2014 USAC NATIONAL SCHEDULES ANNOUNCED
USAC's National racing schedules were announced today and distributed at the annual Performance Racing Industry trade show in Indianapolis, Ind.
The Silver Crown, AMSOIL National Sprint Car and Honda National Midget schedules contain 71 events in 16 states, beginning with the February 20-21-22 "Winter Dirt Games" Sprint races in Ocala, Fla. and concluding with the November 27 "Turkey Night Grand Prix" Midget race at Perris, Calif.
The Honda USAC National Pavement Midget schedule is currently being finalized and will be released soon.
Defending series champions are Bobby East (Silver Crown), Bryan Clauson (AMSOIL Sprint), Christopher Bell (National Dirt Midget) and Darren Hagen (National Pavement Midget).
2014 USAC Silver Crown Schedule
April 6 Terre Haute, IN/Terre Haute Action Track
May 17 Indianapolis, IN/Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis
May 22 Indianapolis, IN/Indiana State Fairgrounds
June 14 Madison, IL/Gateway Motorsports Park
June 29 Millington, TN/Memphis International Raceway
July 24 Indianapolis, IN/Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis
August 1 Belleville, KS/Belleville High Banks
August 16 Springfield, IL/Illinois State Fairgrounds
August 31 DuQuoin, IL/DuQuoin State Fairgrounds
September 20 Rossburg, OH/Eldora Speedway
October 11 Syracuse, NY/New York State Fairgrounds
2014 AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Schedule
February 20 Ocala, FL/Bubba Raceway Park
February 21 Ocala, FL/Bubba Raceway Park
February 22 Ocala, FL/Bubba Raceway Park
April 5 Lawrenceburg, IN/Lawrenceburg Speedway
April 19 Rossburg, OH/Eldora Speedway
April 25 Gas City, IN/Gas City I-69 Speedway
April 26 ##Haubstadt, IN/Tri-State Speedway
May 2 Eagle, NE/Eagle Raceway
May 3 McCool Junction, NE/Junction Motor Speedway
May 21 Terre Haute, IN/Terre Haute Action Track
June 3 #Bechtelsville, PA/Grandview Speedway
June 4 #New Oxford, PA/Lincoln Speedway
June 5 #New Egypt, NJ/New Egypt Speedway
June 7 #Port Royal, PA/Port Royal Speedway
June 8 #Newberrytown, PA/Susquehanna Speedway Park
June 20 Superior, WI/AMSOIL Speedway
June 21 Spring Valley, MN/Deer Creek Speedway
June 22 Sun Prairie, WI/Angell Park Speedway
July 4 Putnamville, IN/Lincoln Park Speedway
July 11 @Gas City, IN/Gas City I-69 Speedway
July 12 @Kokomo, IN/Kokomo Speedway
July 13 @Lawrenceburg, IN/Lawrenceburg Speedway
July 16 @Terre Haute, IN/Terre Haute Action Track
July 17 @Putnamville, IN/Lincoln Park Speedway
July 18 @Bloomington, IN/Bloomington, IN
July 19 @Haubstadt, IN/Tri-State Speedway
August 21 Kokomo, IN/Kokomo Speedway
August 22 Kokomo, IN/Kokomo Speedway
August 23 Kokomo, IN/Kokomo Speedway
August 29 Terre Haute, IN/Terre Haute Action Track
September 13 ##Haubstadt, IN/Tri-State Speedway
September 20 Rossburg, OH/Eldora Speedway
September 27 Lawrenceburg, IN/Lawrenceburg Speedway
November 7 Perris, CA/Perris Auto Speedway
November 8 Perris, CA/Perris Auto Speedway
November 14 Peoria, AZ/Canyon Speedway Park
November 15 Peoria, AZ/Canyon Speedway Park
##=Co-sanctioned by MSCS
@=Indiana Sprint Week
2014 Honda USAC National Dirt Midget Schedule
April 11 ##Kokomo, IN/Kokomo Speedway
April 12 ##Kokomo, IN/Kokomo Speedway
May 9 Pontoon Beach, IL/Tri-City Speedway
May 10 ##Belleville, IL/Belle-Clair Speedway
June 11 @Gas City, IN/Gas City I-69 Speedway
June 12 @Putnamville, IN/Lincoln Park Speedway
June 13 @Bloomington, IN/Bloomington Speedway
June 14 @Lawrenceburg, IN/Lawrenceburg Speedway
June 15 @Kokomo, IN/Kokomo Speedway
