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iRACING PARTNERS WITH USAC TO BRING AMSOIL SPRINT CAR RACING SIMULATION

The buzz around the racing world with the recent introduction of dirt tracks to iRacing.com has now arrived at the United States Auto Club as the two announced an agreement Thursday to create an online racing series that features the cars of the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship.

It all begins Monday, April 24 when the USAC Sprint Cars first hit the tracks on the premier online racing simulation.  A computer, controller and a broadband internet connection is all you need to join the community of racing enthusiasts that number in the tens-of-thousands.

A special discount code is available to USAC fans who join iRacing on Monday.  By using the promo code PR-USAC, you will receive a three-month membership for just $5 and begin competing virtually behind the wheel in a USAC Sprint Car event in the most accurate racing simulation available.

"We're excited to partner with USAC in creating official iRacing series for our 410 and 360 non-winged sprint cars," said Steve Myers, Executive Vice President and Executive Producer for iRacing.com.  "The USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship is rightly known for some of the most competitive racing to be found on dirt - or any surface for that matter.  I'm sure sim racers everywhere will be eager to sling some dirt in iRacing's non-wing USAC sprint cars."

"Joining forces with iRacing enables us to make an exciting new dimension in racing available to our fans in the United States and around the world," says USAC President and CEO Kevin Miller. "We're thrilled with the opportunity and look forward to participating in the rapidly-growing sim racing community in the months and years to come."

The initial phase of the USAC and iRacing's partnership focuses on sprint cars, but future plans are in place to introduce additional USAC series on famed dirt track such as Indiana's Kokomo Speedway, Ohio's Eldora Speedway and the Belleville High Banks in Kansas.

iRacing, a leader in the field of e-sports and simulation, organizes, hosts and officiates races on virtual tracks all around the world for casual gamers as well as professional drivers who use the simulation for training.  

iRacing uses the latest in technology to accurately recreate its continuously-expanding portfolio of cars and race tracks, including intricate details such as changes in the handling of the car and varying track conditions throughout the night.

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Will History Repeat in May 25 Hoosier Hundred?

By Jay Hardin Track Enterprises Staff

(Indianapolis, IN April 19, 2017)-Five times since 1953 the Hoosier Hundred has been contested in a year ending in the number seven.  In four of those events a first-time winner crossed the finish line, while in the other a repeat victor had to battle a rookie fast qualifier and a unique engine in order to secure the victory.  What will happen in 2017 is yet to be determined as the largest entry list in over a decade, with a large number of first year teams, invades the Indiana State Fairgrounds for the traditional Hoosier Hundred May 25 as part of USAC's "Week of Indy" for the Silver Crown Series.

Race day in 1957 was sunny and mild for the fifth running of Jo Quinn's creation on the Indiana mile.  Jimmy Bryan had won the last three Hoosier Hundred races while mechanic Clint Brawner and owner Al Dean won the first race as well with Bob Sweikert.  A fifth consecutive Dean Van Lines win appeared likely as Bryan would start fifth on race day.  However, front row starters Jud Larson and Johnny Thomson stole the show with Thomson leading the first 57 laps from the outside front row before giving way to "Earth Mover" Larson who set a new track record in qualifications.   The big Okie beat Bryan to the line and set a new 100-mile record in the process.  Missing the show was none other than rookie A.J. Foyt.

Foyt was hardly a rookie in 1967, having won the 500 three times and four national championships.  His chief rival was two-time national champion and defending Hoosier Hundred winner Mario Andretti.  Bruce Walkup smashed the track record in qualifying in a car built by Grant King and carrying a normally aspirated Ford V-8 Indy Car engine.  Andretti lined up second with Foyt third as the two were locked in battle for the national title.  Walkup led the first 14 before Mario took over and unlike last year when he inherited a late lead as Foyt's brake pedal broke, Andretti dominated the remaining 86 circuits giving owner Al Dean and chief wrench Clint Brawner their record sixth win in the prestigious event.

Mario and Bobby Unser were gone from dirt track racing by 1977 and so were the mighty uprights from the championship trail having formed their own series in 1971.  USAC's Dirt Track Division still drew large fields and big names as evidenced by Foyt, Al Unser, Johnny Rutherford and Jim Hurtubise appearing on the entry list.  Second generation driver Pancho Carter won the pole with a time just over 35 seconds while Big Al held on the 24th and final spot.  Foyt, Rutherford and Herk were among those too slow to make the top 24, however promoter Don Smith added the first ever last chance race in the history of the Dirt Division due to the large entry list.  Steve Chassey won the semi while Foyt and Herk were eliminated in a third turn shunt with Arnie Knepper, the accident marking the first time since 1957 that A.J. missed the show.  Pancho bolted from the pole in the finale and was never headed giving the Hoosier Hundred another first time winner.

Jack Hewitt came to the 1987 Hoosier Hundred having won practically everything in the now named Silver Crown Series.  He won all the dirt races in 1986 and two on the dirt miles in 1987 so far.  Combined with the Silver Crown machines was the USAC Midget series and the prestigious Hut Hundred, the first time it had ever been contested on a mile.  1984 USAC champ Dave Blaney set a new track record as the fastest of 48 cars with Jeff Swindell starting second.   Hewitt lined up fifth as Blaney jumped to the lead at the start and appeared to have the machine to beat.  On the 85th lap Blaney slid high and Kenny Jacobs sailed by leading the final laps for his first ever series victory.

By 1997 economic conditions forced promoter A.J. Foyt and the Foyt group to move the Hoosier Hundred from its traditional September date to the May date occupied by the Hulman 100, two nights before the Indianapolis 500.  The first race on dirt for the Silver Crown cars brought a large 500 weekend crowd out and a big entry list to boot.  Indiana's own Russ Gamester set fast time while two-time winner Chuck Gurney started second.  Gamester led the first 26 before Gurney took over through lap 81.  Much to the delight of a partisan crowd Hoosier native Chuck Leary took the lead from Gurney and was never headed, becoming a first time winner of the Hoosier Hundred.

Even when Mother Nature intervenes, the Hoosier Hundred makes history.  In 2007 thirty-two cars drew for qualifications and just as it appeared things would be ready for time trials the skies opened up and turned the track into a quagmire.  A suitable rain date was not available, for the first time in history the Hoosier Hundred was not able to be contested.

Who enters the 2017 edition as one of the favorites?  The field could be wide open and a large entry list is expected May 25.  Kody Swanson could make history that day.  Last year he joined Al Unser and Jim Bryan as drivers who won three consecutive Hoosier Hundred races.  This year he could join Unser as the only two to win four in a row.

Defending USAC Silver Crown champ Chris Windom broke through the barrier and won his first 100-mile race at DuQuoin last September.  He won the April opener at Terre Haute and could be a first time winner at the Indiana State Fairgrounds May 25.  Others in the hunt could include three-time winner Dave Darland, two-time DuQuoin winner Shane Cockrum, C.J. Leary (the son of the 1997 winner), USAC Sprint champ Brady Bacon and second generation driver Casey Shuman.

The 2017 Hoosier Hundred takes place May 25 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.  Practice is slated to begin at 5 p.m. with qualifications after 6.  Tickets can be obtained by calling Track Enterprises at 217-764-3200.  A three day special Superticket for the full week of Indy including the Tony Hulman Classic at Terre Haute, the Hoosier Hundred, and the Carb Night Classic at Lucas Oil Raceway is also available at https://usacracing.ticketspice.com/2017-week-of-indy.

USAC SPRINTS TAKE ON NEW TERRITORY THIS WEEKEND AT PLYMOUTH AND MONTPELIER

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Both of this upcoming weekend's USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car stops take place on a pair of Hoosierland tracks that have been a witness to over a century and a half of auto racing history.

However, Plymouth Speedway and Montpelier Motor Speedway have only played host to a combined one lone USAC Sprint Car event. A new opportunity arises and a there's new land to claim. It all lies ahead this Friday and Saturday when a new generation of USAC stars including Justin Grant, Chad Boespflug and Chris Windom vie to take their piece of the pie.

First up is Plymouth Speedway this Friday night, April 21st where, in the past, the USAC National Midgets have made their home not only the pavement, but also on the dirt. But this will be the first foray for the USAC Sprint Car division at Plymouth on either surface.

Last June, C.J. Leary picked up the unsanctioned "Tony Elliott Tribute" at Plymouth, defeating a number of USAC regulars who are looking to get off the schneid.

Leary himself set ProSource/B & W Auto Mart Fast Qualifying time last weekend at Bloomington, but the Greenfield, Indiana native is looking to recreate the magic he found last August when he captured night number two in the "Sprint Car Smackdown" at Kokomo Speedway.

Jarett Andretti is one of the few who has past pavement and dirt experience at Plymouth. The Mooresville, North Carolina driver is having a standout 2017 season in which he sits fifth in the series standings and earned his first career fast qualifying time last Saturday night at Tri-State Speedway.

Cullman, Alabama's Kevin Thomas, Jr. is the most recent winner of a USAC National event at Plymouth when he claimed "Midget Maynia" in May of 2015. KTJ has been solid over the last couple of weeks in a sprint car, including a 20th to 5th place run last Friday night at Bloomington.

Tyler Courtney, out of Indianapolis, Indiana, has yet to crack the top-10 thus far in the early season, but don't count him out just yet as he and his potent TOPP Motorsports ride hope to hit their stride at Plymouth, which is located just down the road from the team's headquarters in Rochester.

In his great career, Kokomo, Indiana's Shane Cottle has been a winner in USAC's Silver Crown, National Sprint and National Midget divisions. He's also been a winner the last two seasons when the MSCS Sprints have visited Montpelier Motor Speedway, home of this Saturday's USAC National Sprint Car stop.

Cottle took fourth in last year's first USAC appearance at the quarter-mile. Finishing one spot ahead of him in third was USAC's winningest National Sprint Car driver, Triple Crown champ Dave Darland of Lincoln, Indiana, who seeks to continue his record streak of consecutive years with at least one USAC National win to a quarter century.

Darland led the first 11 laps of the 2016 feature, but in a three-lap stretch, eventual series champion Brady Bacon drove from fourth to the front, resulting in a near dead heat at the start/finish line before claiming the lead from Darland just moments later in turn one.

With seven to go, Cummins got his right front wheel inside of Bacon's left rear in turn two, nearly making contact, but was unable to make it stick, falling back roughly four car-lengths before a caution came out, providing Cummins with another shot.

Cummins was looking to gain an inch, a yard, anything that would give him an opportunity to gain valuable ground on Bacon at the end, but he was never close enough to mount a serious challenge in the final laps as Bacon never

blinked, distancing himself from Cummins to take the victory in front of an electric, standing-room only crowd.

Plymouth's gates open at 4pm on Friday night with cars set to hit the track at 6pm. Adult General Admission tickets are $25. General admission tickets for children age 6-12 are $10. Children Age 5 and Under are FREE with a paid adult. Pit passes: $35.

The front gates swing open for this Saturday's event in Montpelier at 3pm with cars set to begin on-track activities at 5pm. Adult general admission tickets are just $20. Children age 12 and under are FREE with a paid adult. Pit passes are $30.

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THE CHAD AND CHRIS SHOW:
USAC'S NEWEST RIVALRY PUTS ON A SHOWCASE AT BLOOMINGTON AND TRI-STATE

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Throughout its history, the United States Auto Club has been a party to a multitude of intense rivalries. None are more revered than the "Gary and Larry Show" that took the USAC Sprint Car division by storm between 1968 to 1971.

In that four-year stretch, Gary Bettenhausen and Larry Dickson dominated the series like never seen before or since. In fact, the duo won nearly half the series races run in that span and took turns alternating series titles, with Larry winning in 1968 and 1970 with Gary taking the crown in 1969 and 1971. Each year that Gary or Larry was the champ, the other finished as runner-up in the standings.

Perhaps there has been no match that compares to the prolonged run of the "Gary and Larry Show" over the past five decades, but this past weekend, this generation's greatest USAC Sprint Car rivalry was on full display - Chad Boespflug versus Chris Windom.

We were witnesses to the "Chad and Chris Show" in October of 2016 when the two battled lap-after-lap-after-lap, unofficially exchanging the lead an astronomical 26 times in 30 laps at Indiana's Terre Haute Action Track. Windom had the upper hand on that night when he disposed of Boespflug using a monster run down the back straightaway on lap 28, then fended him off for the final two laps to capture the "Jim Hurtubise Classic."

If the "Chad and Chris Show" was born that night, that must mean that the rivalry took its first steps and spoke its first words this past weekend at Bloomington and Tri-State Speedways where the two would put on a pair of classic duels that indicate the ringing in of a new era of USAC heroes.

On a restart two-thirds of the way into Friday night's 30-lap USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship feature at Bloomington Speedway, Chad Boespflug found himself playing defense.

Some say defense wins championships - at least in stick and ball sports - but after seeing his lead slip away on the 22nd lap, Boespflug had to go on the offensive. His opportunity to regroup and recharge came a lap later when third-running Dave Darland blew a left rear tire at the start/finish line.

When action resumed with eight laps remaining, Windom got a solid jump on Boespflug. With seemingly nothing to lose down the stretch, Boespflug attacked the topside and went after Windom, instigating a compelling, hair-raising, wheel-to-wheel showdown in which the two were locked into a non-stop, side-by-side battle.

Little-by-little, Boespflug drew closer and, with only five laps remaining, was side-by-side with the 2016 Silver Crown champ. Lap-after-lap, the two appeared as if they were engaged in a game of slot car racing, both smooth on the rail, running distinctive lines with neither able to budge ahead by much more than a few feet or so at any particular point.

Windom clung to a scant lead at the line time and again, but Boespflug was still wide open on the outside, a move that would pay large dividends as he raced around Windom to grab the lead by inches coming to the white flag.

On the final lap, Windom made one final, last ditch effort, but it wouldn't be nearly enough as he slid up behind Boespflug off the final corner as Boespflug darted under the checkered flag to take his first victory for the Hoffman family and became the fourth different winner in as many races ahead of Windom and Chase Stockon.

Chris Windom wouldn't let opportunity escape his grasp once again a night later in the "Spring Showdown" at Haubstadt, Indiana's Tri-State Speedway, co-sanctioned by USAC and MSCS.

However, an average finish of 12th over 13 career USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car starts at Tri-State didn't bode well for Windom's odds coming into the event at the quarter-mile paperclip in southern Indiana.

But stats are just that. Stats. And the next day always presents the next opportunity for one to make their mark.

Windom would start the 30-lap main event from the outside of the second row, staring directly at the tail tank of Boespflug's car at the start. And right from the get-go, continuing the previous night's theme, Boespflug and Windom immediately took ownership of the top-two positions exiting turn two on the opening lap.

