The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

July 7, 2014

Motorsports: Wolfe wins speedweek title

SELINSGROVE — There was more drama in Sunday’s Pennsylvania Sprint Car Speedweek finale than in an episode of All My Children.

For the first time in speedweek history there was a tie for the points lead heading into the Jan Opperman Memorial.

Lucas Wolfe, the 2007 champion, and Greg Hodnett, the four-time and defending champion, had 895 points each.

Wolfe’s night was more than a roller coaster ride.

His title hopes appeared to take a big hit in hot laps when the front end failed in Turn 1, which caused the left front tire to collapse and sent the car into a series of flips.

Wolfe was unhurt in the accident.

His crew made repairs to the car in time for his spot in time trials and for the sixth time in the seven races he entered, he set fast time with a lap of 16.805 seconds.

In his heat race, Wolfe’s engine let go, forcing him to make an engine change while Hodnett, who was in the same heat race, went on to score the win, giving him a four-point lead going into the 30-lap feature.

The B-Main was scratched so the feature lineup was set by time trials after a four was pulled for the inversion.

That put Hodnett sixth and Wolfe ninth in the starting grid.

Brent Marks would go on to win his first feature of the year as he led all 30 laps of the feature, which was slowed by just one caution.

“This is awesome,” Marks said. “Here it is the beginning of July and we got our first win of the year.”

Marks’ last win came in last year’s Ray Tilley Classic in May.

“I saw Mike Erdley showing his nose so I went down to the low line and I didn’t expect the track to rubber up tonight,” Marks said. “Mike’s a great guy to race with.”

It was the race behind Marks that everyone was keeping their eye on.

Wolfe was able to pass Hodnett on lap 10 and stay ahead of him the rest of the way to earn his second speedweek title by six points.

“It was an incredible team effort,” Wolfe said. “The two worst situations happened on the same night. It was a rush to change the engine after the heat race. This is all about a team championship.”

Selinsgrove’s Blane Heimbach drove from seventh to a second-place finish as he moved into the runner-up spot on lap 20.

Erdley would finished third with Kyle Reinhardt and Wolfe rounding out the top five.

Sixth through 10th were Dave Blaney, Greg Hodnett, Ryan Smith, Mike Walter Sr. and Chad Layton.

Heats for the 26 410 sprint cars were won by Hodnett, Heimbach and Danny Dietrich.

In the 20-lap super sportsman feature, Doug Dodson took the lead on lap 6 and went on to win the 20-lap feature over Bob Hockenberry, Chad Trout, Kevin Nouse and Carmen Perigo Jr.

Sixth through 10th were Russ Mitten, Frankie Herr, Mike Enders, Steve Fannasy and Scott Dellinger.

Heats for the 20 super sportsman were won by Mike Enders, Kevin Nouse and Chad Trout.

The nonstop feature took 7 minutes, 17.57 seconds, which established a track record for the super sportsman.

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