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The United States Auto Club (USAC) is one of the sanctioning bodies of auto racing in the United States. From 1956 to 1979, USAC sanctioned the United States National Championship, and from 1956 to 1997 the organization sanctioned the Indianapolis 500. Today, USAC serves as the sanctioning body for a number of racing series, including the Silver Crown Series, National Sprint Cars, National Midgets, Speed2 Midget Series, .25 Midget Series, Stadium Super Trucks, and Pirelli World Challenge. Seven-time USAC champion Levi Jones is USAC's Competition Director.


5 Years to the Day: Leary Triumphs Again with USAC Sprints at Ocala

Dave Olson

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media


 

Ocala, Florida (February 16, 2024)………The last time C.J. Leary won at Florida’s Ocala Speedway, it wound up being a very good year.


 

After parlaying a final night Winter Dirt Games victory in 2019 at Ocala into a USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship later that season, the Greenfield, Ind. racer hopes that 2024 will bear a much similar fruit.


 

During Friday night’s Winter Dirt Games XV finale at the 3/8-mile dirt track, Leary took the right step in that direction by notching his first feature victory of the season, exactly five years to the day of his only other Ocala triumph, the significance of which wasn’t lost on Leary.


 

“This is awesome to pick up a win here,” Leary exclaimed. “It’s been since 2019 that we’ve been in victory lane here. Maybe this is a little sign of what’s to come throughout the whole season.”


 

Leary’s late-race surge on Friday night took him from fourth to first during the final five circuits, where he took over the point from series point leader Logan Seavey just three laps from the finish of the 30-lapper en route to victory in his BGE-Dougherty Motorsports/Altoz – Valvoline – Hornbeck Concrete/DRC/1-Way Chevy, the same 2020-built chassis he won with during Indiana Sprint Week at Kokomo Speedway in 2023.


 

The 23rd main event win of Leary’s USAC National Sprint Car career moved him to 28th on the all-time list, surpassing 27-time winners Rick Hood, Bubby Jones and Sammy Sessions while equaling Roger McCluskey on the 28 line.


 

Leary’s victory was of the resurgent variety, having collected four top-five finishes in each of his first four starts of the USAC season before tallying a distant ninth the night before at Ocala. What they thought was a possible engine malfunction 24 hours earlier turned out to be the same powerplant that guided the team to victory 24 hours later.


 

“We’ve been so fast and so good, but we had a little bit of an off night last night,” Leary recalled. “I thought we were having engine issues yesterday so we went through the whole thing and diagnosed it and couldn’t find anything wrong, so we just kept running it. This is probably the last night on this rebuild.”


 

Leary began his race from the fourth spot on the grid while, for the third consecutive event, Chase Stockon led the opening lap after starting from the pole position. However, by lap three, the man on the charge was Honest Abe Roofing Fast Qualifier Kevin Thomas Jr. who utilized the outside line to his liking, blowing by Stockon on the backstretch for the top spot on lap three.


 

Thomas’ time up front proved to be short-lived as Seavey quickly reeled him in and initiated a successful turn one slide job on the fourth lap which thrusted him into the race lead.


 

Seavey continued to ride the high line through the middle stages of the race as he swiftly knifed his way through the thick throng of lapped traffic to gain a 1.5 second lead over Thomas. Seavey continued to trounce the field as he assembled a full straightaway lead over Brady Bacon who deftly dove under Thomas in turn two to slot into the second position with nine laps remaining.


 

From there, Seavey’s interval over Bacon dissipated abruptly, and with six laps to go, Bacon was within a couple whiskers of Seavey’s tail tank when both narrowly avoided disaster. Just ahead of Seavey and Bacon, the lapped car driven by Robert Bell, making his first series start in nearly three years, spun out, forcing the leaders to take evasive action in order to avoid as the race went yellow.


 

With six to go, Leary found himself mired in fourth on a track that became lathered in rubber. But it didn’t stop Leary from beginning to make a surge. Leary pressed Thomas on lap 26 and wedged into the third spot in turn three under Thomas to move up another spot on the pylon.


 

Suddenly, fifth running Justin Grant slowed with a flat right rear tire, which caused him to stop in turn one, indicating that tire wear and attrition had begun to rear its head. Grant, winner of three-in-a-row at Ocala in the past week, saw his run end with a season-low 20th place result.


 

On the immediate restart, Leary shot under Bacon off turn four on lap 27 to corral third and cross the line just before fifth running Daison Pursley became the next victim of a right rear tire’s demise, which went flat and forced him to a stop in turn one.


 

Now with Leary lined up on Seavey’s rear bumper for the lap 28 restart, it didn’t take long for Leary to flex his muscle. Sweeping wide through turns one and two, Leary loaded up on momentum and carried it with him for the entire length of the the backstretch, and ultimately, was able to scoot under Seavey off turn four to put himself in prime real estate at the front of the field.


 

Thinking a bit earlier that, when the rubber came, the track surface was going to be hard to pass on, Leary even proved his own theory to be incorrect.


 

“I think it just kind of paid off there by not being the leader at the end,” Leary explained. “Those guys kept shortening the track up, looking for the rubber, but I was able to keep my momentum up around the top and find some moisture.”


 

Leary tore away from the pack over the final three trips, and on the last of the 30 laps, poured it on by laying down his fastest lap of the feature as he was taking the checkered flag for a .835 margin of victory over Seavey, Stockon, Thomas and Jadon Rogers, who posted a fine fifth place run. Bacon was headed for a third-place result on the final lap when his right rear tire gave way off turn four, dropping him to seventh in the final running order.


 

Second at the stripe was Logan Seavey (Sutter, Calif.) who finished off his six-race Florida stretch with six consecutive top-three finishes with the brand-new Abacus Racing sprint car team and their CG CPAs – Indy Custom Stone – Forecheck Marketing/DRC/Stanton Chevy.


 

“When you’re leading and it takes rubber, you think that’s the best thing,” Seavey said. “But one and two really didn’t take rubber. It was really slippery and tricky, and then you get so much speed down the frontstretch from the rubber, you just go sliding through one and two. I saw C.J. marching up the board every caution and I knew he was really good, but I guess I just assumed that he was driving around guys up a lane and then getting down in front of them on the backstretch just because it was so slick getting off two, so I moved up just half a lane and he snuck right by me. I got myself a little free after seeing guys blow tires and I freed myself up a little bit thinking I could get some weight off my right rear and make it to the end. It was the wrong decision, and I lost the race.”


 

Chase Stockon (Fort Branch, Ind.) equaled his season-best with a third-place result in his KO Motorsports/Banded Ag – Superior Tank & Trailer – Dewig Meats – AMSOIL/DRC/Fisher Chevy.


 

“I could see some of the guys’ tires starting to go down and delaminating a little bit, and I kind of knew we needed to save,” Stockon recalled. “Over the years, we’ve always been pretty decent in the rubber, so I was able to pick my way back up to third. We started on the pole both nights here, and on the last two nights, we’ve ended up third. Going first to third doesn’t show how hard these guys have been working on this car to get me comfortable, but we’re inching up on them.”


 

Joey Amantea (Mount Pocono, Pa.) has had a solid start to his first full season of USAC National Sprint Car racing. On this night, he capped his Winter Dirt Games trip with a run from 20th to 11th. That performance earned him the night's Irvin King Hard Charger award.


 

For the second consecutive season, Robert Ballou (Rocklin, Calif.) earned the Hughes Racing/Indiana Mafia/Flamingo Sandy Winter Dirt Games Passing Master title. Throughout the course of the past week in Florida, The Mad Man passed a total of 44 cars.


 

Meanwhile, Kevin Thomas Jr. (Cullman, Ala.) recorded his 38th career USAC National Sprint Car Fast Qualifying time, moving him past three-time series champ Larry Dickson and now sits just one behind five-time titlist Levi Jones for sixth all-time.


