Archive for USAC
MARCH 19, 2017
CONTACT: BOB MILLER 443 513 4456
THUNDER ON THE HILL RACING SERIES
‘DOUBLE-D’ DANNY DIETRICH ENTERS USAC NON-WING EASTERN STORM, SERIES OPENS AT GRANDVIEW ON TUESDAY, JUNE 13
BECHTELSVILLE, PA (MARCH 19, 2017) – 410 Sprint Car ace, Danny Dietrich has thrown his name into the hat of local competitors that will ‘Chase the Storm’ when the USAC National Wingless Sprint Car Championship Eastern Storm rolls into town for a week of ultra-exciting racing action, beginning on Tuesday, June 13 at Grandview Speedway.
Dietrich will strap into the Tom Buch-owned/APEX/DKW Transport No. 13 machine for action at Grandview Speedway (June 13), Lincoln Speedway (June 14), Williams Grove Speedway (June 15), and Port Royal Speedway (June 17) before the team heads west to compete with the All-Star Circuit of Champions at Waynesfield Raceway (June 18).
“Tom has given me a great opportunity to run these wingless races and I’m looking forward to going out and trying something different,” Dietrich explained. “It’s going to be tough because we’re out of our element, but I think I can adapt and I believe we have a chance of winning at any of these tracks.”
‘Double-D’ certainly isn’t a stranger to victory lane in Central Pennsylvania, having claimed winged 410 victories at Lincoln, Williams Grove, and Port Royal Speedway in the 2016 season – including the $25,000 Williams Grove National Open victory against the World of Outlaws. Dietrich first found victory lane at the Berks County Grandview Speedway in the inaugural Thunder Cup event in 2015.
But all bets are off with this being Dietrich’s first foray into wingless Sprint Car racing.
“With a wing on we’re used to running really hard on entry,” the 28-year-old racer explained. “I think there’s going to be a learning curve, but this is going to make me a more versatile racer.”
“Danny Dietrich is one of the sport’s most popular racers on and off the race track,” Bob Miller co-promoter of the USAC events at Grandview Speedway and Lincoln Speedway stated. “Having someone of his caliber compete against the USAC drivers adds another layer to the excitement of the Eastern Storm.”
The leanest and meanest racers from USAC’s AMSOIL National Sprint Car Series – the nation’s largest group of non-wing open-wheel racers – make their annual stop on the east coast for a five-race series touring through Central Pennsylvania.
The 11th year of the ‘Eastern Storm’ kicks off on Tuesday, June 13 at Grandview Speedway; followed by Lincoln Speedway on Wednesday, June 14; Williams Grove Speedway on Thursday, June 15; Port Royal Speedway on Saturday, June 17; and rounding out the series on Sunday, June 18 at Susquehanna Speedway.
2017 USAC AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT CAR SERIES EASTERN STORM
DATE: Tuesday, June 13, 2017
TRACK: Grandview Speedway (Bechtelsville, Pennsylvania) - 1/3-mile, dirt oval
NAPA Auto Parts Thunder on the Hill Racing Series
Jesse Hockett Classic for USAC NON-WING Sprints & 358 NASCAR Modifieds
TRACK ADDRESS: 43 Passmore Rd, Bechtelsville, PA 19505
TRACK PHONE: (610) 754-7688
TRACK WEBSITE: www.grandviewspeedway.com/
SERIES WEBSITE: www.thunderonthehillracingseries.com
DATE: Wednesday, June 14, 2017
TRACK: Lincoln Speedway (Abbottstown, Pennsylvania) - 3/8-mile, dirt oval
USAC NON-WING Sprints & 358 Sprints
TRACK ADDRESS: 800 Racetrack Rd, Abbottstown, PA 17301
TRACK PHONE: (717) 624-2755
TRACK WEBSITE: www.lincolnspeedway.com/
SERIES WEBSITE: www.thunderonthehillracingseries.com
DATE: Thursday, June 15, 2017
TRACK: Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania) – ½-mile, dirt oval
TRACK ADDRESS: 1 Speedway Dr., Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
TRACK PHONE: (717) 697-5000
TRACK WEBSITE: www.williamsgrove.com/
DATE: Saturday, June 17, 2017
TRACK: Port Royal Speedway (Port Royal, Pennsylvania) - 1/2-mile, dirt oval
TRACK ADDRESS: 302 6th St, Port Royal, PA 17082
TRACK PHONE: (717) 527-2303
TRACK WEBSITE: portroyalspeedway.com/
DATE: Sunday, June 18, 2017
TRACK: Susquehanna Speedway (York Haven, Pennsylvania) – 4/10-mile, dirt oval
TRACK ADDRESS: 690 York Rd, York Haven, PA 17370
TRACK PHONE: (717) 938-9170
TRACK WEBSITE: www.susquehannaspeedway.net/
Contact: Richie Murray - USAC Media / firstname.lastname@example.org
GRANT GETS USAC NATIONAL MIDGET WIN #1 AT SHAMROCK CLASSIC
Du Quoin, Illinois.........Thus far, USAC's 2017 season has already become the year of Justin Grant.
The record books were rewritten in Saturday night's "Shamrock Classic" USAC Midget National Championship season-opener at the Southern Illinois Center as Grant became the first driver in the 62-year history of the organization to record season-opening feature victories in both the National Sprint and National Midget divisions in a single year.
Now, the Ione, California driver finds himself in an envious early-season position: sitting atop the standings in both the USAC National Sprint and National Midget series. It's a remarkable accomplishment for Grant, a driver who readily admits that his racing career was floundering less than a year ago.
"Last summer, I was sitting on the couch," Grant recalls. "I wasn't doing much racing. I couldn't beg my way into a racecar. From then 'til now, it's just incredible. I keep thinking I'm going to wake up from a dream and it's not going to be real."
The dream is now reality for the 26-year-old Grant as he gladly accepted a fortuitous bout of Irish luck with 17 laps remaining when Christopher Bell saw his chance of winning fade into the haze as the lapped cars of Korey Weyant and Chris Andrews tangled in front of him on the high side of turn four. Bell became trapped in a box with the two stalled cars and the outside retaining wall surrounding him as he looked for an escape.
