The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

September 20, 2013

Sprint car racing: Long recalls great times in 410

By Shawn Wood

For The Daily Item

SELINSGROVE -- Chris Long said he can recall racing his 410 sprint car around Selinsgrove Speedway like it happened five minutes ago.

The 1992 Rookie of the Year is aiding his granddaughter, Laura Long, in the finer points of racing as she competes in the Lites go-kart division at the Selinsgrove Raceway Park one-fifth mile dirt oval located inside the Selinsgrove Speedway.

"I raced go-karts with a friend, but on a limited basis in the late 1970s and very early 1980s," Long said of his racing experience.

He then jumped in a full-blown sprint car in 1992.

"I didn't have any wins, but I had a lot of top-10's in the six years that I raced," he said.

Long gets to the track when he can due to his business and he still loves watching the 410 sprint car race. He stays in touch with his granddaughter via text message when he can't make it on a Friday night.

"I miss racing the 410s a great deal," he said. "For the money being spent now, it is incredibly impressive for the speeds. I turned a 17.89-second qualifying lap in the 1996 National Open."

Last Saturday, Greg Hodnett set fast time with a lap of 16.106 seconds.

"I enjoyed racing with guys like Fred Rahmer, Jimmy Nace, Todd Shaffer," he said. "I made the 1992 crash highlights on ESPN for my flip at Williams Grove."

One night that stands out for Long is in spring of 1995.

"The car was feeling fast that night and my good friend Joey Borich and I were starting on the front row for the heat race," Long said. "We were side-by-side going into Turn 1 and then coming out of Turn 2, I had an issue with the right rear. Something broke and I didn't have a moment to let off the throttle when the car veered right (and) barrel rolled into the fence, ripping the whole cage section off and and it continued to roll all the way down to the grassy area along Route 35."

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