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Contact: Richie Murray - USAC Media / richie@usacracing.com

NATIONAL MIDGET HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2018 INCLUDES ANDRETTI, ASTONE, CLAUSON, IRWIN, MARSHMAN, STREICHER

Speedway, Indiana (November 14, 2018).........The National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame has named six of the sport's all-time greats into its 2018 class, which will be celebrated with a luncheon and induction ceremony on Friday, January 18, inside Fair Meadows Hall (Simulcast Building) at the Tulsa (Okla.) State Fairgrounds, located adjacent to the Tulsa Expo Center which will be hosting the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals that week. The doors will open at 11am, with the luncheon beginning at 11:30am (Central).

The Class of 2018 includes (in alphabetical order) Mario Andretti, Tommy Astone, Bryan Clauson, Kenny Irwin, Jr., Bobby Marshman and Mike Streicher.

Synonymous with American auto racing, Mario Andretti has accomplished nearly everything in the realm of motorsport. He was named Driver of the Century by the Associated Press in 1999 and the American Driver of the Century by Racer Magazine in 2000. In his illustrious career, the Italian-born drive who resided in Nazareth, Pa. captured the Formula One World Championship in 1978 as well as USAC National Championships in 1965, '66, '69 and the CART title in 1984. He stands alone as the only driver to win the Indianapolis 500 (1969), Daytona 500 (1967) and the Formula One World Championship. His versatility behind the wheel is unquestionable with victories at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in 1969, the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1967, '70 and '72, an IROC series title in 1979 and as a USAC Midget winner in 1966 at Michigan's Berlin Raceway. He began his open wheel racing career in TQ Midgets with the American Three Quarter Midget Racing Association in 1961 before jumping into full-size midgets with ARDC. On Labor Day weekend in 1963, he won three midgets features in one day at two different tracks: New Jersey's Flemington Speedway in the afternoon and twin features at Pennsylvania's Hatfield Speedway during the evening, all driving for the Mataka Brothers, who, from that day forward, always carried the number 3N1 on their cars in honor of the amazing feat.

Though his USAC National Midget career was somewhat brief, Fresno, California's Tommy Astone had an impressive run between 1974 and 1976, winning seven victories at Burlington, Iowa, Hartford, Mich., Kingsport, Tenn., Sun Prairie, Wisc., Springville, Utah and Kokomo, Ind. and his most notable victory coming in the 1974 Night Before the 500 at Indianapolis Raceway Park, all for car owner Doug Caruthers. He finished runner-up in the final USAC National Midget standings in 1973-1974 and third in 1976. He emerged in victory lane with the USAC Western States Midgets once in 1983 at Ascot Park and on four occasions at Hanford, Calif., Phoenix, Arizona's Manzanita Speedway and twice at Ventura, Calif. Astone was inducted into Bay Cities Racing Association Hall of Fame in 2009 and competed with the California Racing Association, Astone also scored his lone USAC National Sprint Car victory at New York's Erie County Fairgrounds in 1976.

No driver fit more racing accomplishments in as short amount of time in USAC history as did Bryan Clauson. The Sacramento, California-born driver who made Noblesville, Ind. his home during his career is one of just six drivers to reach 100 USAC feature wins during a career. His 112 career USAC wins rank only behind racing legends Rich Vogler, A.J. Foyt, Sleepy Tripp, Mel Kenyon and Dave Darland. Thirty-eight of those came in USAC National Midget competition with mega wins at Turkey Night Grand Prix in 2009 and '10, the Hut Hundred in 2010, the 4-Crown Nationals in 2014, the Chili Bowl in 2014 and the Belleville Nationals in 2009, '10 and '15. His achievements spread across the racing spectrum with three Indiana Midget Week titles to his credit in 2009, '11 and '16 and was a star "down under" in New Zealand at Western Springs. His championships run the gamut as the USAC National Drivers Championship winner in 2010, '11 and '12; the 2012 and '13 USAC National Sprint Car champion; the 2010 and '11 USAC National Midget Championship. His talents took him to a trio of starts at the Indianapolis 500, the last of which came in 2016 where he led the 100th lap of the 100th running. Clauson lost his life in a crash at the 2016 Belleville Nationals, fittingly while leading the race, at age 27.

Kenny Irwin, Jr. made his mark in every racecar he stepped foot in, but he particularly shined in midget racing. He won the 1992 All American Midget Series championship in the family-owned car where he earned a ton of accolades, including a pair of wins on the high banks of Winchester (Ind.) Speedway and at Indianapolis Raceway Park, as well as a 1993 USAC season-opening victory at the SkyDome in Toronto. He ventured to Dave Calderwood's No. 4 in 1995 and continued his winning ways, scoring on the Springfield Mile. He then moved to the famed Steve Lewis No. 9 car where he won twice at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway and at South Dakota's Huset's Speedway en route to the 1996 USAC National Midget title. He was the 1998 NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year and was twice a winner in NASCAR's Truck Series. The rising star lost his life in 2000 during a practice crash at New Hampshire International Speedway at the age of 30.

Bobby Marshman was one of the brightest young, upcoming drivers of his era when he passed away in a Champ Car testing crash in the Fall of 1964 at just 28 years old. Despite the briefness of his career, the Pottstown, Pa. driver was a force in racing right from the get-go. The son of 1949 AAA East Coast Midget champ and longtime promoter of Pennsylvania's Hatfield Speedway George Marshman, Bobby began his midget racing career with ARDC where, in his first season in 1958, he finished third in the standings. He excelled in long-distance midget races, particularly, winning big events at Trenton, N.J. in 1960, '61 and '62 at lengths of 300, 250 and 100 miles. The latter two at Trenton served as two of his four career USAC National Midget victories. He also won in USAC Sprint Car, Stock Car and Championship Car competition, winning the 1962 Bobby Ball Memorial at the Arizona State Fairgrounds. He was co-Rookie of the Year with Parnelli Jones at the 1961 Indianapolis 500, starting 33rd and finishing 7th).

Mike Streicher has been a success in nearly all facets of midget racing. The Findlay, Ohio native has won USAC National Midget championships as a driver, car owner, mechanic and car builder. In 1983, he captured his first series title with USAC as a car owner and mechanic for driver Rich Vogler. In 1988 at Indiana's Kokomo Speedway, he won the first of his six career USAC National Midget features and was victorious in the Hoosier Dome Invitational in 1990. The following season, in 1991, Streicher raced to three victories, the USAC National Midget driver title and his third owner championship. He constructed the Hawk Chassis, which raced to countless Midget feature wins in USAC, NAMARS, ARCA, NEMA, ARDC, and others. Streicher remains active in racing to this day as a professor at University of Northwestern Ohio's motorsports program to educate future racers and mechanics.

For induction ceremony tickets and more information on the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame, please visit their Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/National-Midget-Auto-Racing-Hall-of-Fame-175885105763849/

Categories : Midgets, News, Short Track, USAC
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The United States Auto Club.

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Contact: Richie Murray - USAC Media / richie@usacracing.com

TURKEY NIGHT DON BASILE ROOKIE OF THE RACE CONTENDERS

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Ventura, California.........Over the years, Don Basile Rookie of the Race honors at the "Turkey Night Grand Prix" have been awarded to some of the most talented young racers in America.

Just a glance down the list will show you the names of Kasey Kahne, Dave Steele, Bobby East, Kody Swanson, Kyle Larson, Tanner Thorson, Carson Macedo and Zeb Wise as individuals who've made an impact in their first appearance at the prestigious race early in their careers before going onto achieve big things in the racing world.

This year's 78th edition of "Turkey Night" on November 22 at California's Ventura Raceway has its own share of drivers who are on the cusp of big things themselves along with a slew of drivers who've already established themselves as stars in their own disciplines outside of midget racing.

Greenfield, Indiana's C.J. Leary is one who's part of both categories, winning in both the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car and Silver Crown divisions in 2018, including a memorable drive to win the Crown finale at Eldora Speedway in September.

Jac Haudenschild was a frequent competitor at "Turkey Night," last competing in 2013, but now it's his son Sheldon's turn to take the wheel. This year, Sheldon, from Wooster, Ohio, was a five-time winner on the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car trail.

