By Shawn Wood
For The Daily Item
A week after finishing second in the season opener, Sunbury’s Mark Smith dominated the 67th-season opening race for the United Racing Company on Saturday night at Selinsgrove Speedway.
Other winners on Saturday night were Brad Mitch (pro stocks), Steve Campbell (late models) and Keith Bissinger (roadrunners).
For Smith, it was his second URC career win and his sixth 358-360 sprint car feature win at the track.
“I have to thank Mike Walter for giving me the pole position with the revenge draw,” Smith said. “Hopefully we can repay the favor some time.”
Smith’s lead on the initial start was wiped out when Colby Womer hit the Turn 2 wall to bring out the caution.
On the restart, Smith jumped out to a sizable lead as he moved into lapped traffic on lap 8.
“This is a brand new motor and it’s only the second race on it,” Smith said “We came back tonight with a whole different setup. One of my crew guys asked why I was going to change things. I said I think we can be better.”
Bloomsburg’s Ryan Kissinger, who started second, used lapped traffic to close in Robbie Stillwaggon after falling back a bit. He caught Stillwaggon on lap 13 as the two battled for second while Smith continued to widen his lead.
“It was a rough night last week and it was a lot of long nights in the shop,” Kissinger said. “If the car had come in sooner, we could have given Robbie and Mark a good challenge,”
By lap 15, Stillwaggon had dispensed with Kissinger and was more than four seconds behind Smith.
The caution flew on lap 17 when Josh Weller, who was running fourth at the time, spun in Turns 1 and 2, which erased Smith’s near five-second lead.
On the double-file restart, Smith took the inside lane and took off while former Selinsgrove regular Davie Franek moved into third past Kissinger. Kissinger got back by him on lap 19.
Smith crossed the finish line by a little over a second over Stillwaggon, with Kissinger, Franek and Larry Kelleher rounding out the top five.
Sixth through 10th were Walter, Derek Locke, Pat Cannon, Randy West and T.J. Stutts.
Heats for the 31 sprint cars were won by Will Eggimann, Walter and Stutts. Jason Shultz won the consolation race.
Jeff Rine led the first six laps of the 25-lap late model feature before pulling into the pits with mechanical issues.
Campbell, who was running second at the time, inherited the lead and went on to win his 45th late model feature and his 81st overall career win at the track.
“I thought about quitting over the winter,” Campbell said. “I told everybody that if I don’t win this year, I am done. So I am good for another year.”
Kenny Trevitz finished second with Bryan Bernheisel, Jim Yorder and Hayes Mattern rounding out the top five.
Sixth through 10th were Tony Adams, Pancho Lawler, Eric Hons, Chad Hollenbeck and Meade Hahn.
Heats for the 19 late models were won by Rine and Bernheisel.
In the 15-lap pro stock feature, Brad Mitch passed Andrew Shoop on lap 4 and went on to score his second straight win.
Derrick Garman was second with Shoop holding on for third. Nathan Long and Kyle Bachman rounded out the top five.
Sixth through 10th were A.J. Stroup, Jake Buck, Jamin Chapman, Brandon Moser and Tommy Slanker.
Heats for the 20 pro stocks were won by Bachman and Stroup.
Bissinger made it two straight wins in the roadrunners division. It was his 42nd career win.