Dietrich gets second victory in Speedweek
SELINSGROVE — Danny Dietrich dominated the Jan Opperman / Dick Bogar Memorial Sunday night at Selinsgrove Speedway for his second straight Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek victory. His win was worth $5,000 and unofficially gave him the Speedweek point lead.
During the first half of the 30-lap main event, Dietrich battled Rico Abreu for the lead while they raced through heavy lapped traffic.
Dietrich, of Gettysburg, finally took command with a pass off turn four and set sail from there, never to be challenged again over the second half of the feature.
“It was pretty exciting about half way through,” Dietrich said. “We did run a harder tire and I think that paid off. Sometimes you have to take chances.”
Dietrich believes his harder tire compound held up better the second half of the feature as he pulled away from second place.
“I think they faded,” Dietrich said. “I look at how hard my tire is and how bald it is and how wore out it was. They had to be in worse shape than I was. We won the race. That’s all that matters. It’s fun in the seat, too. It’s fun because we’re winning. You probably go talk to somebody else and they’re not having as much fun. We’ll take it while we can get it.”
Dietrich realized he was cruising after taking the lead back from Abreu.
“I felt like it once I got back by Rico,” Dietrich said. “I was able to truck around lapped cars. I knew the bottom got good because (TJ) Stutts drove back by us all. I knew the top was going away, but as good as I was around the top, I knew we were going to be alright.”
Abreu has had a strong start to Speedweek.
“Danny Dietrich’s the best in the business when it comes to racing in Pennsylvania and racing Sprint cars in general,” Abreu said. “I got going and I caught him and then I passed him and I just didn’t make the best decisions. It was hard to judge your pace off the lapped traffic. I knew Larson was coming. It was a matter of hitting my marks. If I could have got him and then had a caution, or if I could have cleared the lapped car, I think I would have been OK. It was a hell of show right up on the fence.”
Dietrich grabbed the lead from the pole over Abreu as Freddie Rahmer and Brock Zearfoss battled for third. Abreu stayed close to Dietrich and Zearfoss was not far behind either. Kyle Larson took third from Rahmer as they raced into turn three.
The top five cars were close as they raced around heavy lapped traffic.
The sliders for the lead soon began as Dietrich and Abreu traded the top spot. The next three were just as close trading positions as well.
The battle raged for the top spot as they traded sliders and raced side-by-side as well.
However, Abreu started to fade and Dietrich passed him back one final time coming low off turn four on lap 18 and then pulled away.
Dietrich cruised away from the battle for a top five spot behind him.
Kyle Larson challenged Abreu for third and then had to fend off Anthony Macri.
Dietrich’s final margin of victory was 5.1 seconds over Abreu. Larson got back by Marci to finish third. Zearfoss completed the top five. Freddie Rahmer, Brent Marks, Ryan Smith, Blane Heimbach and Logan Wagner rounded out the top 10.
Zearfoss set quick time over the 33-car field with a lap of 17.179 seconds. Heat races were won by Smith, Larson, Dietrich and Rahmer. Justin Whittall won the B-main.
Speedweek returns to Lincoln Speedway Monday night for a $7,000 to win main event.
Selinsgrove Speedway (30 laps)
1. Danny Dietrich ($5,000), 2. Rico Abreu, 3. Kyle Larson, 4. Anthony Macri, 5. Brock Zearfoss, 6. Freddie Rahmer, 7. Brent Marks, 8. Ryan Smith, 9. Blane Heimbach, 10. Logan Wagner. 11. Sammy Swindell, 12. Dylan Cisney, 13. Lucas Wolfe, 14. Kyle Moody, 15. Mike Wagner, 16. Jared Esh, 17. Kyle Reinhardt, 18. Chase Dietz, 19. Mike Walter II, 20. Justin Whittal, 21. TJ Stutts, 22. Curt Stroup, 23. Chad Trout, 24. Mark Smith.