Archive for USAC Silver Crown

The United States Auto Club.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

SANTOS RECLAIMS THRONE AT LOR'S "RICH VOGLER/USAC HALL OF FAME CLASSIC"

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Brownsburg, Indiana.....July 20, 2017 - From 2006 through the early part of the 2010s, Lucas Oil Raceway was Bobby Santos' jam. It was a place that had become special to the Franklin, Massachusetts driver, for it was there that he scored his first career USAC Silver Crown and National Sprint Car victories. Along the way, he tallied enough of them at LOR to place him within the top-five on the track's all-time USAC win list.

Yet, after 2012, the win column at the .686-mile paved oval was void of Santos as the Swanson brothers (Tanner and Kody) began their era of domination, notching wins in seven of the eight Silver Crown races held at the place since Santos' last triumph in 2012.

Thursday night, the Santos era was reborn at LOR as he outdueled Tanner Swanson early in the going, then held the point for the remainder of the 100-lapper despite having to withstand constant heavy pressure from Swanson for the majority of the event to earn his eighth overall victory at LOR, tying him with the event's namesake Rich Vogler on the track's all-time win list after capturing the "Rich Vogler/USAC Hall of Fame Classic."

Ever since he was a child, Lucas Oil Raceway (formerly known as Indianapolis Raceway Park) was a special place for Santos, even long before he ever first set foot on the property.

"I grew up always hearing about it as a kid in Massachusetts," Santos recalls. "Then, I got the opportunity to come here and race against guys like Dave Steele, J.J. Yeley and Tracy Hines. From the first time I came here 13 years ago, I've always loved this place. It just took to my driving style right away. I won some races here, but since then I've been off. For a couple of those years, I fell out of love with it, but now I'm back in love with it."

The perception of USAC Silver Crown (presented by TRAXXAS) racing is that the 100-lap races are marathons and not sprints. Drivers will settle into a groove until about halfway before making their move. The opening laps of Thursday's race were anything but as pole sitter Tanner Swanson and third-starting Bobby Santos waged war in a wheel-to-wheel, side-by-side fistfight for the first three circuits, each taking their turn at the front: Santos (lap 1), Swanson (lap 2) and Santos once again on the third lap where he would finally secure the spot.

"They're long races and it's important to pace yourself, but at the same time, sometimes you have to make things happen early," Santos explains. "I got by Tanner, then pinned him down on the bottom and made him work harder than I was working those first five laps. As crazy as it sounds, I think that pinning him down on those first five laps made a difference in my car versus his at the end."

Tanner acknowledges the importance of track position, especially at a place like LOR where it may take multiple laps to set up and complete a pass.

"It's tough here because it's so narrow on entry," Tanner details. "You've got spotters, so you know if a guy's going to try do something to you. They can kind of protect their line if they need to, which we all do. When you're racing guys as good as Bobby Santos, my brother Kody and Aaron Pierce, they know where to put their car so it's hard to get around them. If you've got two cars going the same speed, that makes it tough on you."

By the 15th lap, Santos led a four-car breakaway with Tanner Swanson, Kody Swanson and Aaron Pierce in hot pursuit as the frontrunners finally settled in. At that point, and through much of the first half, Santos admits that when he distanced himself from Tanner for a bit, he thought he had it "nice and smooth." However, following a lap 42 restart, the sprint began.

Third-running Kody Swanson lost two spots on the front-straightaway as the green flag waved, dropping him to fifth as Pierce and Jerry Coons, Jr. scooted by for third and fourth, respectively. Meanwhile, Tanner hung right with Santos and was ready to pounce if the opportunity arose.

On lap 58, Tanner took a chance on Santos as they came up to lap Tyler Courtney who was making his pavement Silver Crown debut. Santos, the master craftsman that he is, executed the first of several lapped cars without a flinch, denying Tanner a golden opportunity. Though lapped cars can be disruptive to the leaders at times, often they can prove to be just as beneficial. Either way, they have, and always will be, a part of the deal.

"Lapped cars are tough," Santos plainly states. "Everyone did a good job holding their line. Some of them were on the top and some of them were on the bottom, so we had to go inside and out. I think a handful of us are pretty fast here and you're going to deal with lapped cars. It's part of the race and, sometimes, being the guy out front is actually a disadvantage with lapped cars. I just had to work hard to not allow that to hurt us."

Santos and Tanner remained tied together in this high-speed dance, separated by no more than, at most, two car lengths at any point. Each time, it appeared Santos had won another battleground by overtaking another lapped car. Yet, each time, there was Tanner, mimicking Santos' every move and losing absolutely no ground.

Lap after lap, Tanner was Tom and Santos was Jerry in this game of cat-and-mouse when they were finally able to clear the bulk of lapped traffic with 25 to go, leaving no traffic ahead of them for half a track. The breathing room would quickly subside as the two re-entered rush hour with 15 remaining, but if Tanner was waiting for a mistake by Santos down the stretch, he wasn't seeing it as Santos was picture perfect after both dove under Coons with 11 to go.

Tanner was waiting, watching and thinking where he could make his move. An opportunity appeared to be on the horizon as a four-car group battled two and three-wide a half-straightaway ahead. Tanner knew this was the spot he'd been anxiously waiting for.

"I ended up getting Kody in lapped traffic here in the July race a couple years ago," Tanner remembers. "That's your best chance to make a move. I tried to get up on the horse and run him down before we got to them. It's tough to tell where lapped cars are going which makes it tough to make a play on a guy."

Approaching the gaggle with cautious optimism, that opportunity nearly blew up in front of both Santos and Tanner with eight laps to go as Annie Breidinger, having a solid top-ten run in her series debut, got sideways and tagged the turn three SAFER barrier before continuing on in front of the leaders. That brought out the yellow, thus sending the lapped cars to the tail and presenting a clear track ahead for Santos and Tanner on the green-white-checkered restart.

Though disappointed by the yellow, a chance still existed. After all, during a green-white-checkered run to end May's event, it was Santos who beat Tanner for second.

"I was going to try and make it exciting," Tanner admits. "But we just didn't get that good of a restart. The motor stumbled a little bit and that was all she wrote. You just can't give a guy like Bobby Santos two car-lengths with two laps to go. He knows how to finish off these races."

That, he did. Santos picked up the throttle and, as he did, for 400 consecutive turns, did not turn a wheel wrong and finished off a Hall of Fame-worthy performance on a night honoring the 12 newest inductees to the USAC Hall of Fame, defeating Tanner Swanson, Aaron Pierce, Kody Swanson and Chris Windom to the line for his eighth career Silver Crown victory, moving him into sole possession of 13th on the all-time Silver Crown win list.

It's been a storybook beginning to Santos's season in his DJ Racing/Simpson Race Products/Beast/VDS Chevy, following a win at Phoenix in April, a second at LOR in May and now another victory at LOR heading into next Friday's Hemelgarn Super Fitness Rollie Beale Classic at Ohio's Toledo Speedway.

Speaking of fitness, that is something that Santos took to heart in the offseason as he aimed to get back on top of his game.

"I never thought it was important when I was young," the 31-year-old Santos admits. "But the last couple years, it's come into play for me. This year is the best I've felt in a long time. As you get older, you've got to do it. I just learned that the hard way the last couple years."

Just as important, though, is the dedication he and the DJ Racing crew had on getting their racecar better. It's a racecar that Santos admits was a solid car the last couple years, but not a winning racecar until this year.

"We were disappointed with the way we've ran the last couple years," Santos said point blank. "We were good, but we were a third to fifth-place car. Winning races is what it's all about. It keeps making you work harder when you win. But when you're on a losing streak, it gets depressing and it's hard to get out of. This winter, we really went to work on getting our engine better, our car better and myself better. To this point, it's paying off."

Of course, continuously working on the car to get it more competitive is the ultimate goal of all who race, but when you have to deal with the likes of Kody and Tanner Swanson each time you compete, you are going to have your work cut out for you. It's something Santos realizes is not an easy task.

"We had to work our butt off for the last 70-plus laps," Santos stated. "Kody and Tanner are awesome. It's an honor to be able to beat those guys. They're two of the best and to beat them it means a lot. The last race here in May, we learned something and we finally got on the same page as those two guys. It feels great to retake the throne after this one, but I'm sure they'll be back strong the next time."

Kingsburg, California's Tanner Swanson's plans for this year called for competing in only three Silver Crown events and, the majority of the time, he makes the most of each opportunity as evidenced by a third and second in his two LOR runs this season. Tanner feels he didn't leave much on the table in his final event of 2017, but thinks he could've been more aggressive at certain times, in hindsight, in his Bowman Racing/Brickers Pub - Bowman Properties/Beast/Kistler Chevy.

"Santos had the car to beat all night," Tanner credits. "There at the beginning, I kind of played with him and didn't want to wear myself out. I probably should've been a little more aggressive and tried to get the lead there and set my own pace. He was moving at the start and when we got to about lap 50 or 60, I realized I was going to have to pressure him if I was going to do anything. We ran him down, but couldn't do much once we got there. I think last year we would've been able to lap the field like that. Everybody else has gotten their stuff figured out. We're just going to have to step up our game a little bit more."

Back in May's "Carb Night Classic," Muncie, Indiana's Aaron Pierce was a lapped car. This time around, he was a contender from the moment he first hit the track, finishing third in his Sam Pierce/Sam Pierce Chevrolet - G & G Racing Fuel/Beast/Chevy.

"We've been coming here for the last few years," Pierce begins. "We've qualified fifth and we've run fifth. We had fast time a couple years ago and had a good car that night, but we just couldn't get our car to race well. I think we learned a little bit tonight. In May, they lapped us, so at least we're on the same straightaway with them now. Maybe if we can pick it up, learn a little more from them and use what we learned, we can be up here again next time. I kick myself a lot of times for not running hard enough at the beginning. I told myself tonight that I wasn't going to take it easy at the beginning. I was going to try to run as fast as I could run the whole race."