Jason McDougal, of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, became a first-time winner in USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car competition this season at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, Mo.

Rossville, Indiana's Cole Bodine nearly pulled off a stunner in July, leading 28 laps and finishing second at Sweet Springs (Mo.) Motorsports Complex in just his fourth career USAC P1 Insurance National Midget start.

Buddy Kofoid, of Penngrove, Calif., has turned heads on the west coast in winged sprint cars while fellow Penngrove native Chase Johnson and Roseville, California's Colby Copeland have each won USAC/CRA Sprint Car features in 2018. Fremont, California's Dustin Golobic made his Turkey Night debut in 2017, missing the main event, but returns for a go at his first feature start. Tempe, Arizona's Sterling Cling has a background in off-road racing and with USAC Southwest Sprints, where he finished 11th in points this year.

Sam Johnson of St. Peters, Mo. has competed regularly with the USAC National Midgets in his first year behind the wheel of a midget. Western States regulars C.J. Sarna, Kyle Beilman, Mike Leach, Bryan Drollinger and Dylan Ito represent California's Rookie crop. The Northwest contingent consists of Tristin Thomas and Colton Heath from Washington. Kevin Woody, Jr., whose unique backstory includes experience as an Army combat veteran and currently as a government bodyguard comes cross country from New York to take in his first Turkey Night experience.

The Colorado contingent brings Carson Garrett back for his second appearance and debuts by Chris Sheil, Jesse Fernandez as well as Blaze Bennett, his brother Lance Bennett and Lance's wife, Olivia Bennett.

Olivia is one of four female Turkey Night Rookies in the field, including Oklahomans Michelle Decker and Holley Hollan, and Iowan McKenna Haase.

Last year, it was Zeb Wise driving to a 5th place finish and the top Rookie honors. In 2018, he translated that into becoming a frontrunner on the USAC National Midget tour and etched his name into the record books as the youngest ever USAC National Midget feature winner. Who'll be the next to take that step from this group?

"Turkey Night" gets underway Wednesday, November 21, with Midget practice and warmups, hot laps, heats and a Fast Dash for USAC West Coast/VRA Sprint Cars. Pits open at 11:45am, drivers meeting at 2:45pm, front gates at 3pm and cars on track at 3:15pm. General admission adult tickets are $20, senior/military/students are $15 and children under 12 are free with accompanying adult. Pit passes are $40 for VRA and USAC members.

On Thursday, November 22, it's a full program for the Midgets, plus semis and a feature for the USAC West Coast/VRA Sprint Cars. Pits open at 11:45am, drivers meeting at 2:45pm, front gates at 3pm and cars on track at 3:15pm. General admission tickets are $35. Reserved tickets are $45 for adults and $25 for children 12 and under. Pit passes are $50 for VRA and USAC members. $50,000 will go to a driver if he or she can win both main events.

Turkey Night tix can be purchased at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/78th-annual-turkey-night-grand-prix-tickets-42401301434?fbclid=IwAR3f5z07dJt8vp7zb46bY3wbWghCfr_naegvhVoi4OSJ0WlaXaIqpSBSfp4

All the action will be live on www.SpeedShiftTV.com/ with live audio for free on the USAC app. As always, all USAC National and Western States events will be available to view within a day following the race on www.Loudpedal.TV/.

PAST DON BASILE TURKEY NIGHT ROOKIES OF THE RACE: 1998: Kasey Kahne, 1999: Dave Steele, 2000: Aaron Pollock, 2001: Bobby East, 2002: Jerome Rodela, 2003: Ryan Durst, 2004: Brad Loyet, 2005: Kevin Swindell, 2006: Kody Swanson, 2007: Mike Murgoitio, 2008: Nic Faas, 2009: Levi Roberts, 2010: Dalton Armstrong, 2011: Kyle Larson, 2012: Ryan Bernal, 2013: Tanner Thorson, 2014: Isaac Chapple, 2015: Robert Dalby, 2016: Carson Macedo, 2017: Zeb Wise

Categories : Midgets, News, Short Track, USAC
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The United States Auto Club.

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Contact: Richie Murray - USAC Media / richie@usacracing.com

INDIANA SPRINT WEEK EXPANDS TO 8 RACES IN 2019

Speedway, Indiana.........Indiana Sprint Week will expand to its largest schedule in over a decade when the 32nd annual edition of the wildly-popular event arrives in 2019 for eight races in ten nights between July 18-27.

There have been only two other occasions when ISW featured eight USAC AMSOIL National Sprint races, in 2003 and 2007. The 2019 ISW schedule includes eight distinct tracks each with their own characteristics, ranging from relatively flat to high banks, from quarters to half-miles and from wide-sweeping turns to paperclip-shaped venues, offering a unique challenge to both driver and machine.

"This is a can't-miss swing that includes eight great facilities stretching all over the Hoosier state," USAC series coordinator Levi Jones said. "With passionate, loyal teams and fans marking Indiana Sprint Week on their calendars each year, adding one more race to an already great event just makes this series even better in 2019."

Indiana Sprint Week will begin on Thursday, July 18 at Gas City I-69 Speedway before heading northwest to Plymouth Speedway, which made its debut on the ISW schedule in 2018, the following night on Friday, July 19. From there, the series travels an hour south on U.S. 31 to Kokomo Speedway on Saturday, July 20. The first weekend concludes Sunday, July 21 in the southeastern part of the state at Lawrenceburg Speedway.

After a two-day hiatus, the series returns for a final four-day stretch that begins at the Terre Haute Action Track on Wednesday, July 24. Then, it's off to Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville on Thursday, July 25, Bloomington Speedway on Friday, July 26 and concludes with the ISW finale Saturday, July 27 at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt.

Indiana Sprint Week debuted in 1988, but first became USAC-sanctioned in 1996. Since then, the event has grown from a single weekend to eight races over a week-and-a-half and has become the marquee event on the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car trail that draws massive crowds and welcomes travelers from around the world, both driver and fan alike.

The USAC National Sprint Car division's winningest driver, Dave Darland, owns the most Indiana Sprint Week victories with 20. Levi Jones and Kevin Thomas have the most ISW titles with four. Chris Windom captured the most recent Indiana Sprint Week title.

2019 INDIANA SPRINT WEEK SCHEDULE:
Thu., July 18: Gas City I-69 Speedway - Gas City, Indiana
Fri., July 19: Plymouth Speedway - Plymouth, Indiana
Sat., July 20: Kokomo Speedway - Kokomo, Indiana
Sun., July 21: Lawrenceburg Speedway - Lawrenceburg, Indiana
Wed., July 24: Terre Haute Action Track - Terre Haute, Indiana
Thu., July 25: Lincoln Park Speedway - Putnamville, Indiana
Fri., July 26: Bloomington Speedway - Bloomington, Indiana
Sat., July 27: Tri-State Speedway - Haubstadt, Indiana

Categories : News, Short Track, Sprints, USAC
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The United States Auto Club.

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Contact: Richie Murray - USAC Media / richie@usacracing.com

THOMAS REPEATS $25K OVAL NATIONALS WIN; COURTNEY WINS USAC SPRINT TITLE ON TIEBREAKER

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Perris, California……November 10, 2018 – It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

That about sums of the rollercoaster of emotions Kevin Thomas, Jr. and Tyler Courtney endured at the conclusion of Saturday night’s Budweiser “Oval Nationals” presented by All Coast Construction at Perris Auto Speedway.

Kevin Thomas, Jr. notched his second-straight “Oval Nationals” win worth $25,000, but lost the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car championship on a tiebreaker to Tyler Courtney who gained the one spot he needed on the final lap after it appeared as if his title chances had slipped through his fingertips just moments before.

After 40 races from coast-to-coast, and 40 laps around Perris, the 2018 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car season concluded in the most dramatic of fashion, deadlocked at the top of the standings for the first time in the 63-year history of the series. It’s a record that will never be eclipsed, breaking the previous closest title race from 1965 when Johnny Rutherford defeated Greg Weld by 2.5 points.

