SELINSGROVE, Pa. – Anthony Macri has achieved a lot of firsts this year, and on Sunday night, he added another first to his landmark 2020 season.
Macri paced himself and turned back seasoned drivers Brock Zearfoss and Brent Marks to collect his first career victory at Selinsgrove Speedway, leading all 30 laps.
It’s Macri’s eighth overall sprint car win of the season and sixth in the 410, which puts him tied for eighth nationally. The 21-year-old earned a .915-second victory and the accompanying $5,000 payday over Zearfoss.
He also locked himself into the $20,000-to-win Jim Nace Memorial National Open at the track on Sept. 26.
The 30-lap feature, which used passing points in the heats to determine the redraw and overall lineup, started with carnage, as Dylan Cisney, George Hobaugh, Justin Peck, and Curt Stroup tangled on the backstretch on the opening lap.
Once things got rolling for good, Macri powered around pole-sitter AJ Flick for the lead off the opening corner and set a steady pace. He jumped out to a 1.7-second advantage over Marks five laps in, catching the tail-end of the field the following circuit.
Macri’s lead shrunk to mere car lengths over Marks by lap 10 as he navigated lapped traffic, but he held strong and worked both lanes as the race progressed.
“We were rolling around there, just maintaining,” Macri said. “I really wasn’t trying to push anything there with the lapped cars until I saw somebody.”
With eight laps to go and as Macri ran the top in one and two, Marks tried a slide job for the lead, but Macri cut it back under to regain control and turned on the afterburners.
Macri tried saving as much tire as he could, but once the race was on, all of that went out the window.
“Brent got to us and that kind of flipped the switch,” Macri said. “I knew it was time to go. Then I found the bottom and we were kind of rolling. We were pretty good after that.”
Macri used the bottom in turns three and four the remaining eight laps, protecting the most vulnerable part of the racetrack as Zearfoss made his way into second with seven laps to go.
“I was just driving it as hard as I could to keep him behind us,” Macri said.
Macri stayed up top in turns one and two and never allowed Zearfoss to get within striking distance over the remaining laps.
On Friday, Macri led 23 of 25 laps at Williams Grove before a surefire win slipped out of grasp when Freddie Rahmer used an aggressive maneuver to steal the victory. On Saturday, Macri charged from 10th to finish second at Port Royal.
Now, he has win No. 1 at Selinsgrove as four races remain this week at Port Royal.
Macri enjoyed his newest accomplishment, but the main objective of the week kept him from being overly happy.
His sights were immediately onto Monday’s 1 p.m. Labor Day race at Port Royal, the final preparation for the three-day Tuscarora 50 starting Thursday and concluding Saturday.
“When we come to a big track, we expect to win,” Macri said. “I know I don’t seem excited. It’s just we have a lot more races coming, I guess.”
Zearfoss and Brian Brown, who started ninth, finished on the podium. Marks settled for fourth and Danny Dietrich charged to fifth from 17th.
Blane Heimbach, Freddie Rahmer, Flick, Brian Montieth, and TJ Stutts rounded out the top 10.
Lucas Wolfe finished 12th, while Robert Ballou placed 16th.
1. 39m-Anthony Macri, 2. 3z-Brock Zearfoss, 3. 21b-Brian Brown, 4. 5m-Brent Marks, 5. 48-Danny Dietrich, 6. 12-Blane Heimbach, 7. 51-Freddie Rahmer, 8. 2-AJ Flick, 9. 21-Brian Montieth, 10. 11-TJ Stutts, 11. 45-Jeff Halligan, 12. 24-Lucas Wolfe, 13. 35-Jason Shultz, 14. 67-Justin Whittal, 15. 33w-Mike Walter II, 16. 12b-Robert Ballou, 17. 24b-Dustin Baney, 18. 99m-Kyle Moody, 19. 91r-Kyle Reinhardt, 20. 5b-Justin Barger, 21. 19-Curt Stroup, 22. 40-George Hobaugh, 23. 39-Justin Peck, 24. 5-Dylan Cisney.