On the fourth lap, Windom saw an opening and went for it as he put a slider on Boespflug for the lead entering the first turn. Windom made slight contact as he slid up in front of Boespflug off turn two as they hit the back straight running nose-to-tail.

In a reversal of roles from the night before, Windom took the middle to high route while Boespflug zipped along the bottom. Boespflug unloaded the chamber as he repeatedly fought to reclaim ownership of the top spot, pulling even to the inside of Windom multiple times on both ends of the racetrack.

Boespflug momentarily willed his way to the lead with a turn one slider when action resumed, but Windom, as well as Justin Grant, held the momentum and were able to blast by to take first and second, respectively as they hit turn three. Although, Grant's newfound position would be short-lived as Boespflug snuck back underneath for second when Grant drifted high.

After Donny Brackett walked away from a harrowing lap nine barrel-roll, Boespflug consistently poked his nose under Windom through much of the middle stage of the race. Every single time, Windom's drive off the second and fourth corners was adequate to hold Boespflug at bay.

Boespflug closed on Windom with 12 to go when Windom met up with a logjam of lapped cars. Windom was forced to alter his line to the bottom, allowing Boespflug to peel away several layers of Windom's one-plus second lead over the next eight laps, to less than a half-second.

When third-running Kyle Cummins' car went up in smoke on lap 27, collecting Hunter Schuerenberg and Isaac Chapple in the process, Windom was up to the challenge, mastering the course as he bolted away from Boespflug on a restart with four laps to go and was on his way to a surefire victory.

However, a Landon Simon and Brandon Morin turn three tangle would set up yet another stress test for Windom to endure - a one-lap free-for-all between he and Boespflug for the win!

Once again, though, Windom answered the bell when he stood on the loudpedal and passed under Tom Hansing's green and white flags on the lap 30 restart. Distancing himself to a half-second advantage, Windom passed the exam with flying colors to become the first repeat winner on the USAC National Sprint Car tour in 2017 over Boespflug and Grant.

Those same three occupy the top three spots in the latest standings as well. Grant and Boespflug have yet to finish outside the top-four positions in any of the five races, and are separated by just two points entering next week's double-dip at Indiana's Plymouth and Montpelier Motor Speedways. The surging Chris Windom is now third in front of Chase Stockon and Jarett Andretti.

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Chris Windom, 2. Chad Boespflug, 3. Justin Grant, 4. Brady Short, 5. Carson Short, 6. Jarett Andretti, 7. Aaron Farney, 8. Max McGhee, 9. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 10. C.J. Leary, 11. Chase Stockon, 12. Stevie Sussex, 13. Tyler Courtney, 14. Chet Williams, 15. Isaac Chapple, 16. Dave Darland, 17. Landon Simon, 18. Brandon Morin, 19. Kyle Cummins, 20. Hunter Schuerenberg, 21. Clinton Boyles, 22. Aric Gentry, 23. Dakota Jackson, 24. Donny Brackett, 25. Josh Hodges. NT

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**Rust flipped during the semi. Brackett flipped on lap 9 of the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-3 Boespflug, Laps 4-30 Windom.

NEW USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Grant-369, 2-Boespflug-367, 3-Windom-330, 4-Stockon-295, 5-Andretti-259, 6-Schuerenberg-230, 7-Hodges-212, 8-Courtney-208, 9-Leary-206, 10-Cummins-191.

NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: April 21 – Plymouth, IN – Plymouth Speedway

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USAC SPRINTS TREK TO SOUTHERN INDIANA FOR BLOOMINGTON AND HAUBSTADT ACTION

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Two of the most popular venues on the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship calendar reside in the heart of southern Indiana. Bloomington Speedway's lush, green hillside provides a welcoming ambience to nearly a century of enthralling racing theater on the quarter-mile oval of radiant red clay. Deeper south is Haubstadt, Indiana's Tri-State Speedway where crowds come in droves, annually filling up both sides of the racing arena to cheer on their racing heroes.

Coming into this weekend's USAC National Sprint Car events on Friday, April 14th at Bloomington Speedway and Saturday, April 15th's "Spring Showdown" at Tri-State Speedway, co-sanctioned by MSCS, only four active drivers have mastered both Bloomington and Haubstadt during their USAC National Sprint Car driving careers. You can count Cullman, Alabama's Kevin Thomas, Jr. among them. KTJ recently returned to the USAC wars, picking up 8th in his season debut two weekends ago at Lawrenceburg for the Pace Brothers team. The winningest non-wing sprint car driver in the country in 2016 continues to find his stride as, just last weekend, he scored a pair of top-five finishes in a midget at the "Kokomo Grand Prix."

Sikeston, Missouri's Hunter Schuerenberg began the year in winning fashion by taking the Saturday night portion of Winter Dirt Games in Ocala, Florida. At Lawrenceburg, Schuerenberg was flat-out fast again until he rode out a harrowing ride while running second.

Though he resides just a stone's throw away in Bedford, Indiana, Bloomington Speedway has been home-sweet-home to Brady Short over the past decade-plus. Short, a six-time Bloomington Sprint Car track champion earned his first career USAC win there in 2006. Tri-State Speedway has been kind as well to the "Bedford Blaster," where he captured a pair of USAC National Sprint Car victories in 2015.

Jon Stanbrough needs just one more victory to surpass Rich Vogler for sole possession of 10th place all-time on the USAC National Sprint Car win list. What better place to do it than this coming weekend at Bloomington and Haubstadt? Stanbrough, who announced his intentions to step away from full-time racing at the end of the year, is riding a high after a solid 4th place run at The Burg on the first of April.

Ironically, each of the four drivers have exactly three wins apiece at this weekend's two tracks, mirroring each other with a single win at Bloomington and a pair of victories at Tri-State. However, there will be a stacked field on hand to disrupt any notions those four have of adding another tally mark to their southern Indiana dirt track scorecard.

They will have to contend with the likes of series point leader Justin Grant of Ione, California, Hanford, California's Chad Boespflug, who occupies second in the standings, plus additional top-10 points residents Jarett Andretti of Mooresville, North Carolina, Tijeras, New Mexico's Josh Hodges, Kokomo, Indiana's Shane Cottle, and Tipp City, Ohio's Landon Simon, plus a bevy of others who can and will contend this weekend.

USAC National racing is in the midst of a streak of sweeps. Just last weekend, Brady Bacon dominated both nights of the "Kokomo Grand Prix" in a midget and, two weeks ago, Chris Windom began the flourish by winning the National Sprint Car Midwest season opener at Lawrenceburg, then followed that performance one night later with a victory in the Silver Crown series' "Sumar Classic" at the Terre Haute Action Track.

This weekend provides another opportunity for a Windom sweep. He was a winner at Bloomington in the Spring of 2011, but Tri-State has proved troublesome throughout his career. In 13 starts at the quarter-mile paperclip, he possesses an average finish of 12th. The tide seems to be turning as three of his four most recent starts at Tri-State have resulted in top-10 finishes.

Last April at Bloomington, Bryan Clauson continued his dominance there by leading the final 12 laps to take his fourth-straight USAC National Sprint Car victory at the track. Prior to him, no driver had even won two-straight USAC Sprint races at Bloomington!

One night later, Chase Stockon from nearby Fort Branch, Indiana picked his way past Thomas Meseraull on lap 12, then owned the final 19 laps of the feature for his first USAC triumph at his home track in Haubstadt.

Pit gates for Friday night's round at Bloomington open at 4:30pm with spectator gates set to open at 5:30pm. Cars are scheduled to hit the track at 6:30pm. All times eastern. Adult general admission is just $20 while children 12 and under are FREE with a paid adult. Pit passes are $30.

Tri-State Speedway's opening event on Saturday gets underway with ProSource Qualifying at 6:30pm and racing scheduled to begin at 7:30. All times central. Adult general admission is $25. General admission tickets for students age 13-18 are $20. Tickets for kids age 12 and under are FREE.

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KOKOMO GRAND PRIX SHIFTS TO SATURDAY/SUNDAY SCHEDULE

This weekend's "Kokomo Grand Prix" featuring the USAC Midget National Championship at Indiana's Kokomo Speedway has been shifted to Saturday and Sunday, April 8-9.

A forecast calling for chilling temperatures on the originally-scheduled Friday date prompted the move to Saturday and Sunday, which will feature complete shows for both the midgets and Kokomo Sprint Cars.

A deep field is anticipated for "Kokomo Grand Prix," including Justin Grant who, just last month, captured his first career USAC National Midget victory indoors at the Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin. It was a history-making feat as he became the first to win the USAC National Sprint and National Midget openers in the same season. His run thus far for Clauson/Marshall Racing has been nearly flawless, and he looks to continue his run of success at a track he has mastered 10 times behind the wheel of a sprint car.

Grant will have to contend with a number of racers who are eager to put their stamp on the early part of the 2017 season. His CMR teammate, Shane Golobic, finished right behind him at Du Quoin. Arizona's Jerry Coons, Jr. and Indiana's Dave Darland are two of the most decorated drivers in the history of the United States Auto Club and both know their way around Kokomo in any type of car they get behind the wheel of.

Defending series champion Tanner Thorson got off to a rough start in Du Quoin with a 21st place result, but hopes to rebound at Kokomo along with Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports teammates Spencer Bayston and a trio of first-time win-seekers Ryan Robinson, Holly Shelton and series rookie Tanner Carrick.

Oklahoma's Brady Bacon got his first career USAC National Midget win at Kokomo way back in 2006 while Arizona's Chad Boat led much of the series' most recent appearance at the track in June of 2016.

Another driver who has found his groove early on in 2017 is Chris Windom. The Canton, Illinois native swept a pair of event's last weekend in USAC's AMSOIL National Sprint Car and Silver Crown divisions at Lawrenceburg, Ind. and Terre Haute, Ind., respectively. Windom won the most recent Midget feature at the track, a Midwest Regional event, at last October's "Kokomo Klash."

Pit and spectator gates open on both Saturday and Sunday at 3pm. Drivers meeting will take place at 5pm. Cars hit the track at 5:30.

Adult general admission is just $20 each night. Kids 10 and Under are FREE with Paid Adult. Pit passes are $35 each night.

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WINDOM WINS THE SUMAR, COMPLETES WEEKEND SWEEP

Richie Murray - USAC Media

Terre Haute, Indiana.........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."

"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."

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
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FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-18 Cockrum, Laps 19-25 Leary, Laps 26-49 Swanson, Laps 50-100 Windom.

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"

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JUSTIN GRANT ON THE BRINK OF HISTORY THIS SUNDAY AT TERRE HAUTE

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

Whether one uses the eye test, the victory lane photos or the point standings to determine how well Justin Grant's 2017 season has begun, the fact of the matter is that his performance thus far has already rewritten the record books.

Simply put, Grant has gotten off to one of the finest starts any driver has had in the history of the United States Auto Club. So fine, in fact, that he became the first driver in the history of the venerable club to capture feature victories in both the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car and USAC National Midget season openers in the very same year.

Though he has already made his mark in 2017, on Sunday, April 2 at the Terre Haute Action Track in western Indiana, Grant could stand all alone as the only driver to win all three USAC National series season-openers in the same season.

A number of milestones are on the line for Grant this Sunday. No driver in USAC has won at least one feature in the Silver Crown, National Sprint and National Midget divisions earlier than April 28, a mark set by the late Dave Steele in 2002.

Speaking of Steele, he is the only driver to win a USAC Silver Crown and National Midget season-opening feature in one season, a feat he accomplished twice in 2002 and 2006. Steele is also just one of three drivers to have won a USAC Silver Crown and National Sprint season-opener in a year, doing so in 2005. Pancho Carter did the deed in 1978 along with Jim Keeker in 1992.

On Sunday at the "Sumar Classic" in Terre Haute, Grant's opportunity to join these exclusive clubs is right within his reach.

One year ago, Grant nearly pulled off the "Sumar" victory after leading the first 93 circuits of the 100-lapper, but had to settle for second at the checkered behind C.J. Leary. After a strong third-place points showing in 2016 and consistent runs at the front, Grant will certainly be one of the favorites come Sunday to win his first career Silver Crown event on famed half-mile.

After blasting from the launching pad in February down in Ocala, Fla. for a "Winter Dirt Games VIII" victory, Grant followed it up one night later by taking the runner-up spot behind Hunter Schuerenberg. In March, the storybook beginning continued onto the Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin where the 26-year-old Ione, California native tallied USAC National Midget victory number one.

As a result, Grant now leads both the USAC National Sprint and National Midget standings heading into April as the beginning of the USAC Silver Crown season is set to unfold this Sunday, April 2 at the Terre Haute Action Track in western Indiana.

Admittedly, it's obviously way too early to anoint Grant as the next single-season USAC Triple Crown champ when the season is just getting into the month of April, but maybe it's not that far-fetched. At press time, Grant is the only driver to possess full-time rides to chase a championship in each of USAC's three national divisions, leaving him as the sole hope to join Tony Stewart in 1995 and J.J. Yeley in 2003 to grab all three titles in a single-season.

The prelude to Grant's coming weekend begins this Saturday, April 1 at southeastern Indiana's Lawrenceburg Speedway for the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Cars' season debut in the Midwest aboard the Sam McGhee Motorsports No. 11.

One day later, Grant makes his debut at the wheel of the combined Silver Crown team effort between Hemelgarn Enterprises and Chris Carli Motorsports at the Terre Haute Action Track for the 17th running of the "Sumar Classic."

Pit gates open for Lawrenceburg at 3pm while the front gates open at 5. Cars hit the track for hot laps at 6pm with opening ceremonies set to get underway at 7. Adult admission is $25. Kids 7-12 are $7. Children 6 and under are free! Pit passes are 30 bucks.

Pit gates for the Sunday, April 2 "Sumar Classic" open at 1pm while the grandstands open at 3pm. Silver Crown hot laps begin at 3:30pm with Silver Crown qualifying pushing off at 4:40pm. Racing begins at 5:15pm.

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SILVER CROWN ROOKIES EAGER TO IMPRESS IN SUNDAY'S SUMAR CLASSIC AT TERRE HAUTE

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

As a new season embarks, a new crop of rookies has emerged to take on the task of racing in the USAC Silver Crown Championship in 2017. In this Sunday's season-opening "Sumar Classic" at Indiana's Terre Haute Action Track, twelve rookies have entered to compete on the legendary half-mile dirt oval.

To be designated as a rookie in Silver Crown, a driver must not have competed in more than four main events in the series during their career.

Three drivers have full intentions of running the schedule of races on both the dirt and the pavement this year including five-time USAC/CRA AMSOIL Sprint Car champion Damion Gardner. Gardner, the most heralded of the 2017 Silver Crown rookie class, has been a mainstay in USAC's national and western divisions for much of the past two decades, yet he has only competed in a single Silver Crown race: the 2008 "Copper on Dirt" at the defunct Manzanita Speedway in Phoenix, Ariz. The Concord, Calif. native will compete for the Klatt Enterprises team with Bob East Dave Brzozowksi on the wrenches.