Drama, agony, ulcers, heartbreak and, ultimately, joy were just a few of the ingredients in the mix during the final lap of the 23rd annual affair, which provided us with a nail-biter of a race on the track and on the Xcel Spreadsheet which was unlike any we’ve seen in recent times.

As he did Friday night, Courtney jumped out front once again at the start of the main event, although it was short-lived as Dave Darland escaped unscathed after a turn four flip on the opening lap.

On the complete restart, Courtney checked out from his outside front row starting spot while polesitter C.J. Leary cleared a charging Chase Stockon in turn two to lock up the second spot where he’d remain for much of the first half. That is until A.J. Bender became the second casualty of the young feature, flipping between turns three and four on the 14th lap before walking away under his own power.

Leary was salivating with thoughts of racing fortune when action resumed, sticking right to the bumper of Courtney until lap 16 when the two went wheel-to-wheel with Leary making the pass in turn two and narrowly leading before Courtney came right back at him for the spot on the following lap. Courtney made his move for the lead on the back straight, but Leary made a charge between three and four with Courtney just barely nipping Leary for the lead at the line this time.

On the 18th circuit, Leary was able to clear Courtney again in turn two to retake the lead and instantly began to widen the gap between he and Courtney to nearly a second and looked to be the head of the class.

With 14 laps remaining, Leary led the field entering turn one, but his ride appeared to be a handful as he wrestled with his steering wheel to get the car to turn. Courtney and Thomas, running second and third at the time, ate his lead up in the flick of a switch. Just moments later, the car of 22nd running Chris Gansen slowed to a stop at the inside of turn four to bring out the yellow. During the caution, Leary pulled into the work area to replace the right rear rubber. Though he returned to the track, his bid for a win was quashed for all intents and purposes and he’d soldier on to a 15th place finish.

That now placed the top-two in points in first and second on the track. Courtney came into the feature with a nine-point advantage and the objective was clear – finish fourth or better and the title was his regardless of what Thomas did. However, at the moment, the biggest single race payday of the year was just within reach and he was keen on putting that cherry on top of the pie with just 13 laps remaining.

Thomas worked on Courtney over the next handful of laps and, on lap 33, made his move around the outside of Courtney to grab the lead. Courtney was still in decent shape as he ran second, but one lap later, Chris Windom also scooted by and, suddenly, Courtney’s title bid was in a perilous state.

With four laps remaining, Stockon slipped by the suddenly fading Courtney for third while Bacon was suddenly breathing down his neck for fourth. Courtney was able to take a deep breath for a moment during the red with three laps remaining that resulted when R.J. Johnson flipped between turns one and two from which he’d walk away.

With three to go, leader Thomas and fourth-running Courtney were locked up at the top of the standings as they stood in the moment. Courtney’s role was clear. Do not let Bacon get by! However, Bacon put his ride up a lane higher than Courtney on the restart and drove around him in turn two to move into fourth and put Courtney on the outside looking in from fifth. One lap later, with 38 of the 40 laps complete, three-time “Ovals” winner Bud Kaeding slowed to a stop on the inside of turn four. The ensuing restart attempt also didn’t take as Max Adams stopped at the bottom of turn two.

Two laps remained for the final round of this yearlong boxing match that’s seen the point lead switch nine times among three drivers. As it stood on the lap 39 restart, Thomas was up on Courtney by three markers. Once the green flag fell, two distinct races were occurring for the race win and for fourth. Thomas held Stockon and Windom in check behind him for the race lead while Bacon handled Courtney as the field passed under the white flag.

Entering the first turn, suddenly, Bacon began to slow as his fuel tank began to run dry. Courtney was right there to capitalize and miraculously moved back into fourth and into the safe zone that he needed to be in to win the title.

Thomas finished the final lap of the final race of the season in grand fashion, winning the finale for the second consecutive season and becoming the first driver since Dave Darland in 2005-06 to win the “Oval Nationals” in successive years, while Stockon and Windom finished second and third, respectively.

“Two in a row here at the Oval Nationals! To come out of this place as the winner, that’s pretty humbling,” Thomas exclaimed. “It’s hard whenever you get those cautions late in the race. You just have to struggle on hitting the bottom. I knew I got the lead around Sunshine running the middle. On the last lap, I saw Stockon up there and I knew with the way his stuff rolls and with the way our car was working, I just straight gave up on the bottom. I was just ripping right through the middle.”

Meanwhile, Courtney clawed his way back to fourth to win the title via a tiebreaker. Both Courtney and Thomas finished with 2733 points, but Courtney’s 11 victories trumped Thomas’ 7, thus earning him the title in the closest points race in series history. Another 2018 champion, Damion Gardner, rounded out the top-five in the finish to collect his sixth-straight USAC/CRA Sprint Car crown and seventh overall.

“I didn’t want to make it that close,” Courtney said with a laugh. “We had a really good racecar tonight. It just kind of went away on us there. I couldn’t stick the middle like those guys were doing, but I’d rather have luck on our side than be good sometimes. I think we had a guy upstairs looking on us tonight. We’re doing all this in honor of Bryan Clauson. I’m honored to be a part of this. To come out our first year as a sprint car team and be the national champions is truly something special. It’s not something many people can do, and I’ve got a great group behind me. I’ve been busting my tail to get to this step and it took a lot of people believing in me along the way. It feels like everything’s paying off.”

Thomas was matter of fact when it came to the title race. Just one more win – one more position, even – would have provided him just enough points toward the championship.

“For this to come all the way down to the wire and actually tie in points, that’s pretty nuts,” Thomas reflected. “It was a hard-fought battle all year. We tied, but he won more races. That’s what got him here.”

At the beginning of this season, Courtney entered new territory, exiting the TOPP Motorsports team that he had accrued so much success with over the past two seasons, to join the newly-created sprint car team owned by Tim Clauson, Richard Marshall and 1999 USAC Silver Crown champion driver Ryan Newman. The goals may have been lofty to some, but this team meant business from day one and there’s no resting on their laurels according to Courtney.

“One of our goals was to be on the podium at the end of the year,” Courtney remembered. “Obviously, we try to exceed our goals and we came out with 11 wins and a championship. We’re going to go back to the drawing board, reset our goals, and come back and defend this title.”

Contingency award winners Saturday night at Perris Auto Speedway were R.J. Johnson (Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner) Chris Windom (Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner), Brady Bacon (Chalk Stix Third Heat Winner), Dave Darland (Indy Race Parts Fourth Heat Winner), Max Adams (Roger & Barb Tapy 13th Fastest Qualifier), Isaac Chapple (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher), Logan Seavey (KSE Racing Products Hard Charger) and Logan Williams & Danny Faria, Jr. (Saldana Racing Products First Non-Transfers).

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USAC AMSOIL NATIONAL & CRA SPRINT CAR RACE RESULTS: November 10, 2018 – Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, California – 23rd Budweiser “Oval Nationals” presented by All Coast Construction

WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFYING: 1. Thomas Meseraull, 77m, Michael-16.626; 2. Austin Williams, 2, Jory-16.636; 3. Brady Bacon, 99, Bacon-16.649; 4. Dave Darland, 12, Ballou-16.769; 5. Jason McDougal, 19s, Reinbold/Underwood-16.810; 6. Logan Seavey, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-16.823; 7. Bud Kaeding, 16, Martin-16.865; 8. Richard Vander Weerd, 10, Vander Weerd-16.904; 9. R.J. Johnson, 92, Sertich-16.907; 10. Chris Windom, 5, Baldwin-16.968; 11. Chase Johnson, 36D, Goodnight/Thomas/Curb-Agajanian-16.971; 12. Logan Williams, 5J, Jory-17.049; 13. Max Adams, 5m, Adams-17.055; 14. Danny Sheridan, 15, Johnson-17.075; 15. Jace Vander Weerd, 88, Vander Weerd-17.090; 16. Brody Roa, 91R, BR-17.158; 17. Charles Davis, Jr., 50, Davis-17.171; 18. A.J. Bender, 21, Bender-17.198; 19. Tommy Malcolm, 5x, Napier-17.206; 20. Chris Gansen, 4G, Gansen-17.216; 21. Danny Faria, Jr., 42, Cheney-17.289; 22. Isaac Chapple, 52, LNR/Chapple-17.317; 23. Austin Liggett, 83, Liggett-17.334; 24. Cody Williams, 44, Jory-17.344; 25. Josh Hodges, 74x, Hodges-17.497; 26. Randy Waitman, 90, Waitman-17.614; 27. Tye Mihocko, 5T, Mihocko-17.666; 28. Verne Sweeney, 98, Tracy-17.675; 29. Kyle Edwards, 39E, Edwards-17.699; 30. Matt McCarthy, 28m, McCarthy-17.766; 31. Jake Swanson, 34AZ, Grau/Burkhart-18.003; 32. Austin Ervine, 51, AJ-18.505; 33. Gary Marshall, Jr., 72, Marshall-19.794; 34. Frank Rodgers, 11x, Rodgers-19.942.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS / EXTREME MUFFLERS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps, top-2 transfer to the feature) 1. R.J. Johnson, 2. Adams, 3. Davis, 4. Hodges, 5. Faria, 6. Edwards, 7. McDougal, 8. Marshall, 9. Meseraull. NT