 


 

=====================


 


 

USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: February 16, 2024 – Ocala Speedway – Ocala, Florida – Winter Dirt Games XV – 3/8-Mile Dirt Track


 

HONEST ABE ROOFING QUALIFYING: 1. Kevin Thomas Jr., 3R, Rock Steady-13.914; 2. Daison Pursley, 21AZ, Team AZ-14.085; 3. C.J. Leary, 15x, BGE Dougherty-14.158; 4. Logan Seavey, 57, Abacus-14.187; 5. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-14.205; 6. Chase Stockon, 5s, KO-14.267; 7. Matt Westfall, 33m, Marshall-14.307; 8. Mitchel Moles, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-14.316; 9. Carson Garrett, 15, BGE Dougherty-14.401; 10. Briggs Danner, 39, Hogue-14.444; 11. Jadon Rogers, 17GP, Dutcher-14.462; 12. Justin Grant, 4, TOPP-14.476; 13. Tye Mihocko, 5T, Wilson-14.565; 14. Alex Bright, 27, Heffner-14.582; 15. Jake Swanson, 2B, 2B Racing-14.619; 16. Robert Ballou, 12, Ballou-14.626; 17. Tom Harris, 84, Harris-14.643; 18. Brandon Mattox, 28, Mattox-14.719; 19. Kyle Cummins, 3p, Petty-14.744; 20. Joey Amantea, 88J, JPA-14.810; 21. Hunter Maddox, 24m, Maddox-14.886; 22. Shane Butler, 18, Butler-15.210; 23. Timmy Buckwalter, 20, Hummer-15.598; 24. Robert Bell, 71, Bell-15.601; 25. Chase Howard, 13, Howard-15.615; 26. Kobe Simpson, 21K, Simpson-15.705; 27. Jake Bland, 24x, Maddox-NT.


 

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps, all transfer to the feature) 1. Logan Seavey, 2. Robert Ballou, 3. Briggs Danner, 4. Kyle Cummins, 5. Tye Mihocko, 6. Kevin Thomas Jr., 7. Matt Westfall, 8. Shane Butler, 9. Chase Howard. 2:04.00


 

ROD END SUPPLY SECOND HEAT: (8 laps, all transfer to the feature) 1. Jadon Rogers, 2. Mitchel Moles, 3. Daison Pursley, 4. Brady Bacon, 5. Joey Amantea, 6. Alex Bright, 7. Tom Harris, 8. Kobe Simpson. 2:02.78


 

T.J. FORGED/CAR IQ THIRD HEAT: (8 laps, all transfer to the feature) 1. Justin Grant, 2. Carson Garrett, 3. C.J. Leary, 4. Jake Swanson, 5. Chase Stockon, 6. Brandon Mattox, 7. Hunter Maddox, 8. Robert Bell. 2:04.89


 

FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. C.J. Leary (4), 2. Logan Seavey (3), 3. Chase Stockon (1), 4. Kevin Thomas Jr. (6), 5. Jadon Rogers (7), 6. Mitchel Moles (10), 7. Brady Bacon (2), 8. Alex Bright (14), 9. Briggs Danner (12), 10. Carson Garrett (11), 11. Joey Amantea (20), 12. Robert Ballou (16), 13. Jake Swanson (15), 14. Tye Mihocko (13), 15. Kyle Cummins (19), 16. Matt Westfall (9), 17. Tom Harris (17), 18. Brandon Mattox (18), 19. Kobe Simpson (25), 20. Justin Grant (8), 21. Hunter Maddox (21), 22. Daison Pursley (5), 23. Chase Howard (24), 24. Robert Bell (23), 25. Shane Butler (22). NT


 

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-2 Chase Stockon, Lap 3 Kevin Thomas Jr., Laps 4-27 Logan Seavey, Laps 28-30 C.J. Leary.


 

USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Logan Seavey-462, 2-C.J. Leary-424, 3-Kevin Thomas Jr.-400, 4-Justin Grant-388, 5-Daison Pursley-331, 6-Chase Stockon-322, 7-Briggs Danner-309, 8-Robert Ballou-305, 9-Kyle Cummins-304, 10-Mitchel Moles-295.


 

OVERALL PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Robert Ballou-37, 2-Tye Mihocko-32, 3-Alex Bright-27, 4-Joey Amantea-24, 5-Logan Seavey-20, 6-C.J. Leary-19, 7-Kyle Cummins-18, 8-Kevin Thomas Jr.-15, 9-Matt Westfall-15, 10-Briggs Danner-13.


 

HUGHES RACING / INDIANA MAFIA / FLAMINGO SANDY WINTER DIRT GAMES XV PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Robert Ballou-44, 2-Tye Mihocko-39, 3-Logan Seavey-35, 4-C.J. Leary-30, 5-Alex Bright-30, 6-Joey Amantea-29, 7-Kyle Cummins-27, 8-Justin Grant-26, 9-Kevin Thomas Jr.-25, 10-Matt Westfall-20.


 

NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE: April 5, 2024 – Terre Haute Action Track – Terre Haute, Indiana – Jim Hurtubise Classic – 1/2-Mile Dirt Track


 


 

CONTINGENCY AWARD WINNERS:                                                       


 

Dirt Draft Hot Laps Fastest Driver: Briggs Danner (14.202)


 

Honest Abe Roofing Fast Qualifier: Kevin Thomas Jr. (13.914)


 

Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner: Logan Seavey


 

Rod End Supply Second Heat Winner: Jadon Rogers


 

T.J. Forged / Car IQ Third Heat Winner: Justin Grant


 

ProSource Hard Work Award: Kobe Simpson


 

Irvin King Hard Charger: Joey Amantea (20th to 11th)


 

Hughes Racing/Indiana Mafia/Flamingo Sandy Winter Dirt Games XV Passing Master Champion: Robert Ballou

 

3-For-3! Grant Tops USAC Sprint Field For Third-Straight Ocala Win

Dave Olson

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media


 

Ocala, Florida (February 15, 2024)………Quite frankly, Florida’s Ocala Speedway has served all of Justin Grant’s banking needs throughout Winter Dirt Games XV.


 

After three USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship feature victories in three starts this year, the 3/8-mile dirt oval has been a figurative ATM for Grant and his TOPP Motorsports/NOS Energy Drink – Bow Foundation – TOPP Industries/Maxim/Kistler Chevy.


 

In the process, Grant (Ione, Calif.) set a new milestone on Thursday night at Ocala with his 48th career series victory, surpassing USAC Hall of Fame inductee Tracy Hines for sole possession of fourth place all-time.


 

Furthermore, Grant became the first driver since Damion Gardner in 2010 to win at least three of the first four events to begin a USAC National Sprint Car season. Now, with seven overall scores, Grant has added to his grand total as both the winningest USAC National Sprint Car driver at Ocala Speedway and as the winningest driver in Winter Dirt Games history.


 

By doing so, Grant gave TOPP Motorsports a share of the top of the list in terms of the winningest teams in Winter Dirt Games history, tied with Dynamics, Inc. at six main event victories, turning his No. 4 into something more akin to what you might see on the launching pad at Cape Canaveral, located roughly two hours southeast of where he won Thursday night’s feature.


 

“Our car is lights out around here,” Grant exclaimed. "I feel like we’re about the same speed as everybody else early in the day, but by the time this place gets slick in feature time, this thing has been an absolute rocket ship.”


 

Grant’s currently active streak of three-straight wins at a single track began with back-to-back victories at Ocala to open the season last weekend. It’s a familiar scenario for Grant who is the only driver to achieve three consecutive wins at one track throughout the past four USAC Sprint Car seasons. Grant has actually accomplished it on two other separate occasions in that span, both coming at Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway, between 2021-22 and across three successive evenings in August of 2023.


 

Starting outside the front row on Thursday night at Ocala, Grant quickly established the lead by lap two as he glided underneath pole sitter and opening lap leader Chase Stockon on the inside of turn two, then was practically perfect for the remainder of the 30-lap distance.