Columbus, Indiana's Joss Moffatt is new to the Silver Crown scene with car owners Williams & Wright Racing, but he has earned plenty of accolades for his driving achievements over the course of his career, which includes Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway Sprint Car track titles in 2007, 2009 and 2015. Meanwhile, Travis Welpott of Pendleton, Ind. makes his first foray into Silver Crown with his own team after racing after a couple decades competing in midgets and sprint cars. The driver of the familiar No. 18 is the 1993 UMRA TQ Midget champ as well as the 2000 NAMARS Midget titlist.  In 1998, Welpott finished eighth in the USAC National Midget point standings.

Hunter Schuerenberg has already found USAC victory lane once this year, back in February's "Winter Dirt Games VIII" AMSOIL National Sprint Car season-openers in Ocala, Fla. The Sikeston, Missouri native owns nine career USAC Sprint victories, but aims to tally one this season in the Silver Crown series in which he owns just one career start, less than a year ago in June of 2016 at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois. The veteran racer is one of two series rookies a part of the Gene Nolen Racing stable along with Elizabethtown, Indiana's Dakota Jackson. Jackson possesses just three Silver Crown starts, including one in 2016 and a pair in 2014. Jackson made his series debut at Terre Haute's "Sumar Classic" in 2014. His USAC Sprint Car successes include a third in the "Haubstadt Hustler" at Indiana's Tri-State Speedway in September of 2015.

Tyler Courtney burst onto the scene in last season's USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship season, including a comeback victory from the 24th position to win his first career series race at Gas City I-69 Speedway during "Indiana Sprint Week" in July of 2016. After making a couple starts in 2015, Courtney returned to Silver Crown action in the final race of last year's season in the "4-Crown Nationals" at Ohio's Eldora Speedway. The Indianapolis, Ind. resident, who will wheel a Hans Lein-owned machine on Sunday, racked up ProSource Fast Qualifying time on his way to career-best third-place finish.

Mark Smith is a highly-accomplished racer in the world of 360 Sprint Car racing has twice taken the honor of "King of the 360s." Smith's returns to the series aboard Mal Lane's new orange No. 54 at Terre Haute. Smith's Silver Crown career began in 2003 on the pavement at Nazareth (PA) Speedway before making a triumphant return last season where he made two successful starts in which he was the highest "rookie" finisher: a ninth in the "Hoosier Hundred" at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and a sixth at the "Horn/Schindler Memorial" at Pennsylvania's Williams Grove Speedway. Another Keystone State racer, Super Sportsman veteran Dave Berkheimer, made two Silver Crown starts in 2016 at his home track of Williams Grove and the season-finale at Eldora and returns once again this season in his own No. 31.

Springfield, Illinois driver J.C. Bland has the most experience of the Silver Crown rookie contingent, making four Silver Crown starts over the last couple of seasons in the Bland Brothers Enterprises No. 5. Fellow Springfield racer Korey Weyant eyes his first Silver Crown start Sunday in the No. 99 at Terre Haute. Weyant, a veteran sprint car and midget racer himself, comes from a racing lineage that includes his grandfather, Chuck, a four-time Indianapolis 500 starter, 10-time USAC National Midget feature winner and a AAA Midget victor at Terre Haute in 1955.

Meanwhile, a couple drivers are looking to make their first ever appearance in a USAC National event. Johnny Petrozelle, a versatile veteran from Denton, North Carolina has logged many laps in winged sprint cars, midgets, modifieds, stock cars, you name it, but his first adventure in a Silver Crown car comes this Sunday at Terre Haute. Petrozelle's team, Cornell Racing Stables, has long cemented its place in the USAC National Midget record books by virtue of their eight feature victories between 1967 and 1979 with drivers Bob Hare, Roger West, Gary Ponzini and Rich Vogler.

Additionally, the Hardy Boys Racing team, who won the "Sumar Classic" with Shane Cockrum in 2015, will field a second car for David Shain of Sullivan, Ill. Shain has extensive experience in UMP Modifieds and has traditionally run well on the one-mile dirt tracks over the years. Shain is the nephew of former Silver Crown competitor Steve Adams.

Over the years, 15 different drivers have won a race and gone on to win the Silver Crown "Rookie of the Year" award in the same season, but none since Chris Windom in 2013. The others include Keith Kauffman (1982), Jeff Swindell (1987), Eric Gordon (1990), Stevie Reeves (1991), Jim Keeker (1992), Kenny Irwin, Jr. (1994), Jimmy Kite (1997), Kasey Kahne (2000), Aaron Fike (2001), Josh Wise (2005), May Neely (2006), Cameron Dodson (2007), Bryan Clauson (2010) and Kyle Larson (2011).

Does a new rookie winner emerge this Sunday, April 2 at the Terre Haute Action Track? It'll be interesting to see how it plays out with the biggest "Sumar Classic" field since 1998 expected to sign-in. Thirty-five drivers and cars are on the list of for this year's 100-lap showdown in Terre Haute. The list includes some of the most decorated racers in USAC history as well as one of the strongest fields top-to-bottom seen in several seasons. Among them are USAC Triple Crown champ Jerry Coons, Jr., plus additional past Terre Haute Silver Crown victors Bud Kaeding (2006), Kody Swanson (2014), Shane Cockrum (2015) and defending winner Leary, who continued a streak of different "Sumar" winners last April that dates back to 1999.

Defending Silver Crown champion Chris Windom begins his title defense with the return of Kazmark Racing, who is fielding a car in the series for the first time since 2001. Reigning USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champion Brady Bacon eyes the addition of one of the few missing pieces to his racing resume: a victory in the Silver Crown series. Past Silver Crown series winners also make up the bulk of the "Sumar" driver lineup, including Aaron Pierce, David Byrne and Shane Cottle.

Pit gates for the Sunday, April 2 "Sumar Classic" open at 1pm while the grandstands open at 3pm. Silver Crown hot laps begin at 3:30pm with Silver Crown qualifying pushing off at 4:40pm. Racing begins at 5:15pm.

Tickets for the event can be purchased now at http://www.usactickets.com/. Adult infield tickets start at just $15 while children age 10 and under are FREE! Adult grandstand tickets are $25. Fans will receive a free pit pass upgrade with an advanced general admission ticket purchase, which is good for pit entry after 3pm only. Pit Passes are $30 for USAC/UMP Members and $35 for non-members.

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LIGHT UP THE WORLD BEVERAGES USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET SERIES RACE RESULTS: March 29, 2017 - Placerville, California - Placerville Speedway - "Placerville Short Track Outlaw Showdown"
 
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Shane Golobic, 2. Ronnie Gardner, 3. Cory Elliott, 4. Courtney Crone, 5. Alex Schutte, 6. Michael Faccinto, 7. Mason Daniel, 8. David Prickett, 9. Robert Dalby, 10. Frankie Guerrini, 11. Buddy Kofoid, 12. Maria Cofer, 13. Terry Nichols, 14. Randi Pankratz, 15. Dustin Golobic, 16. Geoff Ensign, 17. Nate Wait, 18. Ryan Bernal. NT
------------------------------------
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-12 Schutte, Laps 13-17 Gardner, Laps 18-30 Golobic.
 
ESSLINGER ENGINEERING HARD CHARGER: Robert Dalby (17th to 9th)
 
NEW LIGHT UP THE WORLD BEVERAGES USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET POINTS: Gardner-161, 2-Elliott-148, 3-Crone-131, 4-Guerrini-114, 5-Daniel-110, 6-Nichols-104, 7-Dalby-98, 8-Pankratz-84, 9-Prickett-81, 10-S.Golobic-81.
 
NEXT LIGHT UP THE WORLD BEVERAGES USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET RACE:  April 8- Tulare, CA - Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway

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DARLAND, GRANT AND COURTNEY FILE ENTRIES FOR SUNDAY'S SUMAR CLASSIC AT TERRE HAUTE

A trio of USAC's most popular stars are the latest to file their entries for this Sunday's "Sumar Classic" USAC Silver Crown season opener at western Indiana's Terre Haute Action Track.

The addition of Dave Darland, Justin Grant and Tyler Courtney to the April 2nd race brings the field to 35 entries in what is expected to be the largest field for the event in nearly two decades.

Lincoln, Indiana's Darland, a 2008 "Sumar Classic" winner, will join the field for his first ride in the Phillips Motorsports No. 27. Darland has had substantial success with the Phillips' sprint car in recent years, racking up 17 wins with the team between 2013 and 2015. Darland is one of just six members of the USAC Triple Crown club in which a driver has won the title in each of the club's three national divisions during their career: Silver Crown, AMSOIL National Sprint and National Midget. Darland is tied for sixth on the all-time Silver Crown win list with 14 victories.

Justin Grant nearly won the "Sumar Classic" one year ago after leading the first 93 circuits of the 100-lap event, ultimately finishing second behind C.J. Leary. The Ione, California native seeks redemption on Sunday as he aims to notch his first career series win. Grant has gotten off to an incredible start thus far in the 2017 season after collecting season-opening wins in USAC's National Sprint (Ocala, Fla.) and National Midget divisions (Du Quoin, Ill.), the first driver ever to accomplish the feat. Grant's Silver Crown team sports a new look, taking the No. 91 this season as car owners Chris Carli and Ron Hemelgarn have teamed up with Grant for a run at the series title.

Indianapolis, Indiana's Tyler Courtney takes the wheel of Hans Lein's No. 97 for Sunday's "Sumar." Courtney has made just a handful of starts in the Silver Crown division, but his most recent run in a champ car at last fall's "4-Crown Nationals" at Eldora Speedway resulted in a career-best third-place finish after qualifying for the pole position. Courtney was also a winner in the AMSOIL National Sprint Car series in 2016 after storming to the front from the 24th spot to capture his first career USAC National win during "Indiana Sprint Week" at Gas City I-69 Speedway.

Thirty-five drivers and cars are on the list of expected competitors for this year's 100-lap showdown on the famed half-mile dirt oval. The list includes some of the most decorated racers in USAC history as well as one of the strongest fields top-to-bottom seen in several seasons.

USAC Triple Crown champ Jerry Coons, Jr. is entered for the event along with additional past Terre Haute Silver Crown victors Bud Kaeding (2006), Kody Swanson (2014), Shane Cockrum (2015) and defending winner Leary, who continued a streak of different "Sumar" winners last April that dates back to 1999.

Defending Silver Crown champion Chris Windom begins his title defense with the return of Kazmark Racing, who is fielding a car in the series for the first time since 2001. Reigning USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champion Brady Bacon eyes the addition of one of the few missing pieces to his racing resume: a victory in the Silver Crown series. Five-time and defending USAC/CRA AMSOIL Sprint Car titlist Damion Gardner plans to make his first Silver Crown feature start since 2008.

Past Silver Crown series winners also make up the bulk of the "Sumar" driver lineup, including Aaron Pierce, David Byrne and Shane Cottle.

The event, which debuted with Donnie Beechler's 1995 score, could see some history made as the expected turnout will likely result in the first qualifying race for the series since the 2008 "4-Crown Nationals" at Ohio's Eldora Speedway. The qualifying race will be 15 laps, with the top-8 finishers transferring to the final four rows of the 24-car main event.

The first ever Silver Crown event held at Terre Haute was in 1980 when Gary Bettenhausen drove the Delrose-Holt Racing machine to the victory. This will be the 17th edition of the "Sumar Classic."

Pit gates open at 1pm while the grandstands open at 3pm. Silver Crown hot laps begin at 3:30pm with Silver Crown qualifying pushing off at 4:40pm. Racing begins at 5:15pm.

Tickets for the "Sumar Classic" can be purchased now at http://www.usactickets.com/. Adult infield tickets start at just $15 while children age 10 and under are FREE! Adult grandstand tickets are $25. Fans will receive a free pit pass upgrade with an advanced general admission ticket purchase, which is good for pit entry after 3pm only. Pit Passes are $30 for USAC/UMP Members and $35 for non-members.

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USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGETS RETURN TO PLACERVILLE MARCH 29
By Lance Jennings
 
MARCH 24, 2017... On Wednesday, March 29th, the Light Up The World Beverages USAC Western States Midgets will tackle the Placerville Speedway. Located on the El Dorado County Fairgrounds in Placerville, California, the "Placerville Short Track Outlaw Showdown" will also showcase the famed World of Outlaw Craftsman Sprint Cars. The Pit Gates will open at 2:00pm, the Front Gates will open at 4:00pm, Time Trials at 6:30pm with Racing to follow. Ticket information can be found at https://dirtcar.ticketforce.com/ordertickets.asp?p=741&backurl=default.asp. Race track information can be found at www.placervillepeedway.com or calling 530.344.7592.

While a fixture on the Bay Cities Racing Association (BCRA) schedule, Placerville's quarter-mile oval has hosted three USAC Western States Midget shows. On October 11, 1996, "The Professor" Jimmy Sills raced to a popular victory at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds. Shane Golobic won the BCRA co-sanctioned race in 2013 and Ronnie Gardner won last year's event.

After winning the March 11th Bakersfield season opener, Ronnie Gardner (Corona, California) has a slim three point lead over the competition. Racing the Six8 Motorsports' #68 PAC Springs / Wilwood Brakes Stewart, Gardner also earned the night's Woodland Auto Display Award. The defending four-time champion has 20 career series wins and will be looking to add another Placerville win to his resume.

Cory Elliott (Bakersfield, California) ranks second in the chase for the championship. Driving the family owned #11E FK Indy / Oilwize Spike, Elliott ran second at his hometown racetrack. The 2015 Rookie of the Year has one career series win and will have his sights on the Placerville victory.
 
Nic Faas (Huntington Beach, California) is third in the USAC Western States Midget point chase. Piloting Jerome Rodela's #25X Trench Shoring / Ed Pink Racing Engines Breka, Faas led the first five laps at Bakersfield before taking third at the checkered flags. With four career series triumphs, it is unknown if the 2008 Champion will compete at Placerville.

Frankie Guerrini (San Rafael, California) sits fourth in the championship standings. Racing the family owned #63 F&F Racing / Davis Motorsports Stealth, Guerrini raced to fourth at Bakersfield from twelfth. The 2015 BCRA Champion has one career USAC win and will be looking to gain valuable points by winning the "Placerville Short Track Outlaw Showdown."

"The Panda" Terry Nichols (Delano, California) ranks fifth in the point standings. Driving his #1P Rex & Tracie / Masters Design & Construction Spike, Nichols rebounded from restarting at the back to claim fifth in the season opener. The 2009 West Coast Sprint Car Rookie of the Year will have his sights on his first USAC Western Midget win at Placerville.