COMPETITION SUSPENSION, INC. (CSI) / CIRCLE TRACK PERFORMANCE / ROD END SUPPLY SECOND HEAT: (10 laps, top-2 transfer to the feature) 1. Windom, 2. A. Williams, 3. Sheridan, 4. Seavey, 5. McCarthy, 6. Bender, 7. Chapple, 8. Rodgers, 9. Waitman. 2:53.25

CHALK STIX / KEIZER ALUMINUM WHEELS THIRD HEAT: (10 laps, top-2 transfer to the feature) 1. Bacon, 2. C. Johnson, 3. J. Vander Weerd, 4. Kaeding, 5. Liggett, 6. Malcolm, 7. Mihocko, 8. Swanson. 2:54.56

INDY RACE PARTS / BUTLERBUILT SEATS FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps, top-2 transfer to the feature) 1. Darland, 2. Roa, 3. C. Williams, 4. Gansen, 5. Sweeney, 6. Ervine, 7. L. Williams, 8. R. Vander Weerd. NT

BR MOTORSPORTS / KING RACING PRODUCTS SUPER SIX DASH: (6 laps, finish order sets feature lineup) 1. C.J. Leary (#30 Leary), 2. Tyler Courtney (#7BC Clauson Marshall Newman), 3. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (#69 Dynamics), 4. Chase Stockon (#32 32 TBI), 5. Justin Grant (#4 TOPP), 6. Damion Gardner (#4x Alexander). NT

COMPETITION SUSPENSION, INC. (CSI) FIRST SEMI: (12 laps, top-5 transfer to the feature) 1. Hodges, 2. Seavey, 3. Liggett, 4. J. Vander Weerd, 5. Bender, 6. L. Williams, 7. Malcolm, 8. McCarthy, 9. Sweeney, 10. Sheridan, 11. Ervine, 12. R. Vander Weerd. NT

PYROTECT RACING CELLS / ROD END SUPPLY SECOND SEMI: (12 laps, top-5 transfer to the feature) 1. Kaeding, 2. McDougal, 3. Chapple, 4. C. Williams, 5. Gansen, 6. Faria, 7. Edwards, 8. Mihocko, 9. Rodgers, 10. Davis. 3:31.71

FEATURE: (40 laps – starting positions in parentheses) 1. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (3), 2. Chase Stockon (4), 3. Chris Windom (8), 4. Tyler Courtney (2), 5. Damion Gardner (6), 6. Logan Seavey (15), 7. Austin Williams (14), 8. Justin Grant (5), 9. Brody Roa (10), 10. Chase Johnson (13), 11. Brady Bacon (7), 12. Danny Faria, Jr. (26), 13. Isaac Chapple (19), 14. Jace Vander Weerd (23), 15. C.J. Leary (1), 16. Logan Williams (25), 17. Chris Gansen (20), 18. Max Adams (11), 19. Bud Kaeding (18), 20. R.J. Johnson (12), 21. Cody Williams (22), 22. Jason McDougal (16), 23. Josh Hodges (17), 24. A.J. Bender (24), 25. Austin Liggett (21), 26. Dave Darland (9). NT

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**Meseraull flipped during the first heat. Gardner flipped during the Super 6 Dash. Darland flipped on the opening lap of the feature. Bender flipped on lap 14 of the feature. R.J. Johnson flipped on lap 38 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-15 Courtney, Lap 16 Leary, Lap 17 Courtney, Laps 18-26 Leary, Laps 27-32 Courtney, Laps 33-40 Thomas.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS / SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS / RACING OPTICS HARD CHARGER: Logan Seavey (15th to 6th)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Isaac Chapple

ROGER & BARB TAPY 13TH FASTEST QUALIFIER: Max Adams

SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS FIRST NON-TRANSFERS: Logan Williams & Danny Faria, Jr.

FINAL USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Courtney-2733, 2-K. Thomas-2733, 3-Windom-2651, 4-Stockon-2343, 5-Bacon-2331, 6-Leary-2328, 7-Darland-2292, 8-Grant-2290, 9-Robert Ballou-1771, 10-Chapple-1572.

FINAL AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR POINTS: 1-Gardner-1643, 2-Roa-1598, 3-A. Williams-1354, 4-C. Williams-1189, 5-Swanson-1173, 6-R.J. Johnson-1113, 7-Max Adams-1044, 8-L. Williams-976, 9-Faria-972, 10-Gansen-872.

More in this category: « TONY JONES OVAL NATIONALS HARD CHARGER PASSING POINTS 2018 USAC AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT CAR STATISTICAL REVIEW »

Categories : News, Short Track, Sprints, USAC
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Contact: Richie Murray - USAC Media / richie@usacracing.com

GRANT STRIKES TWICE FOR OVAL NATIONALS NIGHT TWO VICTORY

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Perris, California……November 9, 2018 – When it comes to the first two nights of the 23rd annual Budweiser “Oval Nationals” presented by All Coast Construction at Perris Auto Speedway, it seems you just can’t keep Justin Grant and Tyler Courtney away from each other in late-race situations.

It also appears that down the stretch of the season, you just can’t keep Justin Grant out of USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car victory lane as he collected his fifth win in the past seven races.

Lightning does in fact strike the same spot twice when it comes to the final two laps of the first two nights of the “Ovals.” Just like he did in Thursday’s opener, Justin Grant chased down Tyler Courtney in traffic coming to the white flag with the two making contact while battling for the lead in turn three.

For the second-straight night, Grant got the upper hand in the end with Courtney settling for a runner-up finish despite a dominant performance up to that point.

It led to a subdued victory lane celebration in which Grant chided himself for how it all went down in the end as he was gunning for race wins while Courtney was in the midst of a seriously tight points race on the final weekend of the season.

“I’m pretty disappointed in myself,” Grant admitted. “That’s not how I wanted to win that thing. I got tight against the cushion going into three right when he was getting sideways - my mistake. I’m really glad he didn’t get turned around and lose many points. The last thing I wanted to do was mess that up. That’s not how I wanted to win that race. My guys deserve it, but I feel really bad about it. It’s hard racing in traffic like that. There’s not a lot of options, but I certainly didn’t want to do that.”

Grant set fast qualifying time earlier in the evening while Courtney and fellow title contender Kevin Thomas, Jr. occupied the front row for the 30-lap feature. Courtney slotted himself into the lead ahead of Thomas on the opening lap when a melee ensued involving five cars: Brady Bacon, Dave Darland, Richard Vander Weerd, Brody Roa and Isaac Chapple, who tipped upside down. Chapple climbed out of the wreckage unscathed, but was finished for the night as was Roa, who saw his opportunity at a first USAC/CRA crown take a major blow.

Once action resumed, Courtney checked out, lifting the front wheels to the heavens as he ripped down the back straightaway. Meanwhile, Grant was already on the assault, jetting from fifth to fourth to third on laps two, three and four to settle in behind Chase Stockon and leader Courtney in the early going.

