Aaron Ott Makes Late Race Pass For Huge National Open Payday
Barger Takes Second; Franek Leads Early, Has Problem Late
SELINSGROVE, Pa. – Aaron Ott of East Berlin made a late-race pass by Justin Barger of Montose, N.Y., to score the $10,000 victory in Saturday night’s 14th Annual Mach 1 Chassis National Open for 358-360 sprint cars at Selinsgrove Speedway.
For Ott, driving the Don Ott Racing Engines No. 25 entry, the win in the 35-lap main event was his second career at the track, having also won the June 7 Jack Gunn Memorial. He became the ninth different driver to win the 358-360 sprint car Open since its inception in 2001.
The $10,000 first-place prize marked a record winner’s share for 358-360 sprint cars in the track’s history. Barger collected $5,000 for finishing in the runner-up position.
Jason Shultz of Carlisle was the night’s fast qualifier with a lap time of 17.444 over the 34-car field.
Saturday night’s race concluded the 2014 season at the Snyder County half-mile oval. Promoter Charlie Paige announced the 360 sprint cars, late models, pro stocks, and roadrunners would return for the 2015 season.
The DH&L Fire Co. will hold its annual Race Car Flea Market on the speedway grounds on Saturday, Oct. 25.
Front-row starters Davie Franek and Justin Barger dueled for the lead entering turn one on the start of the main event. Franek pulled into the early lead racing off turn two as Barger, sixth-place starter Chuck Hebing, and fourth-place starter Aaron Ott were in close pursuit.
On the seventh circuit, Barger started to gain real estate on Franek while Ott powered by Hebing for the third position. The race was stopped on lap nine when Parker Evans struck the fourth-turn wall and flipped over in his sprint car. Evans escaped injury.
When the race resumed, Barger put in a bid for the lead only to fall in line behind Franek. By lap 13, eighth-place starter Mark Smith advanced to fourth. A hard crash in turn three involving Hebing and seventh-place starter Cody Keller on lap 16 halted the race again. Both drivers walked away from the incident uninjured.
On the push-off to restart the race, Franek’s car developed a serious mechanical issue, forcing the race leader to withdraw from the event. Barger inherited the lead for the lap 17 restart with Ott, Smith, fifth-place starter Jason Shultz, and third-place starter Robbie Stillwaggon racing in the top five. On the restart, 10th-place starter TJ Stutts stormed around the outside line and entered the top five.
With 15 laps remaining, a war on wheels unfolded at the front of the pack as Ott pressured Barger for the lead. On the 25th circuit, Stutts advanced to third and closed in on the leaders in a three-car battle for the lead in lapped traffic. On the 28th lap, misfortune nearly struck Ott when Shannon Fisher’s car fell off the pace on the backstretch, forcing Ott to take evasive action.
On the 31st circuit, Ott made the winning pass by Barger using the inside lane off turn four. For the final laps, Barger kept Ott in his sights as Shultz rebounded into the third position. At the checkered flag, Ott was victorious by just two seconds over Barger, Shultz, Stutts, and Smith.
SELINSGROVE SPEEDWAY SUMMARY - 27 September 2014 360 Sprint Cars – 34 Entries 35-lap A-Main: 1) 25 Aaron Ott $10,000 2) 24 Justin Barger 3) 29 Jason Shultz 4) 23 TJ Stutts 5) 1 Mark Smith 6) 89 Robbie Stillwaggon 7) 5G Curt Michael 8) 67 Steve Collins 9) 77 Derek Locke 10) 25 Josh Weller 11) 7 Ed Aikin 12) 33W Michael Walter II 13) 49 Mike Walter 14) 23A Chris Arnold 15) 00 Dane Lorenc 16) 29H Matt Horst 17) 79 Jordan Thomas 18) 35 Shannon Fisher 19) 66 Ryan Kissinger 20) 28F Davie Franek 21) 45 Chuck Hebing 22) 99K Cody Keller 23) 39 Kyle Reinhardt 24) 61 Parker Evans 25) 22 Troy Betts
1st round Heat Winners: Jason Shultz, Mark Smith, Chuck Hebing, Cody Keller 2nd round Heat Winners: Ryan Kissinger, Shannon Fisher, Justin Barger, Troy Betts B-Main: Matt Horst
Time Trials: 1) 29 Jason Shultz 17.444 2) 1 Mark Smith 17.495 3) 45 Chuck Hebing 17.584 4) 23 TJ Stutts 17.617 5) 00 Dane Lorenc 17.649 6) 89 Robbie Stillwaggon 17.650 7) 25 Josh Weller 17.681 8) 99K Cody Keller 17.691 9) 77 Derek Locke 17.703 10) 67 Steve Collins 17.722 11) 7 Ed Aikin 17.775 12) 1W Brock Zearfoss 17.808 13)28F Davie Franek 17.827 14) 29H Matt Horst 17.870 15) 79 Jordan Thomas 17.873 16) 5G Curt Michael 17.892 17) 39 Kyle Reinhardt 17.902 18) 88B Andy Best 17.911 19) 24 Justin Barger 17.919 20) 25 Aaron Ott 17.932 21) 33W Michael Walter II 17.976 22) 19 Colby Womer 17.980 23) U1W Chad Layton 18.016 24) 22 Troy Betts 18.016 25) 49 Mike Walter 18.055 26) 23A Chris Arnold 118.111 27) 62 Parker Evans 18.138 28) 52 Jim Shuster 18.148 29) 66 Ryan Kissinger 18.189 30) Larry Kelleher 18.204 31) 56 Randy West 18.209 32) 49S Mallie Shuster 18.365 33) Kody Lehman 18.473 34) 35 Shannon Fisher 18.591
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