SELINSGROVE, Pa. – The opening race in the inaugural Mach 1 Chassis Mid-Atlantic 360 Sprint Car Championship Series will get the green flag at 4 p.m. Saturday, March 24, at Selinsgrove Speedway. Drivers representing the 358, 360, and 410 sprint car divisions are expected to compete in the first of the six-race, $120,000 series in 2012.
The March 24 race at Selinsgrove will feature the 360 sprint cars in a 25-lap A-main paying $2,500 to win and $250 to start out of a purse totaling more than $15,000. Joining the 360 sprint cars on the racing card will be the pro stocks. Track gates will open at 2 p.m.
At least six drivers from the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprint (ESS) organization have expressed their intentions to compete in the series opening event at Selinsgrove, including defending ESS champion Chuck “The Cobra” Hebing of Ontario, N.Y., who recorded six wins last year driving the Northcoast Performance No. 45.
In addition, former three-time ESS champion Steve Poirier of St. Mathieu del Beloeil, Quebec; 2010 Rookie of the Year Kevin Ward Jr. of Port Leyden, N.Y.; Michael Parent of Granby, Quebec; Patrick Vigneault of Trios Rivieres, Quebec; and Steve Collins of Belfast, N.Y., are expected to be in the field representing ESS.
Defending Selinsgrove Speedway 358 sprint car champion Blane Heimbach of Selinsgrove, who competes regularly in a Mach 1 Chassis, will also be a favorite to take the series opener, along with Pat Cannon of Etters, who was last year’s leading winner at the track with five victories in 358 sprint car competition and a prestigious win in the Jim Nace Memorial National Open for 410 sprint cars.
Mach 1 Chassis chief fabricator and former central Pennsylvania 410 sprint car champion Mark Smith of Sunbury will also be gunning for a win in the series opener. Smith is a past winner at the track in 410 sprint car and super sportsman competition.
Other Selinsgrove dates in the series include the United Racing Company (URC) sanctioned Jack Gunn Memorial Challenge Race Saturday, May 12; Friday, June 29; and Sunday, Aug. 5. Lincoln Speedway will host the tour on Wednesday, June 20.
The series finale will be the 12th Annual National Open for 358-360 sprint cars at Selinsgrove Speedway on Sept. 1. For the third consecutive year, the Open will pay $8,000 to win out of a $36,000-plus purse.
Mach 1 Chassis also posted an $8,400 point fund for the top 10 finishers in the series standings. The champion will collect a $2,000 bonus.
The series will follow the 360 sprint car technical rules set forth by the American Sprint Car Series (ASCS). The March 24 race will be an open tire event with a 1,500 pound weight rule (including car and driver). Central PA 358 sprint car teams are also encouraged to compete in the series.
The unique qualifying format that was developed and introduced in the 2011 National Open will be utilized for all but the Lincoln event and the Jack Gunn Memorial Challenge Race. Tentatively, qualifying will include two rounds of heat races, with points being awarded for a driver’s finish in each qualifier to ultimately determine his or her starting position in the main event.
In lieu of a pill draw, times from the practice lap sessions will be utilized to determine which drivers start in each heat. The starting lineup for the second round of heats will be a complete inversion of the starting positions from the first round. Qualifiers from the B-main will round out the starting grid for the A-main.
Race sponsor Mach 1 Chassis, located at 10 North Frederick Street in Mechanicsburg, engineers and builds race car chassis that are known for safety, strength, durability, and performance. In addition to chassis fabrication and repair, Mach 1 Chassis also manufactures front and rear bumpers, nerf bars, front axles, wing posts, and wing trees.
Mach 1 Chassis Mid-Atlantic 360 Sprint Car Championship Series associate sponsors include Creasy Signs, Penske Racing Shocks, Rider Racing Engines, Wings Unlimited, Custom Metal Coatings, Middleswarth Potato Chips, Hoosier Tire, Lias Tire, Fastener Specialties, Dave Franek Auto Sales, Pancho’s Racing Products, and Moose Blocks.
For additional information regarding the series, please contact Mach 1 Chassis at 570.898.8018 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a complete schedule, 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 570.374.2999.
Mach 1 Chassis Mid-Atlantic 360 Sprint Car Championship Series Event Payoff for March 24: 1) $2,500 2) $1,500 3) $1,200 4) $1,100 5) $1,000 6) $925 7) $825 8) $725 9) $650 10) $600 11) $500 12) $400 13) $300 14) $275 15-24) $250
Selinsgrove Speedway Admission Prices for March 24: Adults $15; Students (12-17) $12; Kids 11 & Under Free; Pit Passes $25