Contingency award winners Thursday night at Lucas Oil Raceway include Tanner Swanson (ProSource Fast Qualifier), Annie Breidinger (KSE Hard Charger) and Joss Moffatt (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher).

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMP CAR SERIES (presented by TRAXXAS) RACE RESULTS: July 20, 2017 - Brownsburg, Indiana - Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis - "Rich Vogler USAC Hall of Fame Classic"

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Tanner Swanson, 02, Bowman-21.038; 2. Kody Swanson, 63, DePalma-21.045; 3. Bobby Santos, 22, DJ Racing-21.085; 4. Aaron Pierce, 26, Pierce-21.319; 5. Justin Grant, 91, Hemelgarn/Carli-21.386; 6. Ryan Newman, 2v, Vance-21.498; 7. Jerry Coons, Jr., 20, Nolen-21.555; 8. David Byrne, 40, Byrne-21.616; 9. Damion Gardner, 6, Klatt-21.618; 10. Chris Windom, 92, Kazmark-21.764; 11. Joe Axsom, 120, Nolen-21.915; 12. Davey Hamilton Jr., 98, RPM/Gormly-22.127; 13. Kevin Studley, 57, Studley-22.209; 14. Patrick Lawson, 2, Lawson-22.728; 15. Bill Rose, 75, Rose-22.751; 16. Joe Liguori, 4, Liguori-22.891; 17. Tyler Courtney, 99, RPM/Gormly-23.145; 18. Joss Moffatt, 32, Williams/Wright-23.236; 19. Matt Goodnight, 39, Goodnight-23.420; 20. Annie Briedinger, 80, Briedinger-24.053; 21. Shane Cottle, 81, Williams-NT.

FEATURE: (100 laps) 1. Bobby Santos, 2. Tanner Swanson, 3. Aaron Pierce, 4. Kody Swanson, 5. Chris Windom, 6. Justin Grant, 7. Jerry Coons, Jr., 8. David Byrne, 9. Davey Hamilton, Jr., 10. Annie Briedinger, 11. Kevin Studley, 12. Tyler Courtney, 13. Joss Moffatt, 14. Matt Goodnight, 15. Patrick Lawson, 16. Joe Liguori, 17. Joe Axsom, 18. Ryan Newman, 19. Bill Rose, 20. Damion Gardner, 21. Shane Cottle. NT
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Lap 1 Santos, Lap 2 T.Swanson, Laps 3-100 Santos.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER AWARD: Annie Briedinger (18th to 10th)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Joss Moffatt

NEW USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMP CAR SERIES (presented by TRAXXAS) POINTS: 1-K.Swanson-341, 2-Windom-290, 3-Coons-278, 4-Byrne-237, 5-Santos-213, 6-Pierce-197, 7-Grant-192, 8-Gardner-184, 9-T.Swanson-167, 10-Liguori-154.

NEXT USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMP CAR RACE (presented by TRAXXAS): July 28 - Toledo (Ohio) Speedway - Hemelgarn Racing Super Fitness "Rollie Beale Classic"

Categories : News, USAC Silver Crown
Comments (0)
The United States Auto Club.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

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

Ryan Newman's USAC Silver Crown Johnny Vance Racing ride for this Thursday night's Rich Vogler/USAC Hall of Fame Classic at Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg, Indiana.



RYAN NEWMAN TO PAY TRIBUTE TO FALLEN RACING HEROES IN THURSDAY'S VOGLER/HALL OF FAME CLASSIC

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Johnny Vance's stealth black Beast with its golden yellow lettering and shimmering cherry red wheels was one of those cars that always caught your attention, even as it sat still in the pit area.

Though it had been four years since the Aristocrat Products USAC Silver Crown car had competed in an event, there was always that suspicion that the Dayton, Ohio-based beauty out of Dayton, Ohio would roll out of the trailer and make its return to an event somewhere along the line.

After Vance's passing in June of this year, those hopes seemed to be dashed as the realization came that one of the great USAC car owners of our time would no longer be in the trenches of competition after three-plus decades, three National car owner titles and 52 National wins.

But, alas, the roar of the engine under the hood of the No. 2 would no longer remain silent as arrangements were made to have 2008 Daytona 500 winner and 1999 USAC Silver Crown champ Ryan Newman take the wheel of Johnny's car once again for one more ride in this Thursday night's "Rich Vogler/USAC Hall of Fame Classic" at Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg, Indiana.

The car was fired up for the first time this past Monday at Mike Bowman's shop. The car was put together as the crew went through everything with a fine-tooth comb to make sure everything would be a go. Once the letters "NEWMAN" were adorned across the visor, the ride was officially Newman's, a ride that is especially important in light of recent events.

"Johnny's stepson (Jonathan Hadaya) and Johnny's widow (Fadia) gave me permission to take the car over to Bowman's shop to get it ready for the race," Newman explains. "To me, this is about paying tribute at the Rich Vogler Classic. That makes it very special for me to be able to jump in this car."

The abundance of tributes to our recently fallen racing heroes are linked between Vance's car and the namesake of the race, Rich Vogler. Newman was the recipient of the Rich Vogler Memorial Scholarship, which he used to pursue an engineering degree at Purdue University. Vogler was Vance's first driver in 1981 after purchasing the equipment from the late Don Seibert. The driver who had the ride in Vance's sprinter immediately prior to Newman was Dave Steele, who lost his life this past March in a racing crash at DeSoto Speedway in Bradenton, Florida. In addition, the last driver to turn a lap at speed in Vance's Silver Crown car prior to Monday was Bryan Clauson during a test at Lucas Oil Raceway a few years back. Clauson lost his life in an accident at the "Belleville (Kans.) Midget Nationals" last August.

The significance of the track is not lost on Newman either. The .686-mile paved oval is where Vance won his final USAC race as a car owner, with Tracy Hines, in July of 2010. Yet, it's also the venue that hosted both Newman's first career USAC National Midget victory in 1997 as well as his initial Silver Crown triumph in 1999, both of which were televised on ESPN's "Saturday Night Thunder" program. It was an era and a showcase that Newman believes served as a launching pad for an opportunity in NASCAR.

"Oh, it's huge," Newman acknowledges. "There's a lot of people who, due to the (ESPN Thunder) TV shows, became famous in the open wheel world because of IRP. The quality and quantity of good racecars and racecar drivers that competed on that racetrack, made it the place to race and the place to win."

Fittingly, Lucas Oil Raceway (Indianapolis Raceway Park as it was known at the time) was the location of Newman's first USAC Sprint Car start for Vance in August of 1999, a second-place finish behind Vance's former driver, Dave Steele. But it was an auspicious beginning for Newman and Vance that included a productive, but brief tryout at the famed, lightning-fast high banks of eastern Indiana's Winchester Speedway, where Newman earned the ride.

"(Vance) auditioned me at Winchester Speedway," Newman recalls. "We met at the racetrack and he had Kenny Irwin, Jr. drive it first. It was just Johnny, Kenny and myself. We had problems with the car all afternoon; it was sputtering, missing and misfiring. We changed the mag, changed the fuel pump and changed a bunch of stuff before we realized we had a bad sparkplug. After changing out the sparkplugs, I finally got on the track where I ran about three laps before I came back onto pit lane. Johnny said, 'That's it. Load it up.' I said, 'What's the matter?' He said, 'That's all I needed to see!' It was pretty cool to have Kenny there. Kenny was Johnny's other son, his racing son, I guess you could say. For me, personally, to go to a place like Winchester and have Kenny there who had run so well for Johnny, it was really special."

Four days later, that three-lap Winchester test would work wonders as Newman drove to his first career USAC National Sprint win at the half-mile. The following May, Newman would win his second at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway, which would prove to be both Newman and Vance's final USAC National Sprint Car wins.

The list of drivers who've won in Vance's equipment are some of the who's who of open-wheel short track racing: Vogler, Steve Kinser, Jack Hewitt, Jac Haudenschild, Joe Saldana, Gene Lee Gibson, Steve Butler, Jim Mahoney, Irwin, Steele, Tony Elliott and Tracy Hines. Ryan Newman is appreciative of the opportunity he had to race with an individual like Vance who was so entrenched in the sport in a variety of avenues.

"To drive one of his Sprint Cars and Silver Crown cars was an honor," Newman praised Vance. "After I won the (Silver Crown) championship in 1999, he gave me an opportunity to defend it. He had an amazing career long before I drove his racecars. From what he did as a car owner and as a steward for USAC, he had seen it all and done it all. He sponsored cars, he owned cars and he knew what it took to win by always having a good driver and a good wrench."

The summer Silver Crown race prior to Brickyard 400 weekend has become an annual tradition for Newman that allows him an opportunity to return to his roots and race with and against people he considers family.
"Silver Crown cars are fun to drive and it's nice to go back and see people I consider family," Newman said. "It's just some of the faces are getting older like mine," Newman said with a laugh. "My whole family will be there - my mom, dad, sister and brother-in-law. I've never been to a high school reunion, but I imagine this is way cooler than that."

The 39-year-old South Bend, Indiana native has become one of the most successful drivers to transition from USAC to stock cars during his 16-year career as a full-time competitor in NASCAR's premier series that includes 18 wins, 51 poles and a 2nd place points finish in 2014. Yet, he still harkens back to his years in the USAC Silver Crown Series that taught him the trade on not only how to compete, but to win, in longer races.

