(BLOOMSBURG, PA. 4-14-22) Mark Smith of Sunbury has raced and won at many Sprint Car tracks both locally as well as across the country. On Thursday evening he added another speedway to his long list of winning accomplishments when he drove to victory on Opening Night at the Bloomsburg Fair Raceway with the United Racing Club (URC) presented by Capitol Renegade Custom Coaches & Trailers Winged 360 Sprints.
It was the second race of the season for URC and making their only appearance of the season at the 3/8th-mile Bloomsburg dirt oval as part of the club’s 75ht anniversary season but for Smith he was making his first URC start of the year.
After rolling off the grid in sixth Smith bided his time over the first half of the 25-lap contest before taking control of the race with 10 laps to go. Afterwards he seemingly pulled away to a resounding win, the first of his career at Bloomsburg.
“I wish we had had more of these tracks in our area. I love these little race tracks and that’s what I’ve been racing on a lot the last couple of years down south and in the mid-west and to come back here it’s nice to see a track like this. This is only 30 minutes from us and it’s great,” Smith said.
URC Rookie of the a Year contender Derek Hauck, who was making just his second 360 Sprint Car start, was on the pole with Andy Best alongside for the start of the feature. When the green flag dropped to commence the action Hauck quickly took charge with Best, Davie Franek, Smith and Brian Carber in tow.
On lap four the caution waved for a slowed car on the front straight and when the action resumed Smith made a swift move to second spot.
Hauck was doing a good job of holding the lead despite Smith who was staying within reach on each lap.
Eventually the front pair came upon lapped traffic and that would become the deciding factor. On lap 14 Smith was on Hauck’s tail and in the process he was able to trap him behind those cars ahead of them. The next time around Smith then took advantage and power-played his way past for the lead.
The rest of the distance Smith eased further ahead and raced to a four car length margin of victory.
“I like to wait a lot of times and get myself in a good position to where we get up on lapped traffic and it slows those guys down (in front of me) a little bit and that’s all I do is wait,” said Smith.
Hauck held on for the runner-up spot and gave a good indication that of what to expect from him this season with URC.
“I can’t beat myself up all day. I made a rookie mistake making an adjustment to the wing,” said Hauck.
“Mark Smith is one of the winningest drivers across the nation and I’m happy on how we did and to finish runner-up to a guy like that.”
Franek held the third spot the entire race while Ryan Smith came from 11th to fourth at the checkers. Best rounded out the top five.
Smith made a sweep of the night by winning his heat race. Best also notched a prelim.
Feature finish (25 laps): 1. Mark Smith, 2. Derek Hauck, 3. Davie Franek, 4. Ryan Smith, 5. Andy Best, 6. Brian Carber, 7. Anthony Macri, 8. Adam Carberry, 9. Jason Shultz, 10. Jake Karklin, 11. Josh Weller, 12. Ryan Stillwagon, 13. Mike Thompson, 14. Dallas Schott, 15. Hayden Miller, 16. Jesse Pruchnik DNS: Jacob Balliet