SELINSGROVE, Pa. – Greg Hodnett of York drove to a convincing victory in Sunday afternoon’s 51st consecutive season opener for sprint cars at Selinsgrove Speedway.
Hodnett earned $4,000 for his second opening day win and 14th career checkered flag at the historic Snyder County oval driving the Trone Outdoor/Eagle Steel No. 39.
At the drop of the green flag, outside front row starter Mark Smith powered into the lead and was chased by polesitter Steve Buckwalter. Meanwhile, fourth-place starter Hodnett began to reel in the leaders in traffic.
On lap 10, Hodnett passed Buckwalter for the runner-up position and set his sites on Smith. A lap later, 20th-place starter Michael Ruttkamp lost control of his car in turn four and collected race leader Smith. For the lap 12 restart, Hodnett inherited the lead with Buckwalter, fifth-place starter Fred Rahmer, seventh-place starter Pat Cannon, and third-place starter Brian Montieth in tow in the top five.
However, both Buckwalter and Montieth had tires go flat on the 18th circuit while racing in top five positions. On the lap 19 restart, Hodnett opened up a straightaway lead over Rahmer, only to have it erased again on lap 22 when Davey Sammons and Jason Leffler had tires go flat.
For the final restart, Hodnett stretched his lead over Rahmer and posted a 2.7-second margin of victory over Rahmer, Cannon, 11th-place starter Blane Heimbach, and 10th-place starter Lance Dewease.
Greg Hodnett, Fred Rahmer, Pat Cannon, Blane Heimbach, Lance Dewease, Danny Deitrich, Rick Lafferty, TJ Stutts, Chad Layton, Steve Buckwalter, Jason Leffler, Dave Sammons, Jacob Allen, Brian Montieth, Mark Smith, Michael Ruttkamp, Ryan Kissinger, Davie Franek, Will Rose, Brent Marks, Jessica Anderson, Logan Schuchart