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

USAC STATEMENT REGARDING POSTPONEMENT OF MARCH RACES

Speedway, Indiana (March 16, 2020) - Given the uncertainty and ever-rapidly changing situation of the coronavirus pandemic in our country, the USAC management team is working cohesively with race promoters and track operators for races scheduled over the next 30 days. Decisions on each race will be made according to local, state and federal mandates that ensure the safety of all our fans and teams.

As of now, races scheduled for the CRA and West Coast Sprint Cars, as well as the Western Midget Series and Eastern SpeeD2 Midgets have been postponed through the end of March. At this time only those events have been affected.

We highly recommend that all USAC-sanctioned events adhere to the restrictions placed by local, state, and federal authorities, along with making every effort to follow guidelines and recommendations to help our fans, teams and competitors stay safe and healthy.

These are unprecedented times that we all are facing. We want to race just as much as anyone, but it will take us all working together to get back on track.

As we move forward USAC will continue to provide timely updates on all of our social channels:

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

Tanner Thorson's drive from 15th to 1st Saturday at the Shamrock Classic was the furthest back in the field a winning driver has started with the series since himself, also from 15th, at Indiana's Lincoln Park Speedway in June of 2019. (Rich Forman Photo)



THORSON THRILLS WITH 15TH TO 1ST CHARGE AT SHAMROCK CLASSIC

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Du Quoin, Ill. (March 7, 2020).........As Tanner Thorson recollected over his first three starts of the 2020 USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget season, one of his first thoughts was, "we should be three for three."

Instead, the 2016 series champ has had to settle for winning two out of three on the year thus far following Saturday night's Shamrock Classic victory at the Southern Illinois Center. And like a common refrain from a song you might've heard in the past, 'two out of three ain't bad.'

After capturing a season opening victory in Ocala during February, then dominating the second night at Ocala until an engine issue stifled a surefire victory, Thorson entered the Shamrock Classic with a plan to return to his winning ways, but that plan and the confidence went slightly askew early in the evening.

"After the qualifier, I thought I was about to load this thing up and get out of here," Thorson admitted. "This place has never been really too good to me."

Yet, Thorson and team remained tactful and honed in on the details that allowed him to drive from his 15th starting spot to victory lane, the furthest back in the field a winning driver has started with the series since himself, also from 15th at Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville, Ind. in June of 2019.

"We just kept at it all night," Thorson said. "I was really fast the last time I was here and we kind of brought the same set up here, but it didn't work. We just had to change some things and go through some stuff and it paid off."

In doing so, Thorson kept the streak intact of consecutive different USAC Midget winners to emerge at the Southern Illinois Center to nine and the run of different Shamrock Classic victors to five years running.

Furthermore, Thorson's 15th career series win elevated the Minden, Nev. driver to 46th all-time on the USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget feature win list, equaling him with Don Branson and Larry Rice.

The resilient Thorson had unfinished business to attend to after missing last year's Shamrock Classic due to the serious injuries he suffered in a California highway crash. His two most recent visits to the 1/6-mile dirt oval netted him a 7th place finish in 2016 and a 21st place result in 2017.

On Saturday, Thorson began his quest from the last quarter of the field while defending race winner Cannon McIntosh controlled the race from the front with series Rookie Buddy Kofoid in close quarters just behind in second.

On the 12th lap, leader McIntosh clipped the turn three infield berm, forcing him to check up and leave teammate Kofoid no room to maneuver and no time to react. Kofoid tapped McIntosh's rear bumper as a result, sending himself into a spin toward the turn three outside wall and out of contention for the win.

The ensuing restart saw the infield berm rear its ugly head at the opposite end of the track for McIntosh on the lap 13 restart. McIntosh clipped it with his left front, sliding him to a stop and collecting second running Courtney in the fracas, ending both racers their bid for a win on this night.

Nearing the midway point, 2018 Jason Leffler Memorial winner Tyler Thomas was the man on the move, sending it to third by Cole Bodine on the inside of turn three on lap 21 and to second underneath Jake Neuman on the 26th circuit.

With less than 20 to go, it was Thorson's turn to rise to the occasion as he tussled within the top-five and was battling for the third position with Jake Neuman on lap 32 when the two made contact. Neuman received the smaller piece of the wishbone on the deal, spinning to a stop in turn one, while Thorson continued on.

"It's just short track racing," Thorson chalked it up to. "I had a bunch of speed going in there. He got up on the berm and I just got into his back bumper a little bit."

On the ensuing restart, Thorson immediately went to work on Thomas for the runner-up position, ultimately snagging the spot on the 33rd lap. Thorson instantly slashed into Windom's advantage, and two laps later, slid underneath Windom off the fourth corner to secure the lead, finally sticking the right rear tire to the surface, something that he admitted to struggling with all night.

From there onward, Thorson went virtually unchallenged. He clipped the turn one berm with his left front wheel on the lap 40 restart, but it was no harm, no foul as he carried on to a 0.837 second victory aboard his Hayward Motorsports/Oilfire - Factory Kahne - Walker Filtration - Smith Titanium/Spike/Stanton SR-11x.

"This race team is just a big group that works really hard and it helps," Thorson said. "The overall package we have from our shocks to motors to cars, just everything. It's cool to watch the things we do work. Sometimes they don't, obviously, but we're doing a lot of little things that no one probably even thinks about that all add up. We've got a really good team and I'm looking forward to the next one."

Thomas took second over series point leader Windom while career best series performances were turned in by Robert Dalby, who finished fourth, and Kyle Simon who collected a fifth in his first career USAC National Midget feature start.

CONTINGENCY AWARD WINNERS:

Simpson Race Products First Qualifier Winner: Cannon McIntosh

Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Qualifier Winner: Buddy Kofoid

AutoMeter Third Qualifier Winner: Brady Bacon

Indy Race Parts Fourth Qualifier Winner: Jake Neuman

Indy Metal Finishing Semi Winners: Kyle Simon & Trey Gropp

KSE Racing Products / ProSource Hard Charger: Tanner Thorson

Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher: Ace McCarthy

Saldana Racing Products First Non-Transfers: Aiden Purdue & Anthony Nicholson

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USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: March 7, 2020 - Southern Illinois Center - Du Quoin, Illinois - Shamrock Classic presented by Dooling Machine

FIRST HEAT: (10 laps, passing points) 1. Tanner Carrick (#35 Petry), 2. Andy Bishop (#91 Harris), 3. Trey Robb (#08 Dave Mac), 4. Sam Johnson (#72 Johnson), 5. Kyle Simon (#23s Simon), 6. Gage Rucker (#19G Hayward). NT

SECOND HEAT: (10 laps, passing points) 1. Tyler Courtney (#7BC Clauson/Marshall), 2. Brady Bacon (#21H Hinck), 3. Ronnie Gardner (#7m Moonshine), 4. Logan Faucon (#52F Casson), 5. Kyle May (#39 May), 6. Tyler Robbins (#35T Robbins), 7. Michael Klein (#10A MWR). NT

THIRD HEAT: (10 laps, passing points) 1. Cannon McIntosh (#71K Kunz/Curb-Agajanian), 2. Chris Windom (#89 Tucker/Boat), 3. Kevin Thomas Jr. (#5 Petry), 4. David Budres (#31 Manic), 5. Anthony Nicholson (#5o Hagar/Proctor), 6. Robert Bell (#71B Bell), 7. Thomas Chandler (#1T Chandler), 8. Tyler Nelson (#88 Nelson). NT