Currently ninth in points, Mason Daniel (Visalia, California) leads the chase for Rookie of the Year honors. Clayton Ruston (Upland, California) and Bryan Drollinger (Lomita, California) are also in contention.

Among the other drivers expected to be in action are Courtney Crone, J.J. Ercse, Randi Pankratz, Robert Dalby, C.J. Sarna, Shannon McQueen, Maria Cofer, Tyler Dolacki, David Prickett, Michael Faccinto, and more.

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DEFENDING WINNER C.J. LEARY AIMS FOR REPEAT SUCCESS IN APRIL 2ND SUMAR CLASSIC AT TERRE HAUTE

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

In May of 1997, back when C.J. Leary was just a year old, the Leary family reached USAC Silver Crown victory lane for the first time.

Chuck Leary, C.J.'s father, scored a prestigious win in the "Hoosier Hundred" at the Indiana State Fairgrounds for his first and only career USAC National triumph. It may have just been a single victory, but oh, what a victory it was in the most-storied race on the series' calendar.

Zip forward nearly two decades later and the setting is slightly different, just a tad less than an hour and a half drive to the west from the Indy Mile to the Terre Haute Action Track where the Leary Construction No. 30 once again raced its way into the record books, this time with C.J., as he joined his dad as the first father/son duo to capture USAC Silver Crown series wins in their careers.

Not only was it meaningful to C.J. to become a USAC winner, he accomplished the feat with his dad as his spotter, making it an extra-special Sunday afternoon for the Leary family.

"Winning the 'Sumar Classic' is a huge accomplishment, especially for me being only 20-years-old and how hard 100-lap races are to win," Leary admitted. "Guys race their whole careers and may never win a Silver Crown event. It was definitely a special moment for my dad and I at Terre Haute last year. He spotted for me the whole race and kept me informed on where the rubber was on the track and kept me focused. We've come a long way as a father/son team. Not only is he my father, he's my best friend and it's really cool to be the first father/son to win a Silver Crown event."

Chuck himself made 37 Silver Crown starts in his career, along with 1995 series Rookie of the Year honors. C.J. took his father's experienced advice to heart and conserved early on as he kept pace with Justin Grant after starting outside the front row. The sunbaked surface provided a tricky set of circumstances for C.J., who was accustomed to running under the lights on the half-mile.

"All day, my car was extremely fast and I knew we were going to be competing for the win," Leary recalls. "Once we took the green flag, I just kept pace with Grant and I tried to be as easy on my tires as I could without losing much time to him. On the radio, my dad kept me from overdriving the car too early in the race. We had the yellow (flag) with 11 laps to go and, prior to the yellow, (Brady) Bacon and I battled for second. Bacon really helped me find the fastest line on the track. Once we went back green, Grant went straight back to the top and I went for the rubber. Once he missed the rubber, we were in the clear. The rubber on the track was just so much faster and I had already run down there and made adjustments to my shocks for the rubber. My dad kept telling me to hit my marks and stay in the rubber; Grant couldn't get past us."

It was quite a breakthrough performance for the Greenfield, Indiana driver who, one year earlier, had finished a close second to Shane Cockrum in the 2015 "Sumar Classic." Terre Haute has been one of those tracks that seems to be hit or miss for C.J., but in the Silver Crown car, it appears as if he and his crew have the place figured out.

"I don't know what it is, but our DRC Chassis just works really well on the half miles," Leary feels. "I feel like I do a really good job at conserving the racecar until the timing is right, then we make our move to the front. I'd say Terre Haute is one of my toughest tracks in the sprint car, but I make it look like my best track in the Silver Crown car."

There would be an encore performance in August of 2016 when C.J. captured his first career USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car victory at Indiana's Kokomo Speedway, surpassing the hurdle that had stood in his way during his first five seasons. Now, C.J. has sights set on new heights and capturing those accomplishments that have eluded him thus far. Now just 20 years of age, future victory lane scenes could see a lot of C.J. Leary in them, especially a certain victory lane that would mean the world to he and his father.

"Last year had a lot of ups and downs for me," Leary acknowledged. "I drove for three different teams and had success with each of them, but I'm excited this season to be back in the family-owned No. 30 with new 1 Way Technologies power plants and Jeff Walker on the wrenches. We're obviously looking for a championship in the sprint car series and wins. I'd love to win back-to-back 'Sumar Classics,' but there isn't a race I want to win more on the schedule than the 'Hoosier Hundred.' It would be the 20-year anniversary of my dad winning it back in 1997."

Thirty-four drivers and cars have already been entered for the 17th running of the "Sumar Classic" at the Terre Haute Action Track on Sunday, April 2, including former race winners Kody Swanson (2014), Shane Cockrum (2015) and defending winner C.J. Leary as well as Silver Crown champs Jerry Coons, Jr. (2008) and Chris Windom (2016).

Pit gates open at 1pm while the grandstands open at 3pm. Silver Crown hot laps begin at 3:30pm with Silver Crown qualifying pushing off at 4:40pm. Racing begins at 5:15pm.

Tickets for the "Sumar Classic" can be purchased now at http://www.usactickets.com/. Adult infield tickets start at just $15 while children age 10 and under are FREE! Adult grandstand tickets are $25. Fans will receive a free pit pass upgrade with an advanced general admission ticket purchase, which is good for passive pit entry after 3pm only. Pit Passes are $30 for USAC/UMP Members and $35 for non-members.

The Terre Haute Action Track is located at 3901 South US Hwy 41, Terre Haute, IN, 47807.

Meanwhile, the 63rd "Hoosier Hundred" is just around the corner and will take place on Thursday, May 25 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis. The event is part of the "Week of Indy," which features three-straight nights of USAC racing leading up to the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500: the "Tony Hulman Classic" featuring the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship on Wednesday, May 24, the "Hoosier Hundred" on Thursday, May 25 and the "Carb Night Classic" at Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg, Ind. for the USAC Silver Crown Championship on Friday, May 26. An advanced, discount "Superticket" for these three events can be purchased now at https://usacracing.ticketspice.com/2017-week-of-indy.

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LARGEST SUMAR CLASSIC FIELD IN TWO DECADES EXPECTED AT TERRE HAUTE APRIL 2ND!

The largest car count for the "Sumar Classic" in nearly two decades is expected for the USAC Silver Crown season opener Sunday, April 2 at western Indiana's Terre Haute Action Track.

Thirty-three drivers and cars are on the list of expected competitors for this year's 100-lap showdown on the famed half-mile dirt oval. The list includes some of the most decorated racers in USAC history as well as one of the strongest fields seen in several seasons.

USAC Triple Crown champ Jerry Coons, Jr. is entered for the event along with additional past Terre Haute Silver Crown victors Bud Kaeding (2006), Kody Swanson (2014), Shane Cockrum (2015) and defending winner C.J. Leary, who continued a streak of different "Sumar" winners last April that dates back to 1999.

Defending Silver Crown champion Chris Windom begins his title defense with the return of Kazmark Racing, who is fielding a car in the series for the first time since 2001. Reigning USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champion Brady Bacon eyes the addition of one of the few missing pieces to his racing resume: a victory in the Silver Crown series. Five-time and defending USAC/CRA AMSOIL Sprint Car titlist Damion Gardner plans to make his first Silver Crown feature start since 2008.

Past Silver Crown series winners also make up the bulk of the "Sumar" driver lineup, including Aaron Pierce, David Byrne and Shane Cottle.

The event, which debuted with Donnie Beechler's 1995 score, could see some history made as the expected turnout will likely result in the first qualifying race for the series since the 2008 "4-Crown Nationals" at Ohio's Eldora Speedway. The qualifying race will be 15 laps, with the top-8 finishers transferring to the final four rows of the 24-car main event.

The first ever Silver Crown event held at Terre Haute was in 1980 when Gary Bettenhausen drove the Delrose-Holt Racing machine to the victory. This will be the 17th edition of the "Sumar Classic."

Pit gates open at 1pm while the grandstands open at 2pm. Silver Crown hot laps begin at 3:30pm with Silver Crown qualifying pushing off at 4:40pm. Racing begins at 5:15pm.

Tickets for the "Sumar Classic" can be purchased now at http://www.usactickets.com/. Adult infield tickets start at just $15! Adult grandstand tickets are $25 while children age 11 and under are FREE! Pit Passes are $30 for USAC/UMP Members and $35 for non-members.

The Terre Haute Action Track is located at 3901 South US Hwy 41, Terre Haute, IN, 47807.

"SUMAR CLASSIC" ENTRY LIST
07 JACOB WILSON/Crawfordsville, IN
08 JOHNNY PETROZELLE/Denton, NC
2 PATRICK LAWSON/Edwardsville, IL
4 JOE LIGUORI/Tampa, FL
5 J.C. BLAND/Springfield, IL
6 DAMION GARDNER/Corona, CA
7 DAVID SHAIN/Sullivan, IL
14 ZACH DAUM/Pocahontas, IL
18 KENNY GENTRY/Henderson, KY
20 JERRY COONS, JR./Tucson, AZ
26 AARON PIERCE/Muncie, IN
30 C.J. LEARY/Greenfield, IN
31 DAVE BERKHEIMER/Mechanicsburg, PA
32 JOSS MOFFATT/Columbus, IN
40 DAVID BYRNE/Shullsburg, WI
42 TERRY BABB/Decatur, IL
48 BRADY BACON/Broken Arrow, OK
53 STEVE BUCKWALTER/Royersford, PA
54 MARK SMITH/Sunbury, PA
55 CASEY SHUMAN/Tempe, AZ
63 KODY SWANSON/Kingsburg, CA
71 SHANE COCKRUM/Benton, IL
75 BILL ROSE/Plainfield, IN
81 SHANE COTTLE/Kokomo, IN
89 CHRIS FETTER/Troy, MO
92 CHRIS WINDOM/Canton, IL
95 PATRICK BRUNS/Champaign, IL
97 BUD KAEDING/Campbell, CA
99 KOREY WEYANT/Springfield, IL
118 TRAVIS WELPOTT/Pendleton, IN
120 HUNTER SCHUERENBERG/Sikeston, MO
201 DAKOTA JACKSON/Elizabethtown, IN
TBA JUSTIN GRANT/Ione, CA

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HANFORD HOSTS SATURDAY'S USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR RUMBLE

By Lance Jennings

Fresh off two nights at Tulare, the USAC West Coast Sprint Cars are ready to clash at the Keller Auto Speedway at Kings Fairgrounds. Making their first of three appearances at the Hanford, California oval, the fifth point race will also feature the Western Racesaver Sprint Cars, IMCA Stock Cars, and Mini Stocks. The pit gates will open at 2:00pm, the front gates open at 5:00pm, and racing is scheduled for 7:00pm. For more information, visit the track's website at www.racekingsspeedway.com or call 559.651.1990.

Heading into Saturday's event, the Kings County Fairgrounds has hosted forty-four USAC West Coast Sprint Car races. Richard Vander Weerd leads all drivers with nine victories and veteran Peter Murphy set the 1-lap qualifying track record of 15.290 on March 13, 2010. Last year, Vander Weerd scored two Hanford victories and Brody Roa took the checkered flags on June 26th. A complete series win list at Keller Auto Speedway at Kings Fairgrounds is at the end of this release.

After winning three out of four point races, Ryan Bernal has a 45-point advantage over the competition. Bernal ran third and first at the Tulare County Fairgrounds. To date, the two-time USAC Western Classic Champion has also posted one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, one heat race victory, one BR Motorsports / King Racing Products Hard Charger Award, four top-10 finishes, and 57 feature laps led. Ryan leads all drivers with 30 series wins and is a favorite to watch.

Jake Swanson ranks second in the chase for the championship. Swanson set a new track record and ran first and third at Tulare. At press time, the 2012 USAC/CRA Sprint Car Rookie of the Year has one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, one heat race victory, one BR Motorsports / King Racing Products Hard Charger Award, four top-10 finishes, and 17 feature laps led to his credit. Jake has two career USAC West Coast feature wins and will be looking to add Hanford to his resume.

Richard Vander Weerd sits third in the point standings. Richard scored two fifth place finishes at the Tulare County Fairgrounds. To date, the 2011 Champion has three top-10 finishes in the campaign. Vander Weerd ranks second on the series win list with 19 triumphs and will have his sights on another Hanford victory.

Jace Vander Weerd is currently fourth in the championship point chase. Jace claimed second and seventh at Tulare. At press time, the 2010 USAC/CRA Sprint Car Rookie of the Year two heat race victories, three top-10 finishes, and 2 feature laps led on the season. Vander Weerd is tied with Peter Murphy for sixth on the series win list and will be looking for his ninth career triumph.

Geoff Ensign is fifth in the USAC West Coast point standings. Ensign placed second and fourth at the Tulare County Fairgrounds. To date, the 2011 USAC Western Classic Sprint Car Champion has posted one heat race victory, one semi-main win, and two top-10 finishes on the year. Geoff has one career series win and will have his sights on a Hanford triumph.

Currently twenty-first in points, Steve Hix leads the chase for Rookie of the Year honors. Steven Garris and Brandon Wiley are also in contention.

Among the other drivers expected to be in action are Tristan Guardino, Austin Liggett, Cody Majors, "Hollywood" Danny Faria Jr., Jeff Sibley, Jay Ervine, Ryan Timmons, Ryan Stolz, Shannon McQueen, Garrett Long, and more.

Keller Auto Speedway at Kings Fairgrounds is located at 801 South 10th Avenue in Hanford, California. Adult tickets are $18, Student and Senior tickets are $15, and Kids (5 and Under) are FREE. Camping is available on the fairgrounds and for more event information, visit www.racekingsspeedway.com or call 559.651.1990.

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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.

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.

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"

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USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR RACE RESULTS: March 18, 2017 - Tulare, California - Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Ryan Bernal, 2. Jace Vander Weerd, 3. Jake Swanson, 4. Geoff Ensign, 5. Richard Vander Weerd, 6. Danny Faria Jr., 7. Austin Liggett, 8. Cody Majors, 9. Steven Garris, 10. Tye Mihocko, 11. Shannon McQueen, 12. Trista Guardino, 13. Jeff Sibley, 14. Koen Shaw, 15. Jay Ervine, 16. Garrett Long, 17. Steve Hix, 18. Jim Richardson, 19. Ryan Stolz, 20. Kyle Smith, 21. Brandon Wiley. NT
----------------------------
**Smith, Wiley, and Long flipped during the feature.
 
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-2 J.Vander Weerd, Laps 3-30 Bernal.
 
BR MOTORSPORTS / KING RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Jake Swanson (8th to 3rd)
 
NEW USAC WEST COAST SPRINT POINTS: 1-Bernal-317, 2-Swanson-272, 3-R.Vander Weerd-241, 4-J.Vander Weerd-216, 5-Ensign-172, 6-Guardino-164, 7-Mihocko-158, 8-Brady Bacon-148, 9-Liggett-138, 10-Majors-137.
 