"The 100-lappers prepared me well," Newman stated. "With a Silver Crown car, there's a balance of running hard and managing your tires. You never knew what was going to happen with cautions throughout the race either. I remember running 100 laps straight at Pikes Peak one year. You never quite knew what you're going to have to fight. In the end, you had to manage your tires because you had to manage the fuel load. Carrying 60-70 gallons was a different feel. It was unique and it wasn't what you did in a midget or sprint car. That definitely translates to the stock cars. Overall, I think the best drivers in the world come from open wheel racing because they know they can't just plow through the guy in front of them. You have exposed tires and you're going to end up tipping yourself over. There's a sense of skill and finesse that goes into an open wheel driver's mind that he can carry with him to make him one notch better than the guy who's raced with fenders his entire life."

Pits open for Thursday night's event at 2pm with grandstands set to open at 4pm. Practice for the Silver Crown cars begins at 5:30pm with ProSource Qualifying set for 6:30pm. The 6th Annual USAC Hall of Fame induction ceremony is slated for 8pm while engines for the 100-lap main event are scheduled to fire off at 8:45pm.

Adult general admission tickets are $25 while children 11 and under can get in for just $10.

Comments (0)
The United States Auto Club.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

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

SWANSON SOARS TO 2ND ON SILVER CROWN WIN LIST; WINS HORN-SCHINDLER AT THE GROVE

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania...June 16, 2017 - Kody Swanson has been the master of the USAC Silver Crown Champ Car Series presented by TRAXXAS throughout the last three-and-a-half seasons.

No driver owns more victories (14) or championships (2) than the Kingsburg, California driver in that span.

However, the master still attests that he remains a student of the sport. That has seeded him with the motivation to continually adjust and seek to find deficiencies in all areas of his racing craft that he feels he has to improve to make him a better driver.

In Friday night’s “Horn-Schindler Memorial” at Williams Grove Speedway, the humble, soft-spoken Swanson transformed into a stone-cold assassin when it comes to Silver Crown racing by running down the dominant Damion Gardner with 17 laps remaining to record his 17th career series victory, moving him up to second on the all-time list alongside Brian Tyler with now just one past legend of the series standing in front of him, the one who made the white No. 63 wrenched by Bob Hampshire the car to beat in its era, just like it is today.

“I don’t know if there’s ever been a more storied racer than Jack Hewitt,” Swanson said. “Also, I was a teammate to Brian Tyler for a little while at the beginning of my Silver Crown career. I feel pretty well connected to those two guys. It’s a pretty special territory to be in. I don’t know if I feel like we belong, but I’m thankful to be a part of it. Brian and Jack had so many huge Silver Crown wins. I guess we’re racking up our own little list here.”

In Friday’s race, however, Damion Gardner held a commanding lead from his pole starting position. The five-time USAC/CRA AMSOIL Sprint Car champ was making just his fourth-career Silver Crown start in only his second visit to the Grove of any kind after a Non-Wing World Championship triumph in 2002.

For much of the 100-lapper, Concord, California’s Gardner led by at least a half-straightaway and sometimes as much as a full-straightway. Yet, to many long-time observers, with Swanson still lurking in the field, the outcome had yet to be decided.

On lap 62, seventh-starting Swanson worked his way past Justin Grant for the second position. Though, just behind Gardner in the pecking order, Swanson remained a country-mile behind the leader until a yellow shortly thereafter bunched up the field for a restart with 31 laps to go.

As opposed to one year ago, the Klatt Enterprises No. 6 of Gardner was the chasee instead of the chaser such as it was in the 2016 “Horn-Schindler” when Bryan Clauson, in the 6, nearly ran down Chris Windom in the final laps for the win.

Gardner was initially able to gap Swanson on the lap 69 restart, but Swanson surely, and steadily, knocked off tenths of a second per lap as the two frontrunners occupied the middle groove on both ends of the racetrack.

Yet, with 17 to go, Swanson hit the topside of turns one and two, cut off the second corner and ducked underneath Gardner for the race lead, but wasn’t quite able to out-drag race Gardner into turn three before he wisely tucked back into line. If at first you don’t succeed, try again is the creed that Swanson would adhere to a lap later, following Gardner and repeating the same exact maneuver on the same piece of real estate. This time, Swanson had enough pull to push himself into the lead.

“I knew Damion was running a similar line as me,” Swanson explains. “I knew from tracking Justin (Grant) down that, once they move to the same spot, it’s so hard to get a run and get beside him without jeopardizing our race and wrecking us both. When tracking him down, I knew there was less than 20 to go and it was time to get creative. I tried the same line I used to get to the lead three times. Once, earlier, I botched it so badly, but I didn’t lose much ground. I thought ‘hey, if I actually do that right, that could be it.’ The second time, I got close, but I really chocked it up hard because I didn’t have enough room to do it without getting into him. But I didn’t want to show him anything either, so I followed him in line and tried to do it right and had a really good head of steam on the next one.”

From there on, Swanson would remain in control for the balance of the race, even surviving a restart with nine to go, to win his second Silver Crown event in a row and become the first driver since himself in early 2015 to win back-to-back series races on the dirt and the pavement in his DePalma Motorsports/Radio Hospital – Hampshire Racing Engines/Maxim/Hampshire Chevy over Gardner, Jerry Coons Jr., Chris Windom and Brady Bacon.

At first glance, it might appear to be another in a long line of patented late-race success stories for Swanson in which he bides his team before he inflicts his competitors with a venomous strike in the final quarter of the race on his way to victory. Instead, Swanson feels this was one of those classic ‘get-up-on-the-wheel’ type of deals for all 100 laps.

“On the miles, we know we’ve been strong late,” Swanson pinpoints. “Tonight, I didn’t qualify well. I told the guys I felt like I blew the second lap and that put us deep. I felt like I drove all 100 laps as hard as I could. There were certain times where I had to take care of it, but it wasn’t a traditional ‘take-care-of-your-equipment’ type night for me. I was hustling really hard to try to get by guys. I had to get by Jerry (Coons, Jr.) and he doesn’t make mistakes. And Justin doesn’t either. You just have to find a way around. Maybe I got by him because I know he had some brake problems and I thought we could pressure him into it a little bit. I know we were forcing everyone to pick It up a little bit. Damion was so good, it was going to take everything I had to run him down.”

“I’d like to say I was saving and it worked according to plan, but I was scrambling,” Swanson admits. “I typically don’t blister tires or wear out brakes, but I did both tonight. These guys I’m racing against, they’re so good at the half-miles and also in a dirt sprint car, I feel like you have to go hard for 100 laps when you come to a place like this. It’s something I’ve struggled to do. Maybe I was just doing my best impersonation of a real dirt guy tonight.”

Of Swanson’s 17 career victories, eight have come on one-mile dirt ovals. Though he hasn’t been uncompetitive by any means on the half-mile dirt tracks, he hadn’t recorded a victory on one since the Belleville (Kans.) High Banks in 2014, Swanson admits the halves have been a bit of a struggle for him at times.

“They’re just different,” Swanson feels. “I feel like I’m as in as good of shape as anybody in these longer races. But you kind of race them different. The miles have certain factors that aren’t as critical on the half-miles, like tire management. There’s a lot of things on the half-miles that other drivers have been better than me at. I’ve tried to identify those and I’ve been working on them to do what I can to up my game like those other guys have on the half-miles to do a good job for my team. They just race differently. The miles have such a uniqueness to them and, on the half-miles, many people say these cars look like bigger sprint cars and they kind of act like it. Guys that have been so dominant in USAC Sprint Cars have been really good in USAC Silver Crown cars on the half-miles lately. That was an area I struggled with and have gone to work trying to get better. I know I’ve still got more to go, but tonight we were good enough.”

In addition to his move up the ranks of all-time Silver Crown winners, Swanson has now recorded victories on many of the country’s most legendary dirt tracks: the Indiana State Fairgrounds, Illinois State Fairgrounds, Du Quoin State Fairgrounds, the defunct New York State Fairgrounds, the Terre Haute Action Track and now Williams Grove Speedway. It’s something that, at one point, seemed impossible not only to fans of the sport, but also to himself. Not too bad for a guy once considered a pavement specialist.

“There was a time in my career, a lot of folks said I’d never be good enough on the dirt,” Swanson recalls. “I still don’t feel like I am. I’m still learning and working really hard. These guys (DePalma Motorsports) give me a really good car. They work really hard, so I’m going to work hard for them and try to get better. To be second all-time is incredible. For me being a guy who’s not supposed to be winning at Williams Grove, it’s pretty cool to be able to figure it out and beat some of the best dirt guys in the nation and to get it done at such a historic track.”

Like last year, the Klatt Enterprises/Beast – Klatt Enterprises/Beast/Ford experienced a similar, yet opposite fate on its Williams Grove run. Last year, the car was the “chaser” with driver Bryan Clauson at the wheel as the No. 6 came on strong toward the end to nearly pull off the victory. On Friday, the same car, driven by Damion Gardner, was the “chasee,” leading the first 83 laps before being overtaken by Swanson. Nonetheless, it was a solid second-place run for the team in just Gardner’s fourth-career Silver Crown start.

“I ran as hard as I could early,” Gardner said. “I just wanted to get to the lappers and put them all down, then ride the middle. I knew Swanson would be coming at the end, the track would get slower and there’d be yellows. I had two choices: if I slowed down, I wouldn’t be as good and he would catch me. Then, if I ran hard, it was going to hurt my tires. We went fast. Yeah, I hurt my tire, but there were other scenarios that played in there. On that track there, you should be able do 100 laps wide open. They told me to lay off for a while and I did, but maybe not enough.”

Fifteen years after his first and only visit to Williams Grove, Gardner is still in awe of the place and holds a true appreciation of one of the capstone dirt tracks on the American racing scene.

“Bad dudes come from PA and the Grove and fast joints like this,” Gardner praised. “This place is historical. It’s legendary. Every time you come here, you want to win. You pay attention to places like this. The fans love us when we come out here; they show us a lot of respect and appreciation. I like to put on a show and these fans really appreciate it.”