FOURTH HEAT: (10 laps, passing points) 1. Buddy Kofoid (#67 Kunz/Curb-Agajanian), 2. Trey Gropp (#54G Mounce), 3. Robert Dalby (#4 Dalby), 4. Andrew Layser (#82 Tucker/Boat), 5. Aiden Purdue (#57D McCreery), 6. Austin Yarbrough (#13A McGee), 7. Matt Durbin (#12D Durbin), 8. Mark Chisholm (#3 Neuman). 1:50.410

FIFTH HEAT: (10 laps, passing points) 1. Ace McCarthy (#28 Dave Mac), 2. Cole Bodine (#39BC Clauson/Marshall), 3. Tanner Thorson (#19 Hayward), 4. Riley Kreisel (#56AP Young), 5. Chris Urish (#77u Casson), 6. Kendall Ruble (#11m Martin). 1:49.218 (New Track Record)

SIXTH HEAT: (10 laps, passing points) 1. Daison Pursley (#9 Kunz/Curb-Agajanian), 2. Tyler Thomas (#91T Thomas), 3. Jake Neuman (#3N Neuman), 4. Justin Grant (#4A RAMS), 5. Kyle Jones (#7R Moonshine), 6. Craig Oakes (#91x Oakes), 7. Sean Robbins (#53 Robbins). 1:50.231

ALSO AT THE TRACK: Derek Hagar (#9JR Hagar/Proctor) & Chris Andrews (#95 Miller)

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST QUALIFIER: (12 laps, top-40 overall in passing points transfer to the feature) 1. Cannon McIntosh, 2. Sam Johnson, 3. Justin Grant, 4. Cole Bodine, 5. Austin Yarbrough, 6. Thomas Chandler, 7. Trey Robb, 8. Kyle Jones, 9. David Budres, 10. Daison Pursley. NT

COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND QUALIFIER: (12 laps, top-40 overall in passing points transfer to the feature) 1. Buddy Kofoid, 2. Chris Windom, 3. Ace McCarthy, 4. Andy Bishop, 5. Aiden Purdue, 6. Riley Kreisel, 7. Mark Chisholm, 8. Ronnie Gardner, 9. Gage Rucker, 10. Matt Durbin, 11. Kyle May. NT

AUTOMETER THIRD QUALIFIER: (12 laps, top-40 overall in passing points transfer to the feature) 1. Brady Bacon, 2. Anthony Nicholson, 3. Kyle Simon, 4. Robert Bell, 5. Trey Gropp, 6. Tanner Thorson, 7. Tanner Carrick, 8. Kevin Thomas Jr., 9. Tyler Robbins, 10. Michael Klein. NT

INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH QUALIFIER: (12 laps, top-40 overall in passing points transfer to the feature) 1. Jake Neuman, 2. Tyler Courtney, 3. Robert Dalby, 4. Tyler Thomas, 5. Kendall Ruble, 6. Logan Faucon, 7. Andrew Layser, 8. Sean Robbins, 9. Craig Oakes, 10. Chris Urish. NT

INDY METAL FINISHING FIRST SEMI: (15 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Kyle Simon, 2. Tanner Thorson, 3. Daison Pursley, 4. Kevin Thomas Jr., 5. Aiden Purdue, 6. Austin Yarbrough, 7. Kyle Jones, 8. Thomas Chandler, 9. Tyler Robbins, 10. David Budres, 11. Gage Rucker, 12. Michael Klein, 13. Tanner Carrick. NT

INDY METAL FINISHING SECOND SEMI: (15 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Trey Gropp, 2. Trey Robb, 3. Robert Bell, 4. Kendall Ruble, 5. Anthony Nicholson, 6. Ronnie Gardner, 7. Riley Kreisel, 8. Andrew Layser, 9. Chris Urish, 10. Logan Faucon, 11. Matt Durbin, 12. Mark Chisholm. NT

FEATURE: (50 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Tanner Thorson (15), 2. Tyler Thomas (10), 3. Chris Windom (5), 4. Robert Dalby (7), 5. Kyle Simon (13), 6. Cole Bodine (8), 7. Buddy Kofoid (2), 8. Tanner Carrick (21), 9. Daison Pursley (17), 10. Trey Robb (16), 11. Kevin Thomas Jr. (19), 12. Kendall Ruble (20), 13. Ace McCarthy (9), 14. Justin Grant (11), 15. Cannon McIntosh (1), 16. Jake Neuman (6), 17. Brady Bacon (4), 18. Sam Johnson (12), 19. Robert Bell (18), 20. Tyler Courtney (3), 21. Trey Gropp (14). NT

**Tyler Nelson flipped during the third heat. Thomas Chandler flipped during the third heat. Daison Pursley flipped during the first qualifier. Kyle May flipped during the first qualifier. Craig Oakes flipped during the third qualifier.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-12 Cannon McIntosh, Laps 13-34 Chris Windom, Laps 35-50 Tanner Thorson.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS/PROSOURCE HARD CHARGER: Tanner Thorson

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Ace McCarthy

SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS FIRST NON-TRANSFER: Aiden Purdue & Anthony Nicholson

NEW USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Chris Windom-202, 2-Tyler Courtney-196, 3-Kevin Thomas, Jr.-188, 4-Buddy Kofoid-187, 5-Tanner Thorson-182, 6-Cannon McIntosh-178, 7-Andrew Layser-167, 8-Daison Pursley-158, 9-Tanner Carrick-149, 10-Cole Bodine-130.

NEW OVERALL PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Tanner Thorson-18, 2-Chris Windom-18, 3-Daison Pursley-18, 4-Brady Bacon-16, 5-Kevin Thomas Jr.-11, 6-Andrew Layser-9, 7-Tyler Thomas-8, 8-Mario Clouser-8, 9-Anton Hernandez-7, 10-Dave Darland-7.

NEXT USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACES: April 10-11, 2020 - Riverside International Speedway - West Memphis, Arkansas

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The United States Auto Club.

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

With the victory, Brady Bacon became the ninth driver to win the first two USAC National Sprint Car features of the year, following Jud Larson (1965), Larry Dickson (1970), Pancho Carter (1978), Rich Vogler (1987), Robbie Stanley (1993), Tracy Hines (2002), Jay Drake (2004) and Damion Gardner (2010).
(Rich Forman Photo)



BACON DOUBLES UP WITH SECOND STRAIGHT OCALA SCORE

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Ocala, Florida (February 15, 2020).........Brady Bacon took no chances on his cool down lap following Saturday night's USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car Winter Dirt Games XI victory at Bubba Raceway Park.

Following a mishap during his heat race that saw him drop from a surefire win to having to transfer through the semi in order to qualify for the feature, Bacon was once again the class of the field, driving from 9th to 1st to capture his second consecutive series main event win in as many nights at the 3/8-mile D-shaped dirt track in Ocala, Fla.

All the meanwhile, the Broken Arrow, Oklahoma native was adamant to make sure a victory wasn't going to slip through his fingers twice in one night.

"We made an extra lap in the feature. I wasn't going to stop until we knew it was over," Bacon exclaimed.

For you see, earlier Saturday evening during his heat race, Bacon was fully in charge, dominating the preliminary event until the final lap when his car began to slow dramatically. Was something amiss mechanically with his ride, many pondered.

However, as it turned out, Bacon thought he saw the flagman waving the white. As he came around the stripe the next time, he saw another flag waving and assumed it was the checkered. As it turned out, that flag was, in fact, the white. Bacon let off the gas on the actual last lap, assuming the race was over, and dropped from 1st to 8th as his competitors drove by him to knock him out from a potential second row starting spot.

As a result, Bacon was forced to transfer through the semi-feature, which he won, then rolled off from the 9th starting spot in the 30-lap feature - the same position he started from in his victory just 24 hours prior.