Just moments before, second-running Grant had decided to take his shot at Bell and the race lead. Just seconds later, the move proved to be a wise one as he avoided the mayhem and came away with the lead on the ensuing restart.
"It was just kind of a chance deal," Grant believes. "I'd been kind of shadowing him, waiting and waiting for lapped traffic to try and take a shot at him. I thought the top was slowing down enough that I could maybe make a move on the bottom if he caught some lapped traffic on the top. As soon as we caught that pack of cars on the top, I dove to the bottom in turn three to try and take a shot and capitalize. It just happened to work out for me with those guys crashing right in front of him. I don't know why I picked that lap to do it or why it worked out that way, but I'll take it."
On the lap 34 restart, a new, but familiar member joined the fray at the front of the field in the name of defending "Shamrock Classic" winner Shane Golobic.
Golobic, originally beginning the 50-lap feature from the 14th spot, busted his way from fifth to second in quick fashion when action resumed. Soon enough, Golobic was right on the tail of Grant for the lead with 12 laps to go until clipping the berm on the inside of turn two. That dropped Golobic back a bit as Grant began to create a bit of separation between he and his CMR teammate.
In the final five circuits, Golobic had reeled Grant in as the two weaved their way through the tail-end of the field. The two dipped and dove between the lapped cars of Weyant and Daniel Adler as the pair threaded through the eye of a needle in a game of racing limbo to see who could be the first to get the lowest on the racing surface.
"I caught sight of Shane (Golobic) off the middle of (turns) three and four. I kind of got a run back around him off the cushion of (turn) four. I knew he started real deep and if he'd come from that far back on the bottom, I knew I needed to get back to the bottom in a hurry. I had just enough to get back by him off (turn) four and shut him down on the bottom getting into (turn) one. From there on out, it's about not missing the bottom and not getting caught up on the berm. Once it started laying rubber, I knew if I didn't get out of the rubber, he wasn't going to be able to get by me. Catching lapped cars and rubber is highly frustrating. You can't get out of it to get around him and they're not going to get out of it. You just have to settle in, follow, stay in it and hope you're not a sitting duck."
Grant never flinched an inch as Golobic swarmed Grant's tail tank coming to the checkered flag to no avail, providing Grant his first career USAC National Midget victory in his Clauson-Marshall Racing/Driven 2 Save Lives - Priority Aviation/Spike/Stanton SR-11 over Golobic, Jerry Coons, Jr., Brady Bacon and Brent Beauchamp.
The spirit of Bryan Clauson was prominent throughout the event, which was promoted by Bryan's fiancée Lauren Stewart. The winner's share of the purse was $3900 in honor of Bryan who drove the No. 39 to consecutive USAC National Midget titles in 2010 and 2011. Grant's drive was reminiscent of Bryan's magnificence throughout the years as he piloted Bryan's father's, Tim Clauson's, car to victory lane Saturday night.
The combination of the Southern Illinois Center, plus Tim Clauson and Tyler Ransbottom on the wrenches has proven to be an unstoppable equation since the first USAC-sanctioned midget race at the one-sixth-mile indoor oval in December of 2015. Since then, the pairing has earned four-straight victories with four different drivers: Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Shane Golobic, Tyler Courtney and, the latest, Justin Grant.
"They're racecars are fast," Grant exclaimed. "They were fast at the Chili Bowl. They're fast here. They've clearly got this place figured out. I've been racing a long time now and I've never been this quick. It's obviously the car I'm sitting in. Tim and Tyler do such a good job. They're so good at what they do and it's such a pleasure to drive for them."
Shane Golobic has yet to finish outside the top-two in his three Southern Illinois appearances since his inaugural "Shamrock Classic" victory in March of 2016. On Saturday night, he collected a close second behind his teammate in his Clauson-Marshall/Matt Wood Racing/Elk Grove Ford - Driven 2 Save Lives/Spike/Stanton SR-11.
"I don't know if it's me who's got this place figured out or if it's the team. I'm thinking it's the team," a humble Golobic said. "The team's won the last four here and I've finished second the last two times and won the time before that. This team's obviously got this place figured out and it's made it very easy for me to get the track figured out. I think if we could've gotten a little further up on Justin before he changed lanes, it might've been a different story. He switched lanes at just the right time just like the veteran that he is. If I'm going to be beaten by anybody, I'm glad it's by a teammate."
"I kind of had the bottom figured out," Golobic continued. "I was catching a little bit of rubber on the bottom. As I was reeling Justin (Grant) in, I really just needed to get to the point where I could get wheel-to-wheel with him. I just couldn't quite get there. If he wasn't my teammate, I might have had a little different mindset getting into (turn) three when he shut the door down there. I might've shoved the car in there a little bit harder, but I lifted and hoped to get another opportunity in traffic. That opportunity never showed up; Justin never made a mistake."
Jerry Coons, Jr. equaled his best finish of a year ago at the Belleville (Kans.) High Banks with a third-place run Saturday night in his Petry-Goff Motorsports/Petry Excavating - Gray Auto/Spike/Stanton Toyota.
"I started off the race a little too tight on the right rear," Coons explained. "It kind of came to us and got better midway through the race. I thought we were pretty good until the early yellow came out and we got smoked on the bottom. I went down there, it was a little free and I made a bunch of adjustments on the shocks. Then, the rubber really started laying down and I got too tight. I was going back on the shock adjustment. The car was really good all throughout the night. Hopefully, we can go on to the next one and keep piling up top-threes.
Contingency award winners include Brent Beauchamp (Simpson Race Products First Qualifier Winner), Billy Wease (CSI Second Heat Winner), Justin Grant (Chalk Stix Third Heat Winner), Christopher Bell (Indy Race Parts Fourth Heat Winner), Shane Golobic (KSE Racing Products/Elliott's Custom Trailers Winner) and Gage Walker (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher Winner).
USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: March 18, 2017 - Du Quoin, Illinois - Southern Illinois Center - "Shamrock Classic"
FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Tyler Thomas (#91T Thomas), 2. Daniel Robinson (#57D McCreery), 3. Christopher Bell (#21 Kunz/Curb-Agajanian), 4. Andy Malpocker (#22 Malpocker), 5. Mark Chisholm (#56x Fifty6x), 6. Tim Siner (#15 Siner-Cyliax), 7. Shane Golobic (#17w Clauson-Marshall-Wood), 8. Tyler Courtney (#7BC Clauson-Marshall), 9. Robert Bell (#71-1/2 Bell). NT
SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Justin Grant (#39BC Clauson-Marshall), 2. Josh Most (#92M Most), 3. Justin Peck (#7k Irwin), 4. Tyler Nelson (#91 Harris), 5. Chad Boat (#84 Tucker-Boat), 6. Ryan Robinson (#71 Kunz/Curb-Agajanian), 7. Shane Morgan (#15M Morgan), 8. Kyle Cummins (#5 Briscoe), 9. David Budres (#31 Manic). NT
THIRD HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Colten Cottle (#5c Cottle), 2. Jake Neuman (#3N Neuman), 3. Tanner Thorson (#67 Kunz/Curb-Agajanian), 4. Gage Walker (#7 Walker), 5. Derek Hagar (#9jr Hagar-Proctor), 6. Holly Shelton (#67k Kunz/Curb-Agajanian), 7. Isaac Chapple (#52 Chapple), 8. Kellen Conover (#2 Baue). NT
FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Jerry Coons Jr. (#25 Petry-Goff), 2. Brent Beauchamp (#11B B & B), 3. Jeff Zelinski (#68 SFH), 4. Tony DiMattia (#50 DiMattia), 5. Kory Schudy (#28 Sawyer), 6. Tanner Carrick (#71k (Kunz/Curb-Agajanian), 7. Cole Fehr (#15F Live Loud). NT
FIFTH HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Matt Veatch (#56v Fifty6x), 2. Brady Bacon (#76m FMR), 3. Joe B. Miller (#51B Grogan), 4. Daniel Adler (#50A Adler), 5. Chris Andrews (#91A Thomas), 6. Mitchell Davis (#15s Morgan), 7. Chris Urish (#77u Pollock), 8. Kyle Schuett (#9k Schuett). NT
SIXTH HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Tony Roney (#1T Roney), 2. Billy Wease (#12w Wease), 3. Korey Weyant (#9 Allen), 4. Terry Babb (#88 Babb), 5. Spencer Bayston (#97 Kunz/Curb-Agajanian), 6. Chris Baue (#35 Baue), 7. Brayton Lynch (#1k Kunz), 8. Alex Bright (#77 Bright). NT
ALSO AT THE TRACK: Dave Darland (#11 Gray).
LAST CHANCE QUALIFIER: (10 laps) 1. Courtney, 2. Bright, 3. Schuett, 4. Cummins. 5. Budres, 6. Fehr, 7. Bell, 8. Chapple. NT
SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST QUALIFIER: (12 laps) 1. Beauchamp, 2. Coons, 3. Most, 4. Malpocker, 5. Andrews, 6. Bacon, 7. R.Robinson, 8. Davis, 9. Zelinski, 10. Baue. NT
COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND QUALIFIER: (12 laps) 1. Wease, 2. Miller, 3. Thorson, 4. DiMattia, 5. Neuman, 6. Bayston, 7. Nelson, 8. Morgan, 9. Veatch, 10. Lynch. NT
CHALK STIX THIRD QUALIFIER: (12 laps) 1. Grant, 2. Weyant, 3. Roney, 4. Adler, 5. Peck, 6. Shelton, 7. Urish, 8. Chisholm, 9. Babb, 10. Siner. NT
INDY RACE PARTS FOURTH QUALIFIER: (12 laps) 1. Bell, 2. Walker, 3. Golobic, 4. Cottle, 5. Boat, 6. Schudy, 7. Thomas, 8. Carrick, 9. D,Robinson, 10. Hagar. NT
B-MAIN #1: (15 laps) 1. Bacon, 2. Adler, 3. Andrews, 4. Chisholm, 5. Malpocker, 6. Boat, 7. Hagar, 8. Schuett, 9. Lynch, 10. Courtney, 11. Veatch, 12. Zelinski, 13. Davis, 14. Thomas, 15. Schudy, 16. Nelson. NT
B-MAIN #2: (15 laps) 1. Golobic, 2. Miller, 3. Bayston, 4. Peck, 5. Siner, 6. R.Robinson, 7. Babb, 8. Bright, 9. Morgan, 10. Cummins, 11. Urish, 12. DiMattia, 13. Carrick, 14. Shelton, 15. D.Robinson, 16. Baue. NT
FEATURE: (50 laps) 1. Justin Grant, 2. Shane Golobic, 3. Jerry Coons Jr., 4. Brady Bacon, 5. Brent Beauchamp, 6. Tony Roney, 7. Josh Most, 8. Jake Neuman, 9. Billy Wease, 10. Christopher Bell, 11. Colten Cottle, 12. Spencer Bayston, 13. Gage Walker, 14. Tanner Carrick, 15. Daniel Adler, 16. Korey Weyant, 17. Chad Boat, 18. Chris Andrews, 19. Mark Chisholm, 20. Justin Peck, 21. Tanner Thorson, 22. Joe B. Miller. NT
**Conover flipped during the third heat. Fehr flipped during the fourth heat.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Lap 1 Grant, Laps 2-33 Bell, Laps 34-50 Grant.
KSE RACING PRODUCTS/ELLIOTT'S TRAILERS HARD CHARGER: Shane Golobic (14th-2nd)
NEW USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES POINTS: 1-Grant-70, 2-Golobic-67, 3-Coons-64, 4-Bacon-61, 5-Bayston-39, 6-Walker-37, 7-Carrick-35, 8-Boat-29, 9-Thorson-23, 10-Darland-10.