 

Grant had opened up a 2.5 second lead over the field just before the midway point until third-running Timmy Buckwalter slipped over the cushion in turn one on lap 14 and slid to a stop. The incident also affected sixth place Brady Bacon whose horrible, no good, rotten start to the year got even worse when his right rear tire nicked Buckwalter’s rear bumper, flattening Bacon’s rubber as he attempted to avoid Buckwalter’s stalled machine, which prompted a visit to the Indy Metal Finishing Work Area for a new tire.


 

As a result, Bacon restarted at the tail and managed only a 13th in the final finishing order, his fourth finish of 12th or worse in five starts this season.


 

Just after the ensuing restart, Logan Seavey, gunning to earn his third-straight USAC win of the week after sweeping Tuesday’s twin bill at Volusia, drag raced past Stockon on the front straight to gain the second position on lap 15. That put the only two 2024 USAC winners running one and two.


 

Just moments later, however, USAC Rookie Trey Osborne (20th) launched over the outside guardrail in between turns three and four on the 16th lap. Osborne walked away from the incident after becoming the second driver of the night to clear the wall after Zach Daum catapulted over the turn four rail before landing outside the track. Both drivers walked away without injury.


 

Mere moments before Osborne’s crash, Grant overcame a bit of tentativeness on his approach into turns three and four, knowing that in order to defeat Seavey, he was going to have to slightly alter his approach.


 

“I was afraid to open my entry into turn three, but three and four were getting pretty thin,” Grant explained. “I know you’ve got to open your entry here to get that moisture down the front stretch. On the lap the red came out, I had done that, and it was like, ‘okay, it’s time to move.’”


 

During the open red flag in which crews are permitted to make adjustments on their cars and offer sage-like advice to their drivers, crew chief Jeff Walker assured Grant that they weren’t going to be beat if they were able to string together 15 more high quality laps on the board. Importantly, both driver and team were in concert and in complete agreement that it was a necessity to get off the bottom of turn four even better than they had been.


 

“I think I had her figured out,” Grant confidently stated. “But it was certainly nice to have Jeff come out and just get the heart rate back down, settle me down and let me know that what I was thinking was right.”


 

With 10 laps remaining, the top-two breakaway of the 2023 USAC national champions resumed with Grant keeping Seavey consistently at bay by two to three car lengths at the front of the field.


 

For the balance of the show, that’s how it remained, and when the curtain closed, that’s how it concluded. At the finish line, Grant was 0.524 seconds ahead of Seavey with Stockon third, Daison Pursley fourth and Jake Swanson fifth.


 

Seavey (Sutter, Calif.) increased his series point lead to 27 over Grant after recording his fifth consecutive top-three result in his Abacus Racing/CG CPAs – Indy Custom Stone – Forecheck Marketing/DRC/Stanton Chevy, just missing out on becoming the first driver since Damion Gardner in 2010-11 to score three-straight Winter Dirt Games triumphs.


 

“I think our car was good, if not maybe a touch better than Justin’s,” Seavey pointed out. “I tried to arch turn three one time and it was actually the same lap he arched three. We both were out in the black and he got away from us. When you’ve got a guy like Justin out front, unless a mistake happens, it doesn’t really matter if you’re faster than him or not. We ran a good race and ran a good line to get to his bumper. I thought I had a shot, but the only real shot you have is when there’s a mistake, but there weren’t any.”


 

For the second race in a row, Chase Stockon (Fort Branch, Ind.) stepped out into the race lead on the opening lap. This time around, however, he stuck around up front to gain his best USAC result of the season thus far, a third in his KO Motorsports/Banded Ag – Superior Tank & Trailer – Dewig Meats – AMSOIL/DRC/Fisher Chevy


 

“Kent Schmidt has been turning the wrenches on this thing all week,” Stockon revealed. “We’ve had a fast car and had a lot of good moments, but a little luck just didn’t go our way. I think we’re inching up on these guys. I think it’ll be a trending thing to see the 5s car back up on the podium more often. These guys – Logan and Justin – have a really good pace right now. It’s pretty cool to watch these guys battle it out, but we’d just like to be in front of them while they’re doing that.”


 

Kevin Thomas Jr. (Cullman, Ala.) was the biggest mover of in the feature, advancing seven spots from 14th to seventh to earn Irvin King Hard Charger honors. Meanwhile, Shane Butler (Bushnell, Fla.) grabbed the final transfer spot in the semi-feature, which earned him his first career USAC National Sprint Car feature starting spot as well as ProSource Hard Work honors for the night.


 


 

=====================


 


 

USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: February 15, 2024 – Ocala Speedway – Ocala, Florida – Winter Dirt Games XV – 3/8-Mile Dirt Track


 

HONEST ABE ROOFING QUALIFYING: 1. Logan Seavey, 57, Abacus-13.925; 2. Timmy Buckwalter, 20, Hummer-13.929; 3. Daison Pursley, 21AZ, Team AZ-14.005; 4. Jake Swanson, 2B, 2B Racing-14.039; 5. Carson Garrett, 15, BGE Dougherty-14.039; 6. C.J. Leary, 15x, BGE Dougherty-14.040; 7. Justin Grant, 4, TOPP-14.099; 8. Zach Daum, 5d, Daum-14.100; 9. Chase Stockon, 5s, KO-14.126; 10. Briggs Danner, 39, Hogue-14.132; 11. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-14.149; 12. Kyle Cummins, 3p, Petty-14.194; 13. Matt Westfall, 33m, Marshall-14.212; 14. Kevin Thomas Jr., 3R, Rock Steady-14.258; 15. Tom Harris, 84, Harris-14.340; 16. Mitchel Moles, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-14.348; 17. Robert Ballou, 12, Ballou-14.349; 18. Jadon Rogers, 17GP, Dutcher-14.376; 19. Trey Osborne, 5, Baldwin/Fox-14.445; 20. Joey Amantea, 88J, JPA-14.452; 21. Alex Bright, 27, Heffner-14.487; 22. Tye Mihocko, 5T, Wilson-14.550; 23. Chase Howard, 13, Howard-14.968; 24. Brandon Mattox, 28, Mattox-14.973; 25. Shane Butler, 18, Butler-15.047; 26. Hunter Maddox, 24m, Maddox-15.075; 27. Kobe Simpson, 21K, Simpson-16.139; 28. Robert Bell, 71, Bell-17.189.


 

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps, top-5 transfer to the feature) 1. Matt Westfall, 2. Chase Stockon, 3. Robert Ballou, 4. Alex Bright, 5. Logan Seavey, 6. Carson Garrett, 7. Shane Butler. 1:57.91


 

ROD END SUPPLY SECOND HEAT: (8 laps, top-5 transfer to the feature) 1. Jadon Rogers, 2. Tye Mihocko, 3. Timmy Buckwalter, 4. Briggs Danner, 5. Kevin Thomas Jr., 6. C.J. Leary, 7. Hunter Maddox. 1:56.20


 

T.J. FORGED THIRD HEAT: (8 laps, top-5 transfer to the feature) 1. Brady Bacon, 2. Daison Pursley, 3. Justin Grant, 4. Trey Osborne, 5. Tom Harris, 6. Chase Howard, 7. Kobe Simpson. 1:58.32


 

CAR IQ FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps, top-5 transfer to the feature) 1. Kyle Cummins, 2. Joey Amantea, 3. Jake Swanson, 4. Mitchel Moles, 5. Brandon Mattox, 6. Zach Daum, 7. Robert Bell. 1:57.28


 

ELLIOTT’S CUSTOM TRAILERS & CARTS SEMI: (12 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Carson Garrett, 2. C.J. Leary, 3. Chase Howard, 4. Shane Butler, 5. Hunter Maddox, 6. Kobe Simpson, 7. Robert Bell. NT


 

FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Justin Grant (2), 2. Logan Seavey (6), 3. Chase Stockon (1), 4. Daison Pursley (4), 5. Jake Swanson (3), 6. Matt Westfall (9), 7. Kevin Thomas Jr. (14), 8. Kyle Cummins (8), 9. C.J. Leary (12), 10. Jadon Rogers (10), 11. Robert Ballou (17), 12. Joey Amantea (19), 13. Brady Bacon (7), 14. Carson Garrett (11), 15. Mitchel Moles (16), 16. Tye Mihocko (20), 17. Alex Bright (24), 18. Tom Harris (15), 19. Brandon Mattox (22), 20. Trey Osborne (18), 21. Timmy Buckwalter (5), 22. Chase Howard (21), 23. Briggs Danner (13), 24. Shane Butler (23). NT


 

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Lap 1 Chase Stockon, Laps 2-30 Justin Grant.