July 5 #Sun Prairie, WI/Angell Park Speedway
July 6 #Sun Prairie, WI/Angell Park Speedway
July 29 Beloit, KS/Solomon Valley Raceway
July 31 Belleville, KS/Belleville High Banks
August 2 Belleville, KS/Belleville High Banks
August 17 #Sun Prairie, WI/Angell Park Speedway
September 20 Rossburg, OH/Eldora Speedway
October 2 Pontoon Beach, IL/Tri-City Speedway
October 3 Pontoon Beach, IL/Tri-City Speedway
October 4 Pontoon Beach, IL/Tri-City Speedway
November 20 Peoria, AZ/Canyon Speedway Park
November 21 Peoria, AZ/Canyon Speedway Park
November 22 Peoria, AZ/Canyon Speedway Park
November 27 Perris, CA/Perris Auto Speedway
@=Indiana Midget Week
#=Co-sanctioned by Powri and Badger
##=Co-sanctioned by Powri
ANDY HILLENBURG, ERIC RANKINE JOIN RESTRUCTURED USAC STAFF
Andy Hillenburg of Rockingham, N.C. and Eric Rankine of Brownsburg, Ind. are the latest members of USAC's restructured organizational team for 2014 and beyond. Their addition begins USAC's move to re-focus on its core racing series and create expansion of its marketing and merchandising efforts.
Hillenburg's new post is Director of Competition for the Silver Crown Championship Series, while Rankine becomes Director of Competition for the developmental HPD Series and will oversee technical aspects of the .25 Midget series.
Continuing to lead USAC racing series in addition to Hillenburg and Rankine will be Jason McCord (AMSOIL National Sprints and Honda National Midgets), Chris Kearns (Western Operations) and Kyle McCain (Honda .25 Midgets).
Jason Smith will spearhead USAC's newly restructured "sanctioned services," including a variety of motorsports disciplines and venues, encompassing the following: TORC (The Off-Road Championship), Robby Gordon Stadium Super Trucks, Red Bull Frozen Rush, Ultra4 Racing, Rally America, the America Adventure, IMS sanctions and USAC testing.
The 50-year-old Hillenburg is a former series competitor who, despite the lack of a victory, enjoyed a measure of success as a Silver Crown driver. Between 1985 and 1991 he scored 23 "top-10s" in 40 starts, topped by third-place finishes at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in 1987 and the Indiana State Fairgrounds in 1989. His best point finish was fifth in 1988. In 1988 he was leading six laps from the finish of the "Tony Bettenhausen 100" at Springfield, Ill. when his fuel supply ran short. Two years later he suffered a heartbreaking flat right-rear tire after leading the first 96 laps of the "Hoosier 100" in Indianapolis.
"I look forward to the task at hand," says Hillenburg, "that of preserving the rich heritage of this truly American motorsports treasure, while expanding and enhancing the product. I feel the 2014 series schedule released this week begins that process and I am excited about this unique opportunity. In the coming months I will continue to foster the relationships I feel will solidify the foundation which will allow this series to succeed."
Born in Indianapolis, Ind., he won Indiana quarter-midget championships from 1975-1979. In 1995 he won the ARCA Super Car Championship. That same year, and also in 1997, he won the series' premier event, the Daytona ARCA 200. He served as a test driver for the IROC series and in 2000 competed in the Indianapolis 500, finishing 28th. He has 16 NASCAR Cup starts, nine NASCAR Nationwide starts and four in the NASCAR Truck Series. In 1999 he posted a third-place finish in the NAPA Auto Parts 300 at Daytona International Speedway, driving for Joe Gibbs.
