By Steve Inch
SELINSGROVE, Pa. – One driver stands a chance to earn $14,336 by turning in a perfect performance in this Saturday’s (Sept. 14) Jim Nace Memorial 31st Annual Selinsgrove Ford National Open for 410 sprint cars at Selinsgrove Speedway.
This year’s edition of the Nace Memorial National Open will be a single 44-lap main event that will pay $12,000 to win and $700 to start out of a total purse in excess of $42,000. Lap money in the amount of $44 to lead each lap has also been posted, making it possible for a driver to earn an additional $1,936 in prize money.
The Fast Tees Fast Time Award will pay $300 and the Bulldog Coal Co. heat races will offer $100 to win each qualifier. Therefore, if a driver sets fast time, wins a heat, and leads every lap of the A-main, he or she will net $14,336 in the Open this Saturday.
Joining the 410 sprint cars on the Sept. 14 racing card will be the super late models in a 25-lap main event paying $1,500 to win. Track gates will open at 5 p.m. and qualifying will start at 7 p.m. The rain date, if needed, will be 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15, for sprint cars only.
An autograph session including many of central Pennsylvania’s top sprint car drivers is scheduled to take place behind the covered grandstand from approximately 5:30-6 p.m.
For the fourth year in a row, 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.
Pat Cannon of Etters, an eight-time winner in 358-360 sprint car racing at the track this season, is the two-time defending National Open champion. Cannon has a single 410 sprint car victory this year at Williams Grove Speedway.
Fred Rahmer of Salfordville is the track’s only five-time winner of the Open. Rahmer’s victories in the Open occurred in 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, and 2000. Todd Shaffer of Millerstown is second on the Open career win list with four championships in 1993, 1994, 2001, and 2008.
The late Maynard Yingst of Linglestown (1983, 1984, 1985), Greg Hodnett of Thomasville (1998, 2004, 2007) and Lance Dewease of Fayetteville (2002, 2009, 2010) have each won the race three times. Don Kreitz Jr. of Sinking Spring is the only other driver to have repeated a victory in the Open with wins in 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); Lucas Wolfe of Mechanicsburg (2005); and Chad Layton of Harrisburg (2006).
The National Open will mark the third appearance of the season by the 410 sprint cars at Selinsgrove Speedway. Hodnett took the checkered flag in the season opener on March 10 and Brent Marks of Myerstown won the Ray Tilley Classic on May 26. The 410 sprint cars are also scheduled to race in a Twin 20s program at the track on Sunday, Oct. 6.
Title sponsor Selinsgrove Ford, a family-owned and operated dealership serving the Susquehanna Valley for more than 50 years, specializes in the sales and service of new and pre-owned vehicles, parts, body shop repairs, 24-hour towing, and financing.
Purse for 31st Annual National Open for 410 Sprint Cars (9/14/13): 1) $12,000 2) $5,000 3) $3,000 4) $2,500 5) $2,000 6) $1,700 7) $1,400 8) $1,300 9) $1,200 10) $1,100 11) $1,050 12) $1,000 13) $950 14) $900 15) $850 16) $800 17) $770 18) $750 19) $730 20-24) $700
Lap Money: $44 To Lead Each Lap; Fast Time: $300; Heat Winners: $100; Tow: $100
Also Racing: Super Late Models
Admission for National Open (9/14/13): Adults $28; Students (12-17) $20; Kids 11 & Under Free; Pit Passes $35