Tucson, Arizona’s Jerry Coons, Jr. took a steady, solid third-place finish in his Gene Nolen Racing/KECO – Indy Race Parts/Maxim/Tranter Chevy, but it didn’t come without its trials and tribulations.

“I started to feel the steering wheel getting slippery with about 40 to go,” Coons remembers. “It was pretty early on. It was mainly on my left hand. I kept wiping my hand on my suit down the straightaway. With about 15 to go, the car started to get stiff. Then, we had a yellow come out. Without being on the throttle, it was getting pretty hard to steer, so I knew it was getting pretty low on fluid. With about 10 to go, it was getting to where it didn’t like to turn left very well.”

“Here, you kind of roll into the corner and get the car sideways to where it’s turning to the right,” Coons continued. “I could get it into a set and hold it there. I got myself into a rhythm. A couple times down in turns three and four, if I bobbled at all, lost the front end and had to turn it to the left, it took me a lot to get it back down. Overall, the car was good. We had an ignition box not running right in the first hot lap session. Then, we went through the fuel system and changed the ignition box. After those problems, a third-place is looking pretty good!”

Contingency award winners Friday night at Williams Grove Speedway include Damion Gardner (ProSource Fast Qualifier & Bryan Clauson Bad Fast Award Winner), Steve Buckwalter (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher) and Austin Nemire (KSE Racing Products Hard Charger).

------------------------------------------------------------

USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMP CAR SERIES (presented by TRAXXAS) RACE RESULTS: June 16, 2017 - Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania - Williams Grove Speedway - "Horn-Schindler Memorial"

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Damion Gardner, 6, Klatt-20.430; 2. Chris Windom, 92, Kazmark-20.527; 3. Shane Cockrum, 71, Hardy-20.552; 4. Justin Grant, 91, Carli/Hemelgarn-20.641; 5. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-20.652; 6. Jerry Coons Jr., 20, Nolen-20.662; 7. Kody Swanson, 63, DePalma-20.666; 8. Hunter Schuerenberg, 120, Nolen-20.717; 9. Mark Smith, 54, Lane-20.823; 10. Joe Liguori, 4, Liguori-20.831; 11. Brady Bacon, 48, Martens-20.984; 12. Johnny Petrozelle, 08, Cornell/Petrozelle-21.037; 13. Dave Darland, 27, Phillips-21.104; 14. Patrick Bruns, 95, Full Throttle-21.206; 15. Austin Nemire, 16, Lesko-21.429; 16. David Byrne, 40, Byrne-21.503; 17. Steve Buckwalter, 53, SET-21.657; 18. Dakota Jackson, 201, Nolen-21.923; 19. Dave Berkheimer, 31, Berkheimer-23.207; 20. Tyler Courtney, 97, Lein-NT; 21. Joss Moffatt, 32, Williams/Wright-NT.

FEATURE: (100 laps) 1. Kody Swanson, 2. Damion Gardner, 3. Jerry Coons Jr., 4. Chris Windom, 5. Brady Bacon, 6. Joe Liguori, 7. Patrick Bruns, 8. Austin Nemire, 9. Justin Grant, 10. Shane Cockrum, 11. Mark Smith, 12. C.J. Leary, 13. Steve Buckwalter, 14. Dave Daralnd, 15. Dakota Jackson, 16. David Byrne, 17. Hunter Schuerenberg, 18. Dave Berkheimer, 19. Johnny Petrozelle. NT

------------------------------

**Moffatt flipped over the guardrail in turn 1 during practice. Petrozelle flipped during qualifying.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-83 Gardner, Laps 84-100 Swanson.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER AWARD: Austin Nemire (15th-7th)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Steve Buckwalter

KRS GRAPHICS BRYAN CLAUSON BAD FAST AWARD: Damion Gardner

NEW USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP (presented by TRAXXAS) POINTS: 1-Swanson-280, 2-Windom-232, 3-Coons-226, 4-Byrne-188, 5-Gardner-161, 6-Bobby Santos-140, 7-Grant-137, 8-Aaron Pierce-133, 9-Liguori-123, 10-Bacon-113.

NEXT USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP RACE (presented by TRAXXAS): July 20 - Brownsburg, Indiana - Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis - "USAC Hall of Fame / Rich Vogler Classic"

The United States Auto Club.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

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

KODY SWANSON SEIZES THE MOMENT;TIES STEELE FOR 3RD ALL-TIME WITH CARB NIGHT CLASSIC WIN

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Brownsburg, Indiana.........May 26, 2017 - Lately, it seems every victory Kody Swanson captures sets a new standard in the USAC Silver Crown record book.

Friday night's "Carb Night Classic" at Lucas Oil Raceway was no exception as the Californian led all 100 laps from the pole to surpass J.J. Yeley and join the late, great Dave Steele for third on the all-time series win list with his 16th career triumph.

For a time in the late 1990s, there was no greater dominator in USAC competition at LOR (then known as Indianapolis Raceway Park) than the late Steele, the two-time Silver Crown champion who passed away this past March after a sprint car crash at Desoto Speedway in Bradenton, Fla.

Currently, we are in the midst of the Swanson era at the .686-mile paved oval located west of Indianapolis where Kody and his younger brother, Tanner, have combined for five-straight, and seven of the past eight, Silver Crown wins. Though Tanner won the first five of those, Kody had the upper hand in the last two in his DePalma Motorsports/Radio Hospital - Hampshire Racing Engines/Beast/Hampshire.

Kody appreciates each and every win that he's fortunate to earn in his career, but Friday's victory gave him pause in his victory lane speech as the significance of placing his name alongside Steele's in the record book has deeply personal meaning.

"Dave Steele was someone that I really considered a friend, and someone I looked up to as a driver," Kody explained. "I was so saddened by his passing and for his family. To join him is an honor; he was incredible behind the wheel and in this series."

Kody started on the pole of the 100-lap event after recording ProSource Fast Qualifying time as the last car to hit the track in time trials. Right from the outset, it was the three LOR dominators of the decade running one-two-three with Kody Swanson, Tanner Swanson and Bobby Santos - winners of nine of the past 10 at the track - leading the way.

The trifecta was the class of the field as they seceded from the pack, holding a straightaway lead over the fourth-place car of Jerry Coons, Jr. just ten laps into the show.

Lapped traffic came into play early on, but it didn't do much to slow the pace of the leaders who maintained a torrid transit as they slipped their way around the tail-end of machinery. By lap 30, Kody found a home in a new zip code a half-straightaway ahead of Tanner and Santos.

At halfway, the race's first yellow flag flew when Troy Thompson, in his series debut, spun backwards into the infield grass at the exit of turn two while battling with Bill Rose. Thompson's car made no wall contact and the Florida native was able to restart.

On the ensuing restart, Kody had a pair of lapped cars as a buffer between himself and Tanner. It only took Tanner a lap-and-a-half to clear both Aaron Pierce, then Justin Grant. By then, Kody had taken advantage of the situation and stretched his lead out to 1.5 seconds.

With 27 laps remaining, fifth-running Jerry Coons, Jr. slowed with a flat right front tire to bring out second caution of the evening. The Tucson, Arizona native and USAC Triple Crown champ lost a lap in the pit area as the Gene Nolen Racing crew efficiently went to work on replacing the rubber before sending him back into the fray.

With the field bunched up at the resumption of racing on lap 77, Santos poked a nose under Tanner for the second position in turn one. The move was made to no avail, but Kody up front wasn't able to escape the two chasers who ran nose-to-tail and remained close enough to strike despite their own personal battle for second.

In the late stages, the race for the win wasn't the only competition at stake; there was also the ongoing race against the imminent storm. With 10 laps remaining and dark clouds emerging over the springtime Indiana sky, sixth-running Justin Grant slammed the turn three SAFER barrier, eerily similar to the shunt he experienced at Phoenix Raceway a month ago.

After the accident cleanup, that left just two laps and a green-white-checker shootout to the finish. Kody, Tanner and Santos lined up uninterrupted first through third for the final restart. Santos repeated his move from the most recent restart, but this time, powered his way past Tanner to snag second.

Santos went to work, gaining on Kody as he laid down his fastest two laps of the race, since lap four, on the 99th and 100th circuit. The anticipation grew as a David Byrne-esque charge for the win played through the minds of the enthusiastic crowd on-hand. However, Kody was even quicker than Santos on the final two rounds and muscled the No. 63 to his third overall LOR Silver Crown win by three-tenths over Santos, Tanner, Chris Windom and Aaron Pierce.

It was the third win in four races for Kody in the "black" pavement car that the team purchased after destroying their traditional "white" car in a jarring crash at Gateway Motorsports Park in June of 2016. Not that the white car was a slouch by any means, but it rarely got over the hump to find victory lane in Kody's hands since he began his tenure with the team in 2014. The lone win with Kody at the wheel of the white car came at Toledo (OH) Speedway in May of 2015.

The black car utilized Friday night is a former RFMS Motorsports machine driven by A.J. Fike and has done wonders for the team's asphalt program. Since the addition of the black car, Kody and the DePalma Motorsports team have won three of four on the blacktop: LOR (1st), Salem (Ind.) Speedway (1st), Phoenix (2nd) and LOR (1st), including 200 straight laps led at LOR over the past two events.

"I don't think I fully attributed the trouble we were having to the white car until we got the black one," Kody admits. "That white car had been wrecked and straightened before we had it and I don't think I quite realized what lasting effects that had. This black car has been solid for us right out of the box and my guys work really hard to keep us near the front. I'm really thankful that the hard work is paying off."

Contingency award winners Friday night at Lucas Oil Raceway include: Kody Swanson (ProSource Fast Qualifier), Kevin Studley (KSE Racing Products / Billy Winsemann Racing Hard Charger Award) and Troy Thompson (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher).