By lap nine, Grant and Stockon were exchanging recipes for sliders at both ends of the racetrack, ultimately securing the second spot on the 11th lap. However, Courtney used that opportunity to construct a six second lead as the race neared the midway point.

Simultaneously, Courtney began his approach of lapped traffic, setting a torrid pace as he avoided close calls with a pair of past USAC champs, first with bumper-to-bumper contact of Danny Faria, Jr. between turns three and four and near wheel-banger with R.J. Johnson at the flag stand. Grant munched more than a third out of Courtney’s lead in the process.

Courtney had no intention of being timid as he charged through traffic, slicing high and low between the tail end of the field. But, so was Grant. With ten to go, Grant on the scene trying his hand at a pair of sliders in turn three on laps 21 and 22 that he very nearly pulled off.

At some points, it appeared to be over, especially after smacking the concrete between turns three and four with six laps remaining that cost him valuable ground as the clock, and the laps, ticked away. But sand still remained in the hourglass for Grant as Courtney met a three-wide group of Josh Hodges, Max Adams and Damion Gardner involved in their own race for 13th, allowing Grant to reel Courtney in for one more run.

As the two raced to the white flag, Grant followed Courtney down the back straight with less than two car lengths separating the pair. Courtney entered high in turn three around the outside of Hodges. Grant followed suit with a big run on the cushion when Grant’s front bumper and Courtney’s rear bumper collided, resulting in Courtney performing a 90-degree angle turnabout while Grant escaped by the skin of his teeth between Courtney and the outside wall. Courtney miraculously gathered it up and carried on his merry way, albeit in second, with a championship-salvaging save considering the implications that would’ve transpired had he stalled it.

Grant finished off the final lap unchallenged, winning his fourth-straight feature event at Perris in as many starts this year. Courtney took second ahead of Kevin Thomas, Jr., Chris Windom and Stockon.

With the victory, Grant set a new, personal season-high of USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car victories with five, moving him into a three-way tie for 42nd on the all-time series win list alongside Don Branson and Steve Chassey at 13 wins.

Courtney’s second-place run did allow him to open up his National point lead over Thomas from seven to nine heading into Saturday’s season finale. Meanwhile, in the CRA title race, Gardner and Roa had less than desirable finishes of 16th and 25th respectively. Gardner extended his lead to 33 as he aims to lock down his sixth-straight series crown and seventh overall.

Contingency award winners Friday night at Perris Auto Speedway were Kevin Thomas, Jr. (Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner), Tyler Courtney (Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner), R.J. Johnson (Chalk Stix Third Heat Winner), Damion Gardner (Indy Race Parts Fourth Heat Winner), Chase Stockon (Angle Buildings Fifth Heat Winner), Austin Williams (Roger & Barb Tapy 13th Fastest Qualifier & Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher), Chris Windom (KSE Racing Products Hard Charger) and Jace Vander Weerd (Saldana Racing Products First Non-Transfer).

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USAC AMSOIL NATIONAL & CRA SPRINT CAR RACE RESULTS: November 9, 2018 – Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, California – 23rd Budweiser “Oval Nationals” presented by All Coast Construction

WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFYING: 1. Justin Grant, 4, TOPP-16.868; 2. Jason McDougal, 19s, Reinbold/Underwood-16.881; 3. Thomas Meseraull, 77m, Michael-16.944; 4. Bud Kaeding, 16, Martin-16.974; 5. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-16.978; 6. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 69, Dynamics-16.994; 7. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson Marshall Newman-17.063; 8. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-17.066; 9. Brody Roa, 91R, BR-17.069; 10. Jake Swanson, 34AZ, Grau/Burkhart-17.115; 11. Jace Vander Weerd, 88, Vander Weerd-17.126; 12. Isaac Chapple, 52, LNR/Chapple-17.127; 13. Austin Williams, 2, Jory-17.146; 14. Dave Darland, 12, Ballou-17.205; 15. Richard Vander Weerd, 10, Vander Weerd-17.211; 16. Brady Bacon, 99, Bacon-17.217; 17. Chase Johnson, 36D, Goodnight/Curb-Agajanian-17.255; 18. Chris Windom, 5, Baldwin-17.299; 19. Damion Gardner, 4x, Alexander-17.300; 20. Max Adams, 5m, Adams-17.309; 21. Logan Seavey, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-17.310; 22. Logan Williams, 5J, Jory-17.335; 23. R.J. Johnson, 92, Sertich-17.350; 24. Cody Williams, 44, Jory-17.374; 25. Josh Hodges, 74x, Hodges-17.438; 26. Danny Sheridan, 15, Johnson-17.471; 27. Austin Liggett, 83, Liggett-17.522; 28. Charles Davis, Jr., 50, Davis-17.629; 29. A.J. Bender, 21, Bender-17.713; 30. Kyle Edwards, 39E, Edwards-17.773; 31. Dennis Gile, 13, Gile-17.812; 32. Verne Sweeney, 98, Tracy-17.864; 33. Danny Faria, Jr., 42, Cheney-17.877; 34. Chris Gansen, 4G, Gansen-17.898; 35. Matt McCarthy, 28m, McCarthy-17.917; 36. Tommy Malcolm, 5x, Napier-18.027; 37. Tye Mihocko, 5T, Mihocko-18.096; 38. Randy Waitman, 90, Waitman-18.167; 39. Austin Ervine, 51, AJ-18.752; 40. Gary Marshall, Jr., 72, Marshall-19.169; 41. Frank Rodgers, 11x, Rodgers-NT.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS / EXTREME MUFFLERS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Thomas, 2. Seavey, 3. Bacon, 4. Grant, 5. Rodgers, 6. Sheridan, 7. J. Vander Weerd. NT

COMPETITION SUSPENSION, INC. (CSI) / CIRCLE TRACK PERFORMANCE / ROD END SUPPLY SECOND HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Courtney, 2. L. Williams, 3. McDougal, 4. Liggett, 5. C. Johnson, 6. Chapple, 7. Sweeney, 8. Mihocko. 2:54.17

CHALK STIX / KEIZER ALUMINUM WHEELS THIRD HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. R.J. Johnson, 2. A. Williams, 3. Windom, 4. Leary, 5. Davis, 6. Faria, 7. Meseraull, 8. Waitman. 2:54.73

INDY RACE PARTS / BUTLERBUILT SEATS FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Gardner, 2. Darland, 3. Roa, 4. Kaeding, 5. Bender, 6. C. Williams, 7. Gansen, 8. Ervine. 2:54.43

ANGLE BUILDINGS / ULTRA SHIELD RACE PRODUCTS FIFTH HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Stockon, 2. Hodges, 3. R. Vander Weerd, 4. Adams, 5. Swanson, 6. McCarthy, 7. Edwards, 8. Marshall. 2:55.46

COMPETITION SUSPENSION, INC. (CSI) SEMI: (12 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Meseraull, 2. Swanson, 3. Chapple, 4. C. Johnson, 5. J. Vander Weerd, 6. Faria, 7. McCarthy, 8. Bender, 9. Edwards, 10. Gansen, 11. Mihocko, 12. Sweeney, 13. Waitman, 14. Marshall, 15. Rodgers, 16. Ervine, 17. Davis, 18. Sheridan, 19. C. Williams. NT

EVELYN PRATT FEATURE: (30 laps – starting positions in parentheses) 1. Justin Grant (6), 2. Tyler Courtney (1), 3. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (2), 4. Chris Windom (17), 5. Chase Stockon (3), 6. Brady Bacon (15), 7. C.J. Leary (8), 8. Thomas Meseraull (7), 9. Bud Kaeding (4), 10. Jason McDougal (5), 11. Logan Seavey (20), 12. Jake Swanson (10), 13. Austin Williams (12), 14. Max Adams (19), 15. Josh Hodges (23), 16. Damion Gardner (18), 17. Richard Vander Weerd (14), 18. Chase Johnson (16), 19. Austin Liggett (24), 20. Dave Darland (13), 21. Logan Williams (21), 22. R.J. Johnson (22), 23. Danny Faria, Jr. (26), 24. Cody Williams (25), 25. Brody Roa (9), 26. Isaac Chapple (11). 9:01.84

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**Gile flipped during qualifying. Malcolm flipped during qualifying. Davis flipped during the semi. Chapple & Roa flipped on the opening lap of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-28 Courtney, Laps 29-30 Grant.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS / SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS / RACING OPTICS HARD CHARGER: Chris Windom (17th to 4th)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Austin Williams

ROGER & BARB TAPY 13TH FASTEST QUALIFIER: Austin Williams

SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS FIRST NON-TRANSFER: Jace Vander Weerd

NEW USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Courtney-2672, 2-K. Thomas-2663, 3-Windom-2587, 4-Leary-2295, 5-Bacon-2290, 6-Stockon-2276, 7-Darland-2269, 8-Grant-2241, 9-Robert Ballou-1771, 10-Chapple-1535.