 

**Hunter Maddox flipped during qualifying. Zach Daum flipped over the turn four guardrail during the fourth heat. Trey Osborne flipped over the turn three guardrail on lap 16 of the feature.


 

USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Logan Seavey-384, 2-Justin Grant-357, 3-C.J. Leary-344, 4-Kevin Thomas Jr.-330, 5-Daison Pursley-297, 6-Kyle Cummins-266, 7-Robert Ballou-259, 8-Briggs Danner-257, 9-Chase Stockon-253, 10-Mitchel Moles-233.


 

OVERALL PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Robert Ballou-33, 2-Tye Mihocko-32, 3-Alex Bright-21, 4-Logan Seavey-19, 5-C.J. Leary-16, 6-Matt Westfall-15, 7-Joey Amantea-15, 8-Kyle Cummins-14, 9-Kevin Thomas Jr.-13, 10-Justin Grant-10.


 

HUGHES RACING / INDIANA MAFIA / FLAMINGO SANDY WINTER DIRT GAMES XV SPRINT CAR PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Robert Ballou-40, 2-Tye Mihocko-39, 3-Logan Seavey-30, 4-Justin Grant-24, 5-C.J. Leary-24, 6-Alex Bright-24, 7-Kevin Thomas Jr.-23, 8-Kyle Cummins-20, 9-Matt Westfall-20, 10-Joey Amantea-18.


 

NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACES: February 16-17, 2024 – Ocala Speedway – Ocala, Florida – Winter Dirt Games XV – 3/8-Mile Dirt Track


 


 

CONTINGENCY AWARD WINNERS:


 

Dirt Draft Hot Laps Fastest Driver: Logan Seavey (13.946)


 

Honest Abe Roofing Fast Qualifier: Logan Seavey (13.925)


 

Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner: Matt Westfall


 

Rod End Supply Second Heat Winner: Jadon Rogers


 

T.J. Forged / Car IQ Third Heat Winner: Brady Bacon


 

Elliott’s Custom Trailers & Carts Semi Winner: Kyle Cummins


 

ProSource Hard Work Award: Shane Butler


 

Irvin King Hard Charger: Kevin Thomas Jr. (14th to 7th)

 


Gator Sweep! Seavey Wins Both Ends of USAC Sprint Twin Bill at Volusia

Josh James

Barberville, Florida (February 13, 2024)………Throughout the past few years, we’ve witnessed Logan Seavey accomplish a myriad of feats that have not been achieved by any other individuals in generations.


 

In 2022, he became the first driver to win on all three USAC national season finales on dirt. In 2023, he captured two USAC national victories at two different tracks within a single day. Later that same season, he swept the USAC portion of the 4-Crown Nationals. The list goes on and on.


 

On Tuesday night at Florida’s Volusia Speedway Park, Seavey added yet another astounding achievement to his ever-growing list. On this night, the Sutter, Calif. racer did something no other driver has done in more than 22 years – winning multiple USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship features in a single day.


 

Fellow Californian Bud Kaeding was the most recent to go back-to-back on the same night in October of 2001 at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track. Seavey’s performance was the 18th occasion in which a driver swept both ends of a USAC National Sprint Car doubleheader at the same track on the same day.


 

The others to accomplish the feat are Jim Hurtubise (1961 Langhorne), Roger McCluskey (1966 Terre Haute), Mario Andretti (1967 Oswego), Greg Weld (1968 Reading), Sammy Sessions (1969 Pocono), Pancho Carter (1973 Winchester), A.J. Foyt (1974 Indiana State Fairgrounds), Tom Bigelow (1974 Minnesota State Fairgrounds), Marvin Carman (1975 Winchester), Pancho Carter (1976 Eldora), Pancho Carter (1976 Winchester), Tom Bigelow (1977 Indiana State Fairgrounds), Pancho Carter (1977 Winchester), Steve Chassey (1979 Winchester), Billy Cassella (1979 Eldora), Doug Wolfgang (1991 Tri-City), Bud Kaeding (2001 Terre Haute).


 

So few have been able to make their way onto the list over the years and decades, and in continuing a trend that has been true since 1979, Seavey won both of his races on a dirt half-mile – the kind of place that fits him to a T.


 

“It’s incredible,” Seavey exclaimed. “These races are so hard to win, and to win any of them is just a dream come true for me. These big half-miles really suit me well. Once you get your momentum going, it’s easy to keep it going. I’ve been here in the past and struggled, but this thing is so good. I was really confident, and it showed here tonight. The last 13 months have been the best months of my career and my life. It’s just so cool to be out here winning USAC races.”


 

In addition, Abacus Racing had a perfect night as well, capturing its first two USAC National Sprint Car features in a span of a little more than an hour. The Noblesville, Ind. based team became the first entrant to win their first two USAC National Sprint Car main events on the same day since Max Dowker at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway in 1975, a car driven to twin-50 lap victories nearly a half-century ago.


 

To add to the saga, Abacus Racing’s primary powerplant met its demise as Seavey was taking the checkered flag during a heat race victory in Monday’s rain-abbreviated program. At that point, the team decided to remove the engine out of their CG CPAs – Indy Custom Stone – Forecheck Marketing/DRC/Stanton Chevy spare car and install it in their primary rather than going with the backup.


 

The move paid off, and here they are now, all of a sudden standing with a pair of wins and the USAC National Sprint Car point lead just four races into the team’s existence with the series, and just a handful of months removed from series titles with both the USAC Silver Crown and NOS Energy Drink Midget National Midgets in 2023.


 

“(Crewman) Kirk (Simpson) and Ronnie (Gardner) have worked so much harder than I feel they should’ve or needed to,” Seavey praised. “I kind of pushed them to make that call to stay in this car and change engines and keep our starting spot for later. These guys didn’t give up. They just kept working on this thing and making it better for me. When you change engines, it changes everything. With any power difference, it just changes the car completely.  Our car has been so good, and to have a big change like that is tough, but you can’t really help engine problems.”


 

The first of two features held on Tuesday night was a 30-lapper paying $10,000-to-win, which saw Seavey starting ninth on the grid. Pole sitter Carson Garrett led the initial five circuits until outside front row starter Kyle Cummins went topside around the low-riding Garrett to take over the top spot on lap six.


 

By halfway, Seavey was in the thick of the mix as he charged under Brady Bacon for the second spot on lap 15. After catching Cummins on lap 20, Seavey attempted his first slider to no avail in turns one and two. When Cummins counterpunched to briefly reassume the lead, Seavey sling-shotted his way under Cummins in turns three and four to make the move stick and take over the reins of the race.


 

“I really was surprised actually when (Cummins) turned down off two,” Seavey recalled. “I think I just hopped the cushion a little bit when I slid him. I was nervous, and then I got an awful final restart and I spun really bad. I had to protect a lot into one and I didn’t feel like I got through one and two good at all, but I kind of got through the back stretch okay. I thought if I could just get into three good and get away from these guys, I’d be okay. I grabbed brake and I got tight, then I just kept making mistakes those last few laps, but the car kind of carried me to the win.”


 

Just when Seavey seemingly had it all wrapped up in a neat little package just after taking the white flag, calamity ensued. During a battle for third between Bacon and Kevin Thomas Jr., Bacon and the lapped car of Jadon Rogers collided in turns three and four, resulting in Bacon and Rogers flipping over as well as the oncoming car of Trey Osborne. All drivers managed to climb out and walk away.


