WINDOM IS SILVER CROWN CHAMP WITH 4-CROWN VICTORY AT ELDORA
Rich Forman Photo
Rossburg, Ohio.........Chris Windom left no doubt that he came to Eldora Speedway Saturday night in championship mode.
The Canton, Illinois driver arrived at Eldora's "4-Crown Nationals" with a ten-point deficit to two-time and defending USAC Silver Crown champion Kody Swanson.
By the time Windom pulled into victory lane after a dominating, soul-crushing performance on the half-mile dirt oval, he was the USAC Silver Crown division's newest champion.
Earlier in the night, it appeared that Windom's fortunes would not play in his favor after teammate Tyler Courtney knocked him off the pole with a great qualifying run late in the session, thus denying Windom the three bonus points that go along with being ProSource Fast Qualifier in the Silver Crown Series.
Despite that, Windom still had a seat on the outside of the front row for the series' season finale with Courtney on the inside of the front row. Swanson started fourth.
The objective for Swanson was clear: finish 3rd or better and the Silver Crown title was his. And that's where Swanson intended to get to as soon as possible.
At the drop of the green flag, a four-car scramble for the lead ensued with Jeff Swindell ducking underneath polesitter Courtney while Swanson split between the cars of Courtney and Windom as he shot into turn one. Windom utilized the high side and the momentum to zip to the point off turn two on the opening lap with Swanson occupying second.
By lap ten, Windom had already built up a half-lap advantage and had already begun to enter heavy lapped traffic. Windom continued to put the hurt on the field, but, unfortunately for him, there are no style points for the margin of lead a driver has. Though Swanson was on the opposite side of the track as Windom, as long as Swanson maintained that position in the top-three, he would retain the point lead.
However, on lap 15, disaster dashed Swanson's championship dream.
As Swanson ducked low into turn one, he came upon the lapped car of Dakota Jackson. The two made contact, causing both Swanson and Jackson to spin to a stop.
Swanson would return to the work area in the pits where the DePalma Motorsports crew assessed the extent of the damage. The front bumper was broken off and the steering was seriously hindered with the front wheels not angled in their intended direction.
Yet, Swanson and his crew refused to throw in the towel and sent him back out onto the racetrack where he would restart eighth on the lap 15 restart. But, as soon he entered turn one, Swanson promptly looped it on his own to bring out another yellow.
On the ensuing restart, Windom was gone, where he'd eventually build an insurmountable 16.9 second lead around the half-mile as he set a torrid pace in which he lapped all the way up to third-place!
Just as Windom was setting up to put a lap on his teammate Courtney, who was running third, with 14 laps to go, Davey Ray completed a 360 spin at the bottom of turn four to bring out the night's final caution.
Meanwhile, Swanson had amazingly carried his car to the end of the 50-lap race in which he had actually worked his way up to fifth in the final laps. If a couple of cars in front of him in the running order encountered trouble of some sort, causing them to drop out, Swanson would be right back in championship contention.
However, none of these scenarios would play out as Windom continued to absolutely hammer the field in his RPM-Fred Gormly/RPM Auto Enterprise/Maxim/Wallace on his way to his third Silver Crown victory of the season over Justin Grant, Tyler Courtney, Brady Bacon and Kody Swanson.
"I'm at a loss for words," a thrilled Windom said. "I knew it was going to be a big feat coming in. It was tough to see Kody (Swanson) go out with hardships ike that early in the race. We fought all year and we've earned every bit of this championship. From Rob Hart at the start of the year to bringing on Evan Avart, he's been spot on for me. This car drove itself around here. It was amazing! (The car) was perfect. It couldn't have been any better. I got to thank Fred and Gloria (Gormly). I'm so happy to get them a championship. We're going to celebrate now!"
With the points accumulated by a trio of victories at Pennsylvania's Williams Grove Speedway, the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds in Illinois and Eldora as well as a top-five finish in all nine series races this season, Windom defeated Swanson in the final Silver Crown standings by a mere five points, making it one of the closest point races in the history of the United States Auto Club.
It's the first time since 1992 that an Eldora Silver Crown season finale featured a points change at the top. Furthermore, Windom's victory marked the 12th time in the 46-year history of the series that the winner of the season finale race was also the season champion.
USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: September 24, 2016 - Rossburg, Ohio - Eldora Speedway - 35th "4-Crown Nationals"
FEATURE: (50 laps) 1. Chris Windom, 2. Justin Grant, 3. Tyler Courtney, 4. Brady Bacon, 5. Kody Swanson, 6. Jeff Swindell, 7. Dave Darland, 8. Jerry Coons Jr., 9. Shane Cottle, 10. Bill Rose, 11. Chris Fetter, 12. Steve Buckwalter, 13. Joe Liguori, 14. Dakota Jackson, 15. Austin Nemire, 16. David Byrne, 17. Davey Ray, 18. Mitch Wissmiller, 19. Billy Puterbaugh Jr., 20. Dave Berkheimer, 21. Aaron Pierce, 22. C.J. Leary. NT
**Tyler flipped during qualifying.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-50 Windom.
KSE RACING PRODUCTS/MARTENS MACHINE SHOP/LARRY RICE HIGH PERFORMANCE HARD CHARGER AWARD: Shane Cottle (21st to 9th)
FINAL USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Windom-588, 2-Swanson-583, 3-Grant-474, 4-Coons-465, 5-Byrne-400, 6-Cottle-381, 7-Shuman-376, 8-Nemire-342, 9-Liguori-318, 10-Bacon-268.
GRATEFUL GRANT GETS THE SPRINT WIN AT ELDORA'S "4-CROWN NATIONALS"
Rich Forman Photos
Rossburg, Ohio.........Eldora Speedway has provided the highest of highs and lowest of lows to Justin Grant over the last couple of seasons.
Just a little over four months after his most recent visit to Eldora Speedway, Grant, a 2015 Eldora USAC Sprint Car winner, found himself without a full-time sprint car ride.
Throughout the summer the Ione, California driver bounced around between a handful of different teams searching for consistent success, but since joining forces with the Sam McGhee Motorsports team in mid-August, the pair have jelled to become a force night-in, night-out.
Saturday night at Eldora, it all finally came together for the team and the driver as they both recorded their biggest wins to date in the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car portion of the 35th running of the "4-Crown Nationals."
On the opening lap, outside front row starter Matt Westfall held off a Thomas Meseraull slider in the first turn to secure the lead early on. Instantly, Grant followed Westfall on the outside to fall in line in the second spot.
Westfall, an Eldora USAC Sprint Car winner back in 2006, looked solid in the early going, leading the first third of the feature. But Grant was on a mission that saw him dive to the bottom of turn three on lap 11, sliding up in front of Westfall to claim the lead as Westfall began to fade.
Eighth starting Chris Windom began to ascend by the midway point of the 30-lapper as he reeled in Grant just before a lap 13 caution fell for the stopped car of Scotty Weir, who was caught up in a back straightaway kerfuffle that involved a few cars, with Weir being the unluckiest one of the bunch.
The yellow placed Windom on the tail of Grant for the lap 13 restart, providing a prime opportunity for Windom to challenge Grant.
Windom hurried to the bottom for a slide job on Grant, momentarily nosing ahead between turns one and two, but with little room to spare with Windom underneath him and the concrete wall to his outside, but Grant kept his foot on the gas to escape through the narrow alley left open to reclaim the lead.
Grant would extend his lead to a full second over Windom, and by the time he would reach lapped traffic with ten to go, Grant would gladly accept all the extra breathing room he could get.
The two continued to engage in a high-speed, high-wire act through the back of the field as they came upon the car of Jerry Coons, Jr. with five laps to go. Grant had to briefly step out of the throttle, allowing Windom to pull alongside the inside of Grant momentarily, but was unable to rip the lead away from Grant.
Windom remained within striking distance of Grant in the final circuits as Grant threaded the needle, going for the jugular as he squeezed his way between the lapped cars of Bret Mellenberndt and Jarett Andretti at the entrance of turn one.
Grant manufactured a little bit of space between himself and Windom that might've made all the difference. And Grant certainly knows all too well how quickly things can happen at Eldora for better or worse, having stolen a victory from C.J. Leary's grasp at Eldora during the 2015 "Mother of All Sprint Car Weekends."
On the final corner of the final lap, Windom was close, but not close enough for any last lap heroics on this night, as Grant hung on to win his fourth career USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car feature and the first ever for the Sam McGhee Motorsports Team over Windom, Brady Bacon, Dave Darland and Tyler Courtney.
"I don't know what it was like behind me, but it was exciting looking out of the front of the 17 car," the exuberant Grant said in victory lane. "The holes in one and two were a handful. It seemed like it was fastest just to run right through them. (Turns) three and four were real tricky. I had to be careful not to get into the fence down there. When you get in lapped traffic, you're just kind of on a hope and a prayer."
"I can't thank the McGhee family enough," Grant continued. "Sam McGhee does an amazing job with this racecar. He's 16 years old. He does all the work on this thing, sets it up and calls all the shots; he's incredible! This race has always been one of the big ones to me, if not the biggest one. I've won at Eldora before, but the "4-Crown" is a whole other level of special."
AMSOIL USAC SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: September 24, 2016 - Rossburg, Ohio - Eldora Speedway - 35th "4-Crown Nationals"
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Justin Grant, 2. Chris Windom, 3. Brady Bacon, 4. Dave Darland, 5. Tyler Courtney, 6. Dallas Hewitt, 7. Chase Stockon, 8. Matt Westfall, 9. Josh Hodges, 10. Nick Bilbee, 11. Brandon Whited, 12. Kevin Thomas Jr., 13. Bret Mellenberndt, 14. Jarett Andretti, 15. Isaac Chapple, 16. Thomas Meseraull, 17. Jerry Coons Jr., 18. Matt Goodnight, 19. Carson Short, 20. Aaron Farney, 21. Chad Boespflug, 22. Kody Swanson, 23. Scotty Weir, 24. Landon Simon, 25. C.J. Leary. NT
**Courtney flipped during the fourth heat. DiMattia flipped during the semi.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-10 Westfall, Laps 11-30 Grant.
NEW USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Bacon-2,214, 2-Stockon-1,979, 3-Robert Ballou-1,919, 4-Meseraull-1,910, 5-Darland-1,855, 6-Boespflug & Leary-1,774, 8-Windom-1,708, 9-Max McGhee-1,264, 10-Farney-1,209.
NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: October 1 - Lawrenceburg (IN) Speedway -"Fall Nationals"
RICO ROMPS IN ELDORA 4-CROWN MIDGET ROUT
Rich Forman Photos
Rossburg, Ohio.........Rico Abreu arrived at Eldora Speedway Saturday evening via an airplane ride alongside Tony Stewart after competing in the afternoon's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race in New Hampshire.
As soon as the St. Helena, California driver hit the western Ohio half-mile for the first time on Saturday, it almost seemed as if Abreu was still on-board a jet as he piloted his Keith Kunz/Curb-Agajanian Motorsports entry to a complete sweep of the night's USAC National Midget events, recording ProSource Fast Qualifying time, then following that up with a new 8-lap track record run on his way to a heat race victory before slashing his way to third from his sixth starting position by the end of the first lap of the feature.
Abreu rocketed around the outside of teammate Tanner Thorson in turn two on the second lap, and then quickly ran down leader Chad Boat by the time the two got to turn three.
Abreu instantly shot down to the bottom of turn three for a classic Eldora slide job right up in front of Boat to take the top spot as Boat countered underneath Abreu and drag raced to the line with Abreu beating Boat back to the stripe by a wheel.
Boat, who won both nights at the "Belleville Midget Nationals," one month ago, made one more attempt on Abreu into turn one on the third lap, but came up short as Abreu shot out of a cannon off the turn two cushion to instantly leave Boat in his afterthoughts.
By the tenth lap, Abreu had established a full-straightaway lead that continued to grow as he sliced, diced and pureed his way through the backmarkers while the lap counter on the scoreboard ticked away, but with just four laps remaining, Abreu's lead would be wiped away as Tyler Courtney slowed with a broken U-Joint.
On the lap 22 restart, it was no contest as Abreu pulled away without missing a beat, but the battle for second waged between Boat, Thorson and Brady Bacon became the race to watch as Thorson slid by Boat for second entering turn one. Bacon slipped past Boat as well for third and made a mad-dash toward Thorson for second in turn one a lap later that came up short.
Yet, in the distance was Abreu who finished off one of the most impressive drives in "4-Crown" midget history as he lapped up to sixth place on his way to his second career USAC Midget victory at Eldora (2013).
"Keith Kunz gives me phenomenal racecars every time I come and race with him. I'm very fortunate I get to race with him," Abreu praised. "It's special every time I get to stand up here (at Eldora). I've come close a lot this year and last year, but just never was able to get a win, but we've had solid finishes here."
Minden, Nevada's Tanner Thorson took second as he edged his way into the thick of a tightened USAC National Midget point race where he now sits just 30 points out of the lead behind Spencer Bayston who dropped out on the sixth lap of Saturday night's feature and finishing in the 22nd position.
Brady Bacon, of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, finished third in. With five races remaining, Bacon finds himself 27 points out of the lead in the series standings and just five behind Boat.
USAC NATIONAL MIDGET RACE RESULTS: September 24, 2016 - Rossburg, Ohio - Eldora Speedway - 35th "4-Crown Nationals"
FEATURE: (25 laps) 1. Rico Abreu, 2. Tanner Thorson, 3. Brady Bacon, 4. Chad Boat, 5. Holly Shelton, 6. Davey Ray, 7. Carson Macedo, 8. Ryan Robinson, 9. Jerry Coons Jr., 10. Dave Darland, 11. Andrew Felker, 12. Justin Grant, 13. Jake Neuman, 14. Isaac Chapple, 15. Jake Blackhurst, 16. Bear Wood, 17. Robert Bell, 18. Tyler Courtney, 19. Eric Hein, 20. Gary Gipson, 21. Ryan Greth, 22. Spencer Bayston, 23. Steve Buckwalter. NT
**DiMattia and Macedo flipped during qualifying.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Lap 1 Boat, Laps 2-25 Abreu.