NEW AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR POINTS: 1-Gardner-1585, 2-Roa-1552, 3-A. Williams-1302, 4-C. Williams-1166, 5-Swanson-1163, 6-R.J. Johnson-1090, 7-Max Adams-1017, 8-L. Williams-945, 9-Faria-933, 10-Gansen-843.

NEXT USAC AMSOIL NATIONAL & CRA SPRINT CAR RACE: November 10 – Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, California – 23rd Budweiser “Oval Nationals” presented by All Coast Construction

More in this category: « OVAL NATIONALS POINTS (After Night 2 of 3) TONY JONES OVAL NATIONALS HARD CHARGER PASSING POINTS »

Categories : News, Short Track, Sprints, USAC
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Contact: Richie Murray - USAC Media / richie@usacracing.com

RESILIENT GRANT GRABS OVAL NATIONALS OPENER AT PERRIS

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Perris, California……November 8, 2018 – For better or worse, Justin Grant and TOPP Motorsports have learned how to be resilient this year.

They’ve successfully overcome their season-long, mountainous valley of struggles that kept them winless through their first 33 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car starts of 2018.

And, on Thursday night, the pair overcame humble beginnings that forced them to start from the fifth row in the A-Main for the opener for the 23rd annual Budweiser “Oval Nationals” presented by All Coast Construction at Perris Auto Speedway.

There was no head-hanging with this bunch as they went to work with Grant methodically picking his way through the field and, with two laps remaining, came to a fork in the middle of the road. So, he took it.

After a brief tussle with Tyler Courtney, Ione, California’s Grant grabbed the lead in late-race fashion in much the same manner as he did in the “Western World” opener one week ago to score his fourth series win in the past six races.

In each of those previous three triumphs, he started from the front row. This one, however, feature the extra element of traffic to wade through on the way to the front.

“We started so far in the back, I got to see it all,” Grant said. “I kind of buried these guys tonight. I didn’t qualify well, and we weren’t very good in the heat race. They made some changes, got us dialed in and this thing was a rocket ship in the feature.”

Granted started 10th in the 26-car field, finding his rhythm early on as last year’s “Ovals” opening night winner Chase Stockon drove off to the lead after narrowly squeezing around Brady Bacon on the back straight for the point on the first of 30 circuits.

The night’s only red flag came on the fourth lap when C.J. Leary, Grant and Thomas Meseraull got stacked up off turn two while running 9th-10th-11th. Meseraull ramped over the back end of Grant and double barrel-rolled before walking away uninjured.

Through the middle stages, it appeared to be Courtney’s show once again as he slid Damion Gardner for second on the eighth lap, then began his pursuit of Stockon. Courtney presented his presence in turn three on the 12th lap, giving a sneak peak of his front bumper to Stockon who clung to the lead for just one more half a trip around the PAS. Courtney came right back at Stockon in turn one on lap 13 and slid to the front with ease and appeared to be gonzo, darting off to a 2.5-second lead past the midway point when the yellow fell for a flat left rear by Cody Williams.

At that point, most eyes were on Courtney at the top of the heap while Grant scrapped his way from seventh to second in succession, passing one car each lap from lap 12 through 17 as he swiftly bolted by Stockon in turn three following the lap 17 restart.

Grant closed rapidly toward Courtney who was seeking to extend his series-leading win tally to 12 this season. Grant gained ground, then lost some, as he hustled his ride around the half-mile, sometimes tapping the wall and banging the cushion as he laid it on the line with no championship implications like he did last year and, thus, had practically nothing to lose.

Once a strip of rubber began to appear on the surface in the late stages, it looked to be lights out for Grant’s opportunities. For it was easier to catch than it was to pass at the moment. With three to go, though, the car of Tommy Malcolm bounced off the turn two wall. As he was gathering it up, Courtney and Grant quickly swarmed. Courtney followed Malcolm into turn three, but Grant went right for the jugular, diving to the bottom and sliding wheel-to-wheel with Courtney when the two made contact – Grant’s right rear and Courtney’s left rear – which sent Courtney scooting up to the outside wall before he grabbed the wheel, punched the gas and motored onward, albeit in the runner-up position now.

On the final lap, Grant found himself in a similar position as Courtney the lap before. He pulled no punches, diving to the bottom of turn three and sliding across the nose of Malcolm to put his destiny into his own grasp. Courtney drove a line lower than both Grant and Malcolm through three and four, making one last run, but came up just two car lengths short as Grant continued his undefeated streak at Perris in 2018 for his third win of the season at the So Cal dirt oval. Courtney came home second ahead of Damion Gardner, Stockon and Kevin Thomas, Jr.

“I thought when it started laying rubber there, we were probably done, and we wouldn’t be able to get by Tyler there,” Grant admitted. “But he got caught behind the lapper and we fired it in there. He tried to drive around it at the last minute, but when you’re sliding across coming back to rubber, there’s not a lot you can do.”

It’s not ideal to get behind the proverbial eight-ball on a race night, or a season for that matter. But, that’s where Grant and TOPP have seemed to thrive the most. Now, they’re world beaters and the sky seems to be the limit for this pair moving forward in the TOPP Motorsports/NOS Energy Drink – TOPP Performance Race Parts – The Bow Foundation/Maxim/TOPP.

Though disheartened about the finish, Courtney did manage to take over the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car point lead by seven points over Thomas with two races remaining at Perris these next two nights. On the CRA side, Gardner extended his lead to 23 over Brody Roa.

Of note, to begin the night, Kevin Thomas, Jr. set a new USAC National Sprint Car single-season record for fast qualifying times, laying down his 15th fast time of the year to break Tom Bigelow’s mark of 14 in 1978.

Contingency award winners Thursday night at Perris Auto Speedway were Chris Windom (Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner), Brady Bacon (Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner), Damion Gardner (Chalk Stix Third Heat Winner), Tyler Courtney (Indy Race Parts Fourth Heat Winner), Max Adams (Roger & Barb Tapy 13th Fastest Qualifier), Justin Grant (KSE Racing Products Hard Charger) and Richard Vander Weerd (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher) and Austin Williams (Saldana Racing Products First Non-Transfer).