 

As was the story all night long, Seavey found no match after the green-white-checkered restart, scoring the win by 1.331 seconds over Cummins, making it two brand-new teams finishing inside the top-two.  Thomas Jr. took third while fast qualifier and new one-lap track record holder C.J. Leary grabbed fourth. Meanwhile, Garrett rounded out the top-five.


 

Starting fourth in the second “Monday make-up” feature of the night, Chase Stockon zipped out to the opening lap lead from his pole starting position. However, third-starting Bacon quickly positioned himself at the front with a slider on Stockon for the lead in turn one on lap two.


 

By lap four, Seavey had already shot his way into second as he slipped by Stockon to take the spot, then began to work on reeling in Bacon. On lap 11, Seavey swiped the lead from Bacon with a strong run on the back straight. However, just as Seavey cleared Bacon, the yellow flag flew for a 360-degree spin in turn four by Stockon after he and Grant tangled in a battle for seventh. Due to the caution, Seavey relinquished his lead back to Bacon for the ensuing resumption.


 

It didn’t take long, however, for Seavey to fight his way back to the front. Seavey slid Bacon in turns one and two to take full ownership of the top spot on lap 14, then immediately jetted away to a 1.6 second advantage just a mere lap later.


 

“It’s tough when you’re leading,” Seavey said of Bacon’s predicament. “He was running fairly hard, but when you’ve got a rabbit to chase, you can always push it a little bit harder. If you’re leading and screw up, you look like a dummy. It’s hard to judge just how hard you can run. If you step over the line once, it gets you, and it did get him there, but he got saved by the yellow. This car is so comfortable on the cushion and secure, you can really hammer it in there and run well. I got to him a little bit earlier in the race and I tried too hard, and I was the one getting up over it. These big fast miles with a curb are tricky, and it’s why we love them.


 

Nonetheless, the action came to a halt in a major way on lap 20 as Robert Ballou (12th) barrel rolled atop turns one and two.  Rogers (17th) attempted to avoid the carnage, but flipped several times himself as well, his second upside down misfortune of the night. Both drivers walked away without harm. Leader Seavey nearly got caught up in it and was forced to take evasive action to avoid the carnage, narrowly avoiding contact with four wheels above the cushion, but kept it going.


 

Seavey held a 3.542 second lead before the red flag with six to go, but once again, he went undeterred to the finish line, opening up a relatively comfortable gap of 1.742 seconds at the stripe for his second triumphant performance of the night while Bacon, Leary, Daison Pursley and Grant rounded out the top-five.


 

In addition, Seavey added to his trophy collection with a Big Gator for accumulating the best average finish of the night between the two main events, and of course, an average result of 1.0 for the entirety of the evening is simply impossible for anyone else to overtake, and that is something that nobody was able to accomplish all throughout Tuesday night.


 


 

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USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: February 13, 2024 – Volusia Speedway Park – Barberville, Florida – Winter Dirt Games XV / DIRTcar Nationals / Bubby Jones Master of Goin’ Faster Presented by Spire Sports + Entertainment – 1/2-Mile Dirt Track


 

HONEST ABE ROOFING QUALIFYING: 1. C.J. Leary, 15x, BGE Dougherty-16.151 (New Track Record); 2. Justin Grant, 4, TOPP-16.375; 3. Mitchel Moles, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-16.506; 4. Briggs Danner, 39, Hogue-16.557; 5. Kyle Cummins, 3p, Petty-16.574; 6. Carson Garrett, 15, BGE Dougherty-16.607; 7. Matt Westfall, 33m, Marshall-16.667; 8. Timmy Buckwalter, 20, Hummer-16.700; 9. Joey Amantea, 88J, JPA-16.707; 10. Tom Harris, 84, Harris-16.711; 11. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-16.716; 12. Kevin Thomas Jr., 3R, Rock Steady-16.760; 13. Logan Seavey, 57, Abacus-16.784; 14. Zach Daum, 5d, Daum-16.796; 15. Daison Pursley, 21AZ, Team AZ-16.816; 16. Jadon Rogers, 17GP, Dutcher-16.834; 17. Brandon Mattox, 28, Mattox-16.883; 18. Brian Ruhlman, 49, Ruhlman-16.889; 19. Chase Stockon, 5s, KO-16.940; 20. Tye Mihocko, 5T, Wilson-16.991; 21. Alex Bright, 27, Heffner-17.005; 22. Jake Swanson, 2B, 2B Racing-17.011; 23. Hunter Maddox, 24m, Maddox-17.043; 24. Trey Osborne, 5, Baldwin/Fox-17.083; 25. Robert Ballou, 12, Ballou-17.093; 26. Chase Howard, 13, Howard-17.565; 27. Robert Bell, 71, Bell-NT.


 

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps, top-6 transfer to the feature) 1. Logan Seavey, 2. Jadon Rogers, 3. Matt Westfall, 4. C.J. Leary, 5. Chase Stockon, 6. Briggs Danner, 7. Robert Ballou, 8. Jake Swanson, 9. Tom Harris. NT


 

ROD END SUPPLY SECOND HEAT: (8 laps, top-6 transfer to the feature) 1. Brady Bacon, 2. Timmy Buckwalter, 3. Kyle Cummins, 4. Justin Grant, 5. Tye Mihocko, 6. Zach Daum, 7. Brandon Mattox, 8. Chase Howard, 9. Hunter Maddox. 2:18.20


 

T.J. FORGED/CAR IQ THIRD HEAT: (8 laps, top-6 transfer to the feature) 1. Kevin Thomas Jr., 2. Brian Ruhlman, 3. Joey Amantea, 4. Carson Garrett, 5. Mitchel Moles, 6. Alex Bright, 7. Trey Osborne, 8. Daison Pursley, 9. Robert Bell. 2:16.68


 

ELLIOTT’S CUSTOM TRAILERS & CARTS SEMI: (8 laps, top-6 transfer to the feature) 1. Robert Ballou, 2. Tom Harris, 3. Trey Osborne, 4. Brandon Mattox, 5. Jake Swanson, 6. Hunter Maddox, 7. Chase Howard. 2:22.45


 

FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Logan Seavey (9), 2. Kyle Cummins (2), 3. Kevin Thomas Jr. (8), 4. C.J. Leary (6), 5. Carson Garrett (1), 6. Daison Pursley (25-P), 7. Mitchel Moles (4), 8. Briggs Danner (3), 9. Chase Stockon (18), 10. Justin Grant (5), 11. Robert Ballou (24), 12. Joey Amantea (12), 13. Tye Mihocko (19), 14. Timmy Buckwalter (11), 15. Tom Harris (13), 16. Matt Westfall (10), 17. Zach Daum (14), 18. Hunter Maddox (22), 19. Alex Bright (20), 20. Brady Bacon (7), 21. Jadon Rogers (15), 22. Trey Osborne (23), 23. Brandon Mattox (16), 24. Brian Ruhlman (17), 25. Jake Swanson (21). NT


 

(P) represents a provisional starter


 

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-5 Carson Garrett, Laps 6-19 Kyle Cummins, Laps 20-30 Logan Seavey.


 

**Brady Bacon, Jadon Rogers & Trey Osborne flipped on lap 29 of the feature.


 

USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Logan Seavey-237, 2-C.J. Leary-230, 3-Justin Grant-223, 4-Kevin Thomas Jr.-222, 5-Robert Ballou-181, 6-Briggs Danner-180, 7-Kyle Cummins-166, 8-Daison Pursley-164, 9-Carson Garrett-151, 10-Mitchel Moles-149.


 

BUBBY JONES MASTER OF GOIN’ FASTER PRESENTED BY SPIRE SPORTS + ENTERTAINMENT POINTS: 1-Logan Seavey-78, 2-Kyle Cummins-75, 3-C.J. Leary-72, 4-Kevin Thomas Jr.-72, 5-Carson Garrett-64, 6-Mitchel Moles-60, 7-Briggs Danner-56, 8-Daison Pursley-55, 9-Justin Grant-53, 10-Chase Stockon-50.