In 1981 Andy was granted, by USAC's Roger McCluskey, the first legal drivers license under the age of 18.
He also operates the Fast Track High Performance Driving School and has appeared in the movies, most notably The Dale Earnhardt Story, Herbie: Fully Loaded and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. In 2007 he purchased North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, N.C. and is credited with resurrecting the track.
Rankine, whose son Ross owns four championships in the highly-competitive developmental Midwest Midget arena, presided over Rankin Manufacturing, a Structural Steel company in New London, Ohio for a quarter-century and actually competed in Sprint races in the 1980s and 1990s, winning the 1995 and 2000 Fremont (Ohio) Speedway track championship. In 2005 his son Ross began in quarter-midgets, then graduated to USAC's Focus series in 2009.
Instrumental in the origination of USAC's highly-successful Honda .25 Midget racing program and a fixture in the years since, Rankine has spent considerable recent time helping develop the Honda K-24 engine which debuted with Gage Walker driving in 2013. The basic 2012 Honda Civic crate motor is now available for use in the USAC HPD Midget Series.
"I basically live 24 hours a day and seven days a week for auto racing," says Rankine. "I have some ideas to improve the sport and will work diligently to do just that. I want to give back to the sport and I can think of no better way to support grass roots racing than working under the USAC banner."
WINDOM, COURTNEY, BELL TAKE NATIONAL ROOKIE HONORS; MOST IMPROVED DRIVER OF 2013 IS KEVIN THOMAS JR.
Chris Windom, Tyler Courtney and Christopher Bell have been named USAC National "Rookies of the Year and Kevin Thomas Jr. is USAC's 2013 "Most Improved Driver."" They will be honored as such at the December 13 USAC "Night of Champions" celebration in Indianapolis, Ind. The function will be held at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in downtown Indianapolis.
Windom, of Canton, Ill., won the TRAXXAS Silver Crown honor with his runner-up point ranking. He won the series closer, the "4-Crown Nationals" at the Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, and scored "top-10" finishes in seven of the eight series races. He was second in the "Tony Bettenhausen 100" at Springfield, Ill. and third after winning the pole at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Ill.
Courtney, of Indianapolis, Ind., recorded nine "top-10" finishes in the AMSOIL National Sprint Car series. A stellar second-place finish behind Tracy Hines at Ocala, Fla. in the early-season races was followed by another second-place finish behind Chad Boespflug at Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville, Ind. in July. He was also the fastest qualifier and finished third at West Memphis, Ark.
Bell, of Norman, Okla., exploded on the Honda National Midget scene this year, claiming the dirt championship while raking in numerous career highlights along the way. He scored a pair of wins on his way to the Indiana Midget Week crown, added wins in the "Chad McDaniel Memorial" at Beloit, Kans. and the "Belleville Midget Nationals" in Kansas and the "Gold Crown Midget Nationals" at Pontoon Beach, Ill. His sixth and final dirt win came in a prelim at the "Western World" in Peoria, Ariz. On the pavement, he scored a victory at Illiana Motor Speedway in Schererville, Ind. In addition to his six dirt wins he added seven other "podiums."
Windom's Silver Crown success came with car owner RW/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports of Lederach, Pa. Courtney fielded his own Sprint car and Bell led the Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports team of Columbus, Ind.
Thomas, of Cullman, Ala., was one of three drivers who recorded seven AMSOIL USAC National Sprint races this year. In climbing from 11th place in points in 2012 to fifth this year he won three straight early races at Lawrenceburg, Gas City and Haubstadt, then put together three straight Indiana Sprint Week races at Kokomo, Lawrenceburg and Terre Haute. His final win came at Haubstadt in September.
EAST, CLAUSON, BELL, HAGEN TOP DEC. 13 "NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS"
USAC's 58th "Night of Champions" National Awards Dinner is scheduled for Friday night, December 13, at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in downtown Indianapolis, Ind. Champions of USAC's 2013 racing series will be honored during the gala evening.