NEW USAC NATIONAL MIDGET POINTS: 1-Bayyston-947, 2-Boat-925, 3-Bacon-920, 4-Thorson-917, 5-Macedo-805, 6-Bryan Clauson-720, 7-Robinson-693, 8-Shellton-640, 9-Tyler Thomas-589, 10-Greth-493.
NEXT USAC NATIONAL MIDGET RACES: October 6-7-8 - Granite City, IL - Tri-City Speedway - "Gold Crown Midget Nationals"
AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: September 24, 2016 – Perris, California – Perris Auto Speedway – “9th Annual Glenn Howard Classic”
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Austin Williams, 2. Richard Vander Weerd, 3. R.J. Johnson, 4. Brody Roa, 5. Damion Gardner, 6. Ronnie Gardner, 7. Jake Swanson, 8. Logan Wiliams, 9. Trey Marcham, 10. Tommy Malcolm, 11. Austin Liggett, 12. Danny Faria Jr., 13. Jace Vander Weerd, 14. Matt Mitchell, 15. Mike Spencer, 16. Chris Gansen, 17. Corey Ballard, 18. Verne Sweeney, 19. Anthony Lopiccolo, 20. Max Adams, 21. Matt Stewart, 22. Cody Williams. NT
**Ellertson flipped on lap 7 of the semi..
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-5 R.Vander Weerd, Laps 6-30 A.Williams.
NEW AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR POINTS: 1-D.Gardner-1,080, 2-R.Vander Weerd-976, 3-Swanson-958, 4-Roa-915, 5-A.Williams-883, 6-Spencer-758, 7-Adams-688, 8-J.Vander Weerd-602, 9-L.Williams-595, 10-Ellertson & C.Williams-552.
NEXT USAC AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR RACE: September 30 - Peoria, AZ - Canyon Speedway Park - 16th Annual Sands Chevrolet USAC "Hall of Fame Classic"
THE ROOTS OF ELDORA'S 4-CROWN NATIONALS DATE BACK TO AN IDEA AND A CAR RIDE
RICHIE MURRAY - USAC MEDIA
Eldora Speedway has been a stronghold of USAC racing for 55 of the series' 61 years, but in 1981, the half-mile high-banked oval crafted by Earl Baltes in western Ohio became the host of a new tradition that gave life to what instantly became one of USAC's most prestigious events, the "4-Crown Nationals."
Thirty-five years have now passed since that fall October day at Eldora in 1981. Playing to an audience that included a new, fledgling start-up cable television network named ESPN, the channel provided coverage that day with Bob Jenkins and Larry Nuber on the microphone.
That day, a young Steve Kinser provided the theatrics by winning a pair of features in a masterful display of driving. Playing the fill-in role for the injured Rich Vogler in a pair of Johnny Vance-owned Aristocrat Products cars, the 27-year-old Kinser first raced to victory in the USAC Sprint Car feature, then followed that up with a spectacular performance in the USAC Silver Crown feature.
Starting in the 18th spot in a car originally qualified by Joe Saldana, Kinser carved his way through the field from his position in the next to last row, taking the lead on lap 31 from eventual second-place finisher Larry Rice to score the 50-lap victory.
Ken Schrader won the very first feature held that day, a 20-lap USAC Midget race, while Joe Wallace grabbed the 40-lap USAC Stock Car event.
But the story of the "4-Crown Nationals" didn't simply start with the racing; it started with an idea. An idea that seemed obvious at first, but had never been put into place.
It was an idea, a brainchild of USAC Officer and Board of Director member Johnny Vance, who envisioned an event that would bring each of USAC's four national divisions together on one weekend for a single event.
In 1980, Vance brought the idea to Eldora owner Earl Baltes' attention, who liked the idea, but was hesitant to become involved initially.
"I went up to Earl and suggested it and he thought it was pretty good idea, so we decided to give it a shot and see how it would go," Vance recalled.
Vance refused to let the idea fade away into a memory; he put his words into action and, thus, leased the track for a weekend in mid-October 1981 for the event's debut.
With just a single month remaining before the event, there was still one big issue to be resolved. This big blockbuster event was still without a name!
"About a month before the inaugural race, Johnny (Vance) and I were riding down to Paragon Speedway for a USAC Sprint Car race," USAC Director of Communications Dick Jordan said. "Johnny hadn't come up with a name for the event yet and wanted to discuss some possibilities. We were kicking ideas around a little bit I came up with '4-crown.' I envisioned four guys standing on the victory lane stage with crowns on their heads. He liked it and that's what we decided to do."
Not only was the first "4-Crown" a rousing success, Vance's Sprint and Silver Crown cars were victorious as well. But it was the support from fans and teams that gave credence to continuing the event the next year in 1982.
"It went really well the first year," Vance said. "So we did it again the next year and each year thereafter, it just got a little bigger and better."
Vance would stay involved as the promoter of the event through 1982 before Baltes and Eldora Speedway assumed full control. It's a legacy that continues to this day, 35 years later.
"The '4-Crown' is a signature event for racefans in the Midwest," Jordan explained. "The significance of winning one of the crowns, let alone all four as Jack Hewitt did, gives drivers an ultimate career target, one which will solidify their legacy with race fans for all time."
The "4-Crown" has provided the stage for some of the greatest accomplishments in auto racing history, including Hewitt's 1998 sweep as well as Kyle Larson's trifecta in 2011 when he won all three of USAC's national races that day.
Down through the years, the "4-Crown" has had a variety of series occupy the fourth and final crown beginning with the defunct USAC Stock Car division from 1981-1983, USAC-sanctioned late models from 1985-1995 and then the UMP Modifieds from 1996-2007.
The "4-Crown" became all open wheel with the World of Outlaws joining in 2008 and now the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions join the fray for this Saturday night's 35th running.
Sixty-two different feature winners and a plethora of memorable moments later, the "4-Crown Nationals" have become a staple of the auto racing calendar over these past three and a half decades. The next edition promises to bring new memories with the continuation of a tradition that has long since become a fan favorite, which all started with a simple idea - an idea to bring four top-line classes of racecars to a world-class dirt track for a single weekend - something that racefans can be assured of witnessing this Saturday night.
Spectator gates for Saturday's "4-Crown Nationals" open at noon, while hot laps are set to begin at 4:30pm with qualifications and racing to immediately follow.
BACON AND COURTNEY READY FOR QUADRUPLE DUTY SATURDAY NIGHT AT ELDORA'S "4-CROWN NATIONALS"
BY: RICHIE MURRAY - USAC MEDIA
Two drivers have each thrown their hat into the ring and will put themselves to the mental and physical test involved with running all four legs of this Saturday's 35th running of the "4-Crown Nationals" at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma's Brady Bacon and Indianapolis, Indiana's Tyler Courtney have both secured rides in the USAC Silver Crown, USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car, USAC National Midget and Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions for Saturday's spectacular.
Bacon will be behind the wheel of four machines that he is quite familiar with: the Paul Martens No. 48 Silver Crown car, the Hoffman Auto Racing/Dynamics No. 69 AMSOIL Sprint Car, the FMR Racing No. 76m Midget and his own No. 99 Wing Sprint Car in the All Star portion of the program.
In addition to his duties piloting the four machines on Saturday, Bacon is involved in two different USAC National points races. He has a commanding 219-point lead in the AMSOIL National Sprint Car standings and also sits third in National Midget points, just 66 markers out of the lead.
Courtney, on the other hand, has dabbled in several different series this season with the TOPP Motorsports No. 23c sprint car that he will wheel in both the USAC Sprint and All Star divisions. But this Saturday night, he will make his return to the Silver Crown and National Midget series with his debut in the RPM/Fred Gormly No. 99 champ car and the Kenny Irwin, Sr. No. 7K - a car in which made a handful of starts in during the 2015 season.
Bacon, who owns a victory in the USAC Sprint Car feature at the "4-Crown" in 2014, has run three classes in one night during the two previous years of the "4-Crown," but 2016 will mark the first time he will do quadruple duty in one night, which he notes is actually more mentally taxing than it is physical.
"Mental fatigue and trying to think about all of the different cars and circumstances you are in is the most tiring part," Bacon said. "Physical fatigue isn't as big of an issue at Eldora as the mental aspect."
Courtney, who will attempt "the quadruple" for the first time on Saturday, anticipates that he won't have a problem with fatigue because, after all, it's Eldora Speedway.
"I've never done all four classes before, so I'm not sure if the fatigue is going to play a factor," Courtney wondered. "If I had to guess, though, your adrenaline is going to be pumping all night. It's Eldora! If that place doesn't pump your adrenaline, then I don't know what will."
All four cars running Saturday night are similar, yet have their own unique characteristics. Courtney notes that the advice he's received from friend and current NASCAR star Kyle Larson tells him that more track time you get, the more it helps you throughout the night.
"From talking to Kyle Larson a few times, he says the more cars you run there, it doesn't necessarily get easier throughout the night, but it does help you the more laps you run just figuring out the track and how to get around it."
Bacon, on the other hand, says that things begin to slow down for you after stepping foot in a sprint car at "The Big E."
"Running the wing and non-wing sprint car helps a lot with the other classes and slows things down for you because the sprint cars are so much faster at Eldora than the other divisions," Bacon explained.
Bacon, the 2014 USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National champion, relishes the opportunity to be in such good equipment night-in, night-out that has propelled him to become the only driver to occupy a spot in the top-12 in all three USAC National standings.
"I am extremely excited about having great car owners and equipment to have a legitimate shot at every division," Bacon beamed. "I think the hardest part is having cars capable of winning in every class. It would be a huge accomplishment to put my name on the same list as Jack Hewitt winning all four or even Kyle Larson by winning three."
Courtney has been an outlaw racer this year behind the wheel of a sprint car, running non-wing and wing races whenever and wherever he can without a single thought of points racing running through his mind.
"I think it does give me a slight advantage racing a little bit of everything this year," Courtney believes. "Seat time in anything is always beneficial; I think the best example of that was Bryan Clauson. Bryan was always one of the best, but this year, he got to race over 100 times and really got to fine tune his craft and it truly showed. He kicked our butts even worse than before! I believe racing a little bit of everything this year has helped me get prepared for this weekend and I think myself and the teams I'm running for are ready to go."
Courtney explains that you can't tiptoe around Eldora and be fast. Who's willing to put their right rear right up against the wall and stand on the gas will determine if you're going to be running at the front or the back when the checkered flag falls on the night.
"Throughout the night, the biggest difference you notice is just the speed difference between all the cars," Courtney noted. "At the end of the day, it's Eldora and, if you aren't up on the fence in every car that you're in, you're not going to be fast! You're basically doing the same thing in every car, just at different speeds."
With the return of "4-Crowns" to a single night for the first time since 2007, along comes a bonus that carries a large sum of money if Bacon or Courtney are able to persevere and match Jack Hewitt's four wins or Kyle Larson's three victories.
Scoring four wins in each of the four features Saturday night will net a driver a $100,000 bonus. A driver who grabs three out of four checkered flags will still receive a nice $25,000 bonus to go along with their winnings.
Believe it or not, in 15 of the 34 editions of the "4-Crown," one driver has won multiple features. Only two drivers have won multiple features in a single night more than once. Dave Darland did it in 1999 and 2004 while the incomparable Jack Hewitt accomplished the feat on four occasions (1991, 1996, 1997 and the unforgettable night in 1998 when he became the first and only driver to sweep all four divisions.)
Kyle Larson was the last to sweep all three USAC divisions in one night during his first ever visit to the Eldora high banks back in 2011.
Other drivers to have won at least two of the four crowns in a single night include Steve Kinser (1981), Larry Rice (1985), Rich Vogler (1986), Tony Stewart (1995), J.J. Yeley (2001), Dave Darland (2004), Tracy Hines (2006), Chris Windom (2013) and Christopher Bell (2015).
Spectator gates for Saturday's "4-Crown Nationals" open at noon, while hot laps are set to begin at 4:30pm with qualifications and racing to immediately follow.
SWANSON AND WINDOM PREPARE TO DUEL FOR SILVER CROWN TITLE SATURDAY AT ELDORA
In the 46-year history of the USAC Silver Crown Championship, only six times has the race for the series title been separated by ten points or less heading into the final event of the season.
That scenario is the story that headlines this Saturday night's 35th running of the "4-Crown Nationals" at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.
On the strength of a season-high three wins this season, Kingsburg, California's Swanson leads Canton, Illinois driver Chris Windom in the Silver Crown Championship standings heading into the final race. Yet, Windom sits only ten points behind Swanson by virtue of no finishes outside of the top-five in 2016.
Swanson is on the verge of becoming the Silver Crown series' first driver to win three consecutive championships. In 2014, the points race went right down to the wire at the final race in Syracuse, New York, with Swanson holding on to take his first title.
One year later in 2015, it was a completely different story as Swanson had already clinched the title before his DePalma Motorsports team had even rolled the No. 63 out of the hauler at the last race.
This time around, it's another tight title battle for Swanson who's seen the points race play in his favor from multiple angles based on his past experience.
"Our first championship in 2014 was very nerve-wracking because of how close it was," Swanson admitted. "Since it worked out, it was a great feeling to have won it and to finally have that relief. On the other hand, 2015 was fun going into (the final race at) Syracuse because we finally got a chance to race without having to consider any championship effects; we just got to race to win."
"It is definitely a tough race mentally," Swanson continued. "Knowing that the points are so close, and that it's the finale, it means there are no more second chances. Throughout the race, you never feel safe, no matter where you're running, you hear every noise, feel every vibration and you're just nervous about the finish until it's finally over."
Conversely, Windom is seeking his first USAC National Championship and feels that being the "chaser" at the finale gives him a "nothing to lose" mentality.