--------------------------------------------

USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMP CAR SERIES (presented by TRAXXAS) RACE RESULTS: May 26, 2017 - Brownsburg, Indiana - Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis - "Carb Night Classic"

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Kody Swanson, 63, DePalma-21.004; 2. Tanner Swanson, 02, Bowman-21.150; 3. Bobby Santos, 22, DJ Racing-21.228; 4. Justin Grant, 91, Hemelgarn/Carli-21.351; 5. Jerry Coons, Jr., 20, Nolen-21.358; 6. Chris Windom, 92, Kazmark-21.368; 7. David Byrne, 40, Byrne-21.465; 8. Davey Hamilton, Jr., 98. RPM/Gormly-21.540; 9. Aaron Pierce, 26, Pierce-21.551; 10. A.J. Russell, 3, Finkenbinder-21.758; 11. Joe Axsom, 120, Nolen-22.089; 12. Cody Gerhardt, 60, Gerhardt-22.107; 13. Toni Breidinger, 80, Breidinger-22.232; 14. Joss Moffatt, 32, Williams/Wright-22.570; 15. Kevin Studley, 57, Studley-22.692; 16. Joe Liguori, 4, Liguori-23.101; 17. Patrick Lawson, 2, Lawson-23.284; 18. Bill Rose, 75, Rose-23.402; 19. J.C. Bland, 5, Bland-25.459; 20. Troy Thompson, 15, Thompson-27.532.

FEATURE: (100 laps) 1. Kody Swanson, 2. Bobby Santos, 3. Tanner Swanson, 4. Chris Windom, 5. Aaron Pierce, 6. David Byrne, 7. Kevin Studley, 8. A.J. Russell, 9. Jerry Coons Jr., 10. Patrick Lawson, 11. Toni Breidinger, 12. Joss Moffatt, 13. Troy Thompson, 14. Justin Grant, 15. Davey Hamilton Jr., 16. Bill Rose, 17. Joe Liguori, 18. Joe Axsom, 19. J.C. Bland, 20. Cody Gerhardt. NT
------------------------------
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-100 K.Swanson.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS/NICOLE & BILLY WINSEMANN RACING HARD CHARGER AWARD: Kevin Studley (15th-7th)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Troy Thompson

NEW USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMP CAR SERIES (presented by TRAXXAS) POINTS: 1-K.Swanson-210, 2-Windom-171, 3-Coons-162, 4-Byrne-157, 5-Santos-140, 6-Pierce-133, 7-T.Swanson-97, 8-Russell-95, 9-Grant-91, 10-Breidinger-90.

NEXT USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMP CAR SERIES RACE (presented by TRAXXAS): June 16 - Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania - Williams Grove Speedway - "Horn-Schindler Memorial" - "USAC Triple Crown Showdown"

Comments (0)
The United States Auto Club.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

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

Phoenix, Arizona.........It had been eight years since the United States Auto Club competed at Phoenix Raceway. Since then, the track has been slightly reconfigured, repaved and renovated.

On Saturday, to Bobby Santos, it was still the same Phoenix Raceway he knew and loved back in 2009 when he raced to a USAC National Midget victory at the one-mile tri-oval.

In his return, Santos used his experience and bravado to outduel David Byrne in a wild west shootout, racing past Byrne using a massive run off turn four, then fending off his comeback attempt off turn two a lap later to capture his seventh career USAC Silver Crown presented by TRAXXAS victory at the "Phoenix Copper Cup."

Santos took the pole position for Saturday's 100-mile event after recording the top speed in Friday's ProSource Qualifying session. And, right from the drop of the green flag, Santos put that speed on full display as he sprinted to the lead.

However, sixth-starting Tanner Swanson's day came to an immediate end as he slowed to a stop just after taking the green. After the restart, the man on the move was seventh-starting Byrne. By lap 16, the Shullsburg, Wisconsin native had worked his way to fourth with an outside pass of Damion Gardner off turn four. It took Byrne just three more laps to grab third, using the high line off four to take third from Justin Grant.

In rapid-fire succession, Byrne disposed of Kody Swanson on lap 20 after switching to the low-line, outpacing the two-time series champ exiting the fourth turn for the second position and, on lap 22, Byrne corralled Santos, beating him to the bottom in turn one to take the lead.

Meanwhile, Swanson and Grant were engaged in a torrid battle for third. But, by lap 25, Grant, the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car point leader, was grinding the right side of his car into the baby blue-colored SAFER barrier, ending a solid run for the talented Ione, California driver.

Under the yellow, race control deemed that Byrne had jumped the previous restart, relegating him back to second in the running order behind Santos for the lap 31 restart. Byrne wasted absolutely no time getting back to the front, snagging the top spot from Santos on lap 33 where he would remain for the next 60 laps.

Earlier in the afternoon, Chris Windom was announced as the new driver of the No. 2 regularly driven by Patrick Lawson. Windom made heavy wall contact in Friday's practice, sidelining his Gene Kazmark Racing No. 92 for the remainder of the weekend.

Windom would start at the tail of the 16-car field, but that didn't faze the Canton, Illinois driver as he raced from the back to eighth by lap 39, when suddenly, his new ride went up in smoke, sending him to pit road and putting an end to his three-race win streak in the series as well as his run of 13-straight top-five Silver Crown finishes.

Byrne quickly distanced himself from Santos on the ensuing restart, but little-by-little, Santos erased most of the gap, shaving off a half-second of Byrne's one-plus second lead prior to a yellow for Damion Gardner's hard hit with the turn four wall caused by a broken right front wheel.

When action resumed with 31 laps remaining, Santos threw his first dart at Byrne. Santos wrestled the lead away from Byrne with an inside move entering the first turn. Byrne came right back at Santos, hitting the bottom of turn three to retake the position as a freight-train of Santos, K. Swanson, Aaron Pierce and Davey Hamilton followed.

Yellow flags continued to haunt Santos as yet another caution fell when USAC's winningest female driver Toni Breidinger, making her Silver Crown debut, stalled in turn two just as Santos had closed on Byrne's rear bumper.

Byrne took advantage of his newfound breathing room to distance himself from Santos on the restart with 18 laps to go. But, yet again, all it took was a handful of laps and Santos was back in the game. With 12 laps remaining, the gap was a mere single car-length as Santos continued to reel him in.

Santos repeatedly looked to the outside, peeking his nose to the right armguard of Byrne on laps 89 and 90 when he veered a little too high, into the marbles, which cost him valuable ground in the race for the win.

As had been the case all afternoon long, Santos struck back, using a high-low crossover off turn four on lap 92 to pull wheel-to-wheel with Byrne down the front straightaway. Byrne was credited with the lead at the start/finish line, but the lead wasn't long for this world as Santos outpaced Byrne into the first turn to capture the point. Byrne fought back with all his might in turn three, but slid up off the bottom, allowing Santos to speed away.

A three-car breakaway of Santos, Byrne and K. Swanson ran nose-to-tail in the final laps with Santos continually using a big run off turn two to ward off all potential challengers. Swanson relentlessly worked on Byrne for second, finding the outside groove to his liking as he sped around Byrne for second off turn two.

Swanson quickly charged at Santos, but the sand in the proverbial hourglass had run out, as Santos crossed under the double-checkered flags for his first series victory in nearly two years at Iowa Speedway, the last Silver Crown victory on pavement by a driver not named Kody or Tanner Swanson until Saturday at Phoenix.

The victory, though, was a homecoming of sorts for the Franklin, Massachusetts native who scored a victory the last time USAC visited Phoenix. Despite the changes the track surface has undergone over the past several seasons, the story remained the same for the pavement hot shoe in his DJ Racing/Simpson Race Products/Beast/VDS Chevy.

"This track's different, but in my opinion it still races like the old Phoenix, which I think definitely helped," Santos believes. "I have some experience here and I knew where I could take advantage and put myself in a position to be there at the end."

Four separate yellow flag periods seemed to plague Santos throughout the 100-lap event, stalling his charge to the lead. But, despite the setbacks, the past NASCAR Whelen Modified champion believes his timing was just right on this afternoon.

"I really believe it's the timing to pass here that's most important," Santos said. "With my experience, (turns) three and four are such important corners. Making your speed there and getting it done down the front stretch has been my experience and I don't feel that has changed. My team put me in position to hold a champion off as well as an excellent racer like David. I definitely had to work my butt off for this one. David was wicked fast in the beginning and then Kody challenged us at the end. There's no time to sit down in the seat. All three of us were pushing as hard as we could."

Kingsburg, California's Kody Swanson took second in his DePalma Motorsports/Radio Hospital - Hampshire Racing Engines/Beast/Hampshire. Yet, despite taking over the point lead in the latest Silver Crown standings, the 2014 and 2015 series champ was looking for more.

"Because I race for points, people want to look at the points," Swanson said. "I feel something I'm good at is surviving long races. After the (championship) heartbreak last year, my focus has been to win races when we can. Not that I wasn't before, but I really want to focus on that. Today, even with the late yellows, I didn't think I had anything for these guys. As the race played out, suddenly I was in the hunt at the end. We found something a little bit different, but it was too little, too late. I'm a little disappointed in myself for not figuring it out soon enough. Being here on the podium is a good day, but I would've liked for it to have gone a little longer and I'd have liked to have figured it out a little sooner."

David Byrne led a race-high 69 laps in his Byrne Racing/Stoops Freightliner Truck Country - Bytec, Inc./Beast/J & D Performance machine. Byrne was strong all day, but feels that without the late race cautions, the "Copper Cup" was his.

"I wish it would've gone green all the way," lamented Byrne. "We were real sporty there at the start, but to say I'm disappointed is an understatement."

Contingency award winners this weekend at Phoenix Raceway include Bobby Santos (ProSource Fast Qualifier), Jerry Coons, Jr. (KSE Racing Products Hard Charger) and Chris Windom (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher).

