SELINSGROVE, Pa. – Three-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart flew into Selinsgrove Saturday evening from Martinsville (Va.) Speedway to race in Selinsgrove Speedway’s Empire Super Sprint (ESS) Mach 1 Chassis 358-360 sprint car challenge race and came away with a convincing victory in the 30-lap, $3,000-to-win feature.
In qualifying, Stewart set a new one-lap track record for 360 sprint cars at Selinsgrove in 17.168 seconds (111.053 mph) and also won his eight-lap heat race. Stewart qualified 26th on Friday for this Sunday’s STP Gas Boosters 500 NASCAR Cup race at Martinsville Speedway.
Coleby Frye of Dover scored the $1,500 win in the 25-lap late model feature. Shaun Miller of Tower City was awarded the victory in the 15-lap pro stock feature, while Bob Bussey of Northumberland won the 12-lap roadrunner race.
Second-place starter Jessica Zemken stormed into the lead at the drop of the green flag in the sprint car feature and a spirited side-by-side battle for the lead unfolded between Zemken and third-place starter Pat Cannon by the third circuit.
The event’s first caution flag unfurled on lap six when polesitter Steve Collins stopped on the track. For the lap seven restart, Zemken led Cannon, sixth-place starter Mark Smith and eighth-place starter Stewart.
After swapping the lead with Zemken for several laps, Cannon secured the lead on lap nine as Stewart advanced to third. On lap 11, Stewart drove by Zemken for the runner up position and set out on a high-speed chase after Cannon.
At the halfway point, Stewart made the winning pass by Cannon using the inside lane entering turn three. Once he pulled into the lead, Stewart checked out from the field and kept his Chevrolet Performance No. 14 out in front for the duration of the race.
At the checkered flag, Stewart was victorious by 2.5 seconds over Cannon, Smith, 17th-place starter TJ Stutts, and 10th-place starter Jason Shultz.