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USAC AMSOIL NATIONAL & CRA SPRINT CAR RACE RESULTS: November 8, 2018 – Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, California – 23rd Budweiser “Oval Nationals” presented by All Coast Construction

WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFYING: 1. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 69, Dynamics-16.455; 2. Jake Swanson, 34AZ, Grau/Burkhart-16.504; 3. Damion Gardner, 4x, Alexander-16.524; 4. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson Marshall Newman-16.612; 5. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-16.625; 6. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-16.664; 7. Brady Bacon, 99, Bacon-16.683; 8. Austin Williams, 2, Jory-16.715; 9. Logan Seavey, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-16.804; 10. Brody Roa, 91R, BR-16.820; 11. Justin Grant, 4, TOPP-16.877; 12. Richard Vander Weerd, 10, Vander Weerd-16.931; 13. Max Adams, 5m, Adams-16.935; 14. Thomas Meseraull, 77m, Michael-16.939; 15. Jason McDougal, 19s, Reinbold/Underwood-16.950; 16. Josh Hodges, 74x, Hodges-16.988; 17. Danny Faria, Jr., 42, Cheney-17.052; 18. Dave Darland, 12, Ballou-17.063; 19. Chase Johnson, 36D, Goodnight/Thomas/Curb-Agajanian-17.091; 20. Cody Williams, 44, Jory-17.125; 21. Chris Windom, 5, Baldwin-17.146; 22. Jace Vander Weerd, 88, Vander Weerd-17.159; 23. Danny Sheridan, 15, Johnson-17.172; 24. A.J. Bender, 21, Bender-17.200; 25. Isaac Chapple, 52, LNR/Chapple-17.235; 26. Matt McCarthy, 28m, McCarthy-17.292; 27. Chris Gansen, 4G, Gansen-17.324; 28. R.J. Johnson, 92, Sertich-17.349; 29. Logan Williams, 5J, Jory-17.357; 30. Kyle Edwards, 39E, Edwards-17.377; 31. Bud Kaeding, 16, Martin-17.445; 32. Austin Liggett, 83, Liggett-17.604; 33. Charles Davis, Jr., 50, Davis-17.636; 34. Randy Waitman, 90, Waitman-17.642; 35. Dennis Gile, 13, Gile-17.700; 36. Tommy Malcolm, 5x, Napier-17.765; 37. Verne Sweeney, 98, Tracy-17.783; 38. Tye Mihocko, 5T, Mihocko-17.835; 39. Gary Marshall, Jr., 72, Marshall-18.419; 40. Austin Ervine, 51, AJ-18.519; 41. Frank Rodgers, 11x, Rodgers-19.459; 42. Michael Faccinto, 8, Richardson-NT.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS / EXTREME MUFFLERS FIRST HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Windom, 2. Hodges, 3. Grant, 4. Thomas, 5. Leary, 6. Malcolm, 7. McCarthy, 8. Kaeding, 9. Rodgers. 2:53.44

COMPETITION SUSPENSION, INC. (CSI) / CIRCLE TRACK PERFORMANCE / ROD END SUPPLY SECOND HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Bacon, 2. Gansen, 3. R. Vander Weerd, 4. Swanson, 5. Faria, 6. J. Vander Weerd, 7. Liggett, 8. Sweeney. 2:55.32

CHALK STIX / KEIZER ALUMINUM WHEELS THIRD HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Gardner, 2. Sheridan, 3. R.J. Johnson, 4. Darland, 5. Adams, 6. Davis, 7. A. Williams, 8. Mihocko. 2:53.39

INDY RACE PARTS / BUTLERBUILT SEATS FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Courtney, 2. Meseraull, 3. L. Williams, 4. C. Johnson, 5. Seavey, 6. Bender, 7. Waitman. NT

ULTRA SHIELD RACE PRODUCTS FIFTH HEAT: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Chapple, 2. Stockon, 3. Roa, 4. McDougal, 5. C. Williams, 6. Gile, 7. Edwards, 8. Ervine. 2:55.78

COMPETITION SUSPENSION, INC. (CSI) SEMI: (12 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Leary, 2. C. Williams, 3. Seavey, 4. Adams, 5. A. Williams, 6. J. Vander Weerd, 7. Bender, 8. Liggett, 9. Kaeding, 10. Davis, 11. McCarthy, 12. Faria, 13. Malcolm, 14. Gile, 15. Sweeney, 16. Waitman, 17. Mihocko, 18. Edwards, 19. Rodgers. NT

BILL PRATT FEATURE: (30 laps – starting positions in parentheses) 1. Justin Grant (10), 2. Tyler Courtney (3), 3. Damion Gardner (4), 4. Chase Stockon (2), 5. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (6), 6. C.J. Leary (7), 7. Brody Roa (9), 8. Logan Seavey (8), 9. Brady Bacon (1), 10. Jake Swanson (5), 11. Chris Windom (19), 12. Dave Darland (16), 13. Richard Vander Weerd (11), 14. Isaac Chapple (21), 15. Max Adams (12), 16. Danny Sheridan (20), 17. Chase Johnson (17), 18. Logan Williams (24), 19. Cody Williams (18), 20. R.J. Johnson (23), 21. Tommy Malcolm (26), 22. Chris Gansen (22), 23. Josh Hodges (15), 24. Austin Williams (25), 25. Thomas Meseraull (13), 26. Jason McDougal (14). NT

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**Meseraull flipped on lap 4 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-12 Stockon, Laps 13-28 Courtney, Laps 29-30 Grant.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS / SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS / RACING OPTICS HARD CHARGER: Justin Grant (10th to 1st)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Richard Vander Weerd

ROGER & BARB TAPY 13TH FASTEST QUALIFIER: Max Adams

SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS FIRST NON-TRANSFER: Austin Williams

NEW USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Courtney-2597, 2-K. Thomas-2590, 3-Windom-2520, 4-Darland-2239, 5-Leary-2238, 6-Bacon-2229, 7-Stockon-2208, 8-Grant-2160, 9-Robert Ballou-1771, 10-Chapple-1510.

NEW AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR POINTS: 1-Gardner-1546, 2-Roa-1523, 3-A. Williams-1258, 4-C. Williams-1143, 5-Swanson-1121, 6-Johnson-1059, 7-Max Adams-977, 8-L. Williams-915, 9-Faria-910, 10-Gansen-833.

NEXT USAC AMSOIL NATIONAL & CRA SPRINT CAR RACES: November 9-10 – Perris Auto Speedway – Perris, California – 23rd Budweiser “Oval Nationals” presented by All Coast Construction

More in this category: « DARLAND MOVES INTO TIE FOR SECOND MOST USAC SPRINT FAST TIMES OVAL NATIONALS POINTS (After Night 1) »

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Tyler Courtney became the 7th driver in the history of the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car series to win at least 11 races in a year Saturday night in the 'Western World' finale at Arizona Speedway. (Rich Forman Photo)



SUNSHINE FINDS A POCKETFUL OF REDEMPTION AT WESTERN WORLD

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

San Tan Valley, Arizona.....November 3, 2018 - Twenty-four hours prior to taking the green flag for Saturday night's 51st "Western World Championships" finale at Arizona Speedway, Tyler Courtney was lamenting how he threw away a victory in lapped traffic.

It was a mistake the Indianapolis, Indiana driver expressed he couldn't repeat when racing against competition that is at the top of their game.

Twenty-four hours later, Courtney was standing in victory lane, reversing the spell that cast him in the throes of lapped traffic. This time, it was he who capitalized in lapped traffic as he ran down Dave Darland with 13 laps remaining to win his 11th USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car feature of the season.

"I screwed myself with lapped cars last night and I was determined that I wasn't going to do that again," an adamant Courtney said.

Courtney started fifth on the field while, up front, fellow USAC National Sprint Car championship contender Chris Windom rocketed from his outside front row starting position to the lead past pole sitter Damion Gardner and quickly carved out a two-plus second advantage.

On the move and not wasting a single heartbeat was Courtney who advanced three spots to second on the opening lap, slithering around the outside of Dave Darland on the top of turn two to gain the position. Darland fought back to regain second on the fourth lap just before the night's first yellow flag fell for the stopped car of 2014 "Western World" winner Matt Rossi on lap five.

On the restart, Darland reared back and fired a slider into turn one. As Windom came off the top to launch his way off turn two, the duo nearly went hammer to nail. Windom got on the binders, which shuffled him out of the deck and back to fourth as Courtney and Leary shot past for second and third, respectively, while Darland carried onward with the race lead.

However, the lap six restart following top CRA Rookie Joel Rayborne's incident in turn four saw Leary wrestle the second position away from Courtney where he would remain until the ninth lap when Courtney eked between Leary and the turn two concrete to nab the runner-up position for the time being, with leader Darland now within earshot.

Whereas Courtney gave into impatience and trigger happiness on Friday night, Saturday night would prove to have a different outlook as he stuck to his guns up top. On lap 18, Courtney's stick-to-itiveness paid off as the two began to work their way into traffic. Darland went to the bottom of three and four to work by Rossi and R.J. Johnson, still maintaining the lead to the stripe.