 

OVERALL PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Robert Ballou-24, 2-Tye Mihocko-16, 3-Alex Bright-13, 4-Logan Seavey-12, 5-Kyle Cummins-11, 6-C.J. Leary-10, 7-Chase Stockon-9, 8-Briggs Danner-8, 9-Mitchel Moles-7, 10-Jadon Rogers-7.


 

HUGHES RACING / INDIANA MAFIA / FLAMINGO SANDY WINTER DIRT GAMES XV SPRINT CAR PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Robert Ballou-31, 2-Tye Mihocko-23, 3-Logan Seavey-22, 4-Justin Grant-18, 5-C.J. Leary-18, 6-Kevin Thomas Jr.-16, 7-Alex Bright-16, 8-Chase Stockon-15, 9-Kyle Cummins-14, 10-Briggs Danner-13.


 

NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACES: February 15-16-17, 2024 – Ocala Speedway Park – Ocala, Florida – Winter Dirt Games XV – 3/8-Mile Dirt Track


 


 

CONTINGENCY AWARD WINNERS:


 

Dirt Draft Hot Laps Fastest Driver: Justin Grant (16.711)


 

Honest Abe Roofing Fast Qualifier: C.J. Leary (16.151)


 

Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner: Logan Seavey


 

Rod End Supply Second Heat Winner: Brady Bacon


 

T.J. Forged / Car IQ Third Heat Winner: Kevin Thomas Jr.


 

Elliott’s Custom Trailers & Carts Semi Winner: Robert Ballou


 

ProSource Hard Work Award: Robert Ballou


 

Irvin King Hard Charger: Robert Ballou (24th to 11th)


 


 

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USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: February 12-13, 2024 – Volusia Speedway Park – Barberville, Florida – Winter Dirt Games XV / DIRTcar Nationals – 1/2-Mile Dirt Track


 

HONEST ABE ROOFING QUALIFYING: 1. C.J. Leary, 15x, BGE Dougherty-16.173 (New Track Record); 2. Kevin Thomas Jr., 3R, Rock Steady-16.424; 3. Logan Seavey, 57, Abacus-16.504; 4. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-16.532; 5. Mitchel Moles, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-16.562; 6. Chase Stockon, 5s, KO-16.645; 7. Carson Garrett, 15, BGE Dougherty-16.664; 8. Briggs Danner, 39, Hogue-16.705; 9. Timmy Buckwalter, 20, Hummer-16.775; 10. Daison Pursley, 21AZ, Team AZ-16.792; 11. Kyle Cummins, 3p, Petty-16.834; 12. Zach Daum, 5d, Daum-16.838; 13. Alex Bright, 27, Heffner-16.840; 14. Justin Grant, 4, TOPP-16.893; 15. Jake Swanson, 2B, 2B Racing-16.956; 16. Jadon Rogers, 17GP, Dutcher-16.991; 17. Tom Harris, 84, Harris-17.112; 18. Joey Amantea, 88J, JPA-17.137; 19. Robert Ballou, 12, Ballou-17.174; 20. Brandon Mattox, 28, Mattox-17.231; 21. Hunter Maddox, 24m, Maddox-17.297; 22. Brian Ruhlman, 49, Ruhlman-17.336; 23. Matt Westfall, 33m, Marshall-17.397; 24. Tye Mihocko, 5T, Wilson-17.513; 25. Trey Osborne, 5, Baldwin/Fox-17.906; 26. Chase Howard, 13, Howard-18.141; 27. Robert Bell, 71, Bell-18.745.


 

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps, top-6 transfer to the feature) 1. Alex Bright, 2. Jadon Rogers, 3. C.J. Leary, 4. Brady Bacon, 5. Carson Garrett, 6. Robert Ballou, 7. Brian Ruhlman, 8. Trey Osborne, 9. Daison Pursley. NT


 

ROD END SUPPLY SECOND HEAT: (8 laps, top-6 transfer to the feature) 1. Justin Grant, 2. Kyle Cummins, 3. Kevin Thomas Jr., 4. Briggs Danner, 5. Tom Harris, 6. Mitchel Moles, 7. Matt Westfall, 8. Brandon Mattox, 9. Chase Howard. 2:16.61 (New Track Record)


 

T.J. FORGED/CAR IQ THIRD HEAT: (8 laps, top-6 transfer to the feature) 1. Logan Seavey, 2. Timmy Buckwalter, 3. Jake Swanson, 4. Joey Amantea, 5. Chase Stockon, 6. Zach Daum, 7. Tye Mihocko, 8. Hunter Maddox, 9. Robert Bell. 2:17.52


 

ELLIOTT’S CUSTOM TRAILERS & CARTS SEMI: (10 laps, top-6 transfer to the feature) 1. Daison Pursley, 2. Tye Mihocko, 3. Matt Westfall, 4. Brian Ruhlman, 5. Hunter Maddox, 6. Trey Osborne, 7. Brandon Mattox, 8. Chase Howard, 9. Robert Bell. 3:00.79


 

FEATURE: (25 laps, starting positions in parentheses, held February 13) 1. Logan Seavey (4), 2. Brady Bacon (3), 3. C.J. Leary (6), 4. Daison Pursley (12), 5. Justin Grant (8), 6. Alex Bright (7), 7. Kevin Thomas Jr. (5), 8. Briggs Danner (10), 9. Mitchel Moles (2), 10. Kyle Cummins (13), 11. Tye Mihocko (23), 12. Tom Harris (17), 13. Carson Garrett (9), 14. Joey Amantea (18), 15. Chase Stockon (1), 16. Robert Ballou (19), 17. Matt Westfall (22), 18. Zach Daum (14), 19. Trey Osborne (24), 20. Hunter Maddox (20), 21. Brian Ruhlman (21), 22. Timmy Buckwalter (11), 23. Jadon Rogers (16), 24. Jake Swanson (15). NT


 

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Lap 1 Chase Stockon, Laps 2-13 Brady Bacon, Laps 14-25 Logan Seavey.


 

**Robert Ballou & Jadon Rogers flipped on lap 20 of the feature.


 

USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Logan Seavey-307, 2-C.J. Leary-294, 3-Justin Grant-281, 4-Kevin Thomas Jr.-274, 5-Briggs Danner-229, 6-Daison Pursley-225, 7-Robert Ballou-212, 8-Kyle Cummins-209, 9-Mitchel Moles-195, 10-Carson Garrett-188.


 

OVERALL PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Tye Mihocko-28, 2-Robert Ballou-27, 3-Logan Seavey-15, 4-Kyle Cummins-14, 5-Alex Bright-14, 6-C.J. Leary-13, 7-Matt Westfall-12, 8-Briggs Danner-10, 9-Justin Grant-9, 10-Daison Pursley-9.


 

HUGHES RACING / INDIANA MAFIA / FLAMINGO SANDY WINTER DIRT GAMES XV SPRINT CAR PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Tye Mihocko-35, 2-Robert Ballou-34, 3-Logan Seavey-25, 4-Justin Grant-21, 5-C.J. Leary-21, 6-Kyle Cummins-17, 7-Alex Bright-17, 8-Kevin Thomas Jr.-16, 9-Briggs Danner-15, 10-Matt Westfall-15.


 

NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACES: February 13, 2024 – Volusia Speedway Park – Barberville, Florida – Winter Dirt Games XV / DIRTcar Nationals – 1/2-Mile Dirt Track


 


 

CONTINGENCY AWARD WINNERS:


 

Dirt Draft Hot Laps Fastest Driver: Timmy Buckwalter (16.994)


 

Honest Abe Roofing Fast Qualifier: C.J. Leary (16.173)


 

Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner: Alex Bright


 

Rod End Supply Second Heat Winner: Justin Grant


 

T.J. Forged / Car IQ Third Heat Winner: Logan Seavey


 

Elliott’s Custom Trailers & Carts Semi Winner: Daison Pursley


 

ProSource Hard Work Award: Trey Osborne


 

Irvin King Hard Charger: Tye Mihocko (23rd to 11th)

 


 

 

Back-To-Back at Ocala! Grant Moves to 4th on USAC Sprint Win List

John DaDalt

Ocala, Florida (February 10, 2024)………One night after moving into the top-five on the all-time USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship feature win list, Justin Grant rose even higher in the record books during Saturday’s second round of Winter Dirt Games XV at Florida’s Ocala Speedway.