Bobby East of Brownsburg, Ind. repeated as USAC's Traxxas Silver Crown Championship Series, while Bryan Clauson of Noblesville, Ind. earned his second consecutive AMSOIL National Sprint Car title. Honda National Midget Championships went to Christopher Bell of Norman, Okla. (Dirt) and Darren Hagen of Riverside, Calif. (Pavement).
The affair will be held again this year in conjunction with the Performance Racing Industry Show (PRI), which will be held December 12-14 at the Indiana Convention Center, located just one block south of the banquet facility.
Numerous other performance awards are also part of the ceremonies as well as special recognition awards.
USAC's Honda .25 Midget "Generation Next" National Champions will also be featured at the banquet, which gets under way with a cocktail hour at 6 pm and dinner to follow at 7.
Reservations for this special evening are being accepted until December 4 by Nikki at the USAC headquarters at email@example.com or by calling 317-247-5151 (Ext. 214). Tickets for the banquet are priced at $60 each.
Renowned broadcaster Pat Sullivan will serve as this year's emcee.
The Indiana Roof Ballroom is located at 140 W. Washington Street in downtown Indianapolis.
DARLAND DODGES TROUBLE TO WIN 73RD “TURKEY NIGHT GRAND PRIX”
Perris, California.…..Dave Darland added to his legacy and joined select company in Thursday night’s 73rd “Turkey Night Grand Prix” at Perris Auto Speedway. The Lincoln, Indiana veteran avoided a late-race mishap for leader Damion Gardner to win the 98-lap classic and join Mel Kenyon and Stan Fox as the only drivers to win the Thanksgiving race on both dirt and pavement.
Darland took the lead a lap after halfway but appeared to be headed for a runner-up finish until Gardner lost a left-rear wheel on lap 95. He maneuvered the final four circuits unchallenged and won by .823-seconds in the Keith Ford-owned King Racing Products – A&A Precision Machine #73 Ellis/Fontana.
“It was definitely a roller-coaster race. Gardner was definitely strong, and it looked like he had it won. We were lucky to get past him when he broke and it was the break we needed. It’s great to win this race on dirt after winning it before on pavement. I’ve had a great time running for Keith & Josh Ford and their crew chief Jimmy May, so I’m happy to get them their first Turkey Night win. This place has been pretty good to me,” Darland said.
Parker Price-Miller took the pole with a new track record of 16.889 seconds, and it was fellow race rookie Andrew Felker beating him off the front row to take the early lead. Felker led comfortably in the early going, as cars diced behind him. The first 26 laps went green, as Darren Hagen moved to the second spot ahead of Caleb Armstrong, Brad Sweet, and Darland.
The race fought through some cautions after that point, with torrid racing at the front while under green. The front five raced under a blanket, and Darland finally slid his way into the lead on lap 50. The next lap, Felker jumped the cushion and shredded his left-rear tire.
After that, the groove moved to the high side as Gardner threw a slide-job on Hagen for the second spot. Those two swapped spots as the race hit lap 75, after which yellows were no longer counted.
With 17 to go, Hagen stopped with issues and left the fight up front to Darland, Gardner, Sweet, Armstrong, and a hard-charging Zach Daum. On the restart, Gardner threw the big slider on Darland for the lead and it stuck, despite Darland trying a cross-over off turn-two. 2013 Honda National Dirt Midget champion Christopher Bell then joined the action with the top-five, but he stopped on lap 85 and retired from the event.
As the race went green for ten straight laps, Gardner was unrivaled at the front as Darland and Armstrong raced for second. Sweet and Gardner went at it for fourth at the same time. Coming to complete lap 95, Gardner lost his left-rear wheel in turn-four and stopped suddenly right in front of Darland and Armstrong, who narrowly missed him.
On the final restart, Darland got the jump as Sweet took advantage of Armstrong’s slow restart to vie for second. He held off Armstrong but had nothing for the lead, finishing second in the Esslinger Engineering – Factory Kahne #67z Breka/Esslinger.