-----------------------------------

USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP (presented by TRAXXAS) RACE RESULTS: April 28-29, 2017 - Phoenix, Arizona - Phoenix Raceway - "Phoenix Copper Cup"

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: (April 28) 1. Bobby Santos, 22, DJ Racing-25.362; 2. Kody Swanson, 63, DePalma-25.499; 3. Davey Hamilton, 99, RPM/Gormly-25.607; 4. Justin Grant, 91, Hemelgarn/Carli-25.609; 5. Aaron Pierce, 26, Pierce-25.666; 6. Tanner Swanson, 201, Nolen-25.682; 7. David Byrne, 40, Byrne-25.768; 8. Damion Gardner, 6, Klatt-26.078; 9. Henry Clarke, 75, Rose-26.342; 10. Davey Hamilton Jr., 98, RPM/Gormly-26.656; 11. Joe Axsom, 120, Nolen-26.906; 12. A.J. Russell, 3, Finkenbinder-27,390; 13. Patrick Lawson, 2, Lawson-27.416; 14. Toni Breidinger, 80, Breidinger-28.067; 15. Shane Butler, 15, Thompson-30.978; 16. Jerry Coons Jr., 20, Nolen-NT; 17. Chris Windom, 92, Kazmark-NT.

FEATURE: (100 laps - April 29) 1. Bobby Santos, 2. Kody Swanson, 3. David Byrne, 4. Davey Hamilton, 5. Jerry Coons Jr., 6. Shane Butler, 7. Aaron Pierce, 8. Toni Breidinger, 9. A.J. Russell, 10. Henry Clarke, 11. Joe Axsom, 12. Damion Gardner, 13. Chris Windom (#2 Lawson), 14. Justin Grant, 15. Tanner Swanson, 16. Davey Hamilton Jr. NT
------------------------------
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-21 Santos, Laps 22-30 Byrne, Laps 31-32 Santos, Laps 33-92 Byrne, laps 93-100 Santos.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Jerry Coons, Jr. (15th to 5th)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Chris Windom

NEW USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP (presented by TRAXXAS) POINTS: 1-K.Swanson-130, 2-Coons-116, 3-Windom-110, 4-Byrne-102, 5-Gardner-88, 6-Pierce-75, 7-Santos-73, 8-C.J. Leary-67, 9-Hunter Schuerenberg-61, 10-Davey Hamilton-61.

NEXT USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP RACE (presented by TRAXXAS): May 25 - Indianapolis, IN - Indiana State Fairgrounds - "Hoosier Hundred"

Categories : News, USAC Silver Crown
Comments (0)
The United States Auto Club.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

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

WINDOM WINS THE SUMAR, COMPLETES WEEKEND SWEEP

Richie Murray - USAC Media

Terre Haute, Indiana April 2, 2017.........Chris Windom picked up right where he left off in a number of ways Sunday night at the Terre Haute Action Track.

One night after celebrating a USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car score at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway, Windom was back in the familiar setting of victory lane at the 17th running of the "Sumar Classic."

"It's pretty special getting the win last night and then to come out here with a brand-new team, I really don't know what to say. I met a lot of these guys for the first time today. Gene Kazmark gave me the opportunity and gave me a great racecar to come out here and win tonight."

Incredibly, this was Kazmark's first entry into a Silver Crown event as an owner since the "Hoosier Hundred" in September of 2001 with driver Ricky Shelton. However, the car itself was a familiar commodity to Windom as it was the same car he drove to victory in his most recent series' win at Eldora Speedway's "4-Crown Nationals" for the Fred Gormly/RPM Auto Enterprise team in September 2016. But, a new team means new surroundings, and Windom and the crew quickly adapted to their new environment.

"I'm pretty familiar with the car," Windom admits. "It's pretty much the same exact car we won Eldora with last year. That definitely gave us a head start coming in. The guys working on it busted their tails all winter long to maintain and rebuild it and keep it as good as it was last year. It's pretty special to be able to come out here and do this. I didn't know exactly what my expectations were coming here since I didn't know the guys very well, but we jelled right from the first practice session."

Windom became just the fifth driver in the history of the USAC Silver Crown series to follow up a win in the previous season's final race with a victory in the season opener the next year. The only other drivers to accomplish that feat are Al Unser (1974), Tom Bigelow (1976), Jerry Coons, Jr. (2011) and Kody Swanson (2015).

In fact, dating to the 2016 "Ted Horn 100" at Illinois' Du Quoin State Fairgrounds, Windom has been victorious in three-straight Silver Crown events, the 10th driver in the history of the series to do so.

The Canton, Illinois native also became the fourth defending Silver Crown champ to capture the following season's opening race, joining Al Unser (1974), Dave Steele (2006) and Kody Swanson (2015).

The three most recent "Sumar Classic" winners coming into Sunday, Shane Cockrum (2015), C.J. Leary (2016) and Kody Swanson (2014) owned the lead in the first half of the 100-lap event, but by the midway point, Windom had steadily worked his way to the front from his ninth starting position, utilizing the bottom of the racing surface to make his way through the pack.

By the 50th lap, Windom chomped into Swanson's lead. The two series champs worked the bottom after Swanson moved his line between turns three and four from the top to the bottom. Windom stuck a nose under Swanson entering turn three, inching along the inside guardrail until the exit of turn four where he was able to clear Swanson to take the top spot by a car-length at the start/finish line as flagman Tom Hansing displayed the crossed flags.

Windom had opened up a near full-straightaway lead over new second-place runner Leary with two-thirds of the race in the bag, while Swanson occupied third. With 18 to go, though, Windom's lead had grown to seven seconds and the insurmountable advantage seemed unattainable for second on back until eighth-running Bill Rose slowed with an apparent driveline issue to bring out the caution.

With the field bunched up, Windom's lead was now gone and he would have to contend with defending race winner Leary in the closing laps. However, Windom was able to get a solid jump with the lapped cars of Johnny Petrozelle and Joe Liguori standing between the front two on the lap 83 restart, thus allowing Windom to break away as Leary fought his way around the two to give chase.

Windom and Leary worked the bottom lap-after-lap as Leary slowly, but surely chipped away at the gap. By lap 92, Leary had sliced Windom's advantage to under a half-second and was still closing.

It was at this juncture one year ago when Leary made the race-winning move for the win, but this year's lap 93 did not work in his favor as he began to lose valuable ground and Windom started to distance himself from Leary once-and-for-all.

Windom had withstood the challenge, taking the victory by just a tad under two seconds over Leary, Swanson, top-rookie finisher Hunter Schuerenberg and Jerry Coons, Jr.

It was Windom's sixth career Silver Crown victory, which moves him into the top-20 on the series' career win list. Meanwhile, he also continued a streak of different "Sumar Classic" winners each year going back to 1999.

"I knew I found something on the bottom," Windom recalls. "I couldn't hit it twice in a row for a while, but I finally hit my marks on entry to where I could hit it on the exit. That's where I'd gain on him off the corner. I didn't want to show him a nose. I wanted to be able to pass him cleanly so he couldn't take my line away. We got to traffic and it kind of played in my favor. A low and slow race takes a lot out of you trying to hit your marks like that every single lap."

"I don't think our momentum could be much better right," Windom acknowledges. "It's awesome to be able start the year like this. I've never had a year quite this good this early."

Greenfield, Indiana's C.J. Leary continued his impressive runs at Terre Haute over the past three seasons by scoring his third-straight top-two result with a second-place finish in his Chuck & Tammi Leary/Leary Construction - Gray Auto/DRC/1-Way Toyota.

"I think it's this DRC Silver Crown Car," Leary humbly attributes for his recent run of success at Terre Haute. "Joe (Devin) and I have been working really well together on this deal. Terre Haute is really not one of my better tracks, but in the Silver Crown car here, two seconds and a win is pretty awesome. I think we picked the wrong tire tonight, though. We went with a 25 instead of a 20 thinking it was going to rubber up early, but it never did."

"Chris (Windom) and I were about the same speed," Leary explains during the final run to the checkered. "Every time he'd make a mistake, I seemed to make the same mistake. I figured I could catch him, but I didn't know if we could pass him. It felt kind of like déjà vu from last year. I thought we might able to pull off the upset, but that's racing. We'll load up, go back to the shop and try to make it a little bit faster."

Kody Swanson of Kingsburg, California grabbed third in his DePalma Motorsports/Radio Hospital - Hampshire Racing Engines/Maxim/Hampshire Chevy.

"You really don't want to get too far back at Terre Haute behind guys like Shane (Cockrum) and C.J. (Leary), both former Sumar winners," Swanson said. "I knew I had to figure out how to get around them early on and the top of (turns) three and four seemed to be holding. If you're going to get to the lead doing it, you got to be the first one to try it. You have to stick your neck out and make something happen. This crew works hard for me and I was going to work hard for them to make sure I got us back to the lead. I did everything I could do to put us in a position to win. I chased it higher and higher; there were so many cars on the bottom throwing the marbles out and, when the moisture went away, you just couldn't keep doing it anymore and I had to come to the bottom."

"This team's a pleasure to race for," Swanson continued. "We went in with what we thought was going to happen and it just didn't tonight. We never quit. We gave it everything we had and we're disappointed because these guys are good and we want to win, but tonight we just missed a little bit. We'll come back and try again. There's no one else I'd rather come back to the races with."

Contingency award winners Sunday night at the Terre Haute Action Track included Kody Swanson (ProSource Fast Qualifier), Dave Darland (KSE Racing Products Hard Charger) and Patrick Bruns (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher).