On paper, Saturday's results were a carbon copy of Friday's - a mesmerizing charge to the front that began from the inside of the fifth row. However, with the way all the elements transpired for Bacon, he wouldn't have it any other way en route to his 31st career USAC National Sprint Car feature win and his fourth career Winter Dirt Games sprint car score, tying him for second with Bryan Clauson and one behind Damion Gardner.

"It might've been a blessing in disguise running that B-Main because I ran the bottom in one and two once and I thought it was really good, so I just moved off of it," Bacon explained. "I didn't want to show my hand too much and I didn't want people to see that the bottom was fast."

"It was a lot slicker in the feature," Bacon continued. "But we were able to sneak around there and get a little grip down the back straightaway when everyone else was way up by the fence. It didn't feel like it was going to work because I felt like I was going like 2 mph, but then, all of a sudden, at the end of the back straightaway, I'd be beside or ahead of them. It was a little unconventional, especially for here, but it worked."

That's just how it unfolded for Bacon in a two-lap spurt that saw him slip underneath Chris Windom for second on lap 12 in turn three, then repeated the same move the very next lap in the same spot on Chase Stockon, who had commandeered the opening 12 laps from his outside front row starting position.

As Bacon jetted out to a 2.5 second lead in the waning laps, Windom and resurgent pole sitter Logan Seavey were involved in an intense grapple in which Seavey threw multiple sliders at Windom to no avail as Windom staved off the 2018 USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget champ for the position.

With three laps remaining, 14th running Katlynn Leer banged her right rear tire off the outside wall and flipped wildly down the front straightaway to bring out the feature event's lone red flag and final stoppage, thus erasing Bacon's advantage and setting up a three-lap dash for the win in which the two-time series champ had one of two ways to go.

"I was kind of torn whether to run the top or bottom," Bacon admitted. "I knew the top was probably a little faster, but I would have left a big window open for someone to slide me, and he did. But I was able to cross him over and survive. Thankfully, we just had a really good car tonight and we're able to overcome any obstacle that was thrown at us."

Windom successfully dove to the bottom and slid by Bacon in turn one on laps 28 and 29, but Bacon lowered the boom and tucked in at the exit of turn four, taking a lower entry into the first turn on the final lap to essentially shut the door on Windom's chances for victory and finish off a three-car-length margin of victory ahead of Windom, Seavey and Stockon with Justin Grant rounding out the top-five.

Brady Bacon's 333rd career USAC National Sprint Car start on Saturday elevated him into the top-ten all-time, equaling Sheldon Kinser for 10th on the list.
(Rich Forman Photo)



After Friday's victory, Bacon was relieved to have shaken the cloud that had hung over his head throughout the past three years at Winter Dirt Games. Saturday served up more of the same despite Bacon initially entering the season with tempered expectations based on recent outings at Ocala. Although. he is quick to credit a possibility that they've got the leg up on the competition so far due to the lack of turnover on the team after a busy offseason which saw a multitude of driver, team and mechanical changes around the pit area.

"I would've been happy with two top-fives after the last few years we've had here," Bacon said. "We ended last year really fast and had a chance to win every single race. Then, we just wanted to refine everything and keep getting better. You've got to keep digging because everyone else is going to do it in the offseason. We probably had the least amount of changes, just the sponsor change, but all the nuts and bolts have been the same. That might be our little advantage. All our personnel is the same. We're just in a lot better spot than we started with last year as far as our equipment goes."

With the victory, Bacon became the ninth driver to win the first two USAC National Sprint Car features of the year, following Jud Larson (1965), Larry Dickson (1970), Pancho Carter (1978), Rich Vogler (1987), Robbie Stanley (1993), Tracy Hines (2002), Jay Drake (2004) and Damion Gardner (2010).

Furthermore, Bacon's 333rd career USAC National Sprint Car start elevated him into the top-ten all-time, equaling Sheldon Kinser for 10th on the list.

CONTINGENCY AWARD WINNERS:

Fatheadz Eyewear / EPA Fast Qualifier: C.J. Leary

Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner: Logan Seavey

Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner: Dave Darland

AutoMeter Third Heat Winner: Chris Phillips

Indy Race Parts Semi Winner: Brady Bacon

KSE Racing Products / ProSource Hard Charger:

Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher:

Saldana Racing Products First Non-Transfer: Harley Burns

Hughes Racing / Indiana Mafia / Flamingo Sandy Passing Master:

Prosource Hard Work Award: Anthony D'Alessio

USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: February 15, 2020 - Bubba Raceway Park - Ocala, Florida - Winter Dirt Games XI

FATHEADZ EYEWEAR/EPA PHOTOGRAPHY QUALIFYING: 1. C.J. Leary, 1, Gile-13.845; 2. Justin Grant, 4, TOPP-13.873; 3. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-13.873; 4. Carson Short, 71p, Daigh/Phillips-13.877; 5. Chris Windom, 19, Hayward-13.884; 6. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-13.925; 7. Logan Seavey, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-13.925; 8. Dennis Gile, 13, Gile-13.933; 9. Kevin Thomas Jr., 9K, KT-13.977; 10. Kyle Cummins, 3R, Rock Steady-13.981; 11. Dave Darland, 36d, EZR/Curb-Agajanian-14.076; 12. Sterling Cling, 34, Cling-14.099; 13. Matt Westfall, 33m, Marshall-14.157; 14. Katlynn Leer, 77K, Leer-14.186; 15. Chris Phillips, 6p, Phillips-14.219; 16. Dustin Clark, 75, Clark-14.337; 17. Kyle Robbins, 17R, KR-14.385; 18. Scotty Weir, 22, Goodnight-14.408; 19. Mario Clouser, 6, Clouser-14.414; 20. Kory Schudy, 28K, Sawyer-14.416; 21. Stephen Schnapf, 61m, Edwards-14.442; 22. Kent Schmidt, 5K, KO-14.459; 23. Tyler Gunn, 68G, Gunn-14.472; 24. Matt Goodnight, 39, Goodnight-14.512; 25. Anton Hernandez, 5, Baldwin-14.514; 26. Brandon Mattox, 28, Mattox-14.612; 27. Harley Burns, 16, Burns-14.945; 28. Anthony D'Alessio, 01, D'Alessio/Parallax-15.474; 29. Robert Bell, 71, Bell-NT.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps, top-5 transfer to the feature) 1. Logan Seavey, 2. Kyle Cummins, 3. Carson Short, 4. C.J. Leary, 5. Mario Clouser, 6. Anton Hernandez, 7. Anthony D'Alessio, 8. Dustin Clark, 9. Kent Schmidt, 10. Matt Westfall. NT

COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (8 laps, top-5 transfer to the feature) 1. Dave Darland, 2. Chris Windom, 3. Justin Grant, 4. Kyle Robbins, 5. Dennis Gile, 6. Katlynn Leer, 7. Kory Schudy, 8. Brandon Mattox, 9. Tyler Gunn, 10. Robert Bell. NT

AUTOMETER THIRD HEAT: (8 laps, top-5 transfer to the feature) 1. Chris Phillips, 2. Chase Stockon, 3. Kevin Thomas Jr., 4. Scotty Weir, 5. Sterling Cling, 6. Stephen Schnapf, 7. Matt Goodnight, 8. Brady Bacon, 9. Harley Burns. 1:55.355