 

Starting fourth for the second consecutive program, Grant (Ione, Calif.) blitzed past Kevin Thomas Jr. with 10 laps remaining to earn his second victory in as many nights, this one worth $7,500, behind the wheel of the TOPP Motorsports/NOS Energy Drink – Bow Foundation – TOPP Industries/Maxim/Kistler Chevy.


 

The 47th career series triumph for Grant subsequently moved him ahead of Jack Hewitt on the list and into a tie for fourth all-time alongside Tracy Hines, the 2002 USAC National Sprint Car titlist. When Grant arrived on the USAC scene in 2010, and during his formative years on the trail in the ensuing years, Hines was among those who took Grant under his wing, showing him the ropes and sharing his knowledge with Grant to help him find his footing in the sport.


 

All these years later, here they both are, near the top of a historic list that is reserved only for the greatest the sport has ever seen.


 

“Tying Jack was special, but tying Tracy means a lot to me personally,” Grant explained. “Jack was a heck of a racecar driver, but I know Tracy really well. Tracy has helped me through a lot of the deepest ruts and the darkest times in my racing career. Tracy’s always been there to help me through it, whether it’s injuries or switching rides or losing rides or whatever it is. Tracy gets a rap as being a bit of a hard ass, but Tracy’s a really good guy to a lot of us younger racers and helped teach a lot of us how to do this and how to come along. I appreciate everything he did for me and it’s an honor to be tied with him.”


 

Furthermore, Grant also finds himself in select company as just one of 11 drivers to win the first two USAC National Sprint Car features in a season: Jud Larson (1965), Larry Dickson (1970), Pancho Carter (1978), Rich Vogler (1987), Robbie Stanley (1993), Brian Tyler (1998), Tracy Hines (2002), Jay Drake (2004), Damion Gardner (2010), Brady Bacon (2020) and now himself (2024).


 

But more anything, the back-to-back victories indicate a superb start to the season that now encompasses three-straight USAC National Sprint Car wins dating back to the end of the 2023 campaign. In his last 19 series starts, Grant has conquered victor in 10 of them, all of which came soon after master mechanic Jeff Walker joined TOPP Motorsports, forming a combination that has won far more since midsummer of July 2023 than any other team.


 

“Jeff and I have been racing together a long time,” Grant reminisced. “We speak the same language and it’s a ton of fun racing with him. He’s really, really sharp and he makes me the best that I can be. We come in and we want to be better every time. Every time I come in, he thinks the car needs to be better and I think I need to do a better job behind the wheel. So, we get together and try to make it happen.”


 

Initially, pole sitter Joey Amantea zipped out to lead the first three laps of his USAC National Sprint Car career. However, third-starting Thomas Jr. soon made his move on Amantea, swiping the top spot with a turn one slider on lap four. It was also a historic outing for Thomas who, on this night, became the 11th driver to reach the 400 career feature start mark with the series.


 

Meanwhile, further on back in the field, the battle for fifth raged on between Chase Stockon and Robert Ballou. Earlier in the night, Stockon grabbed his 33rd career Honest Abe Roofing Fast Qualifying time in USAC National Sprint Car competition, tying him with Grant for 11th all-time. Good fortune did not find Stockon in the feature on lap nine, however, as he went topside in turn three while Ballou combed the bottom. The two ultimately collided somewhere in the middle, with Stockon getting the worst end of the situation as he briefly became airborne before landing on all fours and sliding backwards to a stop beyond the cushion in turn four. Stockon restarted but managed only an 18th place result.


 

When action resumed, Thomas opened his lead to 1.4 seconds as the race neared the halfway mark. Yet on lap 14, 10th running Brady Bacon slipped off turn two and spun to a stop while Kyle Cummins (14th) also spun to a halt while attempting an evasive maneuver. Bacon wound up 12th after the restart while Cummins had to settle for 19th.


 

Grant, who had run third throughout the duration thus far, soon flexed his muscles. By lap 15, he had moved to second with an up-and-under move on Amantea at the exit of turn four. Over the next five laps, Grant swiftly sliced into Thomas’ 0.8 second advantage, and found himself within a couple car lengths by lap 20. In turn four, Thomas drifted off the bottom, swinging the door wide open for Grant to burst into the lead and straight into the history books.


 

“You don’t get too many opportunities here at Ocala, so you’ve got to pounce on them when they present themselves,” Grant laid out. “It was almost better to be in second there because I didn’t feel like I was really very good in three and four either. I was able to start moving around and seeing what worked better judging off KTJ, but he didn’t have that luxury. So, we were able to start getting in really high and getting a little bit of cushion to drive across. I’d gotten a couple really good runs, but I’d get to his back bumper, then have to lift. It was like, ‘man if he doesn’t miss it off four, I don’t know what I’m going to do here.’ Then, fortunately, it timed out right. I had a good run then he missed it off four and we were able to slip by.”


 

Grant’s 1.786 second margin of victory made him the winningest driver in the 15-year history of Winter Dirt Games. His sixth score broke a tie he had held for exactly one day alongside Damion Gardner and Bacon.


 

Kevin Thomas Jr. came home second with Logan Seavey third, C.J. Leary fourth and ProSource Hard Work award winner Robert Ballou fifth. Alex Bright took sixth after starting 18th, which earned him Irvin King Hard Charger honors.


 

For Thomas (Cullman, Ala.), two races into his full-time role with Rock Steady Racing, performed admirably, leading a race-high 16 laps while giving the new pairing its best result thus far in the Inferno Armor – Eddie Gilstrap Motors – Creative Finishing/Mach-1/Stanton Chevy.


 

Straight out of the box, Seavey (Sutter, Calif.) put the new Abacus Racing ride on the podium with a third-place finish in each of its first two starts in the CG CPAs – Indy Custom Stone – Forecheck Marketing/DRC/Stanton Chevy.


 


 

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USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: February 10, 2024 – Ocala Speedway – Ocala, Florida – Winter Dirt Games XV – 3/8-Mile Dirt Track


 

HONEST ABE ROOFING QUALIFYING: 1. Chase Stockon, 5s, KO-14.075; 2. C.J. Leary, 15x, BGE Dougherty-14.104; 3. Logan Seavey, 57, Abacus-14.165; 4. Justin Grant, 4, TOPP-14.217; 5. Kevin Thomas Jr., 3R, Rock Steady-14.277; 6. Daison Pursley, 21AZ, Team AZ-14.307; 7. Zach Daum, 5d, Daum-14.332; 8. Brandon Mattox, 28, Mattox-14.336; 9. Joey Amantea, 88J, JPA-14.415; 10. Briggs Danner, 39, Hogue-14.422; 11. Timmy Buckwalter, 20, Hummer-14.500; 12. Tye Mihocko, 5T, Wilson-14.551; 13. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-14.556; 14. Alex Bright, 27, Heffner-14.578; 15. Trey Osborne, 5, Baldwin/Fox-14.589; 16. Mitchel Moles, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-14.626; 17. Jake Swanson, 2B, 2B Racing-14.626; 18. Tom Harris, 84, Harris-14.660; 19. Carson Garrett, 15, BGE Dougherty-14.737; 20. Mark Smith, 43m, Witherspoon-14.740; 21. Matt Westfall, 33m, Marshall-14.744; 22. Jadon Rogers, 17GP, Dutcher-14.763; 23. Kyle Cummins, 3p, Petty-14.766; 24. Robert Ballou, 12, Ballou-14.809; 25. Hunter Maddox, 24m, Maddox-15.243; 26. Chase Howard, 13, Howard-15.392; 27. John Mollick, 4J, Clever-15.465; 28. Shane Butler, 18, Butler-15.738.