---------------------------

USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: April 2, 2017 - Terre Haute, Indiana - Terre Haute Action Track - "Sumar Classic"

PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Kody Swanson, 63, DePalma-23.599; 2. Casey Shuman, 55, Bateman-23.794; 3. David Byrne, 40, Byrne-23.881; 4. Shane Cockrum, 71, Hardy-23.925; 5. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-23.990; 6. Brady Bacon, 48, Martens-24.063; 7. Justin Grant, 91, Carli/Hemelgarn-24.119; 8. Aaron Pierce, 26, Pierce-24.382; 9. Chris Windom, 92, Kazmark-24.809; 10. Steve Buckwalter, 53, SET-24.857; 11. Hunter Schuerenberg, 120, Nolen-24.953; 12. Johnny Petrozelle, 08, Cornell/Petrozelle-25.021; 13. Dakota Jackson, 201, Nolen-25.066; 14. Joe Liguori, 4, Liguori-25.127; 15. Patrick Bruns, 95, Full Throttle-25.148; 16. Jerry Coons Jr., 20, Nolen-25.195; 17. Mark Smith, 54, Lane-25.382; 18. J.C. Bland, 5, Bland-25.509; 19. Bill Rose, 75, Rose-25.551; 20. Dave Berkheimer, 31, Berkheimer-25.565; 21. Shane Cottle, 81, Williams-25.596; 22. Joss Moffatt, 32, Williams/Wright-25.886; 23. Austin Nemire, 16, Lesko-25.981; 24. Dave Darland, 27, Phillips-26.032; 25. Korey Weyant, 99, Weyant-26.064; 26. Terry Babb, 42, Babb-26.323; 27. Damion Gardner, 6, Klatt-26.486; 28. Jacob Wilson, 07, WBR-26.707; 29. Kenny Gentry, 18, Gentry-27.284; 30. Chris Fetter, 89, Fetter-NT; 31. David Shain, 7, Hardy-NT.

LAST CHANCE RACE: (15 laps) 1. Smith, 2. Cottle, 3. Gardner, 4. Darland, 5. Rose, 6. Moffatt, 7. Nemire, 8. Bland, 9. Babb, 10. Wilson, 11. Weyant, 12. Berkheimer, 13. Fetter, 14. Gentry. 5:51.67

FEATURE: (100 laps) 1. Chris Windom, 2. C.J. Leary, 3. Kody Swanson, 4. Hunter Schuerenberg, 5. Jerry Coons Jr., 6. Brady Bacon, 7. Dave Darland, 8. Damion Gardner, 9. Dakota Jackson, 10. Joss Moffatt, 11. Johnny Petrozelle, 12. Joe Liguori, 13. Patrick Bruns, 14. David Byrne, 15. Austin Nemire, 16. Bill Rose, 17. Steve Buckwalter, 18. Shane Cockrum, 19. Mark Smith, 20. Aaron Pierce, 21. Shane Cottle, 22. Justin Grant, 23. J.C. Bland, 24. Casey Shuman. NT
------------------------------
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-18 Cockrum, Laps 19-25 Leary, Laps 26-49 Swanson, Laps 50-100 Windom.

KSE RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Dave Darland (20th to 7th)

WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Patrick Bruns

NEW USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Windom-70, 2-Swanson-70, 3-Leary-69, 4-Schuerenberg-61, 5-Coons-58, 6-Bacon-56, 7-Darland-52, 8-Gardner-49, 9-Jackson-46, 10-Moffatt-43.

NEXT USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: April 29 - Phoenix (AZ) International Raceway - "Phoenix Copper Cup"

Comments (0)
The United States Auto Club.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

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

USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP RIDES INTO THE DESERT AT PHOENIX IN 2017

Phoenix International Raceway, a venue synonymous with USAC Silver Crown racing for more than two decades, returns to the 2017 schedule after an eight-year absence.

The highly-anticipated return of the big cars to the mile in Arizona's Valley of the Sun arrives on Saturday, April 29 on the same bill as the IndyCar Series race later that night.

The roar of champ car engines fell silent at PIR after Cole Whitt's victory in 2009 on the racy, triangular-shaped paved track, but the series is back this season as it embarks on its 47th season of competition with a schedule as balanced as it's ever been. Six dirt and five pavement events are on tap for the 11-race docket for 2017.

The series opens on the dirt at Indiana's Terre Haute Action Track on Apr. 2 for the "Sumar Classic." On May 25, the 63rd running of the "Hoosier Hundred" makes it traditional stop at the Indiana State Fairgrounds mile. In June, amidst the "Eastern Storm" series for the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Cars, the Silver Crown cars take on Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania's Williams Grove Speedway on June 16.

The series closes out the 2017 calendar with three-straight races on the dirt, beginning with a pair of events on the two legendary mile tracks in Illinois. The "Bettenhausen 100" at Springfield's Illinois State Fairgrounds on Aug. 19 is the longest-running of all Silver Crown events with roots dating back to 1934.

The Du Quoin State Fairgrounds, host of the Sept. 3 "Ted Horn 100," is one of just three racetracks on the series' 2017 schedule to have been on the schedule in every single year of USAC's existence since 1956 (Indiana and Illinois State Fairgrounds).

The season closes with the Sept. 23 "4-Crown Nationals" at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio - the only event in which one can witness all three of USAC's National Divisions (Silver Crown, National Sprint and National Midget) at the same track on a single night.

The pavement portion of the schedule is an array of flat and high-banked surfaces ranging in size from a half-mile to a full-mile. Phoenix serves as the pavement season opener as well as the series' sole visit to the west on Apr. 29.

Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg, Indiana is the lone track scheduled to host multiple Silver Crown events this season with the "Carb Night Classic: The Race Before the 500" on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend on May 26 and the "Rich Vogler/Hall of Fame Classic" on July 20.

The final two races hit the high banks of two of the Midwest's most history-rich racetracks in Ohio's Toledo Speedway and Indiana's Salem Speedway Fueled by the Hoosier Lottery. Toledo's July 28event honors the city's greatest racing hero and 1973 USAC National Sprint Car champ with the Hemelgarn Racing/Super Fitness "Rollie Beale Classic."

The Silver Crown cars return to Salem for the final round of pavement for the season one year after making their first stop at the .555-mile, high-banked oval since 1988. As it has since 1958, the event honors the lives of National Sprint Car Hall of Famers and Indianapolis 500 veterans Joe James and Pat O'Connor.

2017 USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
Apr 2: (D) Terre Haute Action Track (Terre Haute, IN)
Apr 29: (P#) Phoenix International Raceway (Phoenix, AZ)
May 25: (D) Indiana State Fairgrounds (Indianapolis, IN)
May 26: (P) Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis (Brownsburg, IN)
Jun 16: (D) Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Jul 20: (P) Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis (Brownsburg, IN)
Jul 28: (P) Toledo Speedway (Toledo, OH)
Aug 12: (P) Salem Speedway Fueled by the Hoosier Lottery (Salem, IN)
Aug 19: (D#) Illinois State Fairgrounds (Springfield, IL)
Sep 3: (D) Du Quoin State Fairgrounds (Du Quoin, IL)
Sep 23: (D) Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
------------------------------------------
(D) represents a dirt event
(P) represents a pavement event
# represents a daytime event

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

KNOXVILLE AND WILLIAMS GROVE RETURN TO THE FOLD FOR 2017 USAC SPRINT SEASON

Two of the most storied dirt tracks in the United States return to the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car calendar in 2017.

On June 3, the series invades the legendary half-mile Knoxville Raceway for the first time since 2011. The Saturday night event coincides with National Sprint Car Hall of Fame induction weekend at the Iowa dirt oval.

Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania's Williams Grove Speedway, the only venue on this year's 47-race slate that was on the Sprint Car schedule in USAC's inaugural year of 1956, will host its first series race since 1996 as part of the 11th edition of "Eastern Storm" on June 15.

In addition, the USAC Sprints call Tri-City Speedway home once again, where the series hasn't visited since 2006. The May 19 date at the Granite City, Ill. track will also feature the USAC Midget National Championship. July 30 marks a return visit to Randolph County Raceway in Moberly, Missouri. USAC's lone appearance there came in 1989 when the late Rich Vogler won a rare winged race for Hoffman Auto Racing.

Furthermore, the series will make initial appearances at Indiana's Plymouth Speedway on Apr. 21, Pevely, Missouri's Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 on May 20 and Greenwood, Nebraska's I-80 Speedway on June 2.

Traditional USAC stops on the 2017 horizon include the season-opening "Winter Dirt Games" for three-straight nights at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Florida. Eldora Speedway's docket features multiple showcase events with back-to-back nights of #LetsRaceTwo on May 12-13 alongside the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Cars. Fast forward to Sept. 23 when the Rossburg, Ohio half-mile is the showplace for the 36th running of the "4-Crown Nationals" that also features USAC's Silver Crown and National Midget divisions as well as the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions.

Western Indiana's Terre Haute Action Track pays homage to a pair of USAC racing heroes from year's past. The 47th running of the "Tony Hulman Classic" hits the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds half-mile on May 24 while the "Jim Hurtubise Classic" is earmarked for September 15.

The "Eastern Storm" and "Indiana Sprint Week" series have become institutions in their respective regions of the country, annually playing to large crowds and some of the most intense racing seen all year long. It will be no different in the five-race Eastern Storm series that runs from June 13-18 in the "Keystone State." The first two nights will be held at a pair of tracks to be announced at a later date. Williams Grove serves up a feast of racing action on June 15, then a one-day break from action before closing out the mini-series at Port Royal Speedway on the 17th and Susquehanna Speedway on the 18th.

The 30th annual "Indiana Sprint Week" series consistently produces as one of the country's premier events. Its schedule of events remains just as consistent. Once again, ISW launches at Gas City I-69 Speedway on July 7 with Kokomo Speedway and Lawrenceburg Speedway rounding out the first weekend of racing July 8-9, respectively. A two-day sabbatical gives way as the action roars back to life for the final four-race stretch of ISW at Terre Haute, Putnamville's Lincoln Park Speedway, Bloomington Speedway and Haubstadt's Tri-State Speedway on July 12-13-14-15.