"In this position, I'm the one chasing and Kody is being chased," Windom explained. "So, I think you just have to go for it and race to win like you would any other night. There may always come a time, especially late in the race, where you may take a risk or a chance you normally wouldn't if it means a championship."
Bobby Olivero (1979), Dave Darland (1995 & 2000), Bud Kaeding (2010) and Bobby East (2012 & 2013) are among the drivers who've entered the season finale hanging by a thread with a less than ten-point lead. Three of those drivers were able to retain their lead and hang on for the title; three did not (Darland twice and Kaeding).
The odds are not impossible for Windom to overcome the ten-point deficit Saturday night. There's been nine occasions when the point lead changed hand in the final event, but none since 2010 when Levi Jones overtook Kaeding in the finale at Toledo Speedway by a single position!
Others include Al Unser over both Mario Andretti and Tom Bigelow in 1973, Billy Cassella over Johnny Parsons in 1976, Mike Bliss over Ron Shuman in 1993, Tony Stewart over both Darland and Jack Hewitt in 1995, Jimmy Sills over Kenny Irwin, Jr. in 1996, Jason Leffler over Brian Tyler in 1998 and Tracy Hines over Darland in 2000.
The last season finale held at Eldora that involved a lead change at the top of the standings came back in 1992 when Steve Butler erased an 18-point deficit behind Jeff Swindell to take the championship.
"It would be a major accomplishment for me," Windom said. "I've been so close in both the Sprint Car and Silver Crown series. I also know how much it would mean to my team owners Fred and Gloria (Gormly). I've been working hard toward this the last few years and I believe we have a great combination with Evan (Avart) and the RPM Motorsports team to come in and steal this championship."
Saturday's fifty-lap race on the half-mile differs from all others on the schedule based on its distance - 25 miles. The majority of Silver Crown races are determined by who best manages the balance between conservation and aggression. The shorter race eliminates those elements, which makes it a different ballgame for the competitors.
"I feel like it is more like a sprint car race," Swanson said. "The physical length of the race being shorter changes things. You don't have to worry about saving equipment as much, but you don't have time to let passes go and just plan on getting them back later. Since we don't run a full load of fuel, the car handling doesn't change as much either, so you lose that element too."
"Eldora does seem to go by quicker than any other Crown race," Windom acknowledged. "Typically, tire wear isn't an issue, so it allows you to go all out more like a sprint car race. I personally enjoy being able to attack a Crown car for the full 50 laps."
Swanson and Windom will have to compete against a hungry field of drivers who make up Saturday's 26-car Silver Crown entry list for Eldora.
Spectator Gates open at noon, while hot laps are set to begin at 4:30pm with qualifications and racing to immediately follow.
Saturday night's card at Eldora also features the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship, the USAC Midget National Championship and the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions.
USAC/CRA SPRINT CARS RETURN TO PERRIS FOR “GLENN HOWARD CLASSIC”
By Lance Jennings
SEPTEMBER 20, 2016... This Saturday, September 24th, the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Cars will return to action at Perris Auto Speedway. Promoted by Don Kazarian, “9th Annual Glenn Howard Classic" will also showcase the PAS Senior Sprints and the PAS Young Gun Sprints. The spectator gates will open at 5:00pm and racing at "America's Premier Dirt Track" will start at 7:00pm. For more event information, visit the track’s website at www.perrisautospeedway.com or call 951.940.0134.
NOTICE TO USAC/CRA COMPETITORS: The Hoosier 105/16 Medium is the ONLY legal right rear tire and all four corners must be Hoosier tires. The Hoosier 105/16 Medium is also the current legal tire with the USAC West Coast, USAC SouthWest, and VRA Sprint Cars. Cars must pass a tech inspection and one-way radios are mandatory for drivers. USAC/CRA charges a $25 entry fee to all competitors and the series rule book can be found online at www.usacracing.com.
Saturday's event honors Glenn Howard who is considered by many in the industry as a "racer's racer." Throughout his involvement in racing, Glenn had served as a crew member, driver, car owner, sponsor, official, and business man. Howard's So-Cal Performance was recognized as a major parts supplier to racers across the globe for many years. In 1993, Glenn became the first president of the Sprint Car Racing Association (SCRA) and helped to build the foundation of the nationally respected club. After his term was over, Howard remained active in motorsports until his passing in September 2007. Kazarian, Perris Auto Speedway, and the Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series are proud to honor Glenn's memory with the annual event and the winner’s list is at the end of the release.
Since March 6, 2004, the Lake Perris Fairgrounds has held 188 USAC/CRA Sprint Car events. “The Demon” Damion Gardner leads all drivers with 37 victories and Nic Faas set the 1-lap qualifying record of 15.833 on February 25, 2012. To date, there have been seven previous “home track” shows and seven different drivers have taken the checkered flags. Indiana’s Bryan Clauson, New Mexico’s Josh Hodges, and California’s Austin Williams, Richard Vander Weerd, “Showtime” Danny Sheridan, Matt Mitchell, and “The Demon” Damion Gardner have stood atop the podium. A complete series win list at Perris Auto Speedway is at the end of this release.
After earning his second “California Sprint Week” crown, “The Demon” Damion Gardner (Concord, California) leads the standings with a 106-point advantage. Racing Mark Alexander’s #4 Scott Sales Company / Weld Racing Spike, Gardner enters the sixteenth point race with three feature wins, one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, nine heat race victories, one Brown & Miller Racing Solutions Semi-Main win, twelve top-10 finishes, and 86 feature laps led. “The Demon” leads all USAC/CRA drivers with 68 victories and will be looking for his third consecutive Howard Classic win.
Richard Vander Weerd (Visalia, California) ranks second in the USAC/CRA point chase. Driving the family owned #10 Vander Weerd Construction / Stone Gate Development Maxim, Richard has one feature win, one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, three heat race victories, eleven top-10 finishes, and 56 feature laps led on the year. The 2011 USAC West Coast Champion has six career USAC/CRA wins and will have his sights on the “Glenn Howard Classic” victory.
Jake Swanson (Anaheim, California) sits third in the chase for the championship. Piloting Tom and Laurie Sertich’s #92 Huntington Beach Glass & Mirror / Clackamas Rigging and Transfer XXX, Swanson has three Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Awards, one heat race victory, two Brown & Miller Racing Solutions Semi-Main wins, and eleven top-10 finishes on the season. The 2012 Rookie of the Year will be looking to score his first career USAC/CRA win at Perris Auto Speedway.
Brody Roa (Garden Grove, California) is fourth in the USAC/CRA championship points. Racing the BR Performance #91R HD Industries / Lee & Norma Leonard Maxim, Roa has one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, four heat race victories, nine top-10 finishes, and 36 feature laps led in the campaign. The USAC West Coast Series Champion has one career USAC/CRA triumph and will have his sights on adding the “Glenn Howard Classic” to his resume.
“The Big Game Hunter” Austin Williams (Yorba Linda, California) ranks fifth in the point standings. Driving Jack Jory’s #2 John Jory Corporation / AMA Plastics Spike, Williams has posted one feature win, one Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award, one heat race victory, one Brown & Miller Racing Solutions Semi-Main win, two BR Motorsports / King Racing Products Hard Charger Awards, ten top-10 finishes, and 30 feature laps led in the campaign. The 2009 Rookie of the Year has 4 career USAC/CRA victories and will be looking add his name to the winner’s list of the “Howard Classic.”
Currently ranked seventh in points, Max Adams (Loomis, California) leads the chase for Rookie of the Year honors. Andrew Sweeney (Lomita, California), Trent Williams (Victorville, California), and Mikey Lovas (Wildomar, California) are also in contention.
Among the other drivers expected to be in action are Mike Spencer, Jace Vander Weerd, “The Bear” Jeremy Ellertson, Logan Williams, “The Cadillac” Cody Williams, Chris Gansen, Stevie Sussex, A.J. Bender, Verne Sweeney, “Thunder” Tommy Malcolm, Anthony Lopiccolo, and more.
Perris Auto Speedway is located on the Lake Perris Fairgrounds at 18700 Lake Perris Drive in Perris, California. Adult tickets are $25, Senior tickets (65 and over) are $20, Active Military (with ID), Students (13-18 with School ID), and Kids tickets (6-12) are $5. Children’s tickets (5 and under) are FREE. Advance tickets are available and for more information, visit the track’s website at www.perrisautospeedway.com or call 951.940.0134.
The Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series thanks Hoosier Tire, All Coast Construction, BR Motorsports, Brown and Miller Racing Solutions, Circle Track Performance, Competition Suspension Incorporated, DJ Safety, Diversified Machine Incorporated, Extreme Mufflers, Keizer Aluminum Wheels, King Racing Products, Rod End Supply, Stand 21 Racer Goes Safer Foundation, surfnsprint.com, Ultra Shield Race Products, and Woodland Auto Display for their support. If you or your company would like to become part of the series, email PR Director Lance Jennings at email@example.com.
For more information on USAC/CRA, visit the United States Auto Club (USAC) website at www.usacracing.com. You can also find exclusive content on the USAC/CRA Facebook and Twitter pages.
Loudpedal Productions has USAC/CRA DVDs and videos on demand available for purchase at www.loudpedal.tv and 805.407.7229.
AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR CHAMPIONS:
2004-Rip Williams, 2005-Damion Gardner, 2006-Cory Kruseman, 2007-Tony Jones, 2008-Mike Spencer, 2009-Mike Spencer, 2010-Mike Spencer, 2011-Mike Spencer, 2012-Mike Spencer, 2013-Damion Gardner, 2014-Damion Gardner, 2015-Damion Gardner.
GLENN HOWARD CLASSIC/MEMORIAL WINNERS:
2008-Tony Jones, 2009-Bryan Clauson, 2010-Cory Kruseman, 2011-Nic Faas, 2012-Mike Spencer, 2013-Nic Faas, 2014-Damion Gardner, 2015-Damion Gardner.
PERRIS AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR WINS:
38-Damion Gardner, 24-Mike Spencer, 19-Tony Jones, 17-Cory Kruseman, 9-Nic Faas, 8-David Cardey, 7-Rip Williams, 6-Bryan Clauson, 6-Mike Kirby, 6-Matt Mitchell, 6-Danny Sheridan, 5-Rickie Gaunt, 5-Richard Vander Weerd, 4-Robert Ballou, 3-Dave Darland, 3-Garrett Hansen, 2-Darren Hagen, 2-Jesse Hockett, 2-Levi Jones, 2-Blake Miller, 2-Chris Windom, 1-Greg Bragg, 1-Daron Clayton, 1-Charles Davis Jr., 1-Josh Ford, 1-Josh Hodges, 1-R.J. Johnson, 1-Bud Kaeding, 1-Adam Mitchell, 1-Johnny Rodriguez, 1-Scotty Weir, 1-Austin Williams, 1-Jason York.
2016 AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR WINS:
3-Damion Gardner, 2-Ryan Bernal, 2-Thomas Meseraull, 1-Brady Bacon, 1-Bryan Clauson, 1-Josh Hodges, 1-Matt Mitchell, 1-Troy Rutherford, 1-Danny Sheridan, 1-Richard Vander Weerd, 1-Austin Williams.
AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR POINT STANDINGS:
1. Damion Gardner-1008, 2. Richard Vander Weerd-902, 3. Jake Swanson-893, 4. Brody Roa-847, 5. Austin Williams-806, 6. Mike Spencer-721, 7. Max Adams-659, 8. Jace Vander Weerd-560, 9. Jeremy Ellertson-542, 10. Logan Williams-541, 11. Cody Williams-526, 12. Chris Gansen-485, 13. Stevie Sussex-412, 14. Thomas Meseraull-383, 15. Geoff Ensign-342, 16. Chad Boespflug-325, 17. A.J. Bender-315, 18. Verne Sweeney-311, 19. Kevin Thomas Jr.-304, 20. Tommy Malcolm-294.
2016 AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SCHEDULE
September 24: Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (Glenn Howard Classic)
September 30: Canyon Speedway - Peoria, AZ (Hall of Fame Classic)
October 1: Canyon Speedway - Peoria, AZ (Hall of Fame Classic)
October 15: Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA
November 4: *Arizona Speedway - Queen Creek, AZ (Western World Championships)
November 5: *Arizona Speedway - Queen Creek, AZ (Western World Championships)
November 10: *Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (Budweiser Oval Nationals presented by All Coast Construction / $5,000-to-win)
November 11: *Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (Budweiser Oval Nationals presented by All Coast Construction / $5,000-to-win)
November 12: *Perris Auto Speedway - Perris, CA (Budweiser Oval Nationals presented by All Coast Construction / $25,000-to-win)
USAC SOUTHWEST SPRINT CAR RACE RESULTS: September 17, 2016 - Queen Creek, Arizona - Arizona Speedway - "Arizona College Night"
FEATURE: (25 laps - Shortened from 30 due to curfew) 1. Stevie Sussex, 2. Josh Pelkey, 3. R.J. Johnson, 4. Charles Davis Jr., 5. Matt Rossi, 6. Tye Mihocko, 7. Chris Bonneau, 8. Tom Ogle, 9. Dennis Gile, 10. Kyle Shipley, 11. Michael Curtis, 12. Landon Cling, 13. Brian Hosford, 14. Mike Martin, 15. Shon Deskins, 16. Cody Batten, 17. Matt Lundy, 18. Joe Schoepner, 19. Tanner Grau, 20. Bruce St. James, 21. Lealand Fuller, 22. Andy Reinbold. NT
**Madrid flipped during the fourth heat. Reinbold flipped during the feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-19 Pelkey, Laps 20-25 Sussex.
HARD CHARGER: Dennis Gile (17th to 9th)
NEW USAC SOUTHWEST SPRINT CAR POINTS: 1-Johon-1,135, 2-Davis-1,022, 3-Rossi-928, 4-Martin-881, 5-Mihocko-769, 6-Gile=722, 7-Sussex-718, 8-Nick Aiuto-639, 9-Bonneau-609, 10-Hosford-587.
