By Shawn Wood
For The Daily Item
SELINSGROVE -- Davie Franek hasn't been a regular in the 358 sprint car division at Selinsgrove Speedway for nearly three years, but the Wantage, N.J., driver is eager to get back to victory lane.
A six-time winner at the track, Franek is looking for his first-ever win in the 13th annual Mach-1 Chassi National Open for the 358-360 sprint cars on Saturday.
Also on the racing card will be the pro stocks in an open competition event.
For the first time in the event's history, the 358-360 National Open will be co-sanctioned by the United Racing Company and the Empire Super Sprints.
In the first-ever ESS-sanctioned race at the track on May 18, T.J. Stutts, of Liverpool, took the win while URC points leader JJ Grasso won the URC feature on Aug. 10
This year's 35-lap feature pays $8,000 to win with time trials, double heats and a B-main setting up the starting field.
In 358-360 sprint car Open history at Selinsgrove Speedway, 12 races have produced eight different winners since 2001.
"I love the format. I think Pennsylvania is crazy if they don't combine the series pretty soon and have more races like this," Franek said. "You look at Jason Shultz; he won the race one year with a 358 engine. Kevin Nouse was third at Grove with a 358 among the 360s recently."
Franek finished runner-up in the points last year with URC in his first full season with the touring 360 series.
"We just wanted a change," he said of the move from the 358s. "Selinsgrove is pretty much my home track for sprint car racing. I am always excited to head back to that place."
Franek said he has a new car and a fresh engine for Saturday's big race.