NEXT USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: March 25 - Hanford, CA - Keller Auto Speedway at Kings Fairgrounds

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SANDS CHEVROLET USAC SOUTHWEST SPRINT CAR RACE RESULTS: March 18, 2017 - Queen Creek, Arizona - Arizona Speedway

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Stevie Sussex, 2. Charles Davis Jr., 3. R.J. Johnson, 4. Landon Cling, 5. Chris Bonneau, 6. Shon Deskins, 7. Mike Martin, 8. Andy Reinbold, 9. Brian Hosford, 10. Jeff Lowery, 11. Matt Lundy, 12. Joe Schoepner, 13. Cody Sickles (#14 Sickles), 14. Brent Yarnal, 15. Nick Aiuto, 16. Larry Kesterson, 17. Michael Curtis, 18. Jonas Reynolds, 19. Michael Woodruff. NT
----------------------------
**Lowery flipped on lap 1 of the feature.
 
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-23 Davis, Laps 24-30 Sussex.
 
HARD CHARGER: Stevie Sussex (9th to 1st)
 
NEW USAC SANDS CHEVROLET USAC SOUTHWEST SPRINT POINTS: 1-Sussex-278, 2-Johnson-249, 3-Davis-237, 4-Deskins-224, 5-Cling-190, 6-Dave Darland-169, 7-Ryan Bernal-160, 8-Brady Bacon-148, 9-Martin-142, 10-Aiuto-134.
 
NEXT USAC SANDS CHEVROLET USAC SOUTHWEST SPRINT CAR CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: April 1 - Peoria, AZ - Canyon Speedway Park - "Showdown at Canyon"
 
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USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR RACE RESULTS: March 17, 2017 – Tulare, California – Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Jake Swanson, 2. Geoff Ensign, 3. Ryan Bernal, 4. Austin Liggett, 5. Richard Vander Weerd, 6. Cody Majors, 7. Jace Vander Weerd, 8. Koen Shaw, 9. Brandon Wiley, 10. Tristan Guardino, 11. Steve Hix, 12. Jay Ervine, 13. Steven Garris, 14. Danny Faria Jr., 15. Gary Nelson Jr., 16. Tye Mihocko, 17. Shannon McQueen, 18. Ryan Stolz, 19. Jim Richardson, 20. Jeff Sibley, 21. Ryan Timmons. NT

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

**Timmons flipped during the third heat. Nelson flipped during the feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-6 Faria, Laps 7-13 Bernal, Laps 14-30 Swanson.

NEXT USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR RACE: March 18 – Tulare, California – Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway

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STEVIE SUSSEX LEADS USAC SOUTHWEST SPRINTS TO ARIZONA SPEEDWAY

By Lance Jennings

After two successful nights at Las Vegas, the Sands Chevrolet USAC SouthWest Sprint Cars are back in action this Saturday, March 18th, at San Tan Valley's Arizona Speedway. Promoted by Jonah Trussel and located within ET Motopark, the fourth point race will also feature Pure Stocks, Modlites, and the Robert Horne Ford Bombers. The Front Gates will open at 5:00pm and Racing at the fast 3/8-mile oval will start at 7:00pm. For more event and ticket information, visit www.arizonaspeedway.net or call 480.926.6688.
 
Since April 13, 2013, twenty-five USAC SouthWest Sprint Car events have been held at the San Tan Valley oval. Four-time champion R.J. Johnson leads all drivers with fourteen victories and Johnson (4), Stevie Sussex (2), Brady Bacon (1), and Chris Windom (1) celebrated wins at Arizona Speedway last season.

Entering Saturday's event, Stevie Sussex holds a 28-point advantage over the competition. Racing Mike Burkhart's #21AZ Pacific Supply / Team AZ RSS, Sussex placed fourth and fifth at the "FVP Outlaw Showdown." To date, the two-time Hank Arnold Memorial winner has one heat race victory, three top-10 finishes, and 20 feature laps led on the season. Sussex has ten career SouthWest wins and will be looking to extend his lead with a win at Arizona Speedway.

R.J. Johnson ranks second in the chase for the championship. Driving Bobby Martin's #51 Martin Family Auto Museum / Pecon Builders Sherman, Johnson scored seventh and twelfth at Las Vegas. To date, the four-time champion has posted one semi-main win, one hard charger award, and two top-10 finishes. On Saturday, the second generation driver will have his sights on his series leading forty-fifth victory.

Charles Davis Jr. sits third in the championship point chase. At press time, the five-time Arizona Sprint Car champion has two heat race victories, two top-10 finishes, and 1 feature lap led on the year. Davis has fourteen career SouthWest wins and will be looking gain valuable points with a Saturday night triumph.

Dave Darland is fourth in the SouthWest point chase. Darland ran tenth and fourteenth at Las Vegas. To date, the former USAC National Champion has one feature win, one heat race victory, two top-10 finishes, and 18 feature laps led on the season. On Saturday, the "Steve Stroud Memorial" winner is scheduled to race a USAC National Midget in DuQuoin, Illinois.

Ryan Bernal ranks fifth in the SouthWest point standings. Bernal won both main events at Las Vegas. The two-time USAC Western Classic Sprint Champion has also posted one heat race victory, one hard charger award, two top-10 finishes, and 22 feature laps led on the year. With six career SouthWest feature wins, Ryan will skip Saturday's event at San Tan Valley to race in California.

Among the other drivers expected to be in action are Shon Deskins, Tye Mihocko, Landon Cling, Nick Aiuto, Mike Martin, Andy Reinbold, Matt Lundy, Jeff Lowery, Bruce St. James, Brian Hosford, Matt Rossi, Michael Curtis and more.

Arizona Speedway is located at 47800 N. Ironwood Road in San Tan Valley, just five minutes from Mesa, Arizona. To get to the track, exit Ironwood Drive on US 60, then head four miles south. Adult Tickets are $15, Senior Tickets are $12, Kids Tickets (11 & under) are FREE. For more event and ticket information, visit www.arizonaspeedway.net or call 480.926.6688.

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USAC WEST COAST SPRINTS INVADE TULARE FOR FRIDAY-SATURDAY DOUBLEHEADER

By Lance Jennings

MARCH 14, 2017... After two successful nights at Las Vegas, the USAC West Coast Sprint Cars are back in action this Friday (March 17) and Saturday (March 18) at Tulare, California's Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway. The non-wing sprints will tackle the lightning fast 1/3-mile clay oval with the famed World of Outlaw Sprint Cars.

The Legends of Kearney Bowl Vintage Cars will join the Friday card and the IMCA Sport Mods will join Saturday's showcase. The front gates will open at 4:00pm on both nights, time trials at 6:00pm, with racing scheduled for 7:00pm. For more event information, visit the track's website at www.tularethunderbowl.com or call 559.688.0909.

Heading into Friday's event, the Tulare County Fairgrounds has hosted thirty-three USAC West Coast Sprint Car races. Ryan Bernal leads all drivers with eleven victories and Richard Vander Weerd holds the 1-lap qualifying record of 15.014, set on April 23, 2016. Last season, D.J. Johnson (twice), Austin Liggett, Bernal, and Troy Rutherford celebrated wins at the Tulare oval. The series win list at Thunderbowl Raceway is at the bottom of this release.

After winning both nights at Las Vegas, Ryan Bernal sits atop the point standings. Bernal jumped into a backup car and won the Friday show from twenty-second. To date, the two-time USAC Western Classic Champion has also posted one heat race victory, a Hard Charger Award and 22 feature laps led. Ryan leads all drivers with 29 West Coast triumphs and is always a threat win.

Brady Bacon is second in the West Coast standings. Bacon ran third and second at Las Vegas. The USAC National Sprint Car Champion also recorded aCharger Award and 12 feature laps led. Brady has two series win to his credit and it is unknown if he will be in action at Tulare.

Stevie Sussex ranks third in the championship point chase. Sussex placed fourth and fifth at Las Vegas. The USAC SouthWest series regular has one West Coast victory and is expected to compete in San Tan Valley, Arizona this weekend.

Brody Roa sits fourth in the chase for the championship. Roa ran ninth and third at Las Vegas. The defending series champion has also earned one heat race victory on the young season. Brody has three West Coast victories and it is unknown if he will be in action at the Tulare County Fairgrounds.

Jake Swanson (Anaheim, California) is fifth in the West Coast point standings. Swanson placed eighth and sixth at Las Vegas. The USAC/CRA regular has also posted one heat race victory on the season. Jake has one career West Coast victory and it is unknown if he will compete at Tulare.

Among the other drivers expected to be in action are Richard Vander Weerd, Trey Marcham, Troy Rutherford, Jace Vander Weerd, Ryan Timmons, Tristan Guardino, Jeff Sibley, Danny Faria Jr., Cody Majors, Ryan Stolz, Steve Hix, Jay Ervine, and more.

Tulare, California's Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway is located at the Tulare County Fairgrounds at the corner of Bardsley and K Streets. Friday Grandstand Tickets are $45, Bleacher Seats are $40, and all seats are RESERVED. Saturday Grandstand Tickets are $50 and, Bleacher Seats are $45. Advance tickets are on sale and can be purchased by calling the track office at 559.688.0909. For more event information, visit the track's website at www.tularethunderbowl.com.

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CLAUSON-MARSHALL RACING ANNOUNCES 2017 USAC MIDGET LINEUP AND PARTNERSHIP WITH DRIVEN2SAVELIVES

Clauson-Marshall Racing has announced a star-studded three-man lineup that consists of USAC winning drivers currently at the top of their game - Shane Golobic, Tyler Courtney and Justin Grant - to compete for a USAC Midget National Championship in 2017.

The first destination on the road to a championship begins March 18 indoors at the Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin for the second running of the "Shamrock Classic." It's a place that's been very kind to the CMR team's top wrenches, Tim Clauson and Tyler Ransbottom, under USAC sanction. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. won under the Bryan Clauson Racing banner at Du Quoin in December of 2015 while Courtney captured the "Junior Knepper 55" in December 2016 during his first ride in the CMR car.

Last March's inaugural "Shamrock Classic" saw Fremont, California's Shane Golobic take the lead just past the halfway point of the 50-lapper on his way to picking up his first career USAC National Midget feature score. The 25-year-old Golobic is no stranger to the team as he has won a number of sprint car and midget races under the tutelage of Tim Clauson over the years. In 2017, Golobic will be behind the wheel of the Elk Grove Ford/Driven 2 Save Lives machine as he chases the series title for the first time.

"I am excited and thankful for a full season behind the wheel of the Matt Wood Racing/Clauson Marshall No. 17w," an appreciative Golobic stated. "I enjoy racing with Matt, Tim, Tyler and the rest of the CMR team and I have no doubt that we will be very successful in 2017."

Twenty-two-year-old Courtney's first start for CMR was one he'll never forget as he raced to victory in the "Knepper 55" USAC Midget "Special Event" at Du Quoin just less than three months ago. His follow-up performance during a "Chili Bowl Midget Nationals" preliminary night in January ended in the same result - celebrating in victory lane with the CMR crew. "Sunshine," as he is affectionately known, assumes control of the Driven 2 Save Lives #7BC for 2017.

"I'm really excited to contend for my first national midget championship this season," Courtney exclaimed. "We've got a solid group of guys with a lot of momentum on our side from the winter season that hopefully transcends into this season. I feel it's going to be a great year. I've got two really good teammates and one really solid team."

Ione, California's Justin Grant seized the moment the first time he had an opportunity behind the wheel of a CMR entry on the Friday night "Chili Bowl" preliminary. Grant, age 26, took the victory and earned the pole position for Saturday night's finale, firmly establishing himself as a member of the CMR family where he will tackle the full USAC National Midget schedule for the first time. The versatile Grant finished third in last season's USAC Silver Crown standings and currently leads the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car point standings after winning the season-opener at "Winter Dirt Games VIII" in Ocala, Florida.

"I am very grateful for the opportunity to compete for the 2017 USAC National Midget Championship with the Clauson-Marshall Racing team," an excited Grant said. "Between Tim Clauson's dedication and knowledge and the Marshall's commitment to this team and our sport as a whole, I couldn't ask for better people to work with. Having a seat in the No. 39BC midget will provide me not only a chance to race for wins and a championship title, but also an opportunity to learn from a great team and talented teammates both on and off the race track. Clauson-Marshall Racing is highly professional as well as very family-oriented and I am honored to be a part of it as we chase wins, a championship and hope to honor Bryan's memory."

The lineup of Golobic, Courtney and Grant owns just a single USAC National Midget points win coming into 2017, but expectations are high for this group of young guns who have achieved success in several disciplines of racing at the local and national levels. Golobic is a World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car feature winner, Courtney is a USAC National Sprint Car feature winner and Grant owns five career USAC National Sprint Car wins. It's a youthful, exciting group that's hitting its stride at just the right time.

"I am really proud of the lineup we have assembled for our inaugural season," Clauson added. "While our original plan was to run a two-car team for the championship with Tyler and Shane, the opportunity to add Justin was one we just couldn't pass up. All three of the drivers have won in our cars and now to have a team that will allow them the chance to compete for a championship is very exciting. All three drivers are professional racecar drivers and the type of people we want our development drivers to look up to."

"To me, this team should be called "We Loved Bryan Racing," team partner Matt Wood said. "I've never met a person that impacted my life the way Bryan (Clauson) did. I'm honored to have an opportunity to represent Bryan and be affiliated with the Driven 2 Save Lives campaign. This USAC midget season will be the best ever. It's no secret the road to the championship goes thru Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports. With this lineup of drivers, and the talent of Tim Clauson, I predict next year it goes thru CMR/MWR."

"After seeing the teamwork displayed by these guys at this year's Chili Bowl, I could not be more excited to keep it going for the 2017 USAC championship campaign," team owner Richard Marshall noted. "These three drivers are winners on and off the track. They carry themselves in a way that would make Bryan proud, and consequently, will be great mentors for Clauson-Marshall Development drivers. I can't wait to get to the track!"

Clauson-Marshall Racing is not only driven by the pursuit of feature wins and a season championship in 2017, but also by promoting organ, tissue and eye donation and transplantation in honor of, Tim Clauson's son, the late Bryan Clauson, through a partnership with the Indiana Donor Network and the Driven2SaveLives campaign.

Bryan, a two-time USAC National Midget champion and three-time USAC National Sprint Car titlist, passed away after an incident during the "Belleville Midget Nationals" in August 2016. Bryan was a registered donor and, because of that, saved five lives and will enhance the lives of countless others as a tissue donor.

Driven2SaveLives initially started in 2016 as a partnership between the Indiana Donor Network, Stefan Wilson and KV Racing Technology. The goal was to promote organ, tissue and eye donation and transplantation around the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 in honor of Stefan's late brother, IndyCar driver Justin Wilson.