INDY RACE PARTS SEMI: (12 laps, top-7 transfer to the feature) 1. Brady Bacon, 2. Anton Hernandez, 3. Katlynn Leer, 4. Kory Schudy, 5. Stephen Schnapf, 6. Tyler Gunn, 7. Anthony D'Alessio, 8. Harley Burns, 9. Matt Westfall, 10. Matt Goodnight, 11. Brandon Mattox, 12. Dustin Clark. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Brady Bacon (9), 2. Chris Windom (3), 3. Logan Seavey (1), 4. Chase Stockon (2), 5. Justin Grant (5), 6. Carson Short (4), 7. C.J. Leary (6), 8. Kevin Thomas Jr. (11), 9. Kyle Cummins (12), 10. Dennis Gile (10), 11. Dave Darland (7), 12. Mario Clouser (17), 13. Stephen Schnapf (19), 14. Anton Hernandez (21), 15. Matt Westfall (24), 16. Kory Schudy (18), 17. Scotty Weir (16), 18. Kyle Robbins (15), 19. Anthony D'Alessio (22), 20. Chris Phillips (8), 21. Sterling Cling (13), 22. Brandon Mattox (23), 23. Tyler Gunn (20), 24. Katlynn Leer (14).
**Kent Schmidt flipped during the first heat. Katlynn Leer flipped on lap 28 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-12 Chase Stockon, Laps 13-30 Brady Bacon.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS/PROSOURCE HARD CHARGER: Brady Bacon (9th to 1st)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Stephen Schnapf

SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS FIRST NON-TRANSFER: Harley Burns

PROSOURCE HARD WORK AWARD: Anthony D'Alessio

NEW USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Brady Bacon-155, 2-Chris Windom-146, 3-Justin Grant-140, 4-C.J. Leary-138, 5-Logan Seavey-135, 6-Kyle Cummins-130, 7-Chase Stockon-129, 8-Carson Short-118, 9-Dave Darland-96, 10-Kevin Thomas Jr.-95.

FINAL HUGHES RACING/INDIANA MAFIA/FLAMINGO SANDY WINTER DIRT GAMES PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Brady Bacon-18, 2-Anton Hernandez-10, 3-Mario Clouser-10, 4-Kevin Thomas Jr.-9, 5-Dave Darland-9, 6-Chris Windom-8, 7-Kyle Cummins-8, 8-Chase Stockon-8, 9-C.J. Leary-7, 10-Logan Seavey-10.

NEW OVERALL PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Brady Bacon-16, 2-Chris Windom-16, 3-Daison Pursley-10, 4-Andrew Layser-9, 5-Mario Clouser-8, 6-Anton Hernandez-7, 7-Dave Darland-7, 8-Zeb Wise-6, 9-Dennis Misuraca-6, 10-Stephen Schnapf-6.

NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: April 4, 2020 - Lawrenceburg Speedway - Lawrenceburg, Indiana

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

Brady Bacon became just the 13th driver to record at least 30 career USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car wins with Friday's triumph at Bubba Raceway Park.
(Rich Forman Photo)


BACON BOLTS TO VALENTINE'S VICTORY AT OCALA

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Ocala, Florida (February 14, 2020).........Entering Friday night's USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship season opener, the most recent time Brady Bacon left Bubba Raceway Park with a top-five finish was three years ago.

Furthermore, the Broken Arrow, Okla. native's most recent victory at the 3/8-mile tri-oval came five years prior, leaving him more than eager to quash the early season dry spell that lingered over him entering the 2020 season.

On a weekend that's been anything but a dry spell with heavy rain washing out Thursday's intended opener and threatening Friday's second go with persistent afternoon showers, Bacon rid himself of the early-season cloud of recent years by taking the lead with just four laps remaining to score his third career Winter Dirt Games feature victory.

The win for Bacon in his Dynamics, Inc./Longworth Equipment - Fatheadz Eyewear - DriveWFX.com/Triple X/Rider Chevy notched another milestone for the two-time series champion. With the triumph, Bacon became just the 13th driver to reach the 30-win mark in his USAC National Sprint Car career.

"This win is pretty important to me because we've struggled here the past three years," Bacon admitted. "Getting off to a bad start is not easy. Hopefully, we can keep this momentum going and not start off at a handicap for the rest of the season."

Bacon had quite a long row to hoe in just 30 laps, starting 9th on the grid on a tricky surface before steadily moving his way through the 22-car field. Meanwhile, at the front of the pack, Kevin Thomas Jr. lunged to the point on the opening lap from his pole position while outside front row starter Kyle Cummins dug in and charged around Thomas to snare the lead off turn four on the opening circuit.

Cummins quickly gapped Thomas by just a tick under a full second during the early stages before encountering lapped traffic on the tenth lap. Cummins met a five-member single-file train of cars at the tail end of the lead lap where he decisively ripped around the outside of traffic as Thomas gave chase, closing up the canyon between the two ever so slightly.

Just one lap later, young Connor Leoffler, making his first career series start and who had just been put a lap down by Cummins, biked hard in turn one before landing on all fours and smacking the right rear against the outer concrete, ending his night.

On the lap 12 resumption, Thomas peeked his nose underneath the ride of Cummins at the exit of turn four, but Cummins slashed away once again and regenerated his advantage at the front, clicking off the fastest lap of the race one lap after the halfway mark.

Just prior to the last 10-lap stanza, Cummins was greeted by a chorus of traffic, allowing Thomas to subtract the interval between he and the lead car of Cummins. On the 20th lap, while exiting turn four, Cummins experienced "a moment" if you will when he and the car of Katlynn Leer collided near the flagstand, sending both into immediate disarray and near disaster. Although, both carried on without issue.

Thomas pounced on the Cummins/Leer mishap and raced to the lead past Cummins a half lap later on the bottom between turns three and four. However, two laps later, Thomas' bid for victory fell into shambles as his right rear tire went flat on the back straightaway on the 24th lap, granting Cummins the lead as Thomas slowed to a crawl to the work area where his crew swapped out for new rubber, ultimately returning for a 16th place finish.

The ensuing restart with seven laps remaining put Bacon on Cummins' tail where he immediately let it be known he was going to be a contender. At the conclusion of lap 24 at the exit of turn four, Bacon clawed off turn four under Cummins, racing to a near dead heat at the line with Cummins clinging to a slight advantage as he disallowed Bacon from taking hold of the low line entering turn one.



Bacon continued hounding Cummins on both ends of the racetrack, and on lap 27, Bacon was finally able to squeeze through the crack in the door underneath Cummins entering turn one, to pocket the lead once and for all.

"I knew he had been running the bottom in three and four and it was super, super tricky," Bacon recalled. "So, I figured if I could pressure him, he'd slide up enough to where I could slip underneath in three and four. I didn't know if I was going to get him, but I just got enough of a run to slide up and we had a really good car in the middle of one and two. I could turn back down and go the other way without him crossing me over. I felt pretty confident, that if nothing major happened, I could hold on."

Something major nearly did occur, however, as Bacon's tire began to deflate in the waning laps, leaking more air as each lap dissipated. But, 30 laps were just enough to race on without a hindrance. To just get to that point, though, it took a box full of patience to make the winning move, but not too much patience as to allow others to find the path to victory first before he did himself.

"I felt like the bottom was going to be good in three and four early, but it took me awhile to figure out how to hit it right without sliding up on entry," Bacon explained. "Even then, you had to figure out where you were going to put yourself going into the next corner to get a good run. Fortunately, we got by some people just in time before they figured it out too."

Princeton, Indiana's Kyle Cummins led a race-high 24 laps and came oh-so-close to finally scoring his initial Winter Dirt Games victory in his 21st start in the event, finishing 2nd in his Rock Steady Racing/Mid-America Safety Solutions - Greenwell Auto Body - Lucas Oil Center/Mach-1/Foxco Chevy.

"I felt like I had some pressure," Cummins said of Bacon's pursuit of him. "He was pounding the top, so I switched to the bottom. I thought I had him cleared there, but Brady did a good job there. We were really good at the beginning and I really didn't know where to go there in three and four. I went ahead and went to the top. I saw Brady and I tried to save the bottom. He just had a better car there at the end of the race."