NEXT USAC SOUTHWEST SPRINT RACE: October 15 - Queen Creek, AZ - Arizona Speedway
CUMMINS FINALLY BREAKS THROUGH FOR FIRST HAUBSTADT USAC WIN
Haubstadt, Indiana.........It took Kyle Cummins a decade to kick open the door that separated him from his first career USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car win back in July at Kokomo Speedway's "Indiana Sprint Week" round.
It would only take another two months for the Princeton, Indiana native to break through for that elusive first USAC victory at his home track - Tri-State Speedway.
Just one year after he saw his bid for a first USAC victory at Tri-State slip through his fingers after being caught up in an accident with a stopped car just five laps from the end, Cummins refused to let this one get away after taking the lead near the halfway point.
Cummins was then able to gracefully navigate his way through traffic without incident and withstood a late caution that bunched up the field to take the victory in Saturday night's "Haubstadt Hustler" co-sanctioned by MSCS.
"We had the car a little looser than we planned on," Cummins said. "I knew I couldn't get Tyler (Courtney) off the middle to bottom. I ran with him up top and adjusted on the shocks and tried the bottom again. I could hang with him, but I couldn't pass him. I just started hammering the top and, when he made a mistake, we were there to pounce."
"The track was tricky," Cummins added. "The cushion was built up probably a foot tall, so I backed the corner up a lot and tried to just catch it on the exit. As soon as it hit on exit, the car would launch and I knew there was no way somebody was going to get around us. I just kept trying to hit my marks and get through the lapped cars. I got into a rhythm for a little bit and just tried to keep clicking them off. I've had a yellow with one to go on both races I've won, so that makes it nerve-racking, but tonight was great and we took home a little bit of money. I can't complain."
Cummins would start fifth in the 23-car starting field for the series' second 40-lap feature of the season while Carson Short, Tri-State's "Indiana Sprint Week" winner two months prior, began the race from the pole position and shot out to the early lead.
It was smooth sailing for Short early on as he looked to replicate his most recent USAC visit to the southwestern Indiana quarter mile paperclip after cruising to a healthy ten-car-length lead in the opening laps over Tyler Courtney in the second spot.
But on the eighth lap, Short's dream of a repeat performance came to a rest upside down in the second turn after he bicycled on the high side of the racetrack, making slight wall contact with his right rear tire that tipped him over. Incredibly, Short restarted from the tail and worked his way back to a strong seventh place finish at the checkered!
Courtney inherited the lead at that point, but he had a hungry Cummins right on his tail tank for the lap eight restart. Cummins went low while Courtney utilized the top side to pull away a bit from Cummins initially, but a bobble on the cushion in turns three and four by Courtney allowed Cummins to close, initiating an intense side-by-side duel between the two that lasted lap-after-lap.
Each time Cummins was able to edge ahead underneath Courtney exiting turns two and four, Courtney was able to successfully use the downhill momentum off the banking to beat Cummins to the stripe by a half-car length on laps 9-11.
By lap 20, Courtney was able to extend his lead to six-car-lengths over Cummins, but he would suffer nearly the same fate as did early race leader Short, banging his right rear Hoosier off the turn one cushion, biking the car off of its left side wheels before all four pieces of rubber came back to Earth.
As Courtney scrambled to regain control of his machine, that's when Cummins saw the light peeking through the cracked-open door as he darted to the bottom of Courtney to sprint into the lead off of the second turn.
One lap later, at the halfway point, ProSource Fast Qualifier Tyler Hewitt escaped injury after getting upside down in turn two. The damage was minimal to Hewitt's car, allowing him to restart from the tail of the field.
Closing in on ten laps to go, Cummins found himself with a fairly comfortable lead up front, but that certainly didn't present an opportunity to relax as lapped traffic beckoned.
Opposed to last year's "Haubstadt Hustler," luck would play into Cummins' hands this time around as misfortune found Brady Short, whose night went up in a plume of smoke in the second turn on lap 31.
The caution gave Cummins a clear field of vision void of obstacles, leaving just him vs. the racetrack to settle their longstanding score. Additional assistance was found with the lapped car of Dakota Jackson serving as a buffer between Cummins and second-running Courtney on the restart with ten laps to go, thus allowing Cummins to make a clean getaway out of the gate as soon as Tom Hansing's green flag flew.
In the late stages, a new player emerged near the front of the pack in Sikeston, Missouri's Daron Clayton, who was making his first start since the 2015 "Haubstadt Hustler." Clayton, a five-time USAC Sprint winner at Tri-State, had steadily moved his way to third with five laps to go, climbing his way forward from the 17th starting spot in his patented thrilling style.
Yet, Clayton's ride to the front ended nearly as soon as he entered the top-three, getting way out of shape in turn two with three laps to go, thus allowing Shane Cottle to capitalize and rip the third spot away to reclaim the final spot on the podium.
As Cummins eyed a surefire victory on the final lap, fourth-running Clayton encountered trouble, sliding sideways through the second turn once again, but this time coming to a stop to bring out the yellow.
Cummins would have to survive one last round before this fight was over, having to withstand a green-white-checkered race to the finish.
Cummins dug down deep on the lap 39 restart, hammering the throttle to pull away from Courtney at the drop of the green. As Cummins cruised away to his second career USAC victory, the battle was on for second as Courtney and Cottle waged war for the final pair of laps.
As the two came out of turn four locked wheel-to-wheel for the checkered, Courtney was able to muster up enough power on the outside to beat Cottle to the line by less than a tenth of a second to grab the runner-up spot over Cottle with Kevin Thomas, Jr. and Chase Stockon rounding out the top-five.
It was yet another solid result for second-place finisher Tyler Courtney of Indianapolis, Indiana, who drove to his seventh top-five and 13th top-ten finish in 14 USAC Sprint starts during the 2016 season.
"This is my fourth year coming here and this is the most frustrating place I've ever ran," Courtney lamented. "It's almost more of a relief to have a good run here. We usually have fast cars, but it's taken me a while to figure it out as a driver. To nail it both on the setup and as a driver tonight is really rewarding. It gives me confidence that when we come back here next year, we're going to be in the hunt. I've never even finished a race on the lead lap here, so running second to Kyle Cummins - one of the best ever down here - is nothing to hang our heads about."
Shane Cottle came within mere feet of taking second away from Courtney on the final lap, but settled for a fine third-place run. It was the Kokomo, Indiana driver's best run in the series since scoring a third at Putnamville, Indiana's Lincoln Park Speedway in July of 2014.
"I was too tight to run the top, so we committed to the bottom," Cottle explained. "Then, it got technical down there too as the moisture kept creeping down towards the tires. It feels great to have a good run. We've had a handful of issues this year with motors and other things breaking; we've just been having all-around bad luck. To run strong tonight is a great morale booster as we get ready to head to Eldora next weekend."
USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: September 17, 2016 - Haubstadt, Indiana - Tri-State Speedway - "Haubstadt Hustler" (Co-Sanctioned by MSCS)
FEATURE: (40 laps) 1. Kyle Cummins, 2. Tyler Courtney, 3. Shane Cottle, 4. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 5. Chase Stockon, 6. Chris Windom, 7. Carson Short, 8. Justin Grant, 9. Brady Bacon, 10. Jon Stanbrough, 11. C.J. Leary, 12. Dave Darland, 13. Brian Karraker, 14. Tyler Hewitt, 15. Brandon Mattox, 16. Tyler Thomas, 17. Daron Clayton, 18. Dakota Jackson, 19. Brady Short, 20. Chad Boespflug, 21. Thomas Meseraull, 22. Donny Brackett, 23. Aaron Farney. NT
**Mellenberndt flipped during the fifth heat. C. Short flipped on lap 8 of the feature. Hewitt flipped on lap 21 of the feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-7 C. Short, Laps 8-19 Courtney, Laps 20-40 Cummins.
KSE RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Jon Stanbrough (22nd to 10th)
NEW USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: 1-Bacon-2138, 2-Robert Ballou-1919, 3-Stockon-1917, 4-Meseraull-1874, 5-Darland-1787, 6-Boespflug-1748, 7-Leary-1743, 8-Windom-1635, 9-Max McGhee-1264, 10-Farney-1178.
NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: September 24 - Rossburg, Ohio - Eldora Speedway - 35th "4-Crown Nationals"
USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET SERIES RACE RESULTS:September 17, 2016 - Santa Maria, California - Santa Maria Raceway
LIGHT UP THE WORLD BEVERAGES FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Cody Swanson, 2. Ronnie Gardner, 3. Cory Elliott, 4. Frankie Guerrini, 5. Shannon McQueen, 6. Michael Faccinto, 7. Tyler Dolacki, 8. Courtney Crone, 9. Maria Cofer, 10. Randi Pankratz, 11. Dylan Ito, 12. Robert Dalby. NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-.24 Elliott, Laps 25-30 Swanson.
NEW USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET POINTS: 1-Gardner-763, 2-Faccinto-681, 3-Guerrini-589, 4-Elliott-578, 5-Crone-493, 6-Pankratz-433, 7-Swanson-431, 8-Dalby-427, 9-Cofer-418, 10-Dolacki-335.
NEXT USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET RACES: October 8 - Tulare, CA - Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Speedway - "KRC Safety Fall Shootout"
USAC'S JIM HURTUBISE CLASSIC POSTPONED TO OCTOBER 15
Friday night's "Jim Hurtubise Classic" at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track featuring the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship has been postponed to Saturday night, October 15 due to heavy afternoon rains which put a damper on racing at the ½-mile dirt oval.
A first batch of rain came through the Vigo County area around 12:30pm, but it was the rainfall arriving about an hour later that forced the postponement.
USAC and Track Enterprises officials have come together on a plan to reschedule the "Jim Hurtubise Classic" for Saturday night, October 15 at the Action Track in which the pit gates will open at 3:00pm and grandstands at 4:00. Hot laps will be on track at 6:00 with ProSource Qualifying at 6:30 and racing beginning at 7:00.
DARON CLAYTON RETURNS THIS SATURDAY FOR HAUBSTADT HUSTLER
Fan favorite Daron Clayton makes his triumphant return to the seat of a USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car this Saturday night, September 17 at Tri-State Speedway's "Haubstadt Hustler" (co-sanctioned by MSCS) in southwestern Indiana.
The Sikeston, Missouri native has earned the "Modern Day Cowboy" moniker for his thrilling drives throughout the last decade on dirt tracks across the USA, routinely wowing fans with his performances, especially at the track that he is most associated with - Tri-State Speedway - where he's scored five of his 11 career USAC wins as well as several victories with MSCS.
Though most well-known for his exploits in his own yellow no. 92, Clayton will join the Jeff Walker/Curb-Agajanian Racing team this Saturday as a teammate to the USAC National Sprint division's winningest driver, Dave Darland.
However, Walker and Clayton are no strangers to success when working together. Clayton picked up the win at Tri-State driving Walker's no. 11D back in 2007.
Clayton, the only two-time "Haubstadt Hustler" winner (2012 & 2014), has curtailed his participation in recent years, last making a USAC appearance in the 2015 "Haubstadt Hustler" in which he started on the front row, but, unfortunately, had to pull off to the sidelines with handling issues early in the 40-lapper. But Clayton is thrilled to be back in the saddle once again this Saturday at the Haubstadt, Indiana quarter-mile.
"I have had so many things going on this past year," Clayton explained. "We moved to Missouri for a year and now we've come back, fixing up our house we bought in Brownsburg. I'm just making sure my primary obligations are taken care of first and now I have reached a point in which I can focus on other things that make myself happy without feeling like I'm being selfish. "I just wanted to make sure I'm 100 percent in the game. I don't do things half (hearted). I had actually been contemplating (coming back) a lot this past week. Then, Jeff Walker calls up and I knew it was time."
See Daron Clayton in his Jeff Walker-Curb-Agajanian Racing/Jam-It-In Storage - Hoosier Tire/Maxim/Claxton and the stars of the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship this Saturday at Tri-State Speedway. Gates open at 3:30pm and grandstands at 4:30pm. ProSource Qualifying starts at 6:30pm with racing to begin at 7:30pm (CST).
FARNEY JOINS DUTCHER MOTORSPORTS FOR REMAINDER OF 2016 USAC SPRINT SEASON
Michael Dutcher Motorsports and 2015 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car Rookie of the Year Aaron Farney have joined forces to tackle the remaining nine events on the series' 2016 calendar beginning this weekend with a pair of races: Friday, Sept. 16 at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track and Saturday, Sept. 17 at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Ind.
"Aaron's a great kid who loves the sport and wants to succeed," Dutcher said. "He has a lot of potential; he was the 2015 National Sprint Car Rookie of the Year. We plan on getting up to speed very quickly."
Farney, a Brookston, Ind. native, has competed full-time for the last two years in his family-owned no. 15F, but has yet to match the glimpses of success he displayed during his rookie season thus far after winning last year's "Don Smith Classic" Indiana Sprint Week event in dominating fashion at Terre Haute.
Making 28 starts in 32 series events this season, Farney currently resides tenth in series points after scoring seven top-tens with his lone top-five result coming on the half-mile at Terre Haute in July of 2016.
Dutcher's potent machine has found much success, racking up 12 USAC Sprint victories with drivers Kevin Thomas, Jr. and Jon Stanbrough since 2013. Yet, the team hasn't been able to reach victory lane this season despite being consistently fast with drivers Brady Short, C.J. Leary and Thomas Meseraull. Perhaps now with Farney behind the wheel, the team will see a reversal of its fortunes.
"We've had a lot of success with young drivers over the years; Aaron's an up-and-comer who isn't afraid to go fast," Dutcher added. "At Terre Haute last year, he got his first win and beat us pretty bad in doing so. He gets around that track really well. We've won there in the past as well (with Kevin Thomas, Jr.), and we've been really good at Haubstadt over the years, so we hope to give him a racecar that can win this weekend because we're both very capable."