Together, Indiana Donor Network and Clauson-Marshall Racing hope to get people across the country to register their donation decision through Driven2SaveLives. There are more than 120,000 people nationwide waiting for lifesaving organ transplants. The Driven2SaveLives campaign will have a presence at dirt track races around the country in Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Ohio and more during the 2017 season.

In the U.S., another person is added to the transplant waiting list every 10 minutes. Each day, 22 people on average in the U.S. die because a donated organ wasn't made available in time. You can make a difference. You could save up to eight lives through organ donation and enhance the lives of approximately 75 people through tissue donation now at Driven2SaveLives.org.

"I can think of no better way to honor the gift that Bryan left us all with his decision to be an organ donor then to have our program be a part of the Driven2SaveLives campaign," Clauson said. "The campaign is focused on bringing education and awareness about organ, tissue and eye donation and transplantation. To be able to share the message through the sport that Bryan was so passionate about is humbling to say the least. Following Bryan's death, the impact that his decision had on not only the short track community, but racing was something that we knew we wanted to carry on by continuing to spread the message and allow those who are willing an opportunity to share their stories and experiences with donation and transplantation. The Driven 2 Save Lives Campaign will follow the blue print of Bryan's Chasing 200 tour by being present at several of racing's biggest events during the 2017 season."

You can follow Driven2SaveLives on a variety of social media channels on Facebook, Twitter (@Driven2Save) Instagram (@Driven2Save), Snapchat (@Driven2Save) and YouTube (Driven2SaveLives).

You can follow along with the Clauson-Marshall Racing throughout the season on Facebook (Clauson-Marshall Racing) and Twitter (@ClausonMarshall).

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SHAMROCK CLASSIC KICKS OFF 2017 USAC NATIONAL MIDGET SEASON SATURDAY IN Du QUOIN

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

One of the deepest USAC National Midget fields in years is set to hit the track for the first time in 2017 this Saturday, March 18th for the second-running of the "Shamrock Classic" at Du Quoin's Southern Illinois Center.

Fifty drivers have already pre-entered for the $3900-to-win USAC Midget National Championship season opener that brings the series indoors to showcase the intense open wheel action on the 1/6-mile indoor oval that has routinely provided some of the most memorable races each season and features a number of the biggest names in open-wheel, dirt track racing.

Among them are defending USAC National Midget champ Tanner Thorson, who leads a six-car Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports stable into Du Quoin. The Minden, Nevada native won six features on his way to the title one year ago, and intends to kick off the year in strong fashion as he aims to become the first back-to-back series champ since Bryan Clauson in 2010 and 2011. Thorson is joined on the KKM team by Lebanon, Indiana's Spencer Bayston, last season's runner-up in points, who was victorious in last season's Gas City round of "Indiana Midget Week."

Christopher Bell, a USAC National Midget champion in 2013, rounds out the KKM lineup for Du Quoin. The versatile Norman, Oklahoma native recently won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event and is also a past winner in the USAC Silver Crown Champ Cars as well as the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series. Rounding out the KKM lineup is the California trio of Holly Shelton, Ryan Robinson and series Rookie of the Year contender Tanner Carrick.

The two most recent USAC Midget winners at the Southern Illinois Center have signed on to compete for the Clauson/Marshall Racing team. Fremont, California's Shane Golobic will attempt to defend his "Shamrock Classic" victory in the CMR/Matt Wood Racing No. 17w while Indianapolis, Indiana's Tyler Courtney, a Southern Illinois Center winner in last December's "Junior Knepper 55," will pilot the CMR No. 7BC. Filling out the CMR stable is current USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car point leader Justin Grant who won just one month ago in the Sprint series' season opener in Ocala, Florida. The Ione, California native won his first ever start in the CMR No. 39BC in a Chili Bowl preliminary night feature in January.

Dave Darland is one of just six drivers to have claimed titles in USAC's National Midget, National Sprint and Silver Crown divisions during his career. The Lincoln, Indiana veteran will be in the seat of Gray Racing No. 11 in which he aims to find victory lane in the series for the first time in three seasons. During his illustrious career in which he has amassed more than 100 USAC victories, 30 of those came in a USAC National Midget event, ranking him 11th all-time.

The other USAC Triple Crown member in Saturday's field is Tucson, Arizona's Jerry Coons, Jr., the 2006 and 2007 USAC National Midget champ. Coons returns to the seat of the Petry/Goff Motorsports No. 25 for 2017.

In addition, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma's Brady Bacon is back in the saddle of the FMR Racing No. 76m for the 2017 USAC season. The two-time USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champ won last season's "Jason Leffler Memorial" in Wayne City, Ill. on his way to a third-place finish in series points.

Chad Boat picked up his first three career USAC National Midget victories in 2016, all within the span of a week in early August. The first of which came at the bullring of Jefferson County Speedway in Fairbury, Neb. before sweeping both nights at Belleville to close out the weekend. The Phoenix, Ariz. driver is a two-time Rookie of the Year in both the USAC National Midget and National Sprint divisions and is the son of 1995 USAC Western States Midget champ and 1998 Indianapolis 500 pole sitter Billy Boat.

Collegeville, Pennsylvania's Alex Bright is renowned for his success in a midget on a resume that is highlighted by a 2016 ARDC title as well as a preliminary night feature win at the "Chili Bowl Midget Nationals" in Tulsa, Oklahoma in January of 2016. Bright has made 40 career USAC National Midget feature starts, including a second-place finish at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway in 2012, but is still seeking his first trip to victory lane.

Further entries include a handful of USAC regulars eyeing their first series victory. Oklahoma's Tyler Thomas who finished in the runner-up spot in last August's "Tuesday Night Thunder" in Fairbury, Nebraska. Up-and-comers Gage Walker and Tony DiMattia have sights set on a breakthrough season of their own.

Saturday's race-day schedule begins with pits opening at 8am. Spectator gates open at 1pm. A public drivers' meeting open to all race fans starts at 3:00 pm while hot laps get under way at 4pm with racing set for 5:30pm.

50 DRIVERS ENTERED FOR THE "SHAMROCK CLASSIC"
1K Brayton Lynch - Springfield, IL
1T Tony Roney - Herculaneum, MO
2 Kellen Conover - St. Louis, MO
3N Jake Neuman - New Berlin, IL
5 Kyle Cummins - Princeton, IN
5c Colten Cottle - Kansas, IL
7 Gage Walker - Fairland, IN
7BC Tyler Courtney - Indianapolis, IN
7K Justin Peck - Monrovia, IN
9 Korey Weyant - Springfield, IL
9JR Derek Hagar - Marion, AR
9K Kyle Schuett - Philo, IL
11 Dave Darland - Lincoln, IN
11B Brent Beauchamp - Fairland, IN
12w Billy Wease - Noblesville, IN
15 Tim Siner - Dupo, IL
15F Cole Fehr - Coatesville, IN
15M Shane Morgan - Morton, IL
15s Mitchell Davis - Auburn, IL
17w Shane Golobic - Fremont, CA
21 Christopher Bell - Norman, OK
22 Andy Malpocker - St. Charles, MO
25 Jerry Coons, Jr. - Tucson, AZ
28 Kory Schudy - Springfield, MO
29 David Hair - Indianapolis, IN
31 David Budres - Beloit, WI
35 Chris Baue - Indianapolis, IN
35T Tyler Robbins - Collinsville, IL
39BC Justin Grant - Ione, CA
50 Tony DiMattia - Malvern, PA
50A Daniel Adler - St. Louis, MO
52 Isaac Chapple - Willow Branch, IN
56v Matt Veatch - McLeansboro, IL
56x Mark Chisholm - Cheyenne, WY
57D Daniel Robinson - Ewing, IL
67 Tanner Thorson - Minden, NV
67K Holly Shelton - Gold River, CA
68 Kyle O'Gara - Indianapolis, IN
71 Ryan Robinson - Foresthill, CA
71B Robert Bell - Colfax, IA
71K Tanner Carrick - Sacramento, CA
75 Lee Dakus - Edmonton, ALB, CAN
76M Brady Bacon - Broken Arrow, OK
77 Alex Bright - Collegeville, PA
84 Chad Boat - Phoenix, AZ
88 Terry Babb - Harristown, IL
91 Tyler Nelson - Kansas City, KS
91A Chris Andrews - Sandusky, OH
91T Tyler Thomas - Catoosa, OK
97 Spencer Bayston - Lebanon, IN

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Clauson-Marshall Racing Poised to Chase Down USAC Midget Crown

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (March 13, 2017) – The race cars are prepped and ready to hit the track.  And so are the three drivers as Clauson-Marshall Racing is set to pursue the 2017 USAC National Midget championship.

The potent three-car team features Tyler Courtney, Shane Golobic and Justin Grant, each of whom goes after a first USAC National title.  Courtney and Grant both picked off preliminary feature wins at this January's Chili Bowl Nationals with all three finishing among the top 15 in the championship finale.

The title pursuit begins with the Second Annual Shamrock Classic at Du Quoin's Southern Illinois Center on Saturday night, March 18.

"I am really proud of the lineup we have assembled for our inaugural season," team co-owner Tim Clauson commented.  "While our original plan was to run a two-car team for the championship with Tyler and Shane, the opportunity to add Justin was one we just couldn't pass up."

Clauson goes on to say, "All three of the drivers have won in our cars, and now to have a team that will allow them the chance to compete for a championship is very exciting.  All three drivers are professional race car drivers and the type of people we want our development drivers to look up to."

Courtney is no stranger to the team, having worked with the Clauson's in the past to earn his first shot at Midget racing several years ago.  Familiar with the team's approach, Courtney was a natural fit for the CMR team aboard the Driven2SaveLives No. 7bc.

"I'm really excited for this season and to contend for my first national midget championship," Courtney comments.  "We have a solid group of guys with a lot of momentum on our side from the winter season that hopefully transfers into this season.  It's gonna be a great year with two really good teammates and one really solid team."

A winner of both Sprint Car and Midget races under the tutelage of Tim Clauson and last year's Inaugural Shamrock Classic in a car prepared by Clauson and Tyler Ransbottom, Fremont, California's Shane Golobic will take the wheel of the Matt Wood Racing/Clauson-Marshall Racing Elk Grove Ford No. 17w.

"I am excited and thankful for a full season behind the wheel of the Matt Wood Racing/Clauson Marshall 17w," Golobic says. "I enjoy racing with Matt, Tim, Tyler, and the rest of the CMR team and I have no doubt that we will be very successful in 2017."

The partnership with Matt Wood Racing carries over from the Chili Bowl.  "To me, this team should be called 'We loved Bryan Racing'," Wood states.  "I've never met a person that impacted my life the way Bryan did.

"I'm honored to have an opportunity to represent Bryan and be affiliated with the Driven2SaveLives campaign," Wood continues.  "This USAC midget season will be the best ever.  It's no secret that the road to the USAC Midget championship goes through Keith Kunz Racing.  With this lineup of drivers and the talent of Tim Clauson, I predict next year it goes thru CMR/MWR".

Filling out the potent Clauson-Marshall Racing USAC Midget stable is Justin Grant, a California native like Golobic who led the CMR team at the Chili Bowl with a fifth-place finish in the finale.  Grant will wheel the CMR No. 39bc.

"The addition of a driver like Justin, whose passion for the sport is second to none and who really came through for us at this year's Chili Bowl, was really an opportunity we had to make happen," Tim Clauson explains.  "I know how hard Justin has worked and sacrificed to earn his opportunities over the years. To be in a position to reward that hard work and passion is really what this team is all about."

Grant is ready for the opportunity to pursue the USAC Midget crown.  "I am very grateful for the opportunity to compete for the 2017 USAC National Midget championship with the Clauson-Marshall Racing team," Grant says.  "Between Tim Clauson's dedication and knowledge and the Marshalls' commitment to this team and our sport as a whole, I couldn't ask for better people to work with.

"Having a seat in the 39BC Midget will provide me not only a chance to race for wins and a championship title, but also an opportunity to learn from a great team and talented teammates both on and off the race track," Grant says.  "Clauson-Marshall Racing is highly professional, as well as very family oriented and I am honored to be a part of it as we chase wins, a championship and hope to honor Bryan's memory."

Richard Marshall is eager to see the CMR team take to the track in 2017.

"After seeing the teamwork displayed by these guys at this year's Chili Bowl, I could not be more excited to keep it going for the 2017 USAC championship campaign," Marshall says.  "These three drivers are winners on and off the track.  They carry themselves in a way that would make Bryan proud and consequently will be great mentors for Clauson-Marshall Development drivers.  I can't wait to get to the track!"

It all begins Saturday night in Du Quoin before the 27-race slate of events resumes in April with the Kokomo Grand Prix.

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SHAMROCK CLASSIC ENTRY LIST HITS 50!

The pre-entry list for the second running of the "Shamrock Classic" USAC National Midget season opener at Du Quoin's Southern Illinois Center has reached 50!

The Saturday, March 18th event on the one-sixth-mile, indoor dirt oval features many of the biggest names in U.S. open-wheel, dirt track racing, including two drivers who've attained the status of USAC Triple Crown champion in their careers - Dave Darland and Jerry Coons, Jr.

The two most recent winners at the Southern Illinois Center - Tyler Courtney and defending "Shamrock Classic" winner Shane Golobic - make up two-thirds of the Clauson-Marshall Racing stable. Past USAC National Midget Champions Tanner Thorson (2016) and Christopher Bell (2013) will be among two of Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports' six entries. Two-time, and reigning, USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champ Brady Bacon has entered the event along with current USAC Sprint point leader Justin Grant.

Past USAC National Midget feature winners will be in abundance as well with Chad Boat, Billy Wease and Spencer Bayston ready to roll this weekend. Recent USAC National Sprint Car feature winners Brent Beauchamp and Kyle Cummins will make a rare appearance in a midget, with Cummins making his midget racing debut in Du Quoin. Last season's USAC National Sprint Car Rookie of the Year Isaac Chapple makes his midget return as well.

Free entry is available for all "Shamrock Classic" competitors courtesy of R.E. Griesemer at https://usacracing.ticketspice.com/shamrock-classic-at-du-quoin-entry. Use the code regriesemer. The deadline for free pre-entry is Monday, March 13. Entries filed after March 13 are $40.

Reserved seats are $25.00 for the highly-anticipated event while adult general admission tickets are $20.00; kids 6-12 are $10.00 and kids 5 years-old and under are FREE! Pit passes are $35.00. The purchase of a reserved seat provides you a free pit pass! Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.usactickets.com/.

The timetable of events at the Southern Illinois Center for the "Shamrock Classic" begins with participant parking on March 17 (Friday) from 4-7 pm. Saturday's race-day schedule begins with pits opening at 8am, followed by a "pit sweep" at noon. Spectator gates open at 1pm. A public drivers' meeting open to all race fans starts at 3:00 pm. Hot laps get under way at 4pm with racing set for 5:30pm.