Reigning series champion C.J. Leary of Greenfield, Ind. finished 3rd in his debut aboard the Gene Gile Racing/RVB Transport - Valvoline - FK Rod Ends/DRC/1-Way Chevy, while two-time Winter Dirt Games feature winner Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.) took 4th and Fatheadz Eyewear/EPA Photography Fast Qualifier Chris Windom (Canton, Ill.) rounded out the top-five.

CONTINGENCY AWARD WINNERS:

Fatheadz Eyewear / EPA Fast Qualifier: Chris Windom

Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner: Carson Short

Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner: Kyle Cummins

AutoMeter Third Heat Winner: Kevin Thomas Jr.

Indy Race Parts Semi Winner: Dave Darland

KSE Racing Products / ProSource Hard Charger: Brady Bacon

Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher: Sterling Cling

Saldana Racing Products First Non-Transfer: Kyle Robbins

Prosource Hard Work Award: Kory Schudy

USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: February 14, 2020 - Bubba Raceway Park - Ocala, Florida - Winter Dirt Games XI

FATHEADZ EYEWEAR/EPA PHOTOGRAPHY QUALIFYING: 1. Chris Windom, 19, Hayward-13.644; 2. C.J. Leary, 1, Gile-13.836; 3. Logan Seavey, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-13.846; 4. Justin Grant, 4, TOPP-13.913; 5. Kyle Cummins, 3R, Rock Steady-13.942; 6. Kevin Thomas Jr., 9K, KT-13.972; 7. Anton Hernandez, 5, Baldwin-13.975; 8. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-13.976; 9. Dennis Gile, 13, Gile-14.065; 10. Carson Short, 71p, Daigh/Phillips-14.072; 11. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-14.121; 12. Sterling Cling, 34, Cling-14.362; 13. Matt Goodnight, 39, Goodnight-14.461; 14. Dustin Clark, 75, Clark-14.488; 15. Chris Phillips, 6p, Phillips-14.495; 16. Anthony D'Alessio, 01, D'Alessio/Parallax-14.549; 17. Kent Schmidt, 5K, KO-14.580; 18. Brandon Mattox, 28, Mattox-14.586; 19. Kyle Robbins, 17R, KR-14.685; 20. Dave Darland, 36d, EZR/Curb-Agajanian-14.695; 21. Mario Clouser, 6, Clouser-14.739; 22. Matt Westfall, 33m, Marshall-14.838; 23. Stephen Schnapf, 61m, Edwards-14.843; 24. Katlynn Leer, 77K, Leer-14.890; 25. Harley Burns, 16, Burns-14.908; 26. Connor Leoffler, 22L, Leoffler-14.954; 27. Scotty Weir, 22, Goodnight-15.007; 28. Evan Mosley, 27, Mosley-15.100; 29. Tyler Gunn, 68G, Gunn-15.842; 30. Kory Schudy, 28K, Sawyer-14.053.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps, top-5 transfer to the feature) 1. Carson Short, 2. Justin Grant, 3. Chris Windom, 4. Anton Hernandez, 5. Matt Goodnight, 6. Matt Westfall, 7. Kyle Robbins, 8. Harley Burns, 9. Anthony D'Alessio. 1:56.10

COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (8 laps, top-5 transfer to the feature) 1. Kyle Cummins, 2. Brady Bacon, 3. C.J. Leary, 4. Chase Stockon, 5. Kent Schmidt, 6. Dustin Clark, 7. Dave Darland, 8. Connor Leoffler, 9. Stephen Schnapf, 10. Tyler Gunn. 1:55.41

AUTOMETER THIRD HEAT: (8 laps, top-5 transfer to the feature) 1. Kevin Thomas Jr., 2. Logan Seavey, 3. Brandon Mattox, 4. Sterling Cling, 5. Dennis Gile, 6. Scotty Weir, 7. Mario Clouser, 8. Kory Schudy, 9. Chris Phillips, 10. Katlynn Leer. 2:01.38

INDY RACE PARTS SEMI: (12 laps, top-7 transfer to the feature) 1. Dave Darland, 2. Mario Clouser, 3. Connor Leoffler, 4. Matt Westfall, 5. Chris Phillips, 6. Kory Schudy, 7. Katlynn Leer, 8. Kyle Robbins, 9. Scotty Weir, 10. Tyler Gunn, 11. Anthony D'Alessio, 12. Harley Burns, 13. Dustin Clark, 14. Stephen Schnapf. NT

FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Brady Bacon (9), 2. Kyle Cummins (2), 3. C.J. Leary (5), 4. Justin Grant (3), 5. Chris Windom (6), 6. Chase Stockon (11), 7. Logan Seavey (4), 8. Anton Hernandez (8), 9. Carson Short (7), 10. Dave Darland (17), 11. Dennis Gile (10), 12. Brandon Mattox (16), 13. Sterling Cling (12), 14. Matt Westfall (19), 15. Mario Clouser (18), 16. Kevin Thomas Jr. (1), 17. Kent Schmidt (15), 18. Katlynn Leer (20), 19. Chris Phillips (14), 20. Kory Schudy (22), 21. Matt Goodnight (13), 22. Connor Leoffler (21). NT

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-20 Kyle Cummins, Laps 21-22 Kevin Thomas Jr., Laps 23-26 Kyle Cummins, Laps 27-30 Brady Bacon.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS/PROSOURCE HARD CHARGER: Brady Bacon (9th to 1st)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Sterling Cling

SALDANA RACING PRODUCTS FIRST NON-TRANSFER: Kyle Robbins

PROSOURCE HARD WORK AWARD: Kory Schudy

NEW USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Brady Bacon-77, 2-Kyle Cummins-77, 3-C.J. Leary-75, 4-Justin Grant-71, 5-Chris Windom-70, 6-Logan Seavey-63, 7-Chase Stockon-60, 8-Anton Hernandez-54, 9-Carson Short-54, 10-Dave Darland-47.

NEW HUGHES RACING/INDIANA MAFIA/FLAMINGO SANDY WINTER DIRT GAMES PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Brady Bacon-10, 2-Dave Darland-7, 3-Matt Westfall-7, 4-C.J. Leary-5, 5-Chase Stockon-5, 6-Kevin Thomas Jr.-5, 7-Kyle Cummins-4, 8-Logan Seavey-4, 9-Chris Windom-4, 10-Brandon Mattox-4.

NEW OVERALL PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Chris Windom-15, 2-Daison Pursley-10, 3-Andrew Layser-9, 4-Brady Bacon-8, 5-Dave Darland-7, 6-Zeb Wise-6, 7-Dennis Misuraca-6, 8-Steve Buckwalter-6, 9-Oliver Akard-6, 10-Cannon McIntosh-5.

NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACES: February 15, 2020 - Bubba Raceway Park - Ocala, Florida - Winter Dirt Games XI

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

Chris Windom captured Saturday night's Winter Dirt Games XI feature at Bubba Raceway Park, his first for Tucker-Boat Motorsports in his second series start for the team. (DB3, Inc. Photo)


WINDOM WINS FIRST FOR NEW TEAM IN OCALA

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Ocala, Fla. (February 8, 2020)......... Chris Windom's second race as a member of Tucker-Boat Motorsports began much the same as his first the night before by having to quickly make up ground and dig his way into contention after starting behind the eight ball, and the first three rows.

Saturday night in the Winter Dirt Games XI finale for the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship, Windom immediately shed his starting spot of 10th with the snap of finger, climbing into the top-five by lap two and, ultimately, into the lead with six laps remaining, capitalizing on a golden opportunity that arose following engine trouble for race leader Tanner Thorson.