Friday will not be Farney's first time in the seat of Dutcher's no. 17GP. That came back on Sept. 2 at Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway during the "Bryan Clauson Celebration of Life" event in which Farney qualified in the top-ten in a 47-car field and ran 13th in the feature in his debut in the Griffin's Propane - Indiana Underground/Maxim/Fisher.
Friday night's "Jim Hurtubise Classic" at the Terre Haute Action Track gets underway with pit gates opening at 3pm and grandstands at 4pm. Cars hit the track at 6:30pm for hot laps, ProSource Qualifying is slated for 7pm and racing is scheduled to begin at 7:30 (EST).
Saturday night's "Haubstadt Hustler" at Tri-State Speedway has the pit gates opening at 3:30pm and grandstands at 4:30pm. ProSource Qualifying starts at 6:30pm with racing to begin at 7:30pm (CST).
USAC AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: September 10, 2016 - Hanford, California - Keller Auto Speedway at Kings Fairgrounds - All-Coast Construction California Sprint Week
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Brady Bacon, 2. Ryan Bernal, 3. Richard Vander Weerd, 4. Brody Roa, 5. Jace Vander Weeerd, 6. Danny Faria Jr., 7. Geoff, Ensign, 8. Max Adams, 9. Kyler Shaw, 10. Jeremy Ellertson, 11. Koen Shaw, 12. Damion Gardner, 13. Stevie Sussex, 14. Thomas Meseraull, 15. Chris Gansen, 16. Austin Liggett, 17. Chad Boespflug, 18. Logan Williams, 19. Austin Williams, 20. Kevin Thomas Jr., 21. Mike Spencer, 22. Jake Swanson. NT
**Gardner flipped during the feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-30 Bacon
BR MOTORSPORTS/KING RACING PRODUCTS HARD CHARGER: Jace Vander Weerd (19th to 5th)
FINAL ALL COAST CONSTRUCTION CALIFORNIA SPRINT WEEK POINTS: 1-Gardner-406, 2-Meseraull-383, 3-Bernal-362, 4-Ensign-342, 5-Boespflug-325, 6-R.Vander Weerd-316, 7-Thomas-304, 8-Swanson-299, 9-Bacon-284, 10-Roa-281.
NEW AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR POINTS: 1-Gardner-1,008, 2-R.Vander Weerd-898, 3-Swanson-893, 4-Roa-847, 5-A.Williams-806, 6-Spencer-721, 7-Adams-659, 8-J.Vander Weerd-560, 9-Ellertson-542, 10-L.Williams-541.
NEXT USAC AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR RACE: September 24 - Perris (CA) Auto Speedway - "Glenn Howard Classic"
USAC WESTERN HPD MIDGET RACE RESULTS: September 10, 2016 - Ventura, California - Ventura Raceway
FEATURE: (20 laps) 1. Daniel Anderson, 2. Randi Pankratz, 3. Jesse Love IV, 4. Tristin Thomas, 5. Jet Davison, 6. David Prickett, 7. Tyler Slay, 8. Jessica Valentine, 9. Brandon Biggs, 10. Ashley Hazelton, 11. Joel Rayborne, 12. Zac Bogner. NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-20 Anderson.
NEW USAC WESTERN HPD MIDGET POINTS: 1-Love-1,282, 2. Annie Breidinger-1,031, 3-Boscacci-823, 4-Toni Breidinger-800, 5-Hazelton-672, 6-Blake Brannon-503, 7-Tom Paterson-462, 8-Prickett-391, 9-Davey Hamilton Jr.-347, 10-Cody Jessop-332.
NEW USAC WESTERN HPD MIDGET DIRT POINTS: 1-Love-639, 2-Hazelton-507, 3-Boscacci-454, 4-Annie Breidinger-443, 5-Prickett-331, 6-Tom Paterson-284, 7-Anderson-283, 8-Rayborne-170, 9-R.Pankratz-156, 10-Wally Pankratz-145.
NEXT USAC WESTERN HPD MIDGET RACE: September 16 - Madera (CA) Speedway - 45th Annual "Harvest Classic"
DAVEY RAY SHOWS AUTHORITY AT DAUGHERTY; WINS USAC INDIANA MIDGET FEATURE
Boswell, Indiana.........Davey Ray ran down Tanner Thorson in lapped traffic in the final five laps, battling wheel-to-wheel all the way around the three-eighths-mile dirt oval until Ray's winning move on Thorson in turn two on lap 22. Ray, of Davenport, Iowa, had to withstand one final green-white-checkered restart, yet was able to cruise away to his first USAC Indiana Midget Championship victory Saturday night at Daugherty Speedway.
Ray, in his Team RAYPRO/Spike/RAYPRO Mopar no. 33, took the lead from Thorson just four laps from the finish after the two made contact off the exit of the second turn. Thorson got extremely sideways down the back straightaway, spraying the outside wall with dirt as he tried to maintain control of his car. Thorson straightened his car out by the time he reached the bottom of the racetrack, but, by then, Ray had pulled away to a 15-car-length lead.
On lap 24, an incident involving Spencer Bayston, Justin Dickerson and Kyle Schuett, who got upside down, slowed the action as Ray headed for sure victory. Meanwhile, second-running Thorson left the track with a flat right rear tire, but would return, only managing a 14th place finish at the checkered.
However, the field would be bunched up on the restart with Ray leading, followed by Tyler Courtney and Carson Macedo. Macedo was able to slip by Courtney for second at the end, but up front, Ray was able to distance himself from the two to take the victory over Macedo, Courtney, Austin Prock and Justin Peck.
It was Ray's first USAC-sanctioned win since a D1 Midget victory at Montpelier (Ind.) Motor Speedway in 2011 and the first USAC-sanctioned race at Daugherty Speedway since a 2009 National Sprint Car race won by Dave Darland, back when the track was known as Kamp Motor Speedway.
Although finishing a distant second, Macedo took over the series point lead from Thorson and now holds a 23-point advantage in the USAC Indiana Midget Championship heading into a Saturday, September 17th date at Montpelier.
USAC INDIANA MIDGET CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: September 10, 2016 - Boswell, Indiana - Daugherty Speedway
FIRST HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Tanner Thorson (#67 Kunz/Curb-Agajanian), 2. Davey Ray (#33 RAYPRO), 3. Austin Prock (#41 Prock/Hayward), 4. Scott Hatton (#1 Hatton), 5. Gage Walker (#7 Walker), 6. Kyle Schuett (#9K Schuett), 7. Justin Dickerson (#21D Dickerson), 8. Don O'Keefe (#0K LOK). NT
SECOND HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Anton Julian (#44 Pace), 2. Justin Peck (#5x Peck), 3. Holly Shelton (#67K Kunz/Curb-Agajanian), 4. J.B. Gilbert (#83B Beasley), 5. Rich Drangmeister (#3 Drangmeister), 6. Shane Hollingsworth (#85 Hollingsworth). NT
THIRD HEAT: (8 laps) 1. Tyler Courtney (#5 Baldwin), 2. Ryan Robinson (#71 Kunz/Curb-Agajanian), 3. Carson Macedo (#71K Kunz/Curb-Agajanian), 4. Spencer Bayston (#97 Kunz/Curb-Agajanian), 5. Mark Chisholm (#56x Chisholm), 6. Brayton Lynch (#1K RKR), 7. Ken Drangmeister (#76 Drangmeister). NT
ALSO AT THE TRACK: Daniel Robinson (#56Y Chisholm)
FEATURE: (25 laps) 1. Davey Ray, 2. Carson Macedo, 3. Tyler Courtney, 4. Austin Prock, 5. Justin Peck, 6. Ryan Robinson, 7. Gage Walker, 8. Scott Hatton, 9. J.B. Gilbert, 10. Mark Chisholm, 11. Brayton Lynch, 12. Kyle Schuett, 13. Don O'Keefe, 14. Justin Dickerson, 15. Tanner Thorson, 16. Spencer Bayston, 17. Ken Drangmeister, 18. Anton Julian, 19. Holly Shelton, 20. Rich Drangmeister. NT
**Julian flipped on lap 3 of the feature. Schuett flipped on lap 24 of the feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-21 Thorson, Laps 22-25 Ray.
NEW USAC INDIANA MIDGET CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Macedo-214, 2-Thorson-191, 3-Robinson-189, 4-Bayston-180, 5-Peck-160, 6-Shelton-152, 7-Walker-151, 8-Lynch-146, 9-Ray-137, 10-Dave Darland-118.
NEXT USAC INDIANA MIDGET CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: September 17 - Montpelier, Indiana - Montpelier Motor Speedway
AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: September 9, 2016 – Watsonville, California – Ocean Speedway – “All Coast Construction California Sprint Week”
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Thomas Meseraull, 2. Damion Gardner, 3. Chad Boespflug, 4. Ryan Bernal, 5. Jake Swanson, 6. Austin Williams, 7. Brody Roa, 8. Brady Bacon, 9. Stevie Sussex, 10. Kevin Thomas Jr., 11. Danny Faria Jr., 12. Kyle Shaw, 13. Richard Vander Weerd, 14. Jace Vander Weerd, 15. Max Adams, 16. Geoff Ensign, 17. Jeremy Ellertson, 18. Koen Shaw, 19. Chris Gansen, 20. Logan Williams, 21. Austin Liggett, 22. Mike Spencer. NT
**Garris flipped during first heat. Ky.Shaw flipped during second heat.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-3 Bernal, Laps 4-29 Gardner, Lap 30 Meseraull.
NEW AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR POINTS:
NEW ALL COAST CONSTRUCTION CALIFORNIA SPRINT WEEK POINTS:
NEXT AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR RACE: September 10 – Hanford, CA – Keller Auto Speedway at Kings Fairgrounds – “All Coast Construction California Sprint Week”
THE DEMON TAKES “GOLD CUP” VICTORY AT CHICO
Chico, CA……..AMSOIL USAC/CAR Sprint Car series point leader Damion Gardner of Concord, Calif. passed Brady Bacon on lap 24 and led the final seven laps to win Thursday night’s “Gold Cup Race of Champions” feature at Silver Dollar Speedway.
Trailing Gardner at the checkered flag were AMSOIL USAC National Sprint leader Bacon, Thomas Meseraull, Ryan Bernal and Danny Faria Jr.
Gardner leads the All Coast Construction California Sprint Week standings to Saturday’s race at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville, Calif.
USAC AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR SERIES RACE RESULTS: September 8, 2016 - Chico, California - Silver Dollar Speedway - 63rd Annual "Gold Cup Race of Champions" - All-Coast Construction California Sprint Week
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Damion Gardner, 2. Brady Bacon, 3. Thomas Meseraull, 4. Ryan Bernal, 5. Dany Faria Jr., 6. Geoff Ensign, 7. Jac Haudenschild, 8. Jake Swanson, 9. Kevin Thomas Jr., 10. Max Adams, 11. Chad Boespflug, 12. Stevie Sussex, 13. D.J. Netto, 14. Jake Morgan, 15. Austin Liggett, 16. Austin Williams, 17. Kyler Shaw, 18. Brody Roa, 19. Logan Williams, 20. Cody Williams, 21. Mike Spencer, 22. Jace Vander Weerd, 23. Andy Forsberg, 24. Richard Vander Weerd. NT
**Johnson flipped during the semi.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-7 Gardner, Laps 8-23 Bacon, Laps 24-30 Gardner
NEW ALL COAST CONSTRUCTION CALIFORNIA SPRINT WEEK POINTS: 1-Gardner-284, 2-Meseraull-264, 3-Ensign-251, 4-Thomas-226, 5-Bernal-217, 6-Boespflug-213, 7-R.Vander Weerd-203, 8-Swanson-199, 9-Adams-196, 10-A.Williams-187.
NEW AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR POINTS: 1-Gardner-886, 2-Swanson-793, 3-R.Vander Weerd-789, 4-A.Williams-720, 5-Roa-719, 6-Spencer-662, 7-Adams-575, 8-C.Williams-506, 9-L.Williams-485, 10-Ellertson-468.
NEXT USAC AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT CAR RACE: September 9 - Watsonville, CA - Ocean Speedway - All-Coast Construction California Sprint Week
USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET SERIES RACE RESULTS: September 8, 2016 - Chico, California - Silver Dollar Speedway - 63rd Annual "Gold Cup Race of Champions" - Co-sanctioned by BCRA
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Alex Schutte, 2. Frankie Guerrini, 3. Cory Elliott, 4. Matt Streeter, 5. Courtney Crone, 6. Jerome Rodela, 7. Ronnie Gardner, 8. Robert Dalby, 9. Taylor Simas, 10. Shannon McQueen, 11. Brian Gard, 12. Dustin Golobic, 13. Bobby Wilson, 14. Floyd Alvis, 15. Maria Cofer, 16. Randi Pankratz, 17. Nate Waite, 18. J.R. Williams. NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-16 Guerrini, Laps 17-30 Schutte.
NEW USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET POINTS: 1-Gardner-682, 2-Faccinto-601, 3-Guerrini-521, 4-Elliott-505, 5-Crone-437, 6-Pankratz-386, 7-Dalby-384, 8-Cofer-362, 9-Cody Swanson-354, 10-Tyler Dolacki-279.
NEXT USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET RACE: September 17 - Santa Maria (CA) Raceway
MESERAULL WINS A WILD ONE IN USAC/CRA SHOOTOUT AT CALISTOGA
Calistoga, California.........When all was said and done, Thomas Meseraull was one of the last few left standing, almost literally, as the San Jose, California survived a war of attrition to take his first career series victory in Sunday's "Louie Vermiel Classic" AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car feature at Calistoga Speedway.
Meseraull had two separate stints at the front, including the first two laps as well as the final four, taking the lead from Carson Macedo after a caution period brought about due to contact between himself and Macedo in turn one on lap 26.
As the two slid into turn one, the right rear tire of Meseraull's car and Macedo's left front made contact. Macedo veered right toward the wall after contact, bouncing the right rear of the concrete before barrel-rolling several times between turns one and two.
