By Shawn Wood
For The Daily Item
SELINSGROVE -- Selinsgrove Speedway will honor the memory of sprint car driver Joe Whitcomb with the 10th annual running of the Joe Whitcomb Memorial on Saturday for 358 sprint cars.
The speedway begins its 7:30 p.m. summer start time on Saturday.
The 30-lap sprint car feature, a tribute to honor the late open-wheel racer from Millersburg who succumbed to injuries sustained in a sprint car racing accident at the track on June 21, 2003, will pay $1,771 to the winner. Time trials, heat races, and a B-main will be the qualifying format for the special event.
The four-division show includes the late models, pro stocks, and roadrunners.
Previous winners of the Whitcomb Memorial include Nate Snyder of Halifax (2004); Kevin Nagy of East Brunswick, N.J. (2005); Blane Heimbach of Selinsgrove (2006-08); Pat Cannon of Etters (2009-10); and two-time defending winner T.J. Stutts of Liverpool.
Whitcomb, a dedicated racer most of his life, began his career in go-karts at the age of 7. He was a three-time national karting champion. A highlight during his karting career was an appearance on ESPN.
In 2001, Whitcomb became a regular competitor at Selinsgrove in the 358 sprint car division. That year, Whitcomb became speedway's Sportsman of the Year. Whitcomb won his first sprint car race at Selinsgrove on June 8, 2002, ending the five-race winning streak of champion Chad Layton. Whitcomb also won sprint car races at Williams Grove and Bridgeport Speedways during his career.
There will be no racing on the half-mile track Saturday, June 22, as Selinsgrove Raceway Park will host the Pennsylvania Elite Dirt Karters Series event June 22-23 on the one-fifth mile track.
The 12th running of the Middleswarth Potato Chips Firecracker 30 for 358 sprint cars takes place on June 29.
n STORM REPORT: The seventh annual United States Auto Club Eastern Storm is in the books and Noblesville, Ind., driver Bryan Clauson, won the title by one point over Port Royal winner Dave Darland of Lincoln, Ind. It was Darland's 42nd career USAC Natioanl Sprint Car win. Shane Cottle of Kokomo, Ind., won the finale at Susquehanna Speedway Park on Sunday by .114 seconds over Kevin Thomas Jr.