Heffner bags PASS ‘Hunting Season’ checkers

Kenny Heffner held off all challengers in winning Saturday’s PASS main event at Selinsgrove Speedway, which saw 26 IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Cars start and finish their caution-free 20-lapper in just 6-1/2 minutes. (Photo by Frank Buhrman)

By Frank Buhrman

SELINSGROVE, Pa. (Sept. 16, 2023) – If you want somebody else to win, it’s probably not a good idea to let Kenny Heffner start up front.

The Watsontown racer drew the outside front-row starting position Saturday night at Selinsgrove Speedway, raced out ahead of fellow front-row starter Nick Sweigart, fought off an early challenge (and another one later on) from Ken Duke, and led all 20 laps to win one of the biggest River Valley Builders Pennsylvania Sprint Series races of the season, the Race to Hunting Season sponsored by the Pennsylvania Game Commission as part of the 25th FANiversary Tour, marking a quarter century of PASS/IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Car competition in Central Pennsylvania.

A six-year veteran of RaceSaver competition, Heffner collected his fifth career victory, his second of 2023 and his career second at Selinsgrove. He won by 1.090 seconds over Kruz Kepner, whose late charge through the top five earned him the runner-up spot.

Hometown veteran Duke, who leads active PASS racers with five career wins at Selinsgrove, held on for third, with Logan Spahr taking fourth, after quickly moving up from his eighth starting position.

Zach Rhodes, also a constant presence in the race-long battle for the top positions, came home fifth.

The intensively competitive feature ran non-stop in six-and-a-half minutes, and all 26 starters completed the distance.

After disposing of his initial challengers, Heffner staked out a comfortable lead over the first half of the race, but when traffic became a factor, Duke began eating into the leader’s margin, and for a while, it appeared Spahr might challenge for his 10th win of the year, but Heffner shook off those challenges as well.

That left it to Kepner to provide the late fireworks, taking third from Spahr on lap 15 and second from Duke two laps later.

Thanks to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Heffner took the winner’s share of a purse double that of most River Valley Builders PASS events, plus he received a custom-decorated cake, courtesy of Deb Young

With 36 teams on hand for the action, heat races were hotly contested, and Spahr, Dustin Young, Kepner, and Schnoke took home the wins, each receiving a $50 winner’s prize from Brian Snyder and other Snyder family members in memory of Brian’s dad Jim “Slippery” Snyder, a 50-year Selinsgrove push-truck driver.  

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