Meseraull would lead the final four laps that included two more separate red flags for flips by Jake Swanson and Cody Williams, whose incident on the last lap put the race over the mandatory curfew time, forcing officials to throw the checkered flag with Meseraull in front.
Meseraull was followed by new series point leader and "California Sprint Week" point leader Richard Vander Weerd and Geoff Ensign, who took home the Hard Charger award after moving from 23rd to 3rd. Austin Williams came home fourth in front of Chad Boespflug, who rounded out the top-five.
The series continues Monday, September 5, with round three of "California Sprint Week" at Petaluma (CA) Speedway.
FEATURE: (29 laps) 1. Thomas Meseraull, 2. Richard Vander Weerd, 3. Geoff Ensign, 4. Austin Williams, 5. Chad Boespflug, 6. Max Adams, 7. Danny Sheridan, 8. Kevin Thomas Jr., 9. Jeremy Ellertson, 10. Jac Haudenschild, 11. Damion Gardner, 12. Terry Schank, Jr., 13. Cody Williams, 14. Jake Swanson, 15. Carson Macedo, 16. Chase Johnson, 17. Brady Bacon, 18. Ryan Bernal, 19. Mike Spencer, 20. Jace Vander Weerd, 21. Austin Liggett, 22. Tanner Thorson, 23. Joe Stornetta, Jr., 24. Brody Roa, 25. Logan Williams, 26. Stevie Sussex. NT
**Macedo, Swanson and C. Williams flipped during the feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-2 Meseraull, Laps 3-7 R.Vander Weerd, Laps 8-25 Macedo, Laps 26-29 Meseraull.
NEW AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT POINTS: 1-R. Vander Weerd-729, 2-Gardner-726, 3-Swanson-683, 4-Roa-646, 5-A. Williams-640, 6-Spencer-598, 7-C. Williams-472, 8-Adams-463, 9-L. Williams-429, 10-Ellertson-416.
NEW CALIFORNIA SPRINT WEEK POINTS: 1-R. Vander Weerd-143, 2-Meseraull-136, 3-Gardner-124, 4-Bernal & Ensign-118, 6-Macedo-112, 7-Thomas-109, 8-A. Williams & Haudenschild-107, 10-Thorson-99.
NEXT AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT RACE: September 5 - Petaluma, California - Petaluma Speedway - "California Sprint Week"
FACCINTO STUNS THE MIDGET WORLD IN VERMIEL CLASSIC AT CALISTOGA
Calistoga, California.........Michael Faccinto worked his way around Tanner Thorson with just three laps remaining to win Sunday night's "Louie Vermiel Classic" USAC Western States Midget feature at Calistoga Speedway.
Faccinto, of Hanford, California, started on the outside of the front row and eventually worked his way to the lead around pole sitter Ronnie Gardner on the sixth lap. Thorson, Saturday night's "Vermiel" winner, grabbed the lead on lap 13 as Faccinto fell back to second.
A late caution bunched the field up and Faccinto took advantage, slipping past Thorson for the top spot on lap 28.
Thorson made one last-ditch effort into turn three on the final lap to no avail as Faccinto kept his foot it in and powered away to take the checkered flag as Bacon snuck by Thorson for second on the bottom. Thorson took third in front of Gardner and Carson Macedo.
Faccinto took to victory lane for the second time in the series this season and remains second in the standings, 42 behind Gardner, heading into next Thursday's "Gold Cup Race of Champions" (co-sanctioned by BCRA) at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, California.
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Michael Faccinto, 2. Brady Bacon, 3. Tanner Thorson, 4. Ronnie Gardner, 5. Carson Macedo, 6. Ryan Robinson, 7. Cory Elliott, 8. Holly Shelton, 9. Frankie Guerrini, 10. Robert Dalby, 11. Courtney Crone, 12. Maria Cofer, 13. Taylor Simas, 14. Nate Waite, 15. Ashley Hazelton, 16. Randi Pankratz, 17. Chad Boat, 18. Jake Swanson, 19. Spencer Bayston, 20. Shane Golobic. NT
**Bock flipped during the third heat.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-5 Gardner, Laps 6-12 Faccinto, Laps 13-27 Thorson, Laps 28-30 Faccinto.
NEW USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET POINTS: 1-Gardner-626, 2-Faccinto-584, 3-Guerrini-447, 4-Elliott-431, 5-Crone-368, 6-Pankratz-350, 7-C. Swanson-344, 8-Cofer-324, 9-Dalby-323, 10-Tyler Dolacki-279.
NEXT USAC WESTERN MIDGET RACE: September 8 - Chico, CA - Silver Dollar Speedway - "Gold Cup Race of Champions" Co-Sanctioned with BCRA
BERNAL BECOMES FIRST REPEAT USAC/CRA WINNER OF 2016; CASHES IN AT CALISTOGA CALI SPRINT WEEK OPENER
Calistoga, California........Hollister, California's Ryan Bernal became the first driver to repeat as a feature winner during the 2016 USAC/CRA AMSOIL Sprint season after picking up the victory Saturday in the sprint car portion of the program on night one of Calistoga Speedway's "Louie Vermiel Classic."
Bernal drove his Mike Phulps-owned Metal Works - Tri-L Mandarin Ranch/ART/S & S no. 56 to the front with 22 laps to go on his way to victory lane in the "California Sprint Week" opener despite having to hold off heavy challenges from both Damion Gardner and Robert Ballou throughout much of the second half of the 30-lap event.
Gardner, Carson Macedo, Richard Vander Weerd and Tanner Thorson rounded out the top-five at the finish of the 30-lapper.
Gardner holds a 21-point lead over Vander Weerd heading into Sunday's backend of the Calistoga doubleheader this weekend.
Bernal holds an eight-point advantage over Gardner after round one of "California Sprint Week."
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Ryan Bernal, 2. Damion Gardner, 3. Carson Macedo, 4. Richard Vander Weerd, 5. Tanner Thorson, 6. Thomas Meseraull, 7. Jac Haudenschild, 8. Stevie Sussex, 9. Kevin Thomas Jr., 10. Geoff Ensign, 11. Brody Roa, 12. Austin Liggett, 13. Jace Vander Weerd, 14. Jake Swanson, 15. Austin Williams, 16. Cody Williams, 17. Chase Johnson, 18. Max Adams, 19. Terry Schank Jr., 20. Mike Spencer, 21. Robert Ballou, 22. Chad Boespflug, 23. Logan Williams, 24. Joe Stornetta Jr. NT
**Ballou flipped during the feature.
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-8 Gardner, Laps 9-30 Bernal
NEW AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT POINTS: 1-Gardner-677, 2-R. Vander Weerd-656, 3-Swanson-636, 4-Roa-614, 5-A. Williams-572, 6-Spencer-567, 7-C. Williams-434, 8-Adams-407, 9-L. Williams-406, 10-Ellertson-370.
NEW CALIFORNIA SPRINT WEEK POINTS: 1-Bernal-83, 2-Gardner-75, 3-Macedo-71, 4-R. Vander Weerd-70, 5-Thorson-66, 6-Meseraull-61, 7-Haudenschild-60, 8-Sussex-55, 9-Thomas-53, 10-Roa-48.
NEXT AMSOIL USAC/CRA SPRINT RACES: September 4 - Calistoga (CA) Speedway - "9th Annual Louie Vermeil Classic" / "All Coast Construction California Sprint Week"
THORSON TOPS WESTERN MIDGET FOES ON NIGHT ONE OF VERMIEL CLASSIC AT CALISTOGA
Calistoga, California.........Minden, Nevada's Tanner Thorson took over the lead from teammate Carson Macedo on the tenth lap, then pulled away from the rest of the field to win the USAC Western States Midget portion of Saturday's opening night at Calistoga Speedway's 9th annual "Louie Vermiel Classic."
Thorson drove to a team sweep of the top-three spots as he was joined by teammates Spencer Bayston (2nd) and Macedo (3rd) on the podium. Series point leader Ronnie Gardner, who led the opening lap before giving way to Macedo, was fourth, followed by Shane Golobic who rounded out the top-5.
Gardner now holds a 52-point lead over Michael Faccinto in the race for the USAC Western States Midget title as the series stays for one more night at Calistoga for night two of the "Vermiel Classic." The race is round four of seven in the Jonathan Byrd's Indy Challenge. Rico Abreu won round one at Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway in June while Chad Boat won twice at the Belleville (Kans.) High Banks in August.
USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET SERIES RACE RESULTS: September 3, 2016 - Calistoga, California - Calistoga Speedway - 9th Annual "Louie Vermeil Classic"
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Tanner Thorson, 2. Spencer Bayston, 3. Carson Macedo, 4. Ronnie Gardner, 5. Shane Golobic, 6. Holly Shelton, 7. Michael Faccinto, 8. Jake Swanson, 9. Cody Swanson, 10. Cory Elliott, 11. Courtney Crone, 12. Robert Dalby, 13. Frankie Guerrini, 14. Britton Bock, 15. Maria Cofer, 16. Ashley Hazelton, 17. Taylor Simas, 18. Randi Pankratz, 19. Darren Hagen, 20. Ryan Bernal, 21. Ryan Robinson. NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Lap 1 Gardner, Laps 2-9 Macedo, Laps 10-30 Thorson.
NEW USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET POINTS: 1-Gardner-557, 2-Faccinto-505, 3-Guerrini-397, 4-Elliott-373, 5-C. Swanson-341, 6-Crone-324, 7-Pankratz-317, 8-Cofer-282, 9-Tyler Dolacki-279, 10-Dalby-275.
NEXT USAC WESTERN MIDGET RACE: September 4 - Calistoga (CA) Speedway - 9th Annual "Louie Vermeil Classic"
WINDOM OUTGUNS SWINDELL IN EPIC Du QUOIN SHOOTOUT TO WIN TED HORN 100
Du Quoin, Illinois.........In a battle of the young lion and the wise veteran, resilience prevailed as Chris Windom of Canton, Illinois fought back to retake the lead from Jeff Swindell with a daring outside turn three pass just three laps from the finish to win his first career USAC Silver Crown Championship race on a dirt mile in Saturday night's "Ted Horn 100" presented by Casey's General Stores at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds.
Windom and Swindell's seesaw battle entertained the sizable southern Illinois crowd throughout much of the 100-miler with Swindell leading 21 laps early in the happening before Windom took his turn at the front for a large chunk of the middle portion of the race. Swindell charged back to reclaim the point on lap 64 before Windom fought tooth-and-nail in the final laps to work his way back to Swindell as the two exchanged the lead three times in the final four laps.
Windom took control of the race after ripping the lead from Swindell on lap 98 to earn his second series victory of the season - and the fourth of his career..
"This is awesome," Windom exclaimed. "I don't know what to say. I thought we had that one for a while and, obviously, we were all tire managing. I had a lot left in the tank, but I didn't know how hard I could pressure (Jeff Swindell) because I knew it was going to be real close on tires. I let Jeff get back by me; he threw a couple of hard blocks and I tried to get back around him. I really had to run my butt off. I've been so close to winning at this place so many times. It's awesome to be able to come back here with (crew chief) Evan Avart after we lost one (in 2014) and win this one. This is pretty special."
Windom rolled off ninth on the grid at the start of the 100-lapper while ProSource Pole winner Kody Swanson lined up alongside Justin Grant at the front. Swanson quickly sprinted off with the lead into turn one, but it was 1990 Du Quoin winner Jeff Swindell who shot to second on the opening lap from the outside of the second row.
As Swanson enjoyed the edge up front on lap nine, back in the pack, a battle for position between a gaggle of cars on the front straightaway got a bit hairy when Jackie Burke ramped over the right rear of another car at the start/finish line, which sent him airborne before landing on all fours, knocking out the front end as he slid helplessly into turn one.
Simultaneously, the car of Chris Fetter shot straight up the racetrack toward the outside turn one wall. In Fetter's path was the stopped car of Burke that was nailed in the tail tank by Fetter who then slammed hard into the wall. Both drivers were able to walk away uninjured from their broken racecars.
Swindell stuck right with Swanson on the lap 15 restart, then powered around the outside of Swanson between turns one and two to nose ahead. Swanson clawed his way back to pull even with Swindell as the two raced wheel-to-wheel down the back straightaway into turn three. Swindell used the middle of the racetrack to glide around Swanson coming out of the fourth turn, then beat him in a sprint to the stripe to grab the lead on the 16th lap with two-time defending race winner Shane Cockrum in tow.
Swindell, looking as effervescent as he ever has behind the wheel of a champ car, immediately began to stretch his lead as the race reached the quarter-point, while Windom began to mount his charge to the front, overtaking Swanson for third and Shane Cockrum for second in quick succession before setting his sights on leader Swindell.
On the 35th circuit, Windom raced his way into Swindell's shadow after using a big run off of turn four to streak down to the inside of Swindell as the two sped side-by-side past the flagstand toward the first turn. Swindell put a halt to Windom's bid for the lead after cutting across the nose of Windom at the entrance of one, forcing Windom to back out and allowing Swindell to momentarily escape with the lead.
Windom refused to be rattled and, just two laps later, the two came upon the lapped car of Danny Long in turn three. Swindell was forced to check up, allowing Windom to slip underneath Swindell for the lead on lap 37.
As the contest neared the midway point, Windom expanded his advantage to more than a second over Swindell when a yellow for debris erased the interval. Tires had become a concern for teams with half the race still remaining and, under the caution, forced teams to find ways to stem the tide of wear by rolling through the moisture to cool down the rubber and conserve their tread for the push to the finish.
Just after halfway, Swindell was scraping just to hold onto second by the skin of his teeth with two-time defending series champ Swanson draped all over him for the runner-up spot. Yet on the lap 61 restart, Swindell found his second wind, trailing by just a single car length as he hounded Swanson every inch of the way around the "Magic Mile."
On lap 64, Swindell was close enough to reach out and tap Windom on the shoulder as he followed him down the back straight. Swindell pulled along the inside of Windom as the pair ran side-by-side into turn three, with Swindell beating Windom to the inside guardrail first to re-take the lead with 37 laps to go.