The victory provided a third career series feature win for the Canton, Ill. driver who joined TBM for the 2020 campaign and admitted to gaining an extra sense of personal motivation for he and his NOS Energy Drink - Pristine Auction - K & C Drywall/Spike/Speedway Toyota.

"I think I was just kind of pissed that I had to start 10th, so I was driving as hard as I could from the start of the race," Windom said. "I knew our cars were good enough to be up there. With the format change this year, it moved us back a row and we had to come from 10th there. We've been good here all week, especially in the features, and (car owner) Chad (Boat) has brought some badass racecars for us this year."

"To get a win the first weekend out, that's what you strive for at the start of the year," Windom added. "Hopefully we can keep it rolling because we're here to win a bunch of races and win the championship."

From the get-go, however, it once again looked like it was going to be Thorson's stage after capturing the prior night's season opener at the 3/8-mile D-shaped dirt track.

The 2016 series champ set a brand new one-lap track record in qualifying, then proceeded to carve his way from sixth to second on the opening lap, splitting between Petry teammates Kevin Thomas Jr. and Tanner Carrick in turn two, then sliced beneath pole sitter Tyler Courtney for second between turns three and four.

Cannon McIntosh controlled the field from the start but was rapidly encroached by Thorson's blitz that carried him into the race lead under McIntosh entering turn one on the fourth circuit.

The first yellow of the night arrived on lap 11 when seventh-running Tanner Carrick clipped an infield tire in turn three while negotiating lapped traffic, causing the car to stall to a stop in turn four. The 2019 USAC National Most Improved Driver restarted from the tail but came back to finish 10th.

The ensuing restart was where Windom turned up the wick, driving by McIntosh for third on the 14th lap, then underneath Courtney for second on the back straightway on lap 15.

Windom's motive was now right in front of his visor and within a reasonable striking distance. However, the gap between the two wasn't about to close at this rate with Thorson ripping several of his fastest laps of the race through the mid-section to construct a 1.5 second advantage with just 10 laps remaining.

However, with six laps remaining, just when you thought Thorson had all but sewn up a weekend sweep of Winter Dirt Games XI, his evening and his ride went up in a cloud of smoke, prematurely ending a superb weekend and handing the lead over to Windom, who felt like his car was just as good as Thorson's but may not have had enough to run him down if the race went clean and green the remainder of the way.

"I knew he was going to be good again," Windom admitted of Thorson. "I felt like we were just as good as him once we got to second. We probably didn't have the speed to run him down and pass him because it's just such a wide-open track. When there's that caliber of cars out there, you're not going to be a lot better than the next guy. You've got to put yourself in position to get there and that's what we did."

From that point forward, Windom was undeterred like a vapor trail in the empty air, distancing himself from Courtney by a 1.134 second margin at the checkered to earn the first USAC National Midget victory for a car numbered 89 since Parnelli Jones' 100-mile triumph at the Milwaukee Mile on August 12, 1961, for car owner Chuck Benda.

"To get a win the first weekend out, that's what you strive for at the start of the year," Windom said. "Hopefully we can keep it rolling because we're here to win a bunch of races and win the championship."

In the process, Windom earned KSE Products/ProSource Hard Charger Award for the night, advancing nine positions from 10th to 1st and also collected the most cumulative passes over the course of the two nights of feature racing with 14, earning a $200 Passing Master bonus from ProSource in the process.

Tyler Courtney came out of Ocala last year with two victories in two nights. Although 2020 didn't find the exact same winning results, the Indianapolis, Ind. driver and his Clauson-Marshall Racing/NOS Energy Drink - ZMax/Spike/Stanton SR-11x exited Winter Dirt Games XI with a fourth on Friday and a runner-up finish on Saturday.

"Unfortunately, when you start on the pole, you want to win because that's the best place to start," Courtney said. "It just wasn't in the plans this weekend. We came down here and won both races last year but weren't able to get it done this year. We're still learning a bit on the cars and stuff like that. We've got a really good racecar, but there's just a few things to do here and there. I'm really happy with (our car) and our whole Clauson-Marshall team. We're looking forward to the rest of the season."

Fresh off earning 2019 USAC National Midget Rookie of the Year honors, Collegeville, Pennsylvania's Andrew Layser stepped up his game to earn his best career series finish Saturday night with a third-place result in his Tucker-Boat Motorsports/Friedman-Schuman - Top To Bottom Solutions/Spike/Speedway Toyota.

"I can't thank (my crew) enough for all their hard work," Layser praised. "They're so precise on everything to make sure (teammate) Chris (Windom) and I have great cars every time. It's really exciting to put together my first podium finish and hopefully many more. Last year, I struggled with confidence a lot. To start off the season as well as we have is really huge. It started at the Chili Bowl where we had a lot of speed. I knew we were good last night, and it showed tonight."

In addition to Thorson's new one-lap track record earlier on Saturday night, Zeb Wise established the new standard for eight laps in a USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget around Bubba Raceway Park at 1:52.636 during the first heat race.

CONTINGENCY AWARD WINNERS:

Fatheadz Eyewear Fast Qualifier: Tanner Thorson

Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner: Zeb Wise

Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner: Cole Bodine

AutoMeter / Indy Race Parts Third Heat Winner: Tyler Courtney

KSE Racing Products / ProSource Hard Charger: Chris Windom

Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher: Tanner Thorson

ProSource Passing Master: Chris Windom

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USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: February 8, 2020 - Bubba Raceway Park - Ocala, Florida - Winter Dirt Games XI

FATHEADZ EYEWEAR QUALIFYING: 1. Tanner Thorson, 19, Hayward-13.724 (New Track Record); 2. Buddy Kofoid, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.818; 3. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 5, Petry-13.866; 4. Tanner Carrick, 35, Petry-13.926; 5. Cannon McIntosh, 71K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-13.930; 6. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall-13.948; 7. Andrew Layser, 82, Tucker/Boat-13.958; 8. Chris Windom, 89, Tucker/Boat-13.979; 9. Jerry Coons, Jr., 25, Petry-13.981; 10. Logan Seavey, 21KS, Reynolds-14.028; 11. Daison Pursley, 9, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.030; 12. Jesse Colwell, 21K, Reynolds-14.088; 13. Zeb Wise, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.139; 14. Cole Bodine, 39BC, Clauson/Marshall-14.162; 15. Dennis Misuraca, 92, Davis-15.489; 16. Michael Magic, 4m, Magic-15.548; 17. Mark Cole, 6x, Cole-15.556; 18. Oliver Akard, 41, Akard-15.679; 19. Steve Buckwalter, 25B, Buckwalter-NT.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps, all transfer to the feature) 1. Zeb Wise, 2. Tanner Thorson, 3. Andrew Layser, 4. Tanner Carrick, 5. Logan Seavey, 6. Michael Magic. 1:52.636 (New Track Record)

COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (8 laps, all transfer to the feature) 1. Cole Bodine, 2. Chris Windom, 3. Daison Pursley, 4. Buddy Kofoid, 5. Cannon McIntosh, 6. Mark Cole. 1:54.200

AUTOMETER/INDY RACE PARTS THIRD HEAT: (8 laps, all transfer to the feature) 1. Tyler Courtney, 2. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 3. Jesse Colwell, 4. Dennis Misuraca, 5. Oliver Akard, 6. Jerry Coons Jr. 1:53.516

FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Chris Windom (10), 2. Tyler Courtney (1), 3. Andrew Layser (9), 4. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (4), 5. Cannon McIntosh (2), 6. Buddy Kofoid (5), 7. Zeb Wise (7), 8. Daison Pursley (12), 9. Jesse Colwell (13), 10. Tanner Carrick (3), 11. Cole Bodine (8), 12. Logan Seavey (11), 13. Tanner Thorson (6), 14. Oliver Akard (17), 15. Michael Magic (15), 16. Mark Cole (16), 17. Steve Buckwalter (19), 18. Dennis Misuraca (14), 19. Jerry Coons Jr. (18). NT

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-3 Cannon McIntosh, Laps 4-24 Tanner Thorson, Laps 25-30 Chris Windom.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS/PROSOURCE HARD CHARGER: Chris Windom (10th to 1st)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Tanner Thorson

NEW USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Chris Windom-152, 2-Tyler Courtney-146, 3-Kevin Thomas, Jr.-138, 4-Buddy Kofoid-137, 5-Tanner Thorson-132, 6-Cannon McIntosh-128, 7-Zeb Wise-121, 8-Andrew Layser-117, 9-Daison Pursley-108, 10-Tanner Carrick-99.

