fast time. “I have to thank everybody that came over and helped us get it back together in time to make our qualifying spot and go out and set a good lap. It’s been a busy night. Hopefully, things will calm down and we can focus on the rest of the night. I was fortunate to slow the car down a little bit before impact. It was a pretty minor crash for Selinsgrove with the speeds we’re going here. I’m very fortunate to be standing here with quick time.”
Wolfe’s quick time gave him a 14-point advantage heading into the heat races. Both drivers were in the first heat race, but Wolfe stopped on the backstretch with a blown engine and was pushed to the pit area. Hodnett won the heat and regained the point lead by four. No B-main was held.
Wolfe earned about $3,000 for the title and Hodnett $1,700 for second.
PORT ROYAL After having a fast car all week, but not finding victory lane, Lucas Wolfe finally put a whole night together to score the win Saturday night at the Port Royal Speedway in the seventh race of this year’s Sprint Car Speedweek.
Wolfe, a Mechanicsburg native, was tracking down leader Dave Blaney when Blaney slowed with a blown right rear tire with 10 laps to go.
Wolfe, who started sixth after setting his fifth fast time of the series, inherited the lead and controlled the final 10 laps to score his first career Port win worth $5,000.
“The car was really good,” said Wolfe. “We were able to weather the storm early, let the car come in a little bit and get the wing in the right spot. Once we got to traffic, we could attack. I was able to run high if I needed to, but the bottom was the ideal spot. It was a great night for us. I’m glad to finally win a race at Port Royal. I’ve always enjoyed racing here.”
Wolfe caught traffic with two laps left, but didn’t move out of line to pass. Wolfe’s strategy allowed Smith to close on the final lap, but Wolfe would get the victory over Smith and Esh. Greg Hodnett and Curt Michael followed.
“I was so good on the bottom that I figured it was going to be difficult for them to go around me, so I stayed on the bottom,” said Wolfe.
Mike Erdley started 13th and finished sixth and Brent Marks raced from 12th to seventh. Heimbach finished eighth. Danny Dietrich came from 23rd to ninth and Kyle Reinhardt completed the top 10 after starting 17th.
Wolfe’s quick lap of 15.168 seconds was a new track record. It was his fifth quick time in the six races that he’s competed in. He skipped the Lincoln event due to the birth of his daughter.
The eight-lap heat races were won by Blaney, Lincoln Speedweek winner Kyle Moody, Esh and Nate Snyder. Kyle Reinhardt won the B-main.
Hodnett and Wolfe were tied for the Speedweek point lead headed into the Sunday night finale at Selinsgrove Speedway. They both had 895 points.
In the 20-lap super late model feature, Matt Parks of Three Springs grabbed the lead from Tim Fedder following a lap eight restart and would go on to win his first race of the season. Mike Lupfer, Mitch Hack, Tim Smith Jr. and Justin Kann followed Parks.
Bill Powell led all 15 laps to win the extreme stock feature.