Bard Back In PASS Victory Lane
Bard Back In Victory Lane
If the story of 2020 in the PA Sprint Series was the dominance of Garrett Bard, the story in early 2021 has been the lack of that dominance, but Saturday night at Selinsgrove Speedway, the current story line may have changed.
Bard, the Wells Tannery driver who won the PASS and IMCA/RaceSaver National Championships last year, grabbed the lead from Kenny Heffner on the feature’s final restart and collected his first PASS win of 2021 (he has won in other RaceSaver series) in the CG Racing Engines/Barnett Self Storage/Environmental Earth Tech #95. Heffner, looking for his first career PASS win, led most of the race for the second time this season and settled for a career-best second place finish. The Watsontown driver battled Bard for nearly a full lap after the lap 18 restart in his Morgan Paving/Maloney Builders/Coyles Lawn Maintenance/April Kline, Realtor, #97 and was still fighting for the lead at the checkered flag.
Hometown favorite Ken Duke Jr., the 2019 PASS and IMCA/RaceSaver National Champion, charged from 10th starting position to finish third, followed by Austin Reed and George Riden. John Walp, Justin Mills, Buddy Schweibinz, Doug Dodson and Erin Statler completed the top ten in the Apache Tree Service-sponsored feature. Heffner took the early lead after he and pole-sitter Walp bumped coming off turn two on the first lap. Reed got past Walp for second after the incident.
Bard and Duke both advanced a position on the restart following the race’s first caution on lap two, then Bard got past Reed a lap later and moved into second, but Heffner was flying in front of the field. That lead evaporated with a lap ten caution, and on the restart, Bard hung with Heffner, rolling the inside and waiting for it to come to his advantage, while Heffner was riding higher and higher outside, seeking traction.
The final caution, when Austin Graby slowed on lap 18, gave Bard another shot, and the inside line worked just well enough for him to complete the pass after an exciting lap of side-by-side dueling. The win was Bard’s fifth at Selinsgrove, and for 2021 he is the ninth different winner in nine PASS features. Devin Adams was the night’s hard charger, advancing from 21st starting position to 12th. Duke moved up seven spots to his third-place finish.
The 35-car PASS field put on four competitive heat races, won by Drew Young, Heffner, Schweinbinz and Bard. In the first heat, Kassidy Kreitz moved from ninth and last starting spot into a qualifying position – fifth – on one lap. Jake Waters and Statler excited the crowd with their side-by-side duel for second in the second heat, and Bard came from fourth to first in one lap in the fourth heat. With 14 cars going after six qualifying spots, the B-Main also was a dogfight, and Devin Adams came home with that win. Mikell McGee was in a qualifying position in that race when something broke and sent his car hard into the outside guard rail.
Next Saturday the PASS sprinters return to Port Royal Speedway to join the All Star Circuit of Champions for Night One of the Bob Weikert Memorial Weekend. Racing is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. For news and schedule information, visit www.pasprintseries.com, the PA Sprint Series Facebook page or @pasprintseries on Twitter.
Results from Selinsgrove Speedway May 22
HEAT 1 – 1. 7-Drew Young; 2. 99-George Riden; 3. 34-Austin Reed; 4. 69K-Kassidy Kreitz; 5. 41Z-Jared Zionkowski; 6. 54-Mike Melair; 7. 1M-Paul Moyer; 8. 21M-Cassandra Minium; 9. 31-Roger Weaver (DNF).
HEAT 2 – 1. 97-Kenny Heffner; 2. 2-Erin Statler; 3. 67-Ken Duke; 4. 10-Jake Waters; 5. 1-Rowdy Heffner; 6. 11M-Mikell McGee; 7. 46-Mike Alleman; 8. 36-Dom Melair; 9. 71-Josh Spicer.
HEAT 3 – 1. 35-Buddy Schweinbinz; 2. M1-Justin Mills; 3. 5-John Walp; 4. 78C-Dakota Schweikert; 5. 51-Dave Graber; 6. 99-Devin Adams; 7. 87-Austin Graby; 8. 11W-Donnie Wise; 9. D57-Jeff Miller.
HEAT 4 – 1. 95-Garrett Bard; 2. 20-Doug Dodson; 3. 83-Larry McVey; 4. 19-Kruz Kepner; 5. 8-Will Brunson; 6. 78-Dale Schweikert; 7. 25-Dustin Young; 8. 23-Tom Wise.
B-MAIN – 1. 99-Devin Adams; 2. 54-Mike Melair; 3. 87-Austin Graby; 4. 46-Mike Alleman; 5. 1M-Paul Moyer; 6. 25-Dustin Young; 7. 23-Tom Wise; 8. 31-Roger Weaver; 9. 71-Josh Spicer; 10. 21M-Cassandra Minium; 11. 11W-Donnie Wise; 12. D57-Jeff Miller; 13. 11M-Mikell McGee (DNF); 14. 36-Dom Melair (DNF). DNS – 78-Dale Schweikert.
FEATURE – 1. 95-Garrett Bard; 2. 97-Kenny Heffner; 3. 67-Ken Duke Jr. 4. 34-Austin Reed; 5. 99-George Riden; 6. 5-John Walp; 7. M1-Justin Mills; 8. 35-Buddy Schweibinz; 9. 20-Doug Dodson; 10. 2-Erin Statler; 11. 69K-Kassidy Kreitz; 12. 99-Devin Adams; 13. 7-Drew Young; 14. 41Z-Jared Zionkowski; 15. 19-Kruz Kepner; 16. 51-Dave Graber; 17. 1-Rowdy Heffner; 18. 46-Mike Alleman; 19. 87-Austin Graby; 20. 78C-Dakota Schweikert; 21. 54-Mike Melair; 22. 1M-Paul Moyer; 23. 8-Will Brunson (DNF); 24. 10-Jake Waters (DNF); 25. 83-Larry McVay (DNF); 26. 25-Dustin Young (DNF). DNQ – 23-Tom Wise; 31-Roger Weaver; 71-Josh Spicer; 21M-Cassandra Minium; 11W-Donnie Wise; D57-Jeff Miller; 11M-Mikell McGee; 36-Dom Melair; 78-Dale Schweikert.
Photo credit: Rod Ort Article by:Frank Buhrman & Stephanie Dodson