50 DRIVERS ENTERED FOR THE "SHAMROCK CLASSIC"
1K Brayton Lynch - Springfield, IL
1T Tony Roney - Herculaneum, MO
2 Kellen Conover - St. Louis, MO
3N Jake Neuman - New Berlin, IL
5 Kyle Cummins - Princeton, IN
5c Colten Cottle - Kansas, IL
7 Gage Walker - Fairland, IN
7BC Tyler Courtney - Indianapolis, IN
7K Justin Peck - Monrovia, IN
9 Korey Weyant - Springfield, IL
9JR Derek Hagar - Marion, AR
9K Kyle Schuett - Philo, IL
11 Dave Darland - Lincoln, IN
11B Brent Beauchamp - Fairland, IN
12w Billy Wease - Noblesville, IN
15 Tim Siner - Dupo, IL
15F Cole Fehr - Coatesville, IN
15M Shane Morgan - Morton, IL
15s Mitchell Davis - Auburn, IL
17w Shane Golobic - Fremont, CA
21 Christopher Bell - Norman, OK
22 Andy Malpocker - St. Charles, MO
25 Jerry Coons, Jr. - Tucson, AZ
28 Kory Schudy - Springfield, MO
29 David Hair - Indianapolis, IN
31 David Budres - Beloit, WI
35 Chris Baue - Indianapolis, IN
35T Tyler Robbins - Collinsville, IL
39BC Justin Grant - Ione, CA
50 Tony DiMattia - Malvern, PA
50A Daniel Adler - St. Louis, MO
52 Isaac Chapple - Willow Branch, IN
56v Matt Veatch - McLeansboro, IL
56x Mark Chisholm - Cheyenne, WY
57D Daniel Robinson - Ewing, IL
67 Tanner Thorson - Minden, NV
67K Holly Shelton - Gold River, CA
68 Kyle O'Gara - Indianapolis, IN
71 Ryan Robinson - Foresthill, CA
71B Robert Bell - Colfax, IA
71K Tanner Carrick - Sacramento, CA
75 Lee Dakus - Edmonton, ALB, CAN
76M Brady Bacon - Broken Arrow, OK
77 Alex Bright - Collegeville, PA
84 Chad Boat - Phoenix, AZ
88 Terry Babb - Harristown, IL
91 Tyler Nelson - Kansas City, KS
91A Chris Andrews - Sandusky, OH
91T Tyler Thomas - Catoosa, OK
97 Spencer Bayston - Lebanon, IN
 
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RYAN BERNAL BREAKS THROUGH IN VEGAS!

Las Vegas, Nevada... Starting on the inside of the third row, Ryan Bernal (Hollister, California) chargerd forward and raced past Joe Stornetta Jr. to claim the 25-lap victory at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Landon Cling set a new track record in qualifying over the 37 entries.

Jake Swanson, Stornetta, Brady Short, and Davis won the 8-lap heat races. Troy Rutherford and Geoff Ensign raced to victory in the 10-lap semi-mains.

SANDS CHERVOLET USAC SOUTHWEST/WEST COAST SPRINT CAR RACE RESULTS: March 9, 2017 - Las Vegas, Nevada - The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway -  "6th FVP Outlaw Showdown"

FEATURE: (25 laps) 1. Ryan Bernal, 2. Joe Stornetta Jr., 3. Brady Bacon, 4. Stevie Sussex, 5. Charles Davis Jr., 6. Richard Vander Weerd, 7. R.J. Johnson, 8. Jake Swanson, 9. Brody Roa, 10. Dave Darland, 11. Shon Deskins, 12. Landon Cling, 13. Ryan Timmons, 14. Tye Mihocko, 15. Troy Rutherford, 16. Brady Short, 17. Nick Aiuto, 18. Dylan Westbrook, 19. Trey Macham, 20. Geoff Ensign, 21. Danny Faria Jr., 22. Matt Lundy. NT
 ----------------------------
**St. James flipped during qualifications. Faria, Aiuto, and Westbrook flipped during feature.

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Lap 1 Davis, Laps 2-8 Stornetta, Laps 9-25 Bernal

NEXT USAC SOUTHWEST & WEST COAST SPRINT CAR RACE: March 10 - The Dirt Track at Las Vegas (NV) Motor Speedway - "6th FVP Outlaw Showdown"

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CUMMINS TO MAKE USAC MIDGET DEBUT IN MARCH 18 "SHAMROCK CLASSIC"

By: Richie Murray - USAC Media

The beginning of the 2017 National Midget season marks a new beginning for one of USAC's longtime standout Sprint Car stars, Kyle Cummins.

Cummins, the 29-year-old Princeton, Indiana veteran driver has raced his way to numerous feature victories and championships throughout his decade-and-a-half career behind the wheel of a sprint car. But on Saturday night, March 18 at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds' Southern Illinois Center, he attacks a new challenge as he straps into the seat of a midget for the first time in the "Shamrock Classic" USAC National Midget season opener.

"This will be my first time in a dirt midget," Cummins establishes. "I haven't raced much other than a sprint car in years. I figure it has four wheels, a motor and we're on dirt, so I think I'll adapt pretty quickly"

Cummins' ride for Du Quoin will be fielded by Chase Briscoe, a recent sprint car and midget driver who picked up an ARCA Stock Car driving title in 2016 and now competes full-time on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series circuit. Cummins and Briscoe have battled alongside each other for much of the last decade, but this time they're teaming up, and with high aspirations.

"With the equipment and the knowledge they bring, there are no excuses to not be in the top-five or so," Cummins admits. "If I left there with a top-three finish, I would be content for the first night out. I have high expectations for myself, but I know it will be a good accomplishment just to put it in the A-Main with this group of cars. At this moment, this is the only race I will run (in a midget), so hopefully we can have a good showing and run again."

The connection between the Cummins and Briscoe families date back to before Kyle and Chase's own careers had even begun. Back when each of their fathers, Mark Cummins and Kevin Briscoe, were battling up front on a weekly basis on the bullrings at Haubstadt and Bloomington.

"I have known the Briscoes for years, from going racing with my dad, to racing with Kevin when I first started, to racing with Chase," Cummins recalls. "In my third or fourth season, I ran for Richard (Briscoe) a hand full of times in the famous white and red No. 5. Chase and I have always been friends and have gotten along really well. He asked me at the PRI show in December if I would be interested in running his midget a couple times if he couldn't, and I was all for it."

Coming on the heels of his first two career USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car wins a year ago during "Indiana Sprint Week" at Kokomo and the "Haubstadt Hustler" at Indiana's Tri-State Speedway, Cummins is pumped at the thought of finally getting on track at the one-sixth-mile indoor bullring, a place he's been to as a fan, but not as a competitor.

"I'm pretty excited to get the chance to go to Du Quoin as a driver instead of as a spectator," said Cummins, who is the owner of a CNC machine shop in Haubstadt by day. "There's a lot of luck that is involved to keep your car out of trouble and finish up front. I just hope that I feel comfortable in the car. If I feel good right out of the gate, I think we can have a good run for my first time in a midget."

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CHARLES DAVIS, JR. LEADS USAC SOUTHWEST SPRINTS TO LAS VEGAS SHOWDOWN

This Thursday and Friday (March 9th and 10th), the Sands Chevrolet USAC SouthWest Sprint Cars will clash at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The prestigious "6th Annual FVP Sin City Showdown" is co-sanctioned with the USAC West Coast Sprint Cars and will pay an impressive $3,000-to-win and $300-to-start the feature on BOTH NIGHTS. A talented roster of drivers from Arizona, California, and the Midwest are expected to battle for bragging rights on the large half-mile clay oval. In addition, the famed World of Outlaw Craftsman Sprint Cars and IMCA Modifieds will join the action packed card. The pit gates will open at 2:00pm, the spectator gates open at 5:00pm, with racing set for 7:30pm on Thursday and 8:00pm on Friday. For more event information, visit the track's website at www.lvms.com/dirt or call 702.644.4444. A schedule for both nights is at the end of this release.

Held during NASCAR weekend, the "FVP Outlaw Showdown" has become one of the most popular dates on the USAC SouthWest and West Coast schedules. Last year, Bryan Clauson (Noblesville, Indiana) outdueled Brody Roa, Stevie Sussex, and Brady Bacon to earn his second Las Vegas jackpot. When the checkered flags waved, Sussex, Bacon, Roa, and Josh Hodges rounded out the top-five drivers.

Also known as the "Sin City Showdown," Bud Kaeding (Campbell, California) won the inaugural race on his way to the USAC West Coast crown in 2012. Bryan Clauson (Noblesville, Indiana), Austin Liggett (Tracy, California), and Stevie Sussex (Tempe, Arizona) celebrated Las Vegas wins before Clauson returned to victory circle last year.

Entering the Las Vegas doubleheader, "Chargin" Charles Davis Jr. (Buckeye, Arizona) sits atop the point standings. Driving the Massey Motorsports' #50 RSS Industries / Rod End Supply RSS, Davis ran second to Dave Darland at Canyon's "Steve Stroud Memorial" on February 11th. In addition, the five-time Arizona Sprint Car Champion won the night's first heat race and earned valuable qualifying points. "Chargin" Charles has fourteen SouthWest wins to his credit and will be one of the favorites to watch at Las Vegas.

"The People's Champ" Dave Darland (Lincoln, Indiana) is second in the chase for the championship. Racing Charlotte Aragon's #99 Yelp / Beaver Stripes J&J, Darland took the lead from Stevie Sussex on the twenty-first lap and claimed the "Steve Stroud Memorial." At press time, the former USAC National Champion has four series wins and it is unknown if he will be in action at Las Vegas.

Stevie Sussex (Tempe, Arizona) ranks third in the USAC SouthWest point chase. Piloting Bob Price's #4 Team AZ Racing / RSS Industries entry, Sussex ran fourth in the Canyon Speedway Park feature after leading the first twenty laps. The 2015 Las Vegas Showdown winner has ten SouthWest victories and will be a threat to repeat if he can secure a ride.

R.J. Johnson (Laveen, Arizona) is currently fourth in the championship standings. Driving Bobby Martin's #51 Martin Family Auto Museum / Pecon Builders Sherman, Johnson was the hard charger at Canyon with a seventeenth to third place run. The four-time champion leads the series with 44 triumphs and will be looking to add Las Vegas to his resume.

"The Magic Man" Mike Martin (Yuma, Arizona) sits fifth in the point standings. Racing his #16 Sherwin-Williams / Ultimate Offroad Maxim, Martin ran sixth in the February 11th main event. The former Hall of Fame Classic winner has five career SouthWest victories and will have his sights on the $3,000 Las Vegas jackpot.

Among the other drivers expected to be in action are Shon Deskins, Nick Aiuto, Andy Reinbold, "The Bull" Tye Mihocko, Brian Hosford, "The Real American" Matt Rossi, Landon Cling, "The Radio Flyer" Bruce St. James, and more.

Brody Roa will lead a strong USAC West Coast roster including Jace Vander Weerd, D.J. Johnson, Richard Vander Weerd, Max Adams, "Hollywood" Danny Faria Jr., Austin Liggett, Tristan Guardino, Ryan Timmons, and Cody Majors.

Two-day Pit Passes are $100 and single-day Pit Passes are $50.

The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is located twelve miles north of downtown Las Vegas, Nevada off Interstate 15 at Exit 54 (Speedway Blvd). The pit gate will open at 2:00pm and more event information can be found at www.lvms.com/dirt or calling (702) 644-4444. Two-day Reserved and General Admission tickets are on sale for $80 (with fan pit pass). Single-day Reserved tickets are $40, General Admission tickets are $39, and Children (12 and Under) are FREE. For more ticket information, visit www.dirtcar.ticketforce.com or call 844-DIRT-TIX (844-347-8849).

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USAC WEST COAST SPRINTS OPEN 9TH SEASON AT LAS VEGAS SHOWDOWN

By Lance Jennings
 
The ninth season for the USAC West Coast Sprint Cars will kickoff this Thursday and Friday (March 9th and 10th) at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Co-sanctioned with the Sands Chevrolet USAC SouthWest Sprint Cars, the prestigious "6th Annual FVP Sin City Showdown" will pay an impressive $3,000-to-win and $300-to-start the feature on BOTH NIGHTS. A talented roster of drivers from California, Arizona, and the Midwest are expected to clash on the large half-mile clay oval. In addition, the famed World of Outlaw Craftsman Sprint Cars and IMCA Modifieds will join the action packed card. The pit gates will open at 2:00pm, the spectator gates open at 5:00pm, with racing set for 7:30pm on Thursday and 8:00pm on Friday. For more event information, visit the track's website at www.lvms.com/dirt or call 702.644.4444. A schedule for both nights is at the end of this release.
 
Held during NASCAR weekend, the "FVP Outlaw Showdown" has become one of the most popular dates on both the USAC West Coast and Southwest schedules. Last season, Bryan Clauson (Noblesville, Indiana) outdueled Brody Roa, Stevie Sussex, and Brady Bacon to earn his second Las Vegas jackpot. When the checkered flags waved, Sussex, Bacon, Roa, and Josh Hodges rounded out the top-five drivers.
 
Also known as the "Sin City Showdown," Bud Kaeding (Campbell, California) won the inaugural race on his way to the USAC West Coast crown in 2012. Bryan Clauson (Noblesville, Indiana), Austin Liggett (Tracy, California), and Stevie Sussex (Tempe, Arizona) celebrated Las Vegas wins before Clauson returned to victory circle last year.
 
Last August, Brody Roa (Garden Grove, California) clinched his first series crown on the strength of two feature wins and solid finishes. Primarily racing the BR Performance #91R HD Industries / Lee & Norma Leonard Maxim, Roa also posted three Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, three heat race victories, eleven top-10 finishes, and 68 feature laps led. The former Western World Champion will pilot a Steve Watt entry at Las Vegas and will be looking for the $3,000 jackpot.
 
Jace Vander Weerd (Visalia, California) came on strong at the end of last season and finished second in the point chase. Driving the family owned #88 Vander Weerd Construction / Stone Gate Development Maxim, Jace had two feature wins, one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, four heat race victories, one semi-main win, nine top-10 finishes, and 85 feature laps led to his credit. The former USAC/CRA Rookie of the Year has eight career West Coast wins and will have his sights on adding Las Vegas to his resume.
 
D.J. Johnson (Stockton, California) had a standout season and placed third in the chase for the championship. Racing the family owned #33 Proplant Farm Services / J. Milano Company Eagle, Johnson recorded two feature wins, three heat race victories, one hard charger award, twelve top-10 finishes, and 51 feature laps led on the season. The former USAC Western Classic Rookie of the Year will be looking to honor his father Brian, who recently passed away, with a victory.
 