NEXT USAC MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACES: April 7-8 - Kokomo (IN) Speedway - "Kokomo Grand Prix"
Contact: Richie Murray - USAC Media / email@example.com
SCHUERENBERG ESCAPES TO VICTORY LANE IN WINTER DIRT GAMES VIII FINALE
Ocala, Florida......... A seventh-place starting position and a 360 degree spin at the midway point was not enough to deter Hunter Schuerenberg on the path to a "Winter Dirt Games VIII" victory Saturday night at Bubba Raceway Park.
The 27-year-old Sikeston, Missouri native steadily moved his way toward the front of the field throughout the 30-lap event before surging into the lead with seven laps remaining to collect his first USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car feature victory in nearly three years since a 2014 victory in McCool Junction, Nebraska as well as his ninth career series triumph, joining Mario Andretti and Robbie Stanley for 47th on the all-time list.
At the drop of the green, though, outside front row starter Thomas Meseraull held the point, fending off a furious challenge from previous night's winner Justin Grant and defending USAC Silver Crown titlist Chris Windom for the first pair of laps.
Following a yellow brought about by a Kyle Cummins spin after contact with Isaac Chapple in a battle for the seventh position, Windom used a massive run on the restart to slide up in front of Meseraull and snare the lead away in turn one, instantly stretching out his lead by the tenth lap as Meseraull and Grant battled for second.
At the feature's midway point, Schuerenberg and Carson Short fought side-by-side for the fourth position. In turn four, the two made contact, vaulting Short's right rear over the nose of Schuerenberg's ride. Short landed on all fours before sliding front-bumper-first into an infield tire marker, stopping him in his tracks. Meanwhile, Schuerenberg was sent into a complete 360 spin, but kept his foot on the gas and continued down the front straightaway as the yellow flew for the stopped car of Short.
"The bottom started going away there," Schuerenberg recalls. "I whoaed up there too much trying to hit the bottom and I think Carson just had a head of steam. It was one of those racing deals. I don't think he really meant to do it partially because I slowed down quite a bit trying to hit my marks."
Schuerenberg restarted fourth with 15 to go, joining Grant and Meseraull in their pursuit of race leader Windom who began to pull away in the latter stages to a one second advantage with a mere 10 laps remaining, but a lap 21 caution bunched up the field at the front of the pack for the ensuing restart.
On this occasion, Windom was unable to break way as Grant challenged low and a surging Schuerenberg ripped the top-side to remain within the shadows of the orange No. 5 that paced the field. Suddenly, though, Windom's right rear tire appeared to be going flat, but the determination of Windom refused to deflate after both Grant and Schuerenberg completely surrounded him, both low and high, on lap 22.
Grant clawed his way along the bottom of turn three to briefly occupy the top spot, yet Windom was able to duck back under Grant to retain a lead of the narrowest of margins at the stripe. On the 23rd lap, Schuerenberg used the momentum on the cushion to ride his way to the front and, one lap later, Windom's quest for victory vanished as the tread on his right rear tire gave way, resulting in a yellow with just seven laps to go.
When racing resumed, it was all too clear Schuerenberg was the class of the field on this night as he constructed a lead that grew to nearly two seconds on the final lap to score the win in his Roof Bolt Racing/Eddie Gilstrap Motors - Roof Bolt Xpress/Eagle/Tranter over Grant, Meseraull, Chad Boespflug and Brady Bacon, who earned $700 in cash for the BC Badass Passing Award this weekend courtesy of the Hughes Family and the Indiana Mafia.
Saturday night marked the first USAC victory for the Roof Bolt Racing team and Schuerenberg's first career USAC victory at Ocala, a place in which he has scored six top-five finishes in his 11 most recent starts at the 3/8-mile D-shaped dirt track.
"We've got a different car this year and we've got some new partners involved," Schuerenburg explained. "Being away from non-wing racing for a while and doing the wing thing, there were things I took from that and applied to the non-wing car, which is quite a bit different than what I've typically done in the past. I've been rebuilding engines myself and learned quite a bit with making more power where I think I needed it. It's nice to take the perspective of driving the car and then learning more about engines, you can apply what you learned on them to what you feel with your foot."
"Justin has many of the same tendencies as me," Schuerenberg asserts. "If he gets the chance and he's racing somebody, he's probably going to be on the top. When Windom's tire was going down, I noticed that and I knew going into the first corner, Justin was probably going to the outside to try and get Windom. I thought if Windom got through that corner quick enough, I could follow him to get around Justin when he left the bottom open and, from there, I'd just have to worry about getting by Chris. I knew Windom would go to the bottom in (turns) three and four, so I went to the top to try to beat him in one. I've been racing with Chris and Justin for 10 years now. You kind of know those guys' habits, where they're going to go and what they're going to do. They know the same things about me too. It's nice because you don't have to worry about those guys running over you, but in that situation, it kind of helped me because I knew what I thought they were going to do. Sometimes it works out; sometimes it doesn't. I tried what I was thinking that time and it worked out, but it may not work out the next time. It was just a hold-your-breath type of race, but it was a fun one. If you're going to win one, I'd rather win it like that rather than just lead the whole thing."
Ione, California's Justin Grant followed up Friday night's winning performance with a solid second place run and takes ahold of the early season point lead in his Sam McGhee Motorsports/Mike McGhee & Associates - Brown & Miller Racing Solutions/Maxim/Foxco.
"Obviously, we wanted to win," Grant acknowledged. "Second place is a good night. It was good for points and we've set out to chase the points deal this year, so I took what I could get. I made a couple mistakes throughout the race, but I think those guys were just a little better than we were. Had I run a perfect race, we were good enough to beat them. But missing a step here and there, it just got away from us. Sam gave me a great car again and it seems like we're close every night. It's nice when it feels like we missed, yet we were still able to run second."
San Jose, California's Thomas Meseraull captured the victory in the 2016 "Winter Dirt Games" finale. Although the results from 2017's event did not include a victory celebration, Meseraull was extremely pleased with his third-place finish in his debut weekend performance aboard the Rick Pollock/Bates Commodities - Jonathon Pollock Engines/Maxim/Pollock.
