Just two nights after bettering #21 Dan Stone in World
of Outlaws series action in Elbridge, N.Y., #24 Rick Eckert finds himself back in combat with his fellow
Pennsylvanian before taking another win in an unsanctioned Foss Jewelers Late Model Open Saturday at Selinsgrove
Speedway. Stone dropped from the lead with a broken suspension part. (Gary Shrey)
Eckert Holds Off Lathroum and Rine For Open LM Victory at
SELINSGROVE, Pa. - Oct. 7. Rick Eckert of York, Pa. returned to the track where he got his start in late
model racing and came out the winner of the suspenseful 13th annual Foss Jewelers Late Model Open Saturday at
Eckert, the current World of Outlaws late model series point leader, collected $5,000 for his fifth career
victory at the track and first since 1987 in the 30-lap main event. The win was his fourth of the season behind the
wheel of the J&K Salvage sponsored No. 24E.
World of Outlaws points leader stepped out at Selinsgrove Speedway and notched a
$5,000 win in the unsanctioned Late Model POpen in his home state. (Gary Shrey)
A stellar field of 39 late models entered the track’s final race of 2011. Dan Stone of Thompson, the defending Open
winner, had a near-perfect showing when he started out the night by becoming the first late model driver in track
history to record a qualifying lap in the 18-second bracket, then won his heat and led the first 21 laps of the
feature when a 10-cent bolt broke on the front end of his car and forced him to withdraw from the race. Stone’s new
one-lap mark on the half-mile oval is 18.954 (100.589 MPH average).
Stone started on the pole and beat out second-place starter Eckert into the first turn for the early lead and
set a torrid pace at the front of the pack while Eckert stayed within striking distance. On lap three, fourth
starter Austin Hubbard put in a bid for second and passed Eckert for the position. By lap six, fifth-place starter
Coleby Frye and 11th-place starter Jeff Rine were racing in the top five.
The first caution flag unfurled on lap eight when Tony Adams came to a stop. On the ensuing restart, Dylan Yoder
stopped on the frontstretch after several cars made contact. When the race resumed, an intense battle for second
unfolded between Hubbard and Eckert as Stone began to stretch his lead.
Ricky Elliot brought out the caution flag on lap 10 when his race car stopped in a cloud of smoke. At the same
time, Hubbard brought his car to a stop and was able to rejoin on the back of the pack. On the lap 11 restart, Frye
made a charge into second while Eckert raced in third.
A seven-car melee in turn two nearly blocked the track and brought out the red flag on lap 16. Under the stoppage,
Frye also withdrew from the race. On the lap 17 restart, Stone set the pace in front of Eckert, Rine, and
ninth-place starter Jamie Lathroum.
On the 21st lap, Eckert attempted a pass by Stone entering turn one when Stone’s car drifted high and fell off the
pace due to a broken front end. Eckert inherited the lead at this point as a war on wheels took place between Rine
and Lathroum for the second position for the duration of the event.
While Eckert streaked away at the front of the pack to score the win, Rine and Lathroum see-sawed for the runner up
position lap after lap. Racing off turn four on the final lap, Lathroum’s car bobbled in the outside lane and
allowed Rine to slingshot into the second position at the checkered flag.
Lathroum, 15th-place starter Scott Haus, and 12th-place starter Jim Yoder rounded out the top five.
Oct. 7 - Selinsgrove Speedway Late Model Open
1) Rick Eckert, 2) Jeff Rine, 3) Jamie Lathroum, 4) Scott
Haus, 5) Jim Yoder, 6) Jeff Smith, 7) Brett Schadel, 8) Donnie Schick, 9) Dylan Yoder, 10) Dave Zona,
11) Tim Wilson, 12) Bryan Bernheisel, 13) Matt Cochran, 14) Kyle Rhoads, 15) Andy Haus, 16) Dan Stone,
17) Nick Dickson, 18) Coleby Frye, 19) Jerry Bard, 20) Jim Bernheisel, 21) Ken Trevitz, 22) Austin
Hubbard, 23) Eric Hons, 24) Ricky Elliott, 25) 88 Tony Adams
Fast Time (39 entries): Stone
(18.954 - NTR)
Craig Whyte photo