The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

June 28, 2014

Selinsgrove Speedway: Franek wins Firecracker 30

SELINSGROVE — A.J. Foyt will tell you that races aren’t won on the first lap.

Davie Franek didn’t get that memo.

Franek, who started sixth, took the lead on the opening lap and survived a close call with lapped traffic on lap 14 as he won his first United Racing Company-sanctioned Firecracker 30 for 360 sprint cars on Saturday night at Selinsgrove Speedway.

Other winners included A.J. Stroup (pro stocks) and Dave Zona (late models).

It was the second win of the season at Selinsgrove for Franek, who leads the URC point standings.

“We were good at the beginning and we got into a lot of dirty air in lapped traffic,” he said. “If you make a small mistake, the person behind you can close in very quickly here.”

Franek encountered lapped traffic on lap 7 as fourth-place starter Derek Locke closed to battle for the lead.

Locke made a bid for the lead on lap 9 while last week’s winner, Brock Zearfoss, moved into third.

Zearfoss and Mike Walter II would battle for third as Franek started to open his lead by lap 15.

Five laps later, as Locke used lapped traffic to pull alongside Franek on the backstretch, Walter II slowed in Turn 2 to bring out the lone caution of the race.

On the restart, Franek pulled out to a good-size lead while Mark Smith, who started 14th, moved into second.

Franek opened his lead over Smith during the final six laps to score his eighth-career win at the track, tying him for eighth place on the 358-360 all-time career win list.

“I made a couple of mistakes coming off of Turn 4 tonight and I had to settle down and hit my marks,” Franek said. “You can’t make mistakes here with (the) good drivers that are behind you.”

Smith held on for second, with Zearfoss, T.J. Stutts and Pat Cannon rounding out the top five.

Sixth through 10th were Locke, Jason Shultz, Mike Walter Sr., Josh Weller and Robbie Stillwaggon.

Heats for the 27 360 sprint cars were won by Ed Aikin, Franek and Walter II.

Zona led the final 13 laps for his second win of the season at the track in the 25-lap late model feature.

Points leader Steve Campbell held off Jeff Rine for second with Bryan Bernheisel and Jim Yoder rounding out the top five.

Sixth through 10th were Chad Hollenbeck, Dustin Hoffman, Chad Davis, Hayes Mattern and Jerry Bard.

Heats for the 20 late models were won by Hoffman, Davis and Rine.

In a caution-filled 15-lap pro stock feature, A. J. Stroup won his first pro stock feature of the year and his 16th-career win, tying him with Gerald Kratzer for eighth on the all-time win list.

Selinsgrove’s Kyle Bachman finish second with Jake Buck, Adam Campbell and Jamin Chapman rounding out the top five.

Sixth through 10th were David Berry, Matt Wilson, Jim Payne, Brandon Moser and Cory Long.

Heats for the 15 pro stocks were won by Stroup and Brad Mitch.

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