"The car was great," Meseraull exclaimed. "It was a big difference from yesterday when it was my first time in the car and I was still getting a feel for it and getting on the same page as Rick. We did that tonight. We knew we had to qualify better, but we had a little bit of timing problems. We just worked it out. It just needed more timing and the difference was night and day. I'm really excited to run top-three. I thought we had a fourth or fifth-place car, but Windom blew a tire and that helped us out. I just got up on the wheel and was able to keep Chad (Boespflug) and Chase (Stockon) behind us. I'm just happy to get out of Florida in one piece."
Contingency award winners Saturday night at Bubba Raceway Park include Carson Short (ProSource Fast Qualifier), Max McGhee (Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner), Landon Simon (Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner), Chase Stockon (Chalk Stix Third Heat Winner), Dave Darland (Indy Race Parts Semi Winner), Brady Bacon (KSE Racing Products/ProSource Hard Charger/BC Badass Passing Award) and Tyler Courtney (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher).
USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: February 25, 2017 - Ocala, Florida - Bubba Raceway Park - "Winter Dirt Games VIII"
PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Carson Short, 21, RCM-13.955; 2. Kyle Cummins, 3R, Rock Steady-14.056; 3. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-14.072; 4. Chris Windom, 5, Baldwin-14.083; 5. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-14.138; 6. Thomas Meseraull, 21x, Pollock-14.178; 7. Justin Grant, 11, McGhee-14.239; 8. Hunter Schuerenberg, 2, Roof Bolt-14.264; 9. Isaac Chapple, 52, LNR/Chapple-14.279; 10. Dave Darland, 71p, Phillips/Curb-Agajanian-14.325; 11. Jarett Andretti, 18, Andretti-14.365; 12. Chad Boespflug, 69, Dynamics-14.374; 13. Max McGhee, 4J, 4J Motorsports-14.398; 14. Brady Bacon, 63, Dooling/Hayward-14.403; 15. Tyler Courtney, 23c, TOPP-14.425-14.425; 16. Jerry Coons, Jr., 20N, Nolen-14.477; 17. Landon Simon, 24, LSR-14.492; 18. Aaron Farney, 15F, DCT-14.511; 19. Shane Cottle, 44, Pace-14.704; 20. Jeff Bland, Jr., 17GP, Dutcher-14.716; 21. Josh Hodges, 74x, Hodges-14.782; 22. Joe Liguori, 44D, Staab-14.964; 23. Rob Caho, Jr., 78, Caho-14.965; 24. Dallas Hewitt, 16, Kaser/Seeling-15.179; 25. Frank Carlsson, 20, Carlsson-16.468; 26. Robert Bell, 71, Bell-17.044.
SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. McGhee, 2. Grant, 3. Short, 4. Windom, 5. Coons, 6. Darland, 7. Cottle, 8. Liguori, 9. Carlsson. 1:55.37
COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Simon, 2. Schuerenberg, 3. Andretti, 4. Bacon, 5. Cummins, 6. Bland, 7. Caho, 8. Bell, 9. Leary. 1:56.62
CHALK STIX THIRD HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Stockon, 2. Courtney, 3. Boespflug, 4. Meseraull, 5. Chapple, 6. Hodges, 7. Farney, 8. Hewitt. 1:53.91
INDY RACE PARTS SEMI: (12 laps) 1. Darland, 2. Farney, 3. Cottle, 4. Hodges, 5. Bland, 6. Caho, 7. Hewitt, 8. Leary, 9. Bell, 10. Carlsson, 11. Liguori. 2:54.00
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Hunter Schuerenberg, 2. Justin Grant, 3. Thomas Meseraull, 4. Chad Boespflug, 5. Brady Bacon, 6. Chase Stockon, 7. Dave Darland, 8. Kyle Cummins, 9. Jarett Andretti, 10. Carson Short, 11. Shane Cottle, 12. Jerry Coons, Jr., 13. Tyler Courtney, 14. Isaac Chapple, 15. C.J. Leary, 16. Chris Windom, 17. Jeff Bland, Jr., 18. Josh Hodges, 19. Max McGhee, 20. Rob Caho, Jr., 21. Dallas Hewitt, 22. Landon Simon, 23. Aaron Farney. NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-2 Meseraull, Laps 3-23 Windom, Laps 24-30 Schuerenberg.
KSE RACING PRODUCTS/PROSOURCE HARD CHARGER: Brady Bacon (13th to 5th)
WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Tyler Courtney
NEW USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Grant-155, 2-Schuerenberg-144, 3-Boespflug-141, 4-Stockon-139, 5-Bacon-128, 6-Meseraull-120, 7-Leary-99, 8-Andretti-99, 9-Windom-96, 10-Coons-96.
NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: April 1 - Lawrenceburg, Indiana - Lawrenceburg Speedway
Contact: Richie Murray - USAC Media / firstname.lastname@example.org
GRANT THE TOP GUN ON NIGHT ONE OF WINTER DIRT GAMES VIII
Ocala, Florida.........Justin Grant's most recent visit to Bubba Raceway Park prior to Friday night's USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship 2017 season-opener ended in heartbreak.
One year later, despite late-race contact that nearly spelled disaster for the Ione, California native, the 26-year-old Grant swiftly exorcised those demons to capture night one of "Winter Dirt Games VIII."
Since joining forces last August, Grant and the Sam McGhee Motorsports team have been stellar in USAC competition. In a mere seven starts, the combo has already amassed five top-five finishes and their first two series victories together: last September's "4-Crown Nationals" at Eldora Speedway and now at the three-eighths-mile, D-shaped speedway in Ocala, Fla.
"I really felt like we came in here with a lot of momentum," Grant said. "With the same car, the same engine and the same whole program we ended with last year, it felt just like we left it. Last year down here was a heartbreaker. We were leading going into turn three on the last lap and blew a tire. I've been really close here several times, but something always happened. It feels really good to finish one off and get the first win of the season. I really like winning for these guys. They work their butts off and they've got a ton of passion for what we do. It makes it that much better to win with them."
A washout one night earlier provided a heavy racetrack for the 22 cars and drivers lined up for the 30-lap feature event, which saw pole sitter Dave Darland and outside front row starter C.J. Leary wage war in a side-by-side battle with Darland able to nip Leary at the line to take the point at the conclusion of lap one.