Entering turn one, Darland drove it in the corner as straight as an arrow and slid to the top, cutting in front of Courtney's line up on the lip. Courtney countered underneath Darland and two raced wheel-to-wheel down the back straight of the 3/8-mile dirt oval with Darland clinging to a slight advantage into three. Courtney threw his Clauson Marshall Newman Racing/NOS Energy Drink - Priority Aviation/Spike/Rider Chevy deep into turn three, shoulder-to-shoulder with Darland.

Darland appeared, momentarily, to have the momentum to ride back by Courtney on the outside, but, instead, snagged the right rear in the cushion just enough to lift the front wheel just a smidge. The two remained wheel-to-wheel all the way through the corner with Darland getting just a tad squirrely on exit, somehow avoiding contact with the distance between the two being roughly the circumference of a feline whisker, as Courtney raced to the lead at the line by two car lengths.

'I screwed myself with lapped cars last night and I was determined that I wasn't going to do that again.' - Tyler Courtney (Adam Mollenkopf Photo)

Moments later, Austin Williams slowed to bring out the yellow, setting up a restart with 11 to go that had Darland weighing his options, first peeking his front bumper to the inside of Courtney to no avail, but remaining in stalking mode with his hackles raised, just hoping for a Courtney mistake down the stretch on the narrowing groove up top.

The cameramen were in position, this author's headline was already halfway written, the checkered flag was in hand and all appeared to be settled on the final lap for Courtney when Rossi stopped at the flag stand to bring out the final yellow, setting up a green-white-checkered finish.

Courtney was hoping for an uneventful last restart and that's just what he got as Darland could not get close enough to the back bumper of Courtney to mount a challenge throughout the two-lap shootout. Courtney sealed the deal with a pair of laps that were in sync, with car and driver in perfect harmony to win by half a second over Darland, Leary, Windom and Logan Seavey.

Courtney's 11th win of the year positioned him as just the seventh driver to reach that number of victories within a single USAC National Sprint Car season, equaling him with Bubby Jones' 11-win season in 1979. With point leader Kevin Thomas, Jr. taking eighth in the feature, Courtney moved to within two points of the USAC National Sprint title with three races remaining on Nov. 8-9-10 at California's Perris Auto Speedway.

"We had high expectations coming into this year, but I think we've exceeded all of them," Courtney exclaimed. "But we're not done yet. We've got three races left and still have the big picture in mind. We've just got to keep doing what we're doing and plug along. You just got to let it play out."

Meanwhile, in the USAC/CRA Sprint Car standings, Gardner overtook Brody Roa atop the leaderboard in the standings by five points with three races left to go at Perris.

Contingency award winners Saturday night at Arizona Speedway were Isaac Chapple (Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner / Roger & Barb Tapy 13th Fastest Qualifier), Tyler Courtney (Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner), Kevin Thomas, Jr. (Chalk Stix Third Heat Winner / KSE Racing Products Hard Charger), Chase Stockon (Indy Race Parts Fourth Heat Winner) and Brody Roa (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher).

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USAC AMSOIL NATIONAL & CRA SPRINT CAR RACE RESULTS: November 3, 2018 - Arizona Speedway - San Tan Valley, Arizona - 51st"Western World Championships"

WOODLAND AUTO DISPLAY QUALIFYING: 1. Dave Darland, 12, Ballou-15.235; 2. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson Marshall Newman-15.277; 3. Logan Seavey, 19, Reinbold/Underwood-15.298; 4. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-15.375; 5. Thomas Meseraull, 77m, Michael-15.434; 6. Justin Grant, 4, TOPP-15.473; 7. Chris Windom, 5, Baldwin-15.503; 8. Damion Gardner, 4x, Alexander-15.534; 9. Jake Swanson, 34AZ, Grau/Burkhart-15.551; 10. Danny Sheridan, 15, Johnson-15.575; 11. Jason McDougal, 19s, Reinbold/Underwood-15.631; 12. Cody Williams, 44, Jory-15.647; 13. Isaac Chapple, 52, LNR/Chapple-15.649; 14. Austin Williams, 2, Jory-15.735; 15. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 69, Dynamics-15.793; 16. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-15.814; 17. Chris Gansen, 4G, Gansen-15.822; 18. R.J. Johnson, 92, Sertich-15.866; 19. Ryan Bernal, 73, Ford-15.890; 20. Brody Roa, 91R, BR-15.908; 21. Josh Hodges, 74x, Hodges-15.949; 22. Danny Faria, Jr., 42, Cheney-16.044; 23. Matt Rossi, 02, Rossi-16.109; 24. Dennis Gile, 13, Gile-16.117; 25. Brady Bacon, 99, Bacon-16.132; 26. Stevie Sussex, 12A, Allen-16.138; 27. Logan Williams, 5x, Jory-16.169; 28. Tye Mihocko, 5T, Mihocko-16.290; 29. Joel Rayborne, 12B, Blair-16.821.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS / EXTREME MUFFLERS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Chapple, 2. Swanson, 3. Bacon, 4. Darland, 5. Hodges, 6. Meseraull, 7. Gansen, 8. Rayborne. 2:10.11

COMPETITION SUSPENSION, INC. (CSI) / CIRCLE TRACK PERFORMANCE / ROD END SUPPLY SECOND HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Courtney, 2. Johnson, 3. Grant, 4. Sheridan, 5. A. Williams, 6. Sussex, 7. Faria. 2:12.18

CHALK STIX / KEIZER ALUMINUM WHEELS / ROD END SUPPLY THIRD HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Thomas, 2. Rossi, 3. Windom, 4. Bernal, 5. Seavey, 6. McDougal, 7. L. Williams. 2:12.02

INDY RACE PARTS / BUTLERBUILT SEATS / ROD END SUPPLY FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Stockon, 2. Leary, 3. Roa, 4. Gardner, 5. Mihocko, 6. Gile, 7. C. Williams. NT

COMPETITION SUSPENSION, INC. (CSI) / ROD END SUPPLY SEMI: (12 laps, top-6 transfer to the feature) 1. Meseraull, 2. Hodges, 3. Seavey, 4. A. Williams, 5. Sussex, 6. L. Williams, 7. Mihocko, 8. Gile, 9. Gansen, 10. Rayborne, 11. McDougal. 3:15.18

FEATURE: (30 laps - starting positions in parentheses) 1. Tyler Courtney (5), 2. Dave Darland (6), 3. C.J. Leary (4), 4. Chris Windom (2), 5. Logan Seavey (7), 6. Justin Grant (3), 7. Damion Gardner (1), 8. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (13), 9. Chase Stockon (14), 10. Thomas Meseraull (8), 11. Ryan Bernal (16), 12. Jake Swanson (9), 13. Brody Roa (17), 14. Isaac Chapple (11), 15. Brady Bacon (20), 16. Josh Hodges (18), 17. R.J. Johnson (15), 18. Danny Sheridan (10), 19. Matt Rossi (19), 20. Austin Williams (12), 21. Stevie Sussex (21), 22. Logan Williams (22), 23. Joel Rayborne (24), 24. Cody Williams (23). NT
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FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-4 Windom, Laps 5-17 Darland, Laps 18-30 Courtney.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS / SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS / RACING OPTICS HARD CHARGER: Kevin Thomas, Jr. (13th to 8th)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Brody Roa

ROGER & BARB TAPY 13TH FASTEST QUALIFIER: Isaac Chapple

SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS FIRST NON-TRANSFER: Tye Mihocko

NEW USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-K. Thomas-2521, 2-Courtney-2519, 3-Windom-2471, 4-Darland-2195, 5-Leary-2178, 6-Bacon-2175, 7-Stockon-2138, 8-Grant-2084, 9-Robert Ballou-1771, 10-Chapple-1461.

NEW AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR POINTS: 1-Gardner-1470, 2-Roa-1465, 3-A. Williams-1235, 4-C. Williams-1115, 5-Swanson-1068, 6-Johnson-1030, 7-Max Adams-943, 8-Faria-900, 9-L. Williams-882, 10-Gansen-803.

NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACES: November 8-9-10 - Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, California - 23rd Budweiser "Oval Nationals" presented by All Coast Construction

Categories : News, Short Track, Sprints, USAC
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