Danny Dietrich Scores Thrilling PA Speedweek Finale At Selinsgrove; Brent Marks Clinches Title

Story By: STEVE INCH / SELINSGROVE SPEEDWAY – SELINSGROVE, PA – The 32nd Annual PA Speedweek Sprint Car Series came down to a thrilling pass by Danny Dietrich of Gettysburg with two laps to race in Sunday night’s 30-lap Opperman-Bogar-Heintzelman Memorial at Selinsgrove Speedway.

Dietrich drove by Brent Marks of Myerstown, who was going for his fifth win in a row and sixth in the nine-race series, in traffic to score the $10,099 victory. It was Dietrich’s first win in the series and at the track this season at the wheel of the Kauffman Racing/Weikert’s Livestock No. 48.

Marks clinched his first career PA Speedweek championship, finishing Sunday night’s race just 1.3 seconds behind Dietrich at the checkered flag. He was also the night’s Fast Tees Fast Qualifier with a lap time of 16.933.

Marks earned the $5,000 Selinsgrove Ford 10-for-10 bonus as he was the only driver to finish in the top 10 in all the series races. In fact, Marks finished in the top three positions in every event.

Kenny Heffner of Watsontown secured the lead at the halfway point of the 20-lap PASS/IMCA 305 sprint car feature and went on to score his first career win at Selinsgrove.

This Saturday, July 9, Selinsgrove Speedway will present the 22nd annual Mach 1 Chassis Open for 360 sprint cars paying $5,000 to win. Joining the 360 sprint cars will be the 305 sprint cars and roadrunners. The Eastern Museum of Motor Racing will also have a classic race car display. Gates will open at 5 p.m.

The 410 sprint car main event was a battle royale right out of the gate when polesitter Steve Buckwalter and third-place starter Brent Marks swapped the lead before the completion of the first lap.

For the first five laps, Marks and second-place starter Danny Dietrich closely chased Buckwalter. On the sixth circuit, Marks took command of the field with an inside pass on the backstretch. Sixth-place starter Justin Peck joined the battle in the fourth spot.

Dietrich advanced to second on lap 10 and began to reel in Marks. Meanwhile, an intense battle for the third position unfolded between Peck and fifth-place starter Rico Abreu.

Buckwalter’s solid night came to an end on lap 16 when his car rolled to a stop in turn four. When the race resumed, Marks maintained the lead using the bottom of the race track while Dietrich found momentum around the top.

The final 10 laps turned into an intense chase to the checkered flag as Marks and Dietrich navigated their way through slower traffic. Mike Walter, who started 11th, stormed into the top five in the closing laps.

Dietrich made the winning pass by Marks using the outside lane in turn two on the 28th lap. Marks attempted to reclaim the lead to no avail. Dietrich took the checkered flag by just 1.3 seconds over Marks, Peck, Walter, and Abreu.

In the 305 sprint car feature, second-place starter Josh Spicer pulled into the early lead over fourth-place starter Kenny Heffner. A caution flag on lap five for a spin in turns three and four regrouped the field.

Through the midway point of the race, Spicer and Heffner see-sawed for the lead. On the 10th circuit, Heffner secured the lead and began to pull away from the field. With four laps to go, fifth-place starter Tyler Snook drove into second and set his sights on the leader.

At the finish, Heffner was victorious by just 1.7 seconds over Snook, Spicer, 10th-place starter Austin Reed, and eighth-place starter Ken Duke.

410 Sprint Cars – 23 Entries

30-Lap A-Main: 1) 48 Danny Dietrich ($10, 099) 2) 19M Brent Marks 3) 13 Justin Peck 4) 33W Michael Walter II 5) 24 Rico Abreu 6) 12 Blane Heimbach 7) 5 Dylan Cisney 8) 27 Devon Borden 9) 5T Ryan Timms 10) 11 TJ Stutts 11) 6 Ryan Smith 12) 51 Freddie Rahmer 13) 5W Lucas Wolfe 14) 35 Jason Shultz 15) 44 Dylan Norris 16) 99M Kyle Moody 17) 39 Chase Dietz 18) 17B Steve Buckwalter 19) 19R Matt Campbell 20) 91 Anthony Fiore 21) M1 Mark Smith 22) 11P Niki Young 23) 9 Ryan Linder

Heat Winners: Brent Marks, Devon Borden, Steve Buckwalter

Time Trials: 1) 19M Brent Marks 16.933 2) 24 Rico Abreu 17.274 3) 48 Danny Dietrich 17.277 4) 13 Justin Peck 17.325 5) 27 Devon Borden 17.455 6) 17B Steve Buckwalter 17.593 7) 5T Ryan Timms 17.599 8) 11 TJ Stutts 17.602 9) 5W Lucas Wolfe 17.632 10) 5 Dylan Cisney 17.763 11) 33W Michael Walter 17.798 12) 39 Chase Dietz 17.843 13) 99M Kyle Moody 17.863 14) 35 Jason Shultz 17.903 15) 6 Ryan Smith 17.959 16) 12 Blane Heimbach 17.964 17) 19R Matt Campbell 18.055 18) 91 Anthony Fiore 18.061 19) M1 Mark Smith 18.258 20) 44 Dylan Norris 18.297 21) 51 Freddie Rahmer 18.396 22) 11P Nikki Young 18.930 23) 9 Ryan Liner 18.990

305 Sprint Cars – 27 Entries

20-Lap A-Main: 1) 97 Kenny Heffner 2) 56 Tyler Snook 3) 71 Josh Spicer 4) 34 Austin Reed 5) 67 Ken Duke Jr. 6) 20 Doug Dodson 7) 54 Mike Melair 8) 1M Paul Moyer 9) 25 Dustin Young 10) 0Z Zach Rhodes 11) 2 Erin Statler 12) 7 Drew Young 13) 36 Domenic Melair 14) 61 Johny Scarborough 15) 5J Logan Jones 16) 10 Jake Waters 17) 46 Mike Alleman 18) 17 Owen Dimm 19) 98 Chad Phillips 20) 21M Cassandra Minium 21) 14X Cale Reigle 22) 03 Matthew Swift 23) 23 Nathan Gramley 24) 31 Roger Weaver 25) 95 Garrett Bard 26) 19 Kruz Kepner 27) 5 Logan Spahr

Heat Winners: Erin Statler, Josh Spicer, Mike Melair

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