A two-man race quickly turned into a three-wide feast of speed on the second circuit with Boespflug sneaking along the bottom, Darland in the middle and Leary on the outside. Darland once again emerged from the fray where he escaped to the head of the pack where he would hold serve throughout much of the first third of the event.
Meanwhile, Grant quickly emerged as a contender, springing to the second spot by the end of lap two from his sixth starting position. Grant, who earlier in the evening established a new one-lap track record in ProSource Qualifying, then began his pursuit of race leader Darland.
By lap nine, Grant caught Darland and was able to scoot by as the two encountered the tail end of the field. Darland refused to go away quietly as he and Grant searched for an avenue to tiptoe their way around the lappers. The pair split around Isaac Chapple, allowing Darland to reclaim the top spot at the stripe on lap 10.
The see-saw battle for the lead hit its peak on the 11th lap as Grant returned the favor and took the spot back from Darland, but Darland was able to storm back on the bottom of turn three to briefly hold the lead as Grant dipped back underneath to rip the number one position away from Darland.
"I kind of got into Dave a little bit off turn four going for the lead," Grant recalls. "I didn't really want to get into him, but we were in lap traffic and when the track's fast and kind of one lane, you can't let an opportunity like that get away from you. We got in there together and I kind of leaned on him. I'm sure that didn't make him happy, but I've got a mortgage to pay and kids to feed."
By the midway point, Grant began to pull away from the rest of the field, holding nearly a half-straightaway lead before the stopped car of Jeff Bland, Jr. between turns three and four brought the action to a halt on lap 19 and bunched up the field for the ensuing restart.
Darland was able to poke a nose under Grant when action resumed, but was unable to make the bid stick as Grant maintained his advantage. One lap later, Boespflug wrestled the second spot away from Darland exiting turn two. On the 21st lap, Darland slipped out of the top-three as Carson Short grabbed the position with an outside pass exiting turn four.
Meanwhile, Grant was on cruise-control and seemingly had everything in check. However, lapped traffic would nearly play a pivotal role in determining the winner with five laps in this instance. As Grant approached the lapped car of 16th-running Tyler Courtney, the two made contact on the backstretch, putting both cars sideways as they both fought to maintain control. The two continued after the hair-raising fracas, though Grant would lose a bit of track position, thus allowing second-running Boespflug to close the gap.
"It was a close call," Grant acknowledges. "At the front, the sway bar tube is folded back around the car. He (Courtney) half-spun in front of us and I plowed him in the left rear which straightened him out and kept him going, I think. I about spun out and ended up in the infield. I was like 'oh no, here we go.' We made pretty hard contact, hard enough that it bent our frame."
With just three laps to go and Boespflug continuing to clamp down on Grant, the caution flag flew as the machine of early leader and sixth-running Darland went up in a ball of flame that was quickly extinguished, but would sideline the series' winningest driver for the final run to the finish.
A three-lap shootout for the victory was in store between Grant and Boespflug on the lap 28 restart. Boespflug took to the bottom, attempting to slide up in front of Grant who was able to cling to the momentum up top. On lap 29, Boespflug threw it in even deeper, but was unable to secure the spot as Grant motored away to distance himself from Boespflug heading into the final lap, completing the 30-lap mission in grand fashion by 0.675 seconds over Boespflug, Chase Stockon, Brady Bacon and Leary. Carson Short originally took third, but was repositioned to the tail of the field due to missing the scales after the feature.
After seeing a pair of late-race leads slip through his fingers over the past few seasons, Grant finally captured that elusive first "Winter Dirt Games" victory Friday night for his fifth overall USAC National Sprint Car win, and his second for the Sam McGhee Motorsports team, in his Mike McGhee & Associates - Brown & Miller Racing Solutions/Maxim/Foxco.
"Chad (Boespflug) and I raced pretty hard during those final laps," Grant remembered. "On the restart, I knew if I could keep him behind us on the restart, we would be okay. But those restarts always concern you, especially when the track is rough and heavy. Chad got under me all the way in turns one and two one time and I put a pretty big chop on him and kept him behind us for a lap or so before I could get it opened up a little bit. Chad and I have been in that exact same scenario before and both of us ended up hanging from the fence, but he raced me really clean and gave me plenty of room. In turns three and four, he very easily could've leaned on me and knocked me up the racetrack and gotten by me that way. But he didn't and he left me plenty of room."
Hanford, California's Boespflug came home second after a hard-charge in the final laps of Friday night's feature, a solid debut as the full-time pilot of the Dynamics, Inc./Mean Green - PAC Springs/Maxim/Claxton.
"Before that yellow, we were definitely in some heavy lap traffic," Boespflug said. "I didn't know if I was happy to see that yellow come out or not. We got to the rear of Justin (Grant) and he was having a tough time with those lappers. I was happy to see it, but then again, I don't know. I gave it all I had on that restart. I got underneath him in turns one and two a couple of times. I feel if we could've just gotten in front of him, maybe we would've had something to hold him off. He was really good through the center of turns one and two and off of turn two. It was just a good overall night for us, for not necessarily a new team, but new sponsors and everything. I'm just happy to put the Hoffman No. 69 back up front where it finished last year and for ourselves as well."
Fort Branch, Indiana's Chase Stockon took third-place in his 32 TBI Racing/Superior Tank & Trailer - Crescent Electric Supply/DRC/Fisher, starting off the season on the right foot one year following a career-best runner-up finish in the series point standings.
Contingency award winners Friday night at Bubba Raceway Park include Justin Grant (ProSource Fast Qualifier), Carson Short (Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner), Chris Windom (Competition Suspension, Inc. Second Heat Winner), Chase Stockon (Chalk Stix Third Heat Winner), Max McGhee (Indy Race Parts Semi Winner), Brady Bacon (KSE Racing Products/ProSource Hard Charger) and Shane Cottle (Wilwood Brakes 13th Place Finisher).
USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: February 24, 2017 - Ocala, Florida - Bubba Raceway Park - "Winter Dirt Games VIII"
PROSOURCE QUALIFYING: 1. Justin Grant, 11, McGhee-13.683 (New Track Record); 2. Hunter Schuerenberg, 2, Motsinger-13.731; 3. Kyle Cummins, 3R, Rock Steady-13.839; 4. Max McGhee, 4J, 4J Motorsports-13.913; 5. Chad Boespflug, 69, Dynamics-13.958; 6. C.J. Leary, 30, Leary-13.981; 7. Dave Darland, 71p, Phillips/Curb-Agajanian-13.992; 8. Chris Windom, 5, Baldwin-14.045; 9. Chase Stockon, 32, 32 TBI-14.053; 10. Carson Short, 21, RCM-14.060; 11. Jarett Andretti, 18, Andretti-14.097; 12. Shane Cottle, 44, Pace-14.171; 13. Thomas Meseraull, 21x, Pollock-14.211; 14. Tyler Courtney, 23c, TOPP-14.318; 15. Jerry Coons, Jr., 20N, Nolen-14.355; 16. Brady Bacon, 63, Dooling/Hayward-14.366; 17. Josh Hodges, 74x, Hodges-14.393; 18. Aaron Farney, 15F, DCT-14.433; 19. Isaac Chapple, 52, LNR/Chapple-14.580; 20. Dallas Hewitt, 16, Kaser/Seeling-14.612; 21. Landon Simon, 24, LSR-14.709; 22. Jeff Bland, Jr., 17GP, Dutcher-14.751; 23. Cooper Clouse, 14, Clouse-14.848; 24. Rob Caho, Jr., 78, Caho-15.056; 25. Joe Liguori, 44D, Staab-15.142; 26. Robert Bell, 71, Bell-16.204; 27. Frank Carlsson, 20, Carlsson-16.371.
SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Short, 2. Meseraull, 3. Darland, 4. Grant, 5. Bacon, 6. McGhee, 7. Chapple, 8. Liguori, 9. Bland. 1:56.78
COMPETITION SUSPENSION (CSI) SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Windom, 2. Schuerenberg, 3. Andretti, 4. Boespflug, 5. Hodges, 6. Courtney, 7. Hewitt, 8. Bell, 9. Clouse. NT
CHALK STIX THIRD HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Stockon, 2. Coons, 3. Cummins, 4. Leary, 5. Farney, 6. Cottle, 7. Simon, 8. Caho, 9. Carlsson. 1:55.60
INDY RACE PARTS SEMI: (12 laps) 1. McGhee, 2. Courtney, 3. Chapple, 4. Cottle, 5. Simon, 6. Liguori, 7. Bland, 8. Hewitt, 9. Caho, 10. Carlsson, 11. Bell. NT
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Justin Grant, 2. Chad Boespflug, 3. Chase Stockon, 4. Brady Bacon, 5. C.J. Leary, 6. Hunter Schuerenberg, 7. Josh Hodges, 8. Chris Windom, 9. Jerry Coons, Jr., 10. Thomas Meseraull, 11. Jarett Andretti, 12. Shane Cottle, 13. Tyler Courtney, 14. Aaron Farney, 15. Landon Simon, 16. Joe Liguori, 17. Max McGhee, 18. Dave Darland, 19. Kyle Cummins, 20. Isaac Chapple, 21. Jeff Bland, Jr., 22. Carson Short. (Short originally finished third, but was repositioned to the tail of the field after missing the scales). NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-8 Darland, Lap 9 Grant, Lap 10 Darland, Laps 11-30 Grant.
KSE RACING PRODUCTS/PROSOURCE HARD CHARGER: Brady Bacon (16th to 4th)
WILWOOD BRAKES 13TH PLACE FINISHER: Shane Cottle
NEW USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Grant-81, 2-Boespflug-74, 3-Stockon-72, 4-Schuerenberg-67, 5-Bacon-65, 6-Leary-64, 7-Windom-57, 8-Hodges-56, 9-Coons-53; 10-Meseraull-50.
NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: February 25 - Ocala, Florida - Bubba Raceway Park - "Winter Dirt Games VIII"
USAC UNVEILS LIGHTNING SPRINT NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP BEGINNING IN 2017 SEASON
USAC, the largest and most diversified professional sanctioning body in the country, announced a new National Championship Series beginning in 2017. The Speedway Motors Lightning Sprint National Championship will be added to a historic lineup of prestigious titles for 2017.
"With the many clubs across the country to be unified in rules and procedures, it's a pleasure to create a program that enables many to pursue a championship with USAC," USAC National Series Director Levi Jones said.
Lightning Sprints are an open wheel car with a motorcycle based power plant and wings. A winged division will be unique within USAC as a majority of the existing classes are wingless. These cars are capable of producing 200 horsepower and utilize much of the same construction and components that USAC Midgets do. Drivers will compete on many of the same sized tracks across the country as well.
The organization and management of the division is also unique. Satellite Lightning Sprint groups exist across the United States and Canada. These groups are managed by individual club leaders or boards. The groups will continue to operate as before with the option of hosting a set number of USAC-sanctioned events. These events will be noted on their 2017 schedule and will count toward the National Championship points structure. A 10-race minimum will be scheduled with a best of 12 race points tabulation. The points system is weighted by the number of cars competing and allows an individual to win a national title from their home track. The top-10 positions in National Championship points will be paid cash and contingency awards at season's end. The inaugural champion will receive national accolades in addition to a $3,000 reward.
The uniformity in rules has attracted many sponsors to this new series. Hoosier Tire is one of the many who have already pledged support through a multiyear relationship. Cars will be required to use Hoosier tires on all four corners during USAC-sanctioned Lightning Sprint events. Speedway Motors - America's oldest speed shop - is the title sponsor with a myriad of others eager to launch this series. Sponsoring companies include AFCO, CSI, PRO Shocks, My Race Pass, Saldana Race Products, Aeromotive, Weld, Rod End Supply, Hoosier Speed, Outlaw Wings, Racing Optics and Emi.