FINAL WINTER DIRT GAMES PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Chris Windom-14, 2-Daison Pursley-10, 3-Andrew Layser-9, 4-Zeb Wise-6, 5-Dennis Misuraca-6, 6-Steve Buckwalter-6, 7-Oliver Akard-6, 8-Cannon McIntosh-5, 9-Tanner Thorson-4, 10-Jesse Colwell-4.

NEW OVERALL PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Chris Windom-14, 2-Daison Pursley-10, 3-Andrew Layser-9, 4-Zeb Wise-6, 5-Dennis Misuraca-6, 6-Steve Buckwalter-6, 7-Oliver Akard-6, 8-Cannon McIntosh-5, 9-Tanner Thorson-4, 10-Jesse Colwell-4.

NEXT USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACES: March 7, 2020 - Southern Illinois Center - Du Quoin, Illinois - Shamrock Classic

Chris Windom earned the first USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget victory for a car numbered 89 since Parnelli Jones' 100-mile triumph at the Milwaukee Mile on August 12, 1961, for car owner Chuck Benda. (Rich Forman Photo)

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

Tanner Thorson celebrates his victory Friday night at Bubba Raceway Park.
(DB3, Inc. Photo)



THORSON THRIVES IN OCALA USAC MIDGET OPENER

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Ocala, Fla. (February 7, 2020).........A new year and a new beginning are just the things Tanner Thorson was seeking with the outset of the 2020 USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget season.

A highway crash last March sidelined the 2016 series champion with serious injuries. His eventual comeback was a mixed bag of highlight reel moments as well as an up-and-down closing to the campaign that left him without a full-time drive.

A Chili Bowl prelim victory in January was just a prelude to Friday night's splendid drive by the Minden, Nev. native that witnessed him zip to the front in spectacular fashion just prior to and following a mid-race restart where he exchanged multiple sliders with series Rookie Buddy Kofoid to snare the lead and control the final 16 laps to score the win in the series season-opening Winter Dirt Games XI feature at Bubba Raceway Park.

Thorson's 14th career USAC National Midget feature win in his Hayward Motorsports/OILFIRE - Factory Kahne - Walker Filtration - Smith Titanium/Spike/Stanton SR-11x moved him into the top-50 and in a four-way tie for 48th on the all-time series win list alongside Chuck Arnold, Jack Turner and Leroy Warriner.

The victory also provided Hayward Motorsports its third career USAC National Midget victory as a team, and first since August of 2016 with driver Bryan Clauson at Solomon Valley Raceway in Beloit, Kans.

In his third consecutive year of competing in a midget at the 3/8-mile D-shaped track, Thorson finally found his groove. He finished 9th and 7th there in 2019, but this year, made a few small mechanical changes and transitioned to Hayward Motorsports for whom he made two USAC starts at the conclusion of 2019 and was slated to do a part-time schedule for this season.

With a superb beginning to 2020, Thorson hopes that this run of success can translate into something even more.

"We were obviously way better than we were here last year," Thorson recalled. "We've got the same package here, minus a couple little things that don't matter. I've been very fortunate to get with Brodie and Sarah Hayward. They've kind of just let me do whatever I really needed and to get what I needed as far as shocks, motors, cars and just everything. It helps to have people behind me like that and allows me to kind of take my mind off the whole thing that happened last year. This is a good start to the season for us and maybe we can see about talking the car owner into running points."

Thorson began the 30-lapper from fifth and steadily moved his way toward the front of the pack while USAC Triple Crown champ Jerry Coons Jr. held the top spot for the first ten circuits and last season's Ocala sweeper Tyler Courtney gripped his talons on the bottom to inch closer to Coons.

Coons nipped Courtney by a nose at the line at the conclusion of lap four, then gapped the defending series champ by four car lengths. Suddenly, the newcomer on the scene was one of the newcomers to the series in Kofoid who raced around the outside of Courtney off turn four and continued to haul the mail ripping the high line while Coons worked the bottom out front.

On the 11th lap, Kofoid maneuvered around the outside of Coons exiting turn two. Rapidly closing on the lapped car of first-time USAC feature starter Dennis Misuraca, the elusive Kofoid ducked low into turn three to snag the lead for the time being.

Three laps later, Thorson was the man on the move, slipping under Coons at the bottom entry to turn one for second. Coons fought back on the inside and the two touched, forcing Coons sideways at the exit of the second turn.

Moments later, the caution fell for Jesse Colwell who slowed to a stop in turn two while running in the eighth position.

Now lined up right on Kofoid's tail tank for the restart, Thorson used a massive run into turn one to slide up in front of Kofoid for the lead. Proving to be a quick-study, Kofoid answered the bell by turning down and returning the favor with a slider of his own in turn three to reobtain the point. However, as Kofoid slid up across turns three and four, that simply opened the door once more for Thorson to drive under off the fourth turn and slide his way back by Kofoid for good at the entry to turn one.

Thorson credited the formation of his success on the experience factor and a set of equipment that helped make the job a tad easier for him.

"I think a lot of it has to do with just having laps around here," Thorson pointed to. "I've watched a lot of races here and I've been here the last three years. I think that helps a lot and I've watched a lot of non-wing races here as well. It helped to have really good shocks that allowed me to maneuver anywhere I really needed to, and it paid off."

Two laps later, on the 17th trip around, Windom scooted by Kofoid for second and put his plan into place to chase down Thorson in the throes of lapping the tail end of the field.

A yellow flag for 14th running Robert Dalby following an apparent engine issue brought about the final stoppage, thus setting up a seven-lap sprint to the finish. Third place Kofoid split the gap between Thorson and Windom on the restart briefly into turn one before falling back behind Windom and into third.

Meanwhile, all that action did was provide Thorson more breathing room as he steadily built his lead up to a 1.969 sec. margin at the checkered over Windom, Kofoid, Courtney and Cannon McIntosh.

"We have a really good piece and we've had a good piece all the way since the Chili Bowl and even the Gateway race last December," Thorson reiterated. "I just can't thank everybody that's involved enough. It's really made it fun and easy."

Chris Windom took a distant second behind Thorson in the Canton, Ill. driver's USAC debut aboard the Tucker-Boat Motorsports/NOS Energy Drink - Pristine Auction - K & C Drywall/Spike/Speedway Toyota.

"Obviously, you want to come out and win the first race of the year, but we've been good all week so far," Windom explained. "Tanner was just a little bit better than us there. I could get to him, but it was like we were the same speed after that restart. I just couldn't quite do anything to gain on him and make a move on him. When we got to lapped cars, it would hurt him one car and I'd get hurt the next car. We kind of just stayed in the same spot."

A career best third-place finish was the result for Penngrove, California's Buddy Kofoid, leading four laps in just his fifth career series start piloting the Keith Kunz-Curb-Agajanian/Mobil 1 - JBL Audio - TRD/Bullet By Spike/Speedway Toyota.

