By Steve Inch
SELINSGROVE, Pa. — The Tenth Annual NRG Controls North Open for 358/360
sprint cars at Selinsgrove Speedway will offer the richest winner’s share
in the history of one of Pennsylvania’s most prestigious sprint car races
on Saturday, Sept. 4, with $6,000 going to the winner of the 35-lap main
Time trials, heat races, and a B-main will be the format for qualifying for
the Open, which will guarantee a driver $300 to start out of a purse of
more than $21,000. Track gates will open at 5 p.m. Qualifying is slated to
begin at 7 p.m. The rain date, if needed, will be Sunday, Sept. 5, at 7
p.m. over the Labor Day holiday.
The $6,000 winner’s share is a tribute to the speedway’s late five-time
sprint car champion Jim Nace, who was instrumental in helping to establish
the 358 sprint car division as the track’s weekly headline open wheel
division in 2001. Nace, who campaigned his popular Fast Tees No. 6 as both
a driver and car owner in recent years, died last November following a
seven-year battle with cancer.
The speedway will also present the Jim Nace Memorial 28th Annual National
Open for 410 sprint cars on Saturday, Sept. 18, in which one driver could
The fast qualifier for the 358/360 Open will receive $100 for the Fast Tees
Fast Time Award in Memory of Jim Nace plus a Hoosier racing tire from
Miller’s Racing Parts of Mechanicsburg.
Title sponsor NRG Controls North, Inc., based in Selinsgrove, is a
full-service commercial controls company and systems integrator
specializing in automated building controls and security systems for both
the public and private sectors, including hospitals, universities, public
schools, prisons, office buildings, and manufacturing facilities, to name a
few. The Middleburg IGA is sponsoring the championship trophy.
The first nine 358/360 Opens have produced six different winners. TJ Stutts
of Liverpool, who won the 358 sprint car season opener in March, will be
seeking his third career victory in the Open, having won the 2001 and 2003
Current point leader Blane Heimbach of Selinsgrove, who won the 2009
edition of the Open in April of this year when it was rained out last fall,
was also a winner of the event in 2005. To date, Heimbach has a single win
at each Selinsgrove and Williams Grove Speedways.
Central Pennsylvania’s 12-time 358 sprint car winner Pat Cannon of Etters
won the Open in 2007 and 2008. Cannon, who is the points leader at Williams
Grove and in the Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic overall central Pennsylvania 358
sprint car series, has seven wins at Selinsgrove and is currently a close
second in the point standings.
Adrian Shaffer of Hellam was the Open champion in 2002. Defending track
champion Nate Snyder of Halifax, who has two wins this season, won the 2004
race. Phil Walter of McClure, celebrating his 25th season in auto racing
this year, took home the trophy in 2006.
Joining the 358/360 sprint cars on Sept. 4 will be the pro stocks and
roadrunners in a complete series of heat races and 15-lap and 12-lap main
2010 358/360 Sprint Car Open Purse: 1) $6,000 2) $2,000 3) $1,200 4) $1,100
5) $1,050 6) $1,000 7) $950 8) $900 9) $850 10) $800 11) $600 12) $550 13)
$500 14) $450 15) $400 16) $350 17) $325 18) $310 19-25) $300
September 4 Admission Prices: Adults $15; Students (12-17) $12; Kids 11 &
Under Free; Pit Passes $25
Rain Date: Sunday, Sept. 5, 7 p.m.