Registration for this series will begin Jan. 1, 2017, online. All drivers competing for national points must hold a valid USAC license for this series and must adhere to general guidelines set forth in the registration process. Eligible drivers must be 13 years of age on the day of the sanctioned event. Scheduled tracks must carry a minimum level of liability insurance, which group leaders will verify.
USAC is the most diversified racing organization in the country. With youth engagement and a broadened reach across multiple racing platforms, USAC is excited to highlight Lightning Sprint racing in 2017 and to carry on its more than 60 years of sanctioned events.
Joining the likes of National Sprint cars, Sliver Crown, and Midgets, Lightning Sprint competitors will share the stage with the country's elite open wheel racers during USAC's Night of Champions in December 2017.
"With a national sanction, a uniform series rule book, corporate sponsorship, and the support of many organized groups, the Lightning Sprint division begins a new era in racing history," said Mike Long, Director of Operations at EMi and an aid to the series. Lightning Sprint racing offers the pure excitement and challenge of any other open wheel division at an affordable cost. The effort of many over the last year has built a foundation for these cars to compete on a national level."
USAC PARTNERS WITH ARDC FOR 19-RACE EASTERN REGIONAL MIDGET SLATE IN 2017
The United States Auto Club and the American Racing Drivers Club have announced a partnership that begins in 2017 with a 19-race slate scheduled at a bevy of traditional stops for midget racing in the east.
The USAC Eastern Regional Midget Series presented by ARDC will ensure that midget racing remains a stronghold in the east. The clubs are two of the most storied in the history of midget auto racing with ARDC's roots dating back to 1940 and USAC's to 1956.
The USAC Midgets' renewed presence in the east over the last couple of seasons has created new opportunities for the famed series to add on to its long-standing Western States Midget Championship with the Midwest Midget Championship, which debuted last year, and its new partnership with ARDC in the east.
"I am thrilled that we are partnering with an organization with the legacy of ARDC," USAC National Series Director Levi Jones said. "By partnering with ARDC, it solidifies the presence of USAC Midget racing across the United States' landscape from the West Coast to the Midwest to the East Coast, in addition to the USAC Midget National Championship. I am really looking forward to working with (ARDC President) Wayne Lesher, the drivers and teams of ARDC for the 2017 season and beyond."
"Everyone involved with the ARDC is very excited of our partnership with USAC," Lesher stated. "USAC gives the ARDC a national platform and ARDC gives USAC a regional presence on the east coast. Both organizations have a common goal of promoting midget racing, so it wasn't a hard decision for either side to make."
ARDC's 75th year of competition is highlighted by high-profile events including six that share the stage with USAC's national series. In fact, the series will share the event card with all three of the national divisions in 2017.
On June 15 and 16, the USAC/ARDC Midgets will race on back-to-back nights at the historic Williams Grove Speedway half-mile in Mechanicsburg, PA. The first of the two events, which are both part of the 11th annual Eastern Storm, takes place on Thursday, June 15 with the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship. The following night, Friday, June 16, the midgets compete on a docket that also features the USAC Silver Crown Championship's "Horn-Schindler Memorial" 100-lapper.
Amid the month of August, the third edition of Pennsylvania Midget Week comes to the Keystone State for four races at four different tracks in a span of five nights in a battle for territorial supremacy with the USAC Midget National Championship.
York Haven's Susquehanna Speedway kicks the week off on Sunday, Aug. 13 with races at Spring Run's Path Valley Speedway Park (Aug. 14) and Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway in Newmanstown on the two following nights. A one-day break for rest or a possible rain date (if needed) is slated for Aug. 16 with the week concluding at a yet-to-be-determined venue in Pennsylvania on Aug. 17.
The remainder of the 2017 schedule will be showcased at a variety of familiar stops, including four dates at Linda's Speedway in Jonestown, PA on Mar. 31, May 5, June 30 and Sept. 29; three races on tap at Lanco on Apr. 1, Jul. 1, Aug. 15; four at Susquehanna on Apr. 29, May 20, Jul. 29 and Aug. 13; and a pair at Big Diamond Speedway in Pottsville, PA on May 19 and Jul. 21. Additionally, two TBA dates are slated for Sep. 8-9.
ARDC is the longest, continuously-operating midget racing series in the United States, crowning its first champion, Bill Schindler, after the 1940 season. In 2016, Alex Bright of Collegeville, PA, a veteran of both ARDC and USAC for several seasons as well as the winner of a Chili Bowl Midget Nationals preliminary feature win, earned the title.
The lineage of ARDC champions includes some of the most legendary and successful names in midget auto racing history including Henry Banks, Dutch Schaefer, Mike Nazaruk, Jiggs Peters, Len Duncan and Ray Bull. Plus, Nick Fornoro Jr. and Sr., Johnny and Joey Coy, Bob and Lou Cicconi, Jr., Steve and Tim Buckwalter as well as Bryan and Trevor Kobylarz.
USAC EASTERN REGIONAL MIDGETS PRESENTED BY ARDC 2017 SCHEDULE
Mar 31: Linda's Speedway (Jonestown, PA)
Apr 1: Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway (Newmanstown, PA)
Apr 29: Susquehanna Speedway (York Haven, PA)
May 5: Linda's Speedway (Jonestown, PA)
May 19: Big Diamond Speedway (Pottsville, PA)
May 20: Susquehanna Speedway (York Haven, PA)
Jun 15: Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Jul 16: Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Jun 30: Linda's Speedway (Jonestown PA)
Jul 1: Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway (Newmanstown, PA)
Jul 21: Big Diamond Speedway (Pottsville, PA)
Jul 29: Susquehanna Speedway (York Haven, PA)
Aug 13: (N) Susquehanna Speedway (York Haven, PA)
Aug 14: (N) Path Valley Speedway (Spring Run, PA)
Aug 15: (N) Lanco's Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway (Newmanstown, PA)
Aug 17: (N) TBA
Sep 8: TBA
Sep 9: TBA
Sep 29: Linda's Speedway (Jonestown, PA)
(N) represents a race with the USAC Midget National Championship during Pennsylvania Midget Week
United States Auto Club, 4910 West 16th Street, Speedway, IN 46224
Contact: Richie Murray - USAC Media / email@example.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