2011 Turkey Night champ Armstrong finished a strong third in the C&A Motorsports – Winfield #7c Beast/Stanton Toyota. Daum ended up fourth in the Daum Crop Insurance – Weld Wheels #5D Eagle/Stanton Toyota, and 2013 Western Midget champ Ronnie Gardner rounded out the top-five in the Baldozier Racing – Schroeder Torsion Bars #68 Stewart/Esslinger.
“Don Basile Rookie of the Race” honors went to Tanner Thorson, who finished tenth.
USAC HONDA NATIONAL/WESTERN MIDGET CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: November 28, 2013 - Perris, California - Perris Auto Speedway - "73rd Turkey Night Grand Prix"
QUALIFICATIONS: 1. Parker Price-Miller, 9P, Ronk-16.889; 2. Andrew Felker, 11A, Felker-16.958; 3. Brad Sweet, 67z, Kahne-17.1014; 4. Taylor Ferns, 55, Ferns-17.037; 5. Caleb Armstrong, 7c, C&A-17.051; 6. Dave Darland, 73, Ford-17.119; 7. Chris Windom, 3, RFMS-17.140; 8. Darren Hagen, 56A, Hmiel-17.155; 9. Tracy Hines, 24, Parker-17.169; 10. Nick Drake, 55x, Cline-17.228; 11. Christopher Bell, 71, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-17.230; 12. Dalton Armstrong, 7A, C&A-17.245; 13. Ronnie Gardner, 68, Johnson-17.265; 14. Damion Gardner, 4, Klatt-17.304; 15. Bryan Clauson, 39, Tucker/BCI/Curb-Agajanian-17.306; 16. Nic Faas, 25, Rodela-17.324; 17. Zach Daum, 5D, Daum-17.357; 18. Tanner Thorson, 67, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-17.361; 19. Jarid Blondel, 98, Blondel-17.378; 20. Rico Abreu, 67K, Kunz/Curb-Agajanian-17.402; 21. Mike Spencer, 51s, Fly-17.424; 22. Shannon McQueen, 7, McQueen-17.441; 23. Scott Pierovich, 35, Pierovich-17.445; 24. Jake Swanson, 05, VanDyne/Swanson-17.447; 25. Danny Stratton, 56P, Hmiel-17.454; 26. Ricky Shelton, 15, Neverlift-17.470; 27. Tyler Thomas, 91T, Thomas-17.473; 28. R.J. Johnson, 51, Martin-17.476; 29. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 72, Ford-17.487; 30. Taylor Simas, 62, Bock-17.539; 31. Shane Golobic, 26, Bock-17.588; 32. Kevin Swindell, 71x, Ronk-17.627; 33. Brad Kuhn, 10, Cook-17.643; 34. Thomas Meseraull, 0, Lamott-17.659; 35. Kyle Edwards, 39K, Edwards-17.659; 36. Nick Chivello, 27, Chivello-17.670; 37. Trey Marcham, 37, McQueen-17.679; 38. Jac Haudenschild, 73x, Ford-17.749; 39. Cody Swanson, 71s, Swanson-17.755; 40. Chris Ennis, 86, Ennis-17.897; 41. Rick Hendrix, 12, Hendrix-18.116; 42. Joey Fabozzi, 84, Fabozzi-18.158; 43. Terry Nichols, 45, Neverlift-18.202; 44. Kyle Smith, 55K, Smith-18.320; 45. Terry Goodwin, 2G, Goodwin-18.440; 46. Randi Pankratz, 8, Pankratz-18.503; 47. Tony Everhart, 55T, Everhart-18.866; 48. Danny Ebberts, 2, Boyd-NT (time of 18.326 disallowed).
QUALIFYING RACE #1: (12 laps) 1. Daum, 2. Pierovich, 3. T. Thomas, 4. Stratton, 5. Spencer, 6. Clauson, 7. C. Swanson, 8. K. Thomas, 9. Marcham, 10. Golobic, 11. Edwards, 12. Goodwin, 13. Kuhn, 14. Blondel, 15. Hendrix, 16. Nichols, 17. Everhart.