The sole non-points, special event of the USAC Sprint season occurs on Aug. 23 as a prelude to three more consecutive nights at Kokomo and "Sprint Car Smackdown VI" on Aug. 24-25-26.

Lawrenceburg hosts a duo of events - one in the spring and one in the fall - as does Tri-State. The three-eighths mile Lawrenceburg oval brings the series to town for both the Midwest opener on Apr. 1 as well as the Midwest closer on Sept. 30. Bloomington Speedway's red clay will fly when USAC makes a visit on Apr. 14 which kicks off a double-header weekend that moves to Tri-State the following night at the "Spring Showdown" on Apr. 15 for the first of two shows at the quarter-mile paperclip co-sanctioned by MSCS. The series makes the trek back to Tri-State for the "Haubstadt Hustler" on Sep. 16.

Additional dates include trips to Indiana's Montpelier Motor Speedway and Lincoln Park Speedway on Apr. 22 and June 30, respectively, as well as a date at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kans. on July 29.

The series closes out its campaign with a multitude of events in conjunction with the USAC/CRA AMSOIL Sprint Car Championship for a pair of annual events headquartered in the western U.S. First up is the 50th annual "Western World Championships." The golden anniversary of the famed event that has been a staple of the southwest since 1968 takes place at Queen Creek's Arizona Speedway on Nov. 3-4.

The season closes out with the three-night spectacular known as the Budweiser "Oval Nationals" presented by All Coast Construction on Nov. 9-10-11. The 22nd running at southern California's Perris Auto Speedway pits the best from the National and CRA scenes against each other for bragging rights in what is annually the highest-paying purse of the year.

2017 USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
Feb 23: Bubba Raceway Park (Ocala, FL)
Feb 24: Bubba Raceway Park (Ocala, FL)
Feb 25: Bubba Raceway Park (Ocala, FL)
Apr 1: Lawrenceburg Speedway (Lawrenceburg, IN)
Apr 14: Bloomington Speedway (Bloomington, IN)
Apr 15: (M) Tri-State Speedway (Haubstadt, IN)
Apr 21: Plymouth Speedway (Plymouth, IN)
Apr 22: Montpelier Motor Speedway (Montpelier, IN)
May 6: TBA
May 12: Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
May 13: Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
May 19: Tri-City Speedway (Granite City, IL)
May 20: Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 (Pevely, MO)
May 24: Terre Haute Action Track (Terre Haute, IN)
Jun 2: I-80 Speedway (Greenwood, NE)
Jun 3: Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA)
Jun 13: (E) TBA
Jun 14: (E) TBA
Jun 15: (E) Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Jun 17: (E) Port Royal Speedway (Port Royal, PA)
Jun 18: (E) Susquehanna Speedway (York Haven, PA)
Jun 30: Lincoln Park Speedway (Putnamville, IN)
Jul 7: (I) Gas City I-69 Speedway (Gas City, IN)
Jul 8 (I) Kokomo Speedway (Kokomo, IN)
Jul 9: (I) Lawrenceburg Speedway (Lawrenceburg, IN)
Jul 12: (I) Terre Haute Action Track (Terre Haute, IN)
Jul 13: (I) Lincoln Park Speedway (Putnamville, IN)
Jul 14: (I) Bloomington Speedway (Bloomington, IN)
Jul 15: (I) Tri-State Speedway (Haubstadt, IN)
Jul 28: TBA
Jul 29: Lakeside Speedway (Kansas City, KS)
Jul 30: Randolph County Raceway (Moberly, MO)
Aug 23: (SE) Kokomo Speedway (Kokomo, IN)
Aug 24: Kokomo Speedway (Kokomo, IN)
Aug 25: Kokomo Speedway (Kokomo, IN)
Aug 26: Kokomo Speedway (Kokomo, IN)
Sep 15: Terre Haute Action Track (Terre Haute, IN)
Sep 16: (M) Tri-State Speedway (Haubstadt, IN)
Sep 23: Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Sep 30: Lawrenceburg Speedway (Lawrenceburg, IN)
Oct. 6: TBA
Oct. 7: TBA
Nov. 3: (C) Arizona Speedway (Queen Creek, AZ)
Nov. 4: (C) Arizona Speedway (Queen Creek, AZ)
Nov. 9 (C) Perris Auto Speedway (Perris, CA)
Nov. 10 (C) Perris Auto Speedway (Perris, CA)
Nov. 11 (C) Perris Auto Speedway (Perris, CA)
------------------------------------------
(M) represents an event co-sanctioned by MSCS
(E) represents an Eastern Storm event
(I) represents an Indiana Sprint Week event
(C) represents an event with the USAC/CRA AMSOIL Sprint Cars

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

USAC NATIONAL MIDGET TOUR TRAVELS COAST-TO-COAST IN 2017 CAMPAIGN

Twenty-seven dates in seven states serve as the ingredients for the 2017 USAC Midget National Championship schedule.

Among the events are four distinct tours that make up the bulk of the schedule such as June's "Indiana Midget Week," July's weekend trip to Illinois as well as an August tour of the Heartland of America and "Pennsylvania Midget Week," which offers a total of eight races in a busy Summer stretch.

The 13th annual "Indiana Midget Week" kicks off with the first of six straight nights of racing action on June 6 at Montpelier Motor Speedway, followed by Gas City, Lincoln Park, Bloomington, Lawrenceburg and Kokomo to round out the series that continues to grow in popularity each year since its debut in 2005.

The series resumes with a weekend getaway to the Land of Lincoln on July 1-2-3. First up is Macon Speedway whose roots with USAC date back to Don Branson's victory at the one-fifth mile bullring in 1959. However, the series will make its comeback to the track after a decade absence on the first of July. A date is scheduled for July 2at a track yet to be determined, which will be followed up by the USAC National Midgets' first venture to the one-sixth mile Illinois State Fairgrounds Multi-Purpose Arena - an outdoor venue in the capital city of Springfield located on the grounds nearby the one-mile dirt oval that the USAC Silver Crown Championship competes on each August.

The USAC National Midgets' tour of the Heartland kick starts the month of August on the first with "Tuesday Night Thunder" at Nebraska's Jefferson County Speedway followed one night later by the "Chad McDaniel Memorial" at Solomon Valley Raceway in Beloit, Kans. on Aug. 2. After a single day off, drivers and teams get back at it on the Belleville High Banks in Kansas for the 40th annual "Belleville Midget Nationals" on Aug. 4-5.

Susquehanna Speedway opens "Pennsylvania Midget Week" on Aug. 13 with dates at Path Valley Speedway Park and Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway set for the following two nights on Aug. 14-15. Aug. 16 is a day of rest before the mini-series' final event hits the track at a yet-to-be-determined venue on Aug. 17.

Traditional dates dot the remainder of the series calendar for 2017 with the season set to begin indoors on March 18 at the Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin. The "Kokomo Grand Prix" in Indiana provides the first multi-event weekend for competitors on Apr. 7-8.

Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Illinois moves to an earlier slot on the schedule - May 19 - for a twin-bill with the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship.

The ever-popular "4-Crown Nationals" goes into its 36th year at Rossburg, Ohio's Eldora Speedway as the largest showcase for all three of USAC's national divisions on one card in a single night. The famed event includes the National Midgets, Silver Crown, National Sprint Cars and the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions.

The fifth-annual "Jason Leffler Memorial" at Wayne County Speedway in Wayne City, Illinois provides the largest winner's payday of the year on Oct. 20.

For the second consecutive year, the National Midgets pair with the Western States Midgets to conclude the 2017 USAC outdoor racing season with the 77th running of the prestigious "Turkey Night Grand Prix" oceanside at California's Ventura Raceway.

2017 USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
Mar 18: (N) Southern Illinois Center (Du Quoin, IL)
Apr 7: Kokomo Speedway (Kokomo, IN)
Apr 8: Kokomo Speedway (Kokomo, IN)
May 19: Tri-City Speedway (Granite City, IL)
Jun 6: (I) Montpelier Motor Speedway (Montpelier, IN)
Jun 7: (I) Gas City I-69 Speedway (Gas City, IN)
Jun 8: (I) Lincoln Park Speedway (Putnamville, IN)
Jun 9: (I) Bloomington Speedway (Bloomington, IN)
Jun 10: (I) Lawrenceburg Speedway (Lawrenceburg, IN)
Jun 11: (I) Kokomo Speedway (Kokomo, IN)
Jul 1: Macon Speedway (Macon, IL)
Jul 2: TBA
Jul 3: Illinois State Fairgrounds Multi-Purpose Arena (Springfield, IL)
Jul 22: TBA
Aug 1: Jefferson County Speedway (Fairbury, NE)
Aug 2: Solomon Valley Raceway (Beloit, KS)
Aug 4: Belleville High Banks (Belleville, KS)
Aug 5: Belleville High Banks (Belleville, KS)
Aug 13: (A) Susquehanna Speedway (York Haven, PA)
Aug 14: (A) Path Valley Speedway Park (Spring Run, PA)
Aug 15: (A) Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway (Newmanstown, PA)
Aug 17: (A) TBA
Sep 23: Eldora Speedway (Rossburg, OH)
Oct 6: TBA
Oct 7: TBA
Oct 20: (P) Wayne County Speedway (Wayne City, IL)
Nov 23: (W) Ventura Raceway (Ventura, CA)
------------------------------------------
(N) represents an indoor event
(I) represents an Indiana Midget Week event
(A) represents an event with the USAC/ARDC Midgets
(P) represents an event co-sanctioned by POWRi
(W) represents an event with the USAC Western States Midgets

Archives