SELINSGROVE, Pa. — Mark Smith has won a lot of races in four different open-wheel divisions throughout his career at Selinsgrove Speedway.
On Saturday night, he finally captured what had been an elusive first victory in the Mach 1 Chassis 360 Sprint Car Open after making an exciting late-race pass of Pat Cannon.
Smith earned $5,075 for the win in the 30-lap championship race at the wheel of the CRC Brake Cleaners/NTK Spark Plugs No. M1. It was Smith’s 29th overall 358-360 sprint car win at the track.
Polesitter and former four-time 360 Open winner Blane Heimbach took the lead at the drop of the green flag in the main event. Heimbach was trailed by second-place starter Davie Franek for the first lap until sixth-place starter Pat Cannon stormed into second. A lap later, third-place starter Michael Walter got by Franek for the third spot.
On the fourth lap, a water line reportedly broke loose from the engine block on Heimbach’s car and ended his hopes of a fifth victory in the race. Cannon inherited the lead and had Walter and Franek lined up behind him.
On the sixth lap, fifth-place starter Smith took the third position and set his sites on the leaders.
At the halfway mark, Cannon led Walter, Smith, seventh-place starter Jason Shultz, and 11th-place starter Derek Locke. On the 18th lap Smith got by Walter for second and started to reel in Cannon.
The final caution flag unfurled on lap 26 when Brett Wright stopped in turn four with a flat tire. On the ensuing restart a war on wheels unfolded between Cannon and Smith for the lead and win.
With two laps to go, Smith made the winning pass using the inside line on the frontstretch. He went on to take the checkered flag by the slimmest of margins over Cannon, Shultz, Locke and Walter.
Garrett Bard scored his third Selinsgrove win of the season in the 20-lap 305 sprint car feature, while Adam Campbell notched his first career roadrunner win in the division’s 12-lap race.
Feature (30 laps): 1) M1 Mark Smith ($5,075) 2) 23 Pat Cannon 3) 35 Jason Shultz 4) 77 Derek Locke 5) 33 Michael Walter 6) 27 Devin Borden 7) 63 Josh Weller 8) 79 Jordan Thomas 9) 47 Adam Carberry 10) 7 Alex Bright 11) 28F Davie Franek 12) 4S John Smith 13) 3 Todd Gracey 14) 66 Ryan Kissinger 15) 75 Nash Ely 16) 11 Ryan Stillwaggon 17) 23T John Stehman 18) 669 Brandon McGough 19) 1Q Thomas Radivoy 20) 14B Brett Wright 21) 12 Blane Heimbach 22) 07 Colby Womer 23) 10K Joe Kata III 24) 5Z Zach Burd