QUALIFYING RACE #2: (12 laps) 1. Abreu, 2. McQueen, 3. Thorson, 4. Faas, 5. J. Swanson, 6. Swindell, 7. Haudenschild, 8. Meseraull, 9. Simas, 10. Johnson, 11. Chivello, 12. Ennis, 13. Fabozzi, 14. Ebberts, 15. Smith, 16. Pankratz, 17. Shelton.
FEATURE: (98 laps) 1. Dave Darland, 2. Brad Sweet, 3. Caleb Armstrong, 4. Zach Daum, 5. Ronnie Gardner, 6. Nic Faas, 7. Jake Swanson, 8. Rico Abreu, 9. Mike Spencer, 10. Tanner Thorson, 11. Tracy Hines, 12. Damion Gardner, 13. Brad Kuhn, 14. Tyler Thomas, 15. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 16. Nick Drake, 17. Danny Stratton, 18. Parker Price-Miller, 19. Dalton Armstrong, 20. Trey Marcham, 21. Christopher Bell, 22. Andrew Felker, 23. Taylor Ferns, 24. Darren Hagen, 25. Shannon McQueen, 26. Cody Swanson, 27. Kevin Swindell, 28. Jac Haudenschild, 29. Chris Windom, 30. Scott Pierovich, 31. Bryan Clauson, 32. Thomas Meseraull, 33. Randi Pankratz.
**Kuhn flipped during the first qualifier. Shelton flipped during the second qualifier. C.Swanson flipped on lap 78 of the feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-49, Felker, Laps 50-84 Darland, D, Laps 85-94 D.Gardner, Laps 95-98 Darland.
FINAL HONDA NATIONAL MIDGET DIRT POINTS: 1-Bell-1,101; 2-Clauson-984; 3-Hagen-921; 4-Hines-920; 5-Abreu-873; 6-Jerry Coons, Jr.-770; 7-Daum-758; 8-Felker-709; 9-Kuhn-667; 10-C.Armstrong-650.
FINAL HONDA WESTERN MIDGET POINTS: 1-R.Gardner-1,233, 2-J.Swanson-907, 3-David Prickett-733, 4-McQueen-608, 5-Pankratz-511, 6-C.Swanson-471, 7-Abreu-436, 8-Pierovich-413, 9-Marcham-413, 10-Clauson-395.
FINAL HONDA WESTERN MIDGET DIRT POINTS: 1-R.Gardner-1,233, 2-J.Swanson-907, 3-David Prickett-733, 4-Pierovich-706, 5-McQueen-608, 6-Pankratz-511, 7-C.Swanson-471, 8-Chivello-451, 9-Abreu-436, 10-Marcham-413
1. Bryan Clauson 1948
2. Dave Darland 1885
3. Brady Bacon 1770
4. Chase Stockon 1698
4. Kevin Thomas 1657
6. Tracy Hines 1541
7. Robtert Ballou 1451
8. Chris Windom 1220
9. Tyler Courtney 1029
10. Hunter Schuerenberg 1000
National Dirt Midgets
1. Christopher Bell 1088
2. Bryan Clauson 971
3. Darren Hagen 908
4. Tracy Hines 889
5. Rico Abreu 834
6. Jerry Coons Jr. 770
7. Zach Daum 707
8. Andrew Felker 691
9. Brad Kuhn 640
10. Tanner Thorson 614
1. Bobby East 387
2. Chris Windom 381
3. Tracy Hines 359
3. Jerry Coons Jr. 359
5. Kody Swanson 349
6. A.J. Fike 272
7. Brian Tyler 249
8. Taylor Ferns 213
9. Shane Hollingsworth 182
10. Shane Cockrum 165
1. Damion Gardner 1259
2. Nic Faas 1167
3. Mike Spencer 1159
4. Matt Mitchell 868
5. Bud Kaeding 811
6. Austin Williams 798
7. Cody Williams 770
8. Brody Roa 703
9. Ryan Bernal 557
10. R. J. Johnson 503