"We've come a long way since practice yesterday and qualified well today," Kofoid recapped. "I was okay in the heat race, made some changes and was extremely fast in the main. I think we were really first early, then could hang with those guys. I think I kind of messed myself up on that restart and kind of fell apart a little bit at the end. I was good finding the top early; I just wish we could've went green to checker."

CONTINGENCY AWARD WINNERS:

Fatheadz Eyewear Fast Qualifier: Kevin Thomas Jr.

Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner: Kevin Thomas, Jr.

Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner: Chris Windom

AutoMeter / Indy Race Parts Third Heat Winner: Tyler Courtney

KSE Racing Products / ProSource Hard Charger: Zeb Wise

Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher: Steve Buckwalter

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USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: February 7, 2020 - Bubba Raceway Park - Ocala, Florida - Winter Dirt Games XI

FATHEADZ EYEWEAR QUALIFYING: 1. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 5, Petry-13.901; 2. Tanner Thorson, 19, Hayward-13.908; 3. Cole Bodine, 39BC, Clauson/Marshall-13.971; 4. Buddy Kofoid, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.044; 5. Jerry Coons, Jr., 25, Petry-14.045; 6. Tyler Courtney, 7BC, Clauson/Marshall-14.099; 7. Tanner Carrick, 35, Petry-14.103; 8. Chris Windom, 89, Tucker/Boat-14.119; 9. Jesse Colwell, 21K, Reynolds-14.133; 10. Cannon McIntosh, 71K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.140; 11. Logan Seavey, 21KS, Reynolds-14.143; 12. Zeb Wise, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.212; 13. Andrew Layser, 82, Tucker/Boat-14.219; 14. Robert Dalby, 4, Dalby-14.231; 15. Daison Pursley, 9, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-14.323; 16. Chase Jones, 7K, Irwin-14.370; 17. Steve Buckwalter, 25B, Buckwalter-14.527; 18. Dennis Misuraca, 92, Davis-16.111; 19. Oliver Akard, 41, Akard-16.191; 20. Mark Cole, 6x, Cole-16.816; 21. Mike Magic, 4m, Magic-NT; 22. Ethan Mitchell, 21, Reynolds-NT; 23. Michael Magic, 5m, Magic-NT.

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps, all transfer) 1. Kevin Thomas Jr., 2. Tanner Carrick, 3. Cannon McIntosh, 4. Buddy Kofoid, 5. Andrew Layser, 6. Chase Jones, 7. Oliver Akard. 1:55.647

COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (8 laps, all transfer) 1. Chris Windom, 2. Tanner Thorson, 3. Jerry Coons Jr., 4. Logan Seavey, 5. Robert Dalby, 6. Steve Buckwalter, 7. Mark Cole. 1:54.193 (New Track Record)

AUTOMETER/INDY RACE PARTS THIRD HEAT: (8 laps, all transfer) 1. Tyler Courtney, 2. Daison Pursley, 3. Zeb Wise, 4. Jesse Colwell, 5. Cole Bodine, 6. Michael Magic (#4m), 7. Dennis Misuraca. 1:56.602

FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Tanner Thorson (5), 2. Chris Windom (7), 3. Buddy Kofoid (3), 4. Tyler Courtney (1), 5. Cannon McIntosh (10), 6. Zeb Wise (12), 7. Kevin Thomas, Jr. (6), 8. Jerry Coons, Jr. (2), 9. Daison Pursley (15), 10. Andrew Layser (13), 11. Tanner Carrick (8), 12. Logan Seavey (11), 13. Steve Buckwalter (17), 14. Dennis Misuraca (20), 15. Oliver Akard (18), 16. Mark Cole (19), 17. Michael Magic (21), 18. Chase Jones (16), 19. Robert Dalby (14), 20. Jesse Colwell (9), 21. Cole Bodine (4), 22. Ethan Mitchell (22). NT

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-10 Jerry Coons, Jr., Laps 11-14 Buddy Kofoid, Laps 15-30 Tanner Thorson

KSE RACING PRODUCTS / PROSOURCE HARD CHARGER: Zeb Wise (12th to 6th)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Steve Buckwalter

NEW USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Tanner Thorson-82, 2-Chris Windom-75, 3-Buddy Kofoid-72, 4-Tyler Courtney-70, 5-Kevin Thomas, Jr.-66, 6-Cannon McIntosh-64, 7-Zeb Wise-61, 8-Jerry Coons Jr.-57, 9-Daison Pursley-53, 10-Tanner Carrick-48.

NEW WINTER DIRT GAMES PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Zeb Wise-6, 2-Daison Pursley-6, 3-Dennis Misuraca-6, 4-Chris Windom-5, 5-Cannon McIntosh-5, 6-Tanner Thorson-4, 7-Steve Buckwalter-4, 8-Michael Magic-4, 9-Andrew Layser-3, 10-Oliver Akard-3.

NEW OVERALL PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Zeb Wise-6, 2-Daison Pursley-6, 3-Dennis Misuraca-6, 4-Chris Windom-5, 5-Cannon McIntosh-5, 6-Tanner Thorson-4, 7-Steve Buckwalter-4, 8-Michael Magic-4, 9-Andrew Layser-3, 10-Oliver Akard-3.

NEXT USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: February 8, 2020 - Bubba Raceway Park - Ocala, Florida - Winter Dirt Games XI

Tanner Thorson's 14th career USAC NOS Energy Drink National Midget feature win moved him into the top-50 and in a four-way tie for 48th on the all-time series win list alongside Chuck Arnold, Jack Turner and Leroy Warriner.
(Rich Forman Photo)

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

#01 Anthony D'Alessio at speed during USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car competition in July of 2019 at Gas City (Ind.) I-69 Speedway.
(Rich Forman Photo)


D'ALESSIO TO CONTEND FOR USAC SPRINT ROOKIE OF THE YEAR IN 2020

Speedway, Indiana (January 10, 2020).........Anthony D'Alessio is stepping up to challenge for USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car Rookie of the Year honors in the upcoming 2020 season.

D'Alessio, in conjunction with Parallax Motorsports, will field one entry as an owner/driver for the 2020 slate, which features 46 events at 23 different venues, most of which D'Alessio will be experiencing for the first time, beginning in February at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla. for Winter Dirt Games XI.

"I am beyond excited for the upcoming season," D'Alessio exclaimed. "It is a dream come true, and I can't wait to hit the track in February in my home state of Florida. I want to thank everyone who has helped me get this far. We still have plenty of work to do."

The 19-year-old from Apollo Beach, Fla., is approaching the 2020 season with tenacity and drive after relocating to Indiana in 2018 to pursue his dream of becoming a professional race car driver. In preparation, D'Alessio ran Indiana Sprint Week in 2019 along with racing at many local Indiana tracks in his first full year in a non-wing sprint car.

D'Alessio made one USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car feature start in 2019, winning his heat race and finishing 20th at Kokomo Speedway during Indiana Sprint Week.

He moved from Florida with a plethora of racing experience and several accolades. Starting at a young age in go karts as well as one season in dirt modifieds, he transitioned to sprint car racing in Florida, earning 2016 Top Gun Sprint Car Series Rookie of the Year and 2017 Rookie of the Year honors with the Southern Shootout Sprint Car Series in the Sunshine State.

The 2020 season openers for the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship and the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship begin in February at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla. Midgets hit the track for practice on Feb. 6 with two full nights of racing to follow on Feb. 7-8. The sprints take their turn the following week with practice on Feb. 12 and three-straight nights of full racing programs on Feb. 13-14-15.

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