Richard Vander Weerd (Visalia, California) finished fourth in the West Coast point standings. Piloting the family owned #10 Vander Weerd Construction / Stone Gate Development Maxim, Richard had two feature wins, two Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, three heat race victories, one hard charger award, nine top-10 finishes, and 33 feature laps led to his credit. The 2011 Champion has 19 West Coast wins and will have his sights on sweeping the Las Vegas doubleheader.
 
Max Adams (Loomis, California) moved up the ranks and took fifth in the final point standings. Driving his #5M A.R.T. Speed Equipment / Ken Imler Diesel Performance Maxim, Adams had two heat race victories, one hard charger award, seven top-10 finishes, and 2 feature laps led. Last year's USAC/CRA Rookie of the Year will be looking to breakthrough at Las Vegas for his first West Coast triumph.
 
Among the other drivers expected to be in action are "Hollywood" Danny Faria Jr., Austin Liggett, Tristan Guardino, Ryan Timmons, Cody Majors, Jeff Sibley, Troy Rutherford, Ryan Bernal, and more.
 
"Chargin" Charles Davis Jr. will lead a strong USAC SouthWest roster including R.J. Johnson, "The Magic Man" Mike Martin, Shon Deskins, Nick Aiuto, Andy Reinbold, "The Bull" Tye Mihocko, Brian Hosford, "The Real American" Matt Rossi, Landon Cling, "The Radio Flyer" Bruce St. James, and more.
 
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BAKERSFIELD HOSTS USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET OPENER THIS SATURDAY

By Lance Jennings

This Saturday, March 11th, the Light Up the World Beverages USAC Western States Midgets will open their 2017 campaign at Bakersfield Speedway. Promoted by Scott Schweitzer, "The BULL 97.3 Night at the races!" will also feature Sport Mods, IMCA Stock Cars, ModLites, and NMRA TQ Midgets. The Pit Gates will open at 2:00pm, the Front Gates will open at 4:00pm, and Racing is scheduled for 6:00pm at "The West's Fastest 1/3-Mile High Banked Clay Oval." For event information, visit the track's website at www.bakersfieldspeedway.com or call 661.393.3373.  

Since July 3, 1987, Bakersfield Speedway has hosted 105 USAC Western States Midget races and P.J. Jones claimed the inaugural victory. Ronnie Gardner won the April 30th and November 19th races and Michael Faccinto claimed the June 4th victory. Former champions Sleepy Tripp and Robby Flock are tied for the series lead with eight Bakersfield triumphs, followed by Billy Boat (7), Jay Drake (5), Ronnie Gardner (4), and "Flash" Jordan Hermansader (4). Heading into Saturday's race, Ricky Shelton holds the 1-lap qualifying track record of 12.339, set on June 21, 1997.

Last November, Ronnie Gardner (Corona, California) clinched his fourth consecutive series crown. Piloting the Six8 Motorsports' #68 Baldozier Racing / Esslinger Engineering Stewart, Gardner posted six feature wins, five Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, eight heat race victories, two hard charger awards, thirteen top-10 finishes, and 116 feature laps led. Ronnie is tied with Wally Pankratz for fourth on the series win list with nineteen triumphs and will be looking for another Bakersfield victory.

Michael Faccinto (Hanford, California) ran second in the chase for the championship. Racing the MF Motorsports' #35F OSV / Lucas Oil Spike, Faccinto earned two feature wins, two Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, three heat race victories, eleven top-10 finishes, and 67 feature laps led to his credit. The Louie Vermeil Classic winner has four series victories and will have his sights on the 30-1ap triumph.

Cory Elliott (Bakersfield, California) had a solid season and placed third in the championship point chase. Driving the family owned #11E FK Indy / Oilwize Spike, Elliott posted five heat race victories, twelve top-10 finishes, and 24 feature laps led to his credit. The 2015 Rookie of the Year has one career win and will be looking to score the hometown victory.

Frankie Guerrini (San Rafael, California) finished fourth in the Western Midget point standings. Racing the family owned #63 F&F Racing / Davis Motorsports Spike, Guerrini had two heat race victories, one semi-main win, eleven top-10 finishes, and 36 feature laps on the year. The former BCRA Champion has one career USAC victory and will have his sights on the Bakersfield main event win.

Courtney Crone (Corona, California) closed out her campaign ranked fifth in the point chase. Driving Jerome Rodela's #25 Trench Shoring / Ed Pink Racing Engines Breka, Crone had one heat race victory, two hard charger awards, and eight top-10 finishes. The 2016 Rookie of the Year will be looking to earn her first USAC Midget victory this Saturday night.

Among the other drivers expected to be in action are Maria Cofer, Robert Dalby, Randi Pankratz, Cody Swanson, Tyler Dolacki, Shannon McQueen, Nate Wait, "The Panda Express" Terry Nichols, Robby Josett, David Prickett, C.J. Sarna, and more.

Bakersfield Speedway is located at 5001 North Chester Extension in Bakersfield, California. Advance tickets are on sale and for more event/ticket information, visit the track's website at www.bakersfieldspeedway.com or call 661.393.3373.  

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DARLAND, BOAT AND BRIGHT ENTER THE RING FOR MARCH 18TH "SHAMROCK CLASSIC" IN Du QUOIN

Du Quoin, Illinois.........USAC Triple Crown champ Dave Darland, "Belleville Midget Nationals" winner Chad Boat and Chili Bowl Prelim Night winner Alex Bright have entered the fray for the USAC National Midget season-opening "Shamrock Classic" at the Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin on Saturday, March 18.

Darland is one of just six drivers to have claimed titles in USAC's National Midget, National Sprint and Silver Crown divisions during his career. The Lincoln, Indiana veteran will be in the seat of Gray Racing No. 11 in which he aims to find victory lane in the series for the first time in three seasons. During his illustrious career in which he has amassed more than 100 USAC victories, 30 of those came in a USAC National Midget event, ranking him 11th all-time.

Boat picked up his first three career USAC National Midget victories in 2016, all within the span of a week in early August. The first of which came at the bullring of Jefferson County Speedway in Fairbury, Neb. before sweeping both nights at Belleville to close out the weekend. The Phoenix, Ariz. driver is a two-time Rookie of the Year in both the USAC National Midget and National Sprint divisions and is the son of 1995 USAC Western States Midget champ and 1998 Indianapolis 500 pole sitter Billy Boat.

Collegeville, Pennsylvania's Bright is renowned for his success in a midget on a resume that is highlighted by a 2016 ARDC title as well as a preliminary night feature win at the "Chili Bowl Midget Nationals" in Tulsa, Oklahoma in January of 2016. Bright has made 40 career USAC National Midget feature starts, including a second-place finish at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway in 2012, but is still seeking his first trip to victory lane.

Additionally, defending USAC National Midget champion Tanner Thorson leads a five-car Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian stable into Du Quoin that includes Spencer Bayston, Holly Shelton, Ryan Robinson and Tanner Carrick.

Christopher Bell, a USAC National Midget champion for KKM in 2013, will pilot the No. 21. The versatile Norman, Oklahoma native recently won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Tucson, Arizona's Jerry Coons, Jr. is one of just six drivers part of the exclusive USAC Triple Crown Club. A pair of first-time USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car feature winners from 2016 have signed up to rumble at Du Quoin. Brent Beauchamp of Fairland, Ind., is entered in his own No. 11 while Kyle Cummins of Princeton, Ind. intends to make his USAC National Midget debut.

St. Charles, Missouri's Andy Malpocker knows the 1/6-mile indoor dirt track in Du Quoin well. Just two weeks ago, Malpocker captured a USAC Speed2 IMRA/Midwest Thunder Midget feature victory at the track during the "Open Wheel Extravaganza" at the Southern Illinois Center.

A handful of flyin' Illini have mailed in their entries including 2015 Indy Invitational winner Kyle Schuett of Philo as well as Tim Siner (Dupo), Daniel Robinson (Ewing), Brayton Lynch (Springfield), Jake Neuman (New Berlin), Korey Weyant (Springfield) and Terry Babb (Decatur).

Entries continue to pour in for the $3900-to-win USAC Midget National Championship season opener which brings the series indoors for its only points race of the season. Last year's "Shamrock" brought 54 midgets to battle it out for the "Pot of Gold" trophy and many additional entries are expected to be filed within the next couple weeks leading up to raceday.

Free entry is available for all "Shamrock Classic" competitors courtesy of R.E. Griesemer at https://usacracing.ticketspice.com/shamrock-classic-at-du-quoin-entry. Use the code regriesemer. The deadline for pre-entry is Monday, March 13. Entries filed after March 13 are $40.

Reserved seats are $25.00 for the highly-anticipated event while adult general admission tickets are $20.00; kids 6-12 are $10.00 and kids 5 years-old and under are FREE! Pit passes are $35.00. The purchase of a reserved seat provides you a free pit pass! Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.usactickets.com/.

40 MIDGETS ENTERED
FOR THE "SHAMROCK CLASSIC" AS OF WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8
1K Brayton Lynch - Springfield, IL
1T Tony Roney - Herculaneum, MO
3N Jake Neuman - New Berlin, IL
5 Kyle Cummins - Princeton, IN
7 Gage Walker - Fairland, IN
7BC Tyler Courtney - Indianapolis, IN
7K Justin Peck - Monrovia, IN
9 Korey Weyant - Springfield, IL
9JR Derek Hagar - Marion, AR
9K Kyle Schuett - Philo, IL
11 Dave Darland - Lincoln, IN
11B Brent Beauchamp - Fairland, IN
15 Tim Siner - Dupo, IL
15F Cole Fehr - Coatesville, IN
17w Shane Golobic - Fremont, CA
21 Christopher Bell - Norman, OK
22 Andy Malpocker - St. Charles, MO
25 Jerry Coons, Jr. - Tucson, AZ
28 Kory Schudy - Springfield, MO
29 David Hair - Indianapolis, IN
31 David Budres - Beloit, WI
39BC Justin Grant - Ione, CA
50 Tony DiMattia - Malvern, PA
50A Daniel Adler - St. Louis, MO
57D Daniel Robinson - Ewing, IL
67 Tanner Thorson - Minden, NV
67K Holly Shelton - Gold River, CA
68 Kyle O'Gara - Indianapolis, IN
71 Ryan Robinson - Foresthill, CA
71B Robert Bell - Colfax, IA
71K Tanner Carrick - Sacramento, CA
75 Lee Dakus - Edmonton, ALB, CAN
76M Brady Bacon - Broken Arrow, OK
77 Alex Bright - Collegeville, PA
84 Chad Boat - Phoenix, AZ
88 Terry Babb - Harristown, IL
91 Tyler Nelson - Kansas City, KS
91A Chris Andrews - Sandusky, OH
91T Tyler Thomas - Catoosa, OK
97 Spencer Bayston - Lebanon, IN

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GREG STAAB, LONGTIME USAC DRIVER, CAR OWNER AND SERIES COORDINATOR PASSES AT 68

Greg Staab, a beloved figure who wore many hats during his racing career as a driver, car owner, crew chief, mechanic, track promoter and series coordinator, passed away Monday, March 6, 2017 after a battle with cancer. He was 68 years old.

Staab, from Cincinnati, Ohio, piloted car No. 44 for more than two decades on the USAC trail, first in midgets before transitioning to the sprint car full-time. Staab was a regular on USAC's National Midget circuit from 1972-1979, garnering a career-best series finish of second at Salt Lake City, Utah's Salt Palace in 1976, but it was in the sprint car where Staab truly flourished.

In a six-year span between 1982 and 1987, Staab won the Lawrenceburg Speedway sprint car track championship five times in addition to a Bloomington Speedway title in 1984! One year after his final 'Burg championship, in the summer of 1988, Staab captured the most notable victory of his career in an ESPN-televised USAC National Sprint Car race at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Staab, known his for his prowess on the clay, outdueled fellow dirt-tracker Kevin Huntley in the final laps on the asphalt to take his first and only USAC triumph. Ironically, it was Huntley who had denied Staab the Lawrenceburg track championship in 1986.

Staab finished in the top-ten of the USAC National Sprint Car standings in 8 of 11 years between 1985 and 1995, highlighted by a runner-up finish in 1986, a fourth in 1989 and a third in 1990. Staab also made 34 Silver Crown starts with a best finish of fourth, which he accomplished twice at Eldora Speedway's "4-Crown Nationals" in 1982 and 1988.

His driving career ended in his 177th USAC Sprint Car start after an accident at Indiana's Paragon Speedway in 1996, though Staab remained heavily involved in the sport, fielding cars for drivers such as Joey Kerr, Eric Gordon, Dickie Gaines, Critter Malone, John Heydenreich, Cary Faas, Jason Setser - who won the 2000 Lawrenceburg track championship in his car - among many others. At the same time, Staab had taken over the role as president and promoter of Lawrenceburg Speedway from 1997-2000, and from 2005-2008, served as the coordinator of the USAC National Sprint Car division.

Staab, a Hoosier Auto Racing Fans and Dayton Area Racing Fans club Hall of Famer, kept close ties with the sport in recent years. In 2016, he served as crew chief for Joe Liguori's Silver Crown team and, just two weeks ago, the yellow No. 44 was in action at "Winter Dirt Games VIII" in Ocala, Fla. with Liguori behind the wheel for the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car season openers.

USAC extends its deepest condolences to Staab's family and numerous friends in the racing community.

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2017 points

National Sprints
April 15
1. Justin Grant 369
2. Chad Boespflug 367
3. Chris Windom 330
4. Chase Stockon 295
5. J. Andretti 259
6. H. Schuerenberg 230
7. Josh Hodges 212
8. T. Courtney 208
9. C.J. Leary 206
10. Kyle Cummins 191

National Midgets
March 18
1. Justin Grant 70
2. Shane Golobic 67
3. Jerry Coons Jr. 64
4. Brady Bacon 61
5. Spenser Bayston 39
6. Gage Walker 37
7. Tanner Carrick 35
8. Cahd Boat 29
9. Tanner Thorson 23
10. Dave Darland-10

Silver Crown
April 2
1. Chris Windom 70
1. Kody Swanson 70
3. C.J. Leary 69
4. H.  Schuerenberg 61
5. Jerry Coons Jr. 58
6. Brady Bacon 56
7. Dave Darland 52
8. Damion Gardner 49
9. Dakota Jackson 46
10. Joss Moffatt 43

USAC/CRA
March 5
1. Damion Gardner 80
2. R. Vander Weerd 77
3. R.J. Johnson 71
4. Austin Williams 69
5. Jake Swanson 67
6. Brody Roa 66
7. Mike Spencer 64
8. Cody Williams 54
9. Chad Boespflug 51
10. Logan Williams 47

 

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