 

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps, top-5 transfer to the feature) 1. Jake Swanson, 2. Matt Westfall, 3. Joey Amantea, 4. Kevin Thomas Jr., 5. Chase Stockon, 6. Brady Bacon, 7. Hunter Maddox. NT


 

ROD END SUPPLY SECOND HEAT: (8 laps, top-5 transfer to the feature) 1. Tom Harris, 2. Briggs Danner, 3. Jadon Rogers, 4. Daison Pursley, 5. Alex Bright, 6. C.J. Leary, 7. Chase Howard. 1:58.69


 

T.J. FORGED THIRD HEAT: (8 laps, top-5 transfer to the feature) 1. Carson Garrett, 2. Kyle Cummins, 3. Timmy Buckwalter, 4. Logan Seavey, 5. Trey Osborne, 6. Zach Daum, 7. John Mollick. 1:58.17


 

FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps, top-5 transfer to the feature) 1. Robert Ballou, 2. Justin Grant, 3. Tye Mihocko, 4. Mitchel Moles, 5. Mark Smith, 6. Brandon Mattox, 7. Shane Butler. 1:58.20


 

ELLIOTT’S CUSTOM TRAILERS & CARTS SEMI: (10 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. C.J. Leary, 2. Zach Daum, 3. Brady Bacon, 4. Brandon Mattox, 5. Chase Howard, 6. John Mollick, 7. Hunter Maddox. 2:31.17 (New Track Record)


 

FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Justin Grant (4), 2. Kevin Thomas Jr. (3), 3. Logan Seavey (5), 4. C.J. Leary (11), 5. Robert Ballou (10), 6. Alex Bright (18), 7. Daison Pursley (2), 8. Joey Amantea (1), 9. Briggs Danner (14), 10. Tye Mihocko (16), 11. Timmy Buckwalter (15), 12. Brady Bacon (17), 13. Jake Swanson (7), 14. Mitchel Moles (20), 15. Carson Garrett (9), 16. Jadon Rogers (23), 17. Matt Westfall (22), 18. Chase Stockon (6), 19. Kyle Cummins (24), 20. Trey Osborne (19), 21. Brandon Mattox (13), 22. Mark Smith (21), 23. Zach Daum (12), 24. Tom Harris (8). NT


 

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-3 Joey Amantea, Laps 4-19 Kevin Thomas Jr., Laps 20-30 Justin Grant.


 

USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Justin Grant-162, 2-Logan Seavey-147, 3-C.J. Leary-146, 4-Kevin Thomas Jr.-139, 5-Robert Ballou-132, 6-Briggs Danner-119, 7-Jake Swanson-105, 8-Daison Pursley-105, 9-Joey Amantea-99, 10-Alex Bright-96.


 

OVERALL PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Alex Bright-12, 2-Robert Ballou-11, 3-Kyle Cummins-11, 4-Tye Mihocko-10, 5-C.J. Leary-8, 6-Briggs Danner-8, 7-Mitchel Moles-7, 8-Jadon Rogers-7, 9-Matt Westfall-7, 10-Justin Grant-6.


 

HUGHES RACING / INDIANA MAFIA / FLAMINGO SANDY WINTER DIRT GAMES XV SPRINT CAR PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Justin Grant-15, 2-Briggs Danner-13, 3-Alex Bright-13, 4-Robert Ballou-12, 5-C.J. Leary-11, 6-Kyle Cummins-11, 7-Tye Mihocko-11, 8-Logan Seavey-8, 9-Jadon Rogers-8, 10-Mitchel Moles-7.


 

NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACES: February 12-13, 2024 – Volusia Speedway Park – Barberville, Florida – Winter Dirt Games XV / DIRTcar Nationals – 1/2-Mile Dirt Track


 


 

CONTINGENCY AWARD WINNERS:


 

Dirt Draft Hot Laps Fastest Driver: Justin Grant (14.556)


 

Honest Abe Roofing Fast Qualifier: Chase Stockon (14.075)


 

Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner: Jake Swanson


 

Rod End Supply Second Heat Winner: Tom Harris


 

T.J. Forged Third Heat Winner: Carson Garrett


 

Car IQ Fourth Heat Winner: Robert Ballou


 

Elliott’s Custom Trailers & Carts Semi Winner: C.J. Leary


 

ProSource Hard Work Award: Robert Ballou


 

Irvin King Hard Charger: Alex Bright (18th to 6th)

 


MIRACLE GRANTED:GRANT SCORES USAC SPRINT OPENER IN OCALA

Dave Olson

 

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media


 

Ocala, Florida (February 9, 2024)………Justin Grant’s winning performance wasn’t exactly how he drew it up, so to speak, during Friday night’s USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship season opener at Florida’s Ocala Speedway.


 

In fact, once Grant took the lead from Brady Bacon five laps from the finish line, he would rather have just driven away scot-free to victory while not having to dwell on any mixed feelings about a subsequent victory celebration.


 

Nonetheless, on occasion in the sport of auto racing, the best laid plans can go awry. Soon after taking, losing, then retaking the lead from Bacon on lap 26, Grant’s car kicked sideways in turn four, directly into the path of Bacon. Bacon attempted to avoid the idle Grant but clipped his right front tire into Grant’s left rear. As a result, Grant’s car got reignited, then straightened out and continued on while Bacon took the brunt of the misfortune, spinning to a stop.


 

Henceforth, Grant (Ione, Calif.) traveled the final five laps on the 3/8-mile dirt track toward victory in his TOPP Motorsports/NOS Energy Drink – Bow Foundation – TOPP Industries/Maxim/Kistler Chevy.


 

The parallels of this year’s season opener and the 2023 lid lifter at Ocala are uncanny. A year ago, Bacon performed a half-spin in turn four, then carried onto victory where he surpassed Jack Hewitt on the series’ all-time win list. For Bacon, that particular performance moved him into a tie for the all-time lead in career Winter Dirt Games victories with five alongside Damion Gardner. Similarly, this time around, Grant’s victory was his fifth in the yearly annual event, elevating him to the top line with Bacon and Gardner.


 

Grant’s score was monumental in the USAC record books as well with this being the 46th feature win of his USAC National Sprint Car career, tying himself with Hewitt for a share of fifth place on the all-time list.


 

“That’s really, really cool,” Grant exclaimed upon learning of the feat. “I got to do a stint in Ohio driving for Mark Hery. I learned a lot and learned a lot of racecraft there, and I was able to develop a lot of what I do now racing around Ohio racetracks with Mark. Jack was always around in those days. It’s cool to tie him and it’s really cool that we have those lists so that we can look back at the heroes and legends of our sport. Being able to climb up the list among these giants is an absolute dream come true. I never thought I’d win a single USAC Sprint Car race, so to be climbing up through there with those guys and to be tied with Jack Hewitt on the all-time wins list, it means a lot and it’s very special to me.”


 

The win proved to be Grant’s ninth in his last 18 USAC National Sprint Car starts dating back to July of 2023. Furthermore, it was Grant’s first season opening triumph with the series since 2017, also at Ocala.


 

With Grant starting fourth in the 24-car feature lineup, the initial attempt at a start didn’t fare well for 11th starting Sterling Cling. After contact with Alex Bright (14th) on the opening lap, Cling flipped several times in turn four. Zach Daum was also collected in the melee, sliding to a stop. Cling walked away under his own power, but his night evening was put on the shelf.


 

At that point, outside front row starter Bacon took command of the field as he stepped out front ahead of pole sitter Jake Swanson. Bacon continued to hold a firm grip on the lead throughout the first 10 laps of the race as Grant slid under Swanson in turn one to assume third on lap 11, but still remained about eight car lengths back of Bacon who soon found himself mired in lapped traffic.


 

Grant continued to edge closer as Bacon continued to nudge his way into the thick of traffic with Tom Harris and Timmy Buckwalter just ahead of the pair. On lap 25, Grant saw daylight on the bottom of turn one and slid up in front of Bacon and Buckwalter to take over the top spot.