But Windom wouldn't stray too far from the lead as both he and Swindell separated themselves from the rest of the field. On lap 69, Windom took another run at Swindell for the lead at the entrance to turn one. Swindell would have none of that, however, slamming the door on Windom with authority as the two banged wheels which sent Windom sideways, causing him to lose ground to Swindell as he fell back to more than one second behind.
The stoppage of Jacob Wilson's machine set up a restart with 24 miles remaining that saw Windom unable to get any traction when the green flag flew, allowing Swindell to run away to a one-and-a-half second lead as Windom, Swanson and Shane Cottle battled in close quarters for second.
Cottle's strong showing came to an end just a handful of laps later when he encountered engine troubles that brought out the yellow, setting up a 15-lap sprint to the finish.
Windom had a more successful restart this time around as he stayed within two car lengths of Swindell as the two entered turn three on lap 86.
One lap later, Windom got a bite off of turn four, drag racing Swindell down the front straight into turn one on the inside where, once again, Swindell closed the lid on the cookie jar, forcing Windom to back out of the throttle to avoid contact.
With less than ten laps to go, Swindell had his first USAC victory since the 1993 "Hoosier Hundred" within his grasp, but Windom was not going to fade away into the distance without putting up a fight.
On the 94th lap, Windom used another big run to poke his nose underneath Swindell entering turn three just as the caution flew for an Aaron Pierce spin, resetting the table for a restart with five laps to go.
With four laps to go, Windom used yet another big run down the back straight to pull even with Swindell, but this time was able to beat Swindell to the bottom of turn three to grab the lead. Windom then slid up to the middle of the racetrack, allowing Swindell to counter and slip back underneath Windom to regain the lead by the time they both exited turn four.
One lap later, with three to go, Windom pulled a rabbit out of his hat in this high-speed chess match as Swindell entered turn three low to protect the bottom line in anticipation of Windom's next move.
In an impressive moment of sleight of hand, Windom rode the high line instead, blasting around the outside of Swindell to take the lead for good, securing the top spot and driving away from Swindell during the final couple of laps to take the victory by 1.274 seconds over Swindell, Swanson, Casey Shuman and Cockrum.
Jeff Swindell, the savvy racing veteran from Germantown, Tennessee who was making just his second series start of the season, led the most laps (55) during his two stints at the front of the field, reaching into the distant past to nearly pull off his first USAC win in 23 years in his Swanson Racing/Jet Star - Rosewood Machine & Tool/Maxim/Toyota.
"We came in here tonight and everything went smoothly; we were organized and we did what we needed to do all night," Swindell explained. "In hot laps, I sat in the car the whole hour and ten minutes. We got the car working great. We got a good start and the Toyota motor ran great until about 25 or 30 (laps) to go when it started sputtering down the straightaways. As we got off the corner, it just got worse and worse. I guess that's how (Windom) got the run on me there because I think we were beating him pretty bad down in (turns) one and two all night. We came off the corner and it's popping and farting; that's when he got the run on me. I tried to hold him off, but he slid up a little bit and I snuck back by him. I said 'this might be ugly;' we kind of touched earlier going down there into (turn) one. He kind of surprised me getting under me a little bit as I started in and I saw him get out of the gas and I turned left. We kind of touched, but hey, that's what you call good racing!"
Kingsburg, California's Kody Swanson led the first 15 laps from the pole position, finishing third, holds a slim 10-point lead over race winner Chris Windom heading into the September 24 Silver Crown season finale at Eldora Speedway's "4-Crown Nationals" in Rossburg, Ohio as he seeks an unprecedented third series title.
"I was really worried about our tires wearing out and trying to keep pace with the top guys," Swanson admitted. "When (Swindell and Windom) went there at the end, I tried to go with them. Tonight, we were third best. I am so thankful for the car I'm driving. These guys never give up. We don't quit. We'll just keep digging and see what we can do at the finale (at Eldora)."
USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: September 3, 2016 - DuQuoin, Illinois - DuQuoin State Fairgrounds - "Ted Horn 100" Presented by Casey's General Stores
FEATURE: (100 laps) 1. Chris Windom, 2. Jeff Swindell, 3. Kody Swanson, 4. Casey Shuman, 5. Shane Cockrum, 6. Brady Bacon, 7. Jerry Coons Jr., 8. Brian Tyler, 9. Joe Liguori, 10. David Byrne, 11. Zach Daum, 12. Chris Urish, 13. Bill Rose, 14. J.C. Bland, 15. Patrick Lawson, 16. A.J. Fike, 17. Matt Goodnight, 18. Terry James, 19. Justin Grant, 20. Steve Buckwalter, 21. Davey Ray, 22. Austin Nemire, 23. Danny Long, 24. Aaron Pierce, 25. Shane Cottle, 26. Jacob Wilson, 27. C.J. Leary, 28. Terry Babb, 29. Joey Moughan, 30. Kenny Gentry, 31. Jackie Burke, 32. Chris Fetter, 33. Tad Roach. NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-15 Swanson, Laps 16-36 Swindell, Laps 37-63 Windom, Laps 64-97 Swindell, laps 98-100 Windom.
KSE RACING PRODUCTS/MARTIN'S MACHINE SHOP HARD CHARGER: Bill Rose (33rd-13th)
NEW USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Swanson-525, 2-Windom-515, 3-Coons-416, 4-Grant-407, 5-Byrne-369, 6-Shuman-366, 7-Cottle-335, 8-Nemire-309, 9-Liguori-281, 10-Cockrum-241.
NEXT USAC SILVER CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: September 24 - Rossburg, OH - Eldora Speedway - 35th "4-Crown Nationals"
KTJ PARKS IT AGAIN AT KOKOMO IN "BRYAN CLAUSON'S CELEBRATION OF LIFE"
Kokomo, Indiana.........Over the past nine days, there's been nobody hotter at Kokomo Speedway than Kevin Thomas, Jr.
After taking a preliminary win and the championship night feature during "Sprint Car Smackdown V" one week ago, Thomas continued his tear Friday night, leading the final 25 laps to win the "Bryan Clauson Celebration of Life" USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car non-points "Special Event" feature at the O'Connor family's ¼-mile dirt oval.
Tyler Courtney won the blind redraw prior to the night's feature by selecting the package of candy adorned with the #1 during a special pre-race ceremony. That put him on the pole position, his second consecutive start from the front at Kokomo in as many races.
The 27-lap feature represented each year of Bryan's life and, on the flagstand to wave the green flag for the night's event was Bryan's mom, Diana, as a full house of spectators had eyes on the front row of Courtney and Tyler Thomas.
As action began, T. Thomas shot out front to the advantage at the start on the topside as Courtney slipped back to third on the bottom after a slow start.
Just as it was one week ago, K. Thomas immediately began to mount a charge to the front, already gassing his way to second from his fourth-starting spot on the first lap past Jarett Andretti and Courtney.
On the third lap, a closing K. Thomas chased the unrelated T. Thomas into turn one, sliding up in front of the Oklahoma driver to grab the race lead off of turn two.
With K. Thomas taking over the lead and pulling away, the race for second became the show as fourth-running Dave Darland went to the high side, making it three-wide alongside Courtney on the bottom and T. Thomas in the middle before soaring past both in turn four to take the second spot.
By the tenth lap, K. Thomas' lead was in excess of one second over Darland, but a slight hiccup on the turn two cushion by K. Thomas on the 11th lap allowed Darland to shrink the gap, cutting the interval in half as he eyed the leader squarely within his crosshairs.
Yet, as the two began to enter traffic just a handful of laps later, K. Thomas was able to carve his way back to a 1.2 second advantage over Darland after blasting past a slew of lapped cars nearing 10 laps to go to provide himself some breathing room.
Justin Grant, making just his seventh start in the McGhee no. 17, made his presence known after picking his way near the front of the pack from his ninth-starting position. On lap 21, Darland diamonded his way off the turn three cushion as Grant slid through the middle. Suddenly, the right rear tire of Darland and the left rear of Grant made slight contact, sending a puff of smoke off the treads, thus, slowing down Grant's approach.
Just one lap later, Grant came right back into the fight, overtaking Darland for second off of the second turn. However, T. Thomas, running eighth, found himself facing backwards just in front of the flagstand to bring out the feature's only yellow flag. By rule, the lineup for the restart reverted to the running order on the last completed lap, sending Grant back to third behind Darland with just six laps remaining.
As K. Thomas led the train on the bottom on the lap 22 restart, the all-out war between Darland and Grant for second resumed. Darland stuck to the top into turn one, but Grant cut down off the banking midway between turns one and two to pull side-by-side with Darland off of turn two. The two remained shackled together for the next two circuits until Grant dove to the extreme inside off of turn four, encountering the lapped car of Travis Hery on his way, which forced him to fall in line behind Darland as he crossed the stripe with four laps to go.
Darland and Grant briefly managed to close on leader K. Thomas to within six car lengths, but K. Thomas turned up the wick, firing up the afterburners to distance himself from second and third in the closing laps.
Though, with two laps to go, Grant continued to scrap his way toward the front, using a big run off of turn four to squeeze his way in front of Darland into turn one to take second.
Up front, no one was a challenge to Kevin Thomas, Jr., although Grant was able keep him honest by chopping a half-straightaway deficit to just six car lengths in the last two laps. But, in the end, K. Thomas took the victory by less than a half-second with Grant, Darland, Brady Bacon and Shane Cottle (from 20th) rounding out the top-five.
It was K. Thomas' third victory in his last four USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car starts at Kokomo during a highly-successful nine-day span for the Cullman, Alabama native who scored Friday night's victory.
"Bryan (Clauson), and everyone else here, would race here (at Kokomo Speedway) for one dollar," Thomas said. "I have to say this is now the biggest win, no matter what it pays. There's races you want to win because they pay big money, but this one you want to win for the right reasons."
Ione, California's Justin Grant sure made it interesting as he closed in on K. Thomas at the end of the 27-lap feature, making one wonder if he had had just three more laps, could he have won i.
"This 17 car is awesome," Grant exclaimed after finishing second. "I can't thank the McGhee family enough and Sam for doing such a good job on the thing. We definitely had the best racecar; we just need to work on our sandbagging program in qualifying because being quick time every night and starting deep in a tough heat is just not getting us anywhere."
Dave Darland, of Lincoln, Indiana, settled for third after running second until being passed by Grant with just two laps to go.
"The car's getting better and better all the time," Darland said. "Jeff (Walker) works hard on it and tries everything he can think of to make it better. We've recently picked up a lot. We've gotten the thing a lot better; it's a lot easier to drive and a lot more comfortable to drive. But if we'd have to do over again right now, we'd make some changes. Jeff knows what to do."
USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP "SPECIAL EVENT" RACE RESULTS: September 2, 2016 - Kokomo, Indiana - Kokomo Speedway - "Bryan Clauson Celebration of Life"
FEATURE: (27 laps) 1. Kevin Thomas, Jr., 2. Justin Grant, 3. Dave Darland, 4. Brady Bacon, 5. Shane Cottle, 6. Jerry Coons, Jr., 7. Jarett Andretti, 8. Tyler Courtney, 9. Josh Hodges, 10. A.J. Hopkins, 11. Jon Stanbrough, 12. Chris Windom, 13. Aaron Farney, 14. Colten Cottle, 15. Max McGhee, 16. Matt Westfall, 17. Tyler Thomas, 18. Travis Hery, 19. Tony DiMattia, 20. Matt Goodnight, 21. Brian Karraker, 22. Logan Jarrett, 23. Travis Welpott, 24. Tyler Hewitt. NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-2 T. Thomas, Laps 3-27 K.Thomas.
NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: September 16 - Terre Haute, Indiana - Terre Haute Action Track - "Jim Hurtubise Classic"
USAC SOUTHWEST SPRINT CAR RACE RESULTS (co-sanctioned by NMMRA): September 2, 2016 – El Paso, Texas – Western Tech Speedway Park – “Last Lap at The Park” / “Border Tour”
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. R.J. Johnson, 2. Charles Davis Jr., 3. Rick Ziehl, 4. Chris Bonneau, 5. Landon Cling, 6. Brian Hosford, 7. Dennis Gile, 8. Matt Rossi, 9. Shon Deskins, 10. Matt Lundy, 11. Mike Martin, 12. Michael Fanelli, 13. Dillon Tanner, 14. Randy Smith, 15. JR Bonesteel, 16. David Dykes, 17. Ted Schlote, 18. Tye Mihocko, 19. Caleb Saiz, 20. Dylan Harris, 21. Nick Rael, 22. David Burns, 23. Matthew Cardenas, 24. Matt Ziehl, 25. Don Grable. NT
**Burns & Harris flipped during the feature.
NEXT USAC SOUTHWEST SPRINT CAR RACE: September 3 – Las Cruces, New Mexico – Southern New Mexico Speedway – “2ND Annual Joe Herrera Memorial” / “Border Tour” (Co-Sanctioned with NMMRA)
USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGETS READY TO CLASH AT CALISTOGA & CHICO
By Lance Jennings
Ronnie Gardner – USAC Western States Midget Point Leader. Photo by SCRAFAN.COM.
AUGUST 31, 2016... After a break in the schedule, the cars and stars of the USAC Western States Midget Series are gearing up for the highly anticipated swing in Northern California. Paying $10,000-to-win each night, the 2-day “9th Annual Louie Vermeil Classic” will open this Saturday, September 3rd. On Thursday, September 8th, the “mighty midgets” will head to Chico’s Silver Dollar Speedway to battle the Bay City Racing Association (BCRA) during the “Gold Cup Race of Champions.”
NOTICE TO RACERS: The USAC Western States Midget Series approved/legal mufflers are:
B&B: FRAC-0375-S w/side outlet, Coast Fabrication: 300x625x17-2s, 350x625x17-2s, 400x625x17-2s, Extreme: 3512-3030 (with insert 2312-30), 3512-3030 SS (with insert 2312-30), 3515-3030, 4615-3035- 15" long x 6" diameter x 3" inlet and 3.5 outlet w/internal cone, Flowmaster: (BCRA Approved) 13009130, 1509130, 13509135, Shoenfeld: 14272735-78, 14272535. *Failure to comply with the muffler rule will risk disqualification from the event.
-WEIGHT RULE: The weight rule for the combined BCRA & USAC Western Midget shows is 1060 lbs.
-USAC POINTS: To earn USAC Western States Midget points at Chico, competitors must check in with USAC officials.
Looking for his record setting fourth straight title, Ronnie Gardner (Norco, California) has a 40-point lead over the competition. Michael Faccinto, Frankie Guerrini, Cory Elliott, Cody Swanson, Randi Pankratz, Tyler Dolacki, Courtney Crone, Maria Cofer, and Sean Dodenhoff round out the top-10 drivers. In the six previous races, Gardner has earned four victories with Faccinto and Alex Schutte claiming one race each.
Other drivers expected to compete are “The Hawk” Darren Hagen, Brady Bacon, Ryan Bernal, Jake Swanson, Britton Bock, Chad Boat, Spencer Bayston, Tanner Thorson, Carson Macedo, Ryan Robinson, Holly Shelton, and more.
On September 3rd and 4th, Calistoga Speedway will host the “9th Annual Louie Vermeil Classic.” Promoted by HMC Promotions, the highly anticipated event honors the former NARC director and will also have a vintage car show, driver autograph session, raffle, wine tasting, silent auction, and a beer garden for fans to enjoy. Since July 2, 1993, twenty-four USAC Western States Midget races have been held at the Napa County Fairgrounds. Rico Abreu leads all drivers with five wins and set the 1-lap qualifying record of 19.808 on September 5, 2015. The Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Cars and Vintage Cars will share the spotlight with qualifying at 6:00pm and racing to follow. Calistoga Speedway is located at 1435 North Oak Street in Calistoga, California and for more information, visit www.calistogaspeedway.org, or call 916.773.7225.
LOUIE VERMEIL CLASSIC MIDGET WINNERS:
2008-Johnny Rodriguez, 2009-Josh Ford, 2010-Cory Kruseman, 2011-Johnathon Henry, 2012-Rico Abreu, 2013-Kyle Larson, 2014- Christopher Bell, 2015-Rico Abreu.
CALISTOGA USAC WESTERN MIDGET WINS:
5-Rico Abreu, 4- Billy Boat, 2-Johnny Rodriguez, 1-Christoper Bell, 1-Johnny Cofer, 1-Josh Ford, 1-Garrett Hansen, 1-Johnathon Henry, 1-Jim Keene, 1-Cory Kruseman, 1- Kyle Larson, 1-Evan Margeson, 1-Robby Josett, 1-Wally Pankratz, 1-Scott Pierovich, 1-Tony Stewart.
After a short break, the Northern California swing will continue on Thursday, September 8th, at Dennis Gage's Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico. Held during the "Gold Cup Race of Champions," the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds has hosted seven USAC Western States Midget shows. Ryan Bernal leads all drivers with two wins and Ronnie Gardner set the 1-lap track record of 14.047 on September 4, 2014. The Amsoil USAC/CRA Sprint Cars will share the spotlight with Racing scheduled for 7:00pm. Silver Dollar Speedway is located at 2357 Fair Street in Chico, California and for more information, visit www.silverdollarspeedway.com or call 530.350.7275.
GOLD CUP RACE OF CHAMPIONS MIDGET WINNERS:
2011-David Prickett, 2013-Ronnie Gardner, 2014-Brian Gard, 2015-Ryan Bernal.
CHICO USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET WINS:
2-Ryan Bernal, 1-Brian Gard, 1-Ronnie Gardner, 1-Johnathon Henry, 1-David Prickett, 1-Kody Swanson.
USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET CHAMPIONS:
1982*-Jeff Heywood, 1983-Sleepy Tripp, 1984-Tommy White, 1985-Sleepy Tripp, 1986-Robby Flock, 1987-Sleepy Tripp, 1988-Sleepy Tripp, 1989-Robby Flock, 1990-Sleepy Tripp, 1991-Sleepy Tripp, 1992-Sleepy Tripp, 1993-Robby Flock, 1994-Johnny Cofer, 1995-Billy Boat, 1996-Jay Drake, 1997-Ricky Shelton, 1998-Rick Hendrix, 1999-Marc DeBeaumont, 2000-Wally Pankratz, 2001-Danny Ebberts, 2002-Robby Flock, 2003-Steve Paden, 2004-Johnny Rodriguez, 2005-Jerome Rodela, 2006-Jerome Rodela, 2007-Johnny Rodriguez, 2008-Nic Faas, 2009-Garrett Hansen, 2010-Alex Schutte, 2011-Cory Kruseman, 2012-Shannon McQueen, 2013-Ronnie Gardner, 2014- Ronnie Gardner, 2015-Ronnie Gardner.
2016 USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET WINS:
4-Ronnie Gardner, 1-Michael Faccinto, 1-Alex Schutte.
USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET POINT STANDINGS:
1. Ronnie Gardner-486, 2. Michael Faccinto-446, 3. Frankie Guerrini-355, 4. Cory Elliott-326, 5. Cody Swanson-290, 6. Randi Pankratz-287, 7. Tyler Dolacki-279, .. Courtney Crone-279, 9. Maria Cofer-249, 10. Sean Dodenhoff-242, 11. Robert Dalby-231, 12. Shannon McQueen-183, 13. Darren Hagen-163, 14. Terry Nichols-158, 15. Dylan Ito-156, 16. Alex Schutte-145, 17. Robby Josett-125, 18. Troy Rutherford-113, 19. Ashley Hazelton-111, 20. Britton Bock-102.
2016 USAC WESTERN STATES MIDGET SCHEDULE
September 3: Calistoga Speedway – Calistoga, CA (Louie Vermeil Classic / $10,000-to-win)
September 4: Calistoga Speedway – Calistoga, CA (Louie Vermeil Classic / $10,000-to-win)
September 8: *Silver Dollar Speedway – Chico, CA (Gold Cup Race of Champions)
September 17: Santa Maria Raceway – Santa Maria, CA
October 8: Merle Stone Chevrolet Thunderbowl Raceway - Tulare, CA
October 29: Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA
November 19: Bakersfield Speedway – Bakersfield, CA
November 24: #Ventura Raceway – Ventura, CA (Turkey Night Grand Prix)
* = Co-Sanctioned Event with BCRA Midgets.
# = Co-Sanctioned Event with USAC National Midgets.
This schedule is subject to change.
KEVIN THOMAS, JR. LAYS THE SMACKDOWN ON NIGHT ONE AT KOKOMO
Kokomo, Indiana.........Kevin Thomas, Jr. stormed out of the gates on the opening lap and never looked back as he completely dominated all 30 laps to win Thursday night's "Sprint Car Smackdown V" USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship opener at Kokomo Speedway.
The victory was an emotional one for the Cullman, Alabama native as he became the first driver to roll onto the newly-redesigned victory lane adorned with the late Bryan Clauson's "BC" logo and, underneath, the words "Parked It" - a phrase that had become synonymous with Clauson throughout his legendary career.
"Winning tonight means everything," Thomas said in victory lane alongside his 4J Motorsports/Franklin Equipment - CEP Concrete/DRC/Chevy. "We'd come to this place and race for five dollars and this was a lot of people's 'place of worship,' not even just Bryan's. But it's special to pull into victory lane and see his name there. It's hard to hold the emotions back, but there's no real need to. Every time we showed up here, you knew you had to beat him and that was something that pushed all of us to strive for greatness here. I learned from him and studied what he did here, so it's special. I'm just glad we could 'park it.' As for the rest of our weekend, I'm really confident. We've raced here a lot this year, so we've seen about every different track condition that could present itself. That's definitely beneficial, I feel like, so I feel like if we stay out of trouble, we're going to have a good shot at winning this whole deal."
When the green flag dropped, Thomas shot out of a cannon from his pole starting position, sliding up in front of outside front row starter Chase Stockon into turn one to grab the lead and quickly distanced himself from the rest of the field.
On the third lap, tenth-running Cole Ketcham slowed to a creep down the front straightaway, creating a hairy moment in the middle of pack. Series point leader Brady Bacon and Jerry Coons, Jr. narrowly avoided catastrophe as they made contact with the rear of Ketcham's slowing machine. Bacon and Coons would continue on while Ketcham's night would come to a close.
On the lap three restart, Thomas once again affixed his no. 4J to the top of the leaderboard, but a fierce battle behind him commenced with Dave Darland and Stockon slugging it out for second.
Darland drove it deep into turn three, sliding right across the nose of Stockon with mere inches to spare in turn four, briefly taking the spot, but Stockon was able to counter, turning underneath Darland to beat the four-time track champ to the flag stand to reclaim second.
Darland followed in pursuit of Stockon into turn one as Chris Windom entered the fray on the bottom. Darland used a big run off the cushion at the top of turn two to split between Windom and Stockon down the back straight to grab second and began to set his sights on Thomas, who used the battle behind him to his advantage, extending his lead to one-and-a-half second by lap five.
By the tenth lap, Thomas' lead over Darland was a full-straightaway, while Windom and Stockon duked it out in a classic duel for third. Lap-after-lap, Windom and Stockon exchanged sliders as they sliced and diced their way past each other throughout much of the middle stages of the 30-lapper.
A yellow for the stopped car of Logan Jarrett erased Thomas' advantage, but on the restart, Thomas would have the lapped car of Aaron Farney as a buffer between himself and second-running Darland when racing resumed.
Not that Thomas needed the extra help on this particular night, but he would accept it nonetheless, as he pulled away once again on the restart to break away from the pack.
With eight laps to go, Windom began to flex his muscle, sliding past Darland on the bottom of turn four, then beating him in a drag race down the front straightaway to secure the second position. Yet, Windom still found himself over one second back of Thomas with just a handful of laps remaining as he used the bottom to chase down the leader up on the cush.
In the final laps, Windom was able to chip away at the gap between he and Thomas slowly and surely down low, but it would not be enough to run down Thomas as he dominated the contest for all 30 laps to take his second series win of 2016 (Brownstown, Ind.), his 11th career series win and second USAC victory at Kokomo Speedway (2013) over Windom, Darland, Stockon and Justin Grant.
Chris Windom of Canton, Illinois, a two-time Kokomo USAC winner and "Smackdown" preliminary night winner back in the event's inaugural year of 2012, made a solid charge to second at the checkered after a furious battle between himself and Stockon throughout much of the race.
"I raced Chase (Stockon) hard, but clean, which was a lot of fun," Windom sail. "I think I just raced too hard for too long, though, which hurts because I think we had the best car. By the time we got to a position to track down KT, it was just too late. We'll take it from eighth tonight and we'll just have to try and qualify a little better to give us a better starting spot."
Kokomo Speedway legend Dave Darland of Lincoln, Indiana knocked out his eighth top-five series finish of the 2016 season, rounding out the podium in third.
"We were better early in the race than we were late," Darland acknowledged. "I should've made some adjustments in the car, but I didn't. I didn't keep up with the track the way I should have, but the track was great. My guys have been teasing me all summer about not running the top enough, so I finally had enough and said 'I'm going up there.' We'll take this third, though, and try to just be a couple better tomorrow and Saturday."
USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: August 25, 2016 - Kokomo, Indiana - Kokomo Speedway - "Sprint Car Smackdown V" (Night One)
FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. Kevin Thomas Jr., 2. Chris Windom, 3. Dave Darland, 4. Chase Stockon, 5. Justin Grant, 6. Robert Ballou, 7. Brady Bacon, 8. Thomas Meseraull, 9. Tyler Courtney, 10. C.J. Leary, 11. Tyler Thomas, 12. Jon Stanbrough, 13. Chad Boespflug, 14. Kyle Cummins, 15. Jerry Coons Jr., 16. Hunter Schuerenberg, 17. Jarett Andretti, 18. Tyler Hewitt, 19. Colten Cottle, 20. Aaron Farney, 21. Logan Jarrett, 22. Isaac Chapple, 23. Zach Daum, 24. Cole Ketcham. NT
FEATURE LAP LEADERS: 1-30 K.Thomas.
KSE HARD CHARGER: Jon Stanbrough (19th-12th)
NEW USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS: 1-Bacon-1,995, 2-Ballou-1,834, 3-Stockon-1,793, 4-Meseraull-1,753, 5-Darland-1,646, 6-Boespflug-1,588, 7-Leary-1,579, 8-Windom-1,458, 9-Max McGhee-1,264, 10-Farney-1,112.
NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: August 26 - Kokomo (IN) Speedway - "Sprint Car Smackdown V"
1. Brady Bacon 2214
2. Chase Stockon 1979
3. Robert Ballou 1919
4. T. Meseraull 1910
5. Dave Darland 1855
6. Chad Boespflug 1774
6. C.J. Leary 1774
8. Chris Windom 1708
9. Max McGhee 1264
10. A. Farney 1209
1. Spencer Bayston 947
2. Chad Boat 925
3. Brady Bacon 920
4. Tanner Thorson 917
5. Carson Macedo 805
6. Bryan Clauson 720
7. Ryan Robinson 639
8. Holly Shelton 640
9. Tyler Thomas 589
10. Ryan Greth 493
1. K. Swanson 525
2. Chris Windom 515
3. Jerry Coons Jr. 416
4. Justin Grant 407
5 David Byrne 369
6 Casey Shuman 366
7. Shane Cottle 335
8. Austin Nemire 309
9. Joe Liguori 281
10. Shane Cockrum 241
1. Damion Gardner 1080
2. R.Vander Weerd 976
3. Jake Swanson 958
4. Brody Roa 915
5. A. Williams 883
6. Mike Spenser 758
7. Max Adams 688
8. J. Vander Weerd 602
9. L. Williams 595
10 Jeremy Ellertson 552
10. C. Williams 552