By Tye Wolfgang
Selinsgrove Speedway kicked off its 2019 campaign this weekend with the annual Susquehanna Valley Mall race car show.
One of the “unveilings” of the show was 10 Sprint Car rookie Tyler Walton. The former Micro-Sprint phenom spent his most recent seasons honing his skills in the central Pennsylvania-based 358 Sprint Car division. He, first, piloted Roger Mackean’s famed No. 4r before returning to the seat of a family-owned machine. Pictured below is the ride that Walton will drive during his rookie season in the 410 Sprint Car division.
In other news, Jason Shultz gave fans their first look at his familiar No. 29. This year, the Snyder County-based entry will fly with a new marketing partner in Weis Markets, nne of the area’s largest chain grocery outlets. Shultz has plans to compete in both 410 and 360 Sprint Car competition this season.
Two former multi-time Selinsgrove Speedway and National Open winners, Chad Layton and Blaine Heimbach, will be returning to the seats of their respective rides during 2019. Heimbach will run a schedule similar to last year’s, while Layton will again focus on a heavy 360 Sprint Car schedule with Kirk Ritter Racing in the No. 35.
Local fan favorite, Cody Keller will again return local steel block sprint car competition in father Matt’s sharp, No. 99k.
Perhaps the car drawing the most attention was that of the Michael Heffner entry, which greeted fans at the main entrance. Heffner has hired Kunkletown ace, Ryan Smith, to take over the seat of his entry after the passing of Greg Hodnett in a crash at BAPS Motor Speedway last season. The number has since been changed to 72.
A topic often overlooked in our region with the large amount of 410 and 360 Sprint car teams would be the success of the more affordable IMCA sanctioned 305 Sprint Car racing. Without leaving the immediate area, the Racesaver division can compete in a large amount of races between Clinton County Motor Speedway and Selinsgrove, Port Royal, and BAPS Motor Speedway. Below is a handful of cars you can expect to see in the division across the mid-state this season.
A tradition that continued this season, the show was capped off by a tribute to since passed Kramer Williamson and Jim Nace.