By Steve Inch
SELINSGROVE, Pa. – Selinsgrove Speedway will present its crown jewel open wheel event, the Jim Nace Memorial 35th Annual National Open for 410 sprint cars sanctioned by the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions, at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16.
The Nace Memorial National Open will be a 30-lap tribute race paying $8,000 to win and $500 to start out of the $30,000 event. The Fast Tees Fast Time Award will pay $300. Time trials, heat races, and a B-main will be the qualifying format.
Joining the 410 sprint cars on the Sept. 16 racing card will be the 305 sprint cars in a 20-lap main event. Track gates will open at 4 p.m. and qualifying will start at 7 p.m.
For the eighth straight year, the 410 Open will honor the life and racing career of Nace, the track’s only five-time sprint car champion who died in November 2009 following a seven-year battle with cancer.
In last year’s race, Lucas Wolfe of Mechanicsburg scored his second career victory in the Open and set a new 30-lap track record for 410 sprint cars at the Superspeedway of Dirt Track Racing. Wolfe was also an Open winner in 2005.
Fred Rahmer, of Salfordville, is the track’s only five-time winner of the Open with victories in 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, and 2000.
In 2014, Greg Hodnett of Spring Grove became the third driver to win the Open four times. Hodnett’s other Open victories came in 1998, 2004, and 2007. Todd Shaffer of Millerstown is the other driver on the Open career win list with four championships in 1993, 1994, 2001, and 2008.
In 2013, Pat Cannon of Etters joined the late Maynard Yingst of Linglestown and Rahmer as only the third driver to win three consecutive National Opens. Cannon also won in 2012 and 2011. Yingst’s wins in the Open occurred in 1983, 1984, and 1985.
Other past repeat winners include Lance Dewease of Fayetteville (2002, 2009, 2010) and Don Kreitz Jr. of Sinking Spring (1986 and 1992).
Single-time winners of the Open include Dave Blaney of Cortland, Ohio (1987); Keith Kauffman of Mifflintown (1988); Doug Wolfgang of Sioux Falls, S.D. (1989); Sammy Swindell of Bartlett, Tenn. (1990); Johnny Mackison Jr. of York (1991); Stevie Smith of Broken Arrow, Okla. (2003); Chad Layton of Harrisburg (2006); and Danny Dietrich of Gettysburg (2015).
The National Open will mark the third and final appearance of the season by the 410 sprint cars at Selinsgrove Speedway. Wolfe won the Ray Tilley Classic on June 16 and Rico Abreau of California scored the PA Speedweek Finale on July 9.
The All Star sanction of the track’s National Open will be a first since 1991 when Mackison Jr. scored the victory over Kenny Jacobs in one of the closest finishes in sprint car racing history at the speedway.
In the 15 All Star-sanctioned sprint car races that have been held at Selinsgrove Speedway, there has never been a repeat winner. Previous All Star winners at the track include Bobbie Adamson (1970), Mike Lloyd (1973), Randy Wolfe (1982), Len Krautheim (1986), Doug Wolfgang (1987), Kenny Jacobs (1990), Frankie Kerr (1991), Cris Eash (1991), Johnny Mackison Jr. (1991), Dale Blaney (1996), Keith Kauffman (1997), Greg Hodnett (1998), Fred Rahmer (1999), Todd Shaffer (2000), and Danny Dietrich (2016).
For the latest news, results, and race status, visit selinsgrovespeedway.com or follow us on Twitter and Facebook. The speedway office can also be reached at 570.374.2266.
Purse for 35th Annual National Open for 410 Sprint Cars 30 Laps (9/16/17): 1) $8,000 2) $3,000 3) $2,000 4) $1,400 5) $1,250 6) $1,200 7) $1,150 8) $1,100 9) $1,050 10) $1,000 11) $800 12) $700 13) $600 14-16) $550 17-19) 525 15-24) $500
Fast Time: $300
Also Racing: 305 Sprint Cars
Admission for National Open (9/16/17): Adults $25; Students (12-17) $15; Kids 11 & Under Free; Pit Passes $35
Tentative Rain Date: Sunday, September 17 6PM