SELINSGROVE, Pa. – official release — Aaron Ott passed Justin Barger on lap 31 and led the final four laps to pocket the $10,000 prize for winning the 35 lap-MACH 1 360 Sprint Nationals Saturday night at Selinsgrove Speedway.
For Ott, this marked his third Rislone URC Sprint feature win of the season and his fifth career victory. Ott was thrilled in victory lane for this, the biggest win of his career.
“I was gonna win even if I had to stuff it in the fence, fortunately, I didn’t have to do that,” said Ott.
Thirty-four cars took part in timed warm-ups to determined the starting line-up for the heat race events. Jason Shultz set fast time, turning the half-mile with a time of 17.444 or 109.296 mph. Each driver would complete in two rounds of heat race events. The first four heats were won by Jason Shultz, Mark Smith, Chuck Hebing and Cody Keller. The heat races finishes were then inverted and the second round of heats were won by Ryan Kissinger, Shannon Fisher, Justin Barger and Troy Betts. The B Main victory went to Matt Horst.
Polesitter Davie Franek was the man to beat, immediately taking command of the lead position. Barger and Chuck Hebing were in a wild battle for second with Ott and Mark Smith just off the pace.
On lap nine, the red flag was displayed for Parker Evans to flipped in turn four. When green flag racing resumed, Franek remained the pace setter followed by Barger with Aaron Ott now in third, with Hebing and Smith in the top five.
The red flag was displayed again, this time on lap sixteen when Chuck Hebing flipped with Cody Keller making contact and flipping as well in turn three. Both drivers walked away uninjured.
As the field lined-up for the restart, race leader Davie Franek developed mechanical problems and gave up the lead, retiring to the pits. At this point, Justin Barger became the new race leader and brought the field down to restart the feature event. At the halfway point, Barger, Ott, Smith, Jason Shultz and TJ Stutts made-up the top five.
On lap twenty-five, TJ Stutts moved into third as Ott closed in on Barger. As the field passed the flag stand on lap twenty-nine, Ott pulled along-side of Barger to challenge for the lead and at the same time, the yellow was displayed on lap twenty-nine for Shannon Fisher stopped in turn four.
The restart saw Barger, Ott, Shultz, Smith and Stutts take the green flag and Ott immediately went after the leader. Barger held on to the top spot until lap thirty-one when Ott took the top spot. Ott quickly established a comfortable lead and went on to claim the victory with Barger delivering a very respectable second followed by Jason Shultz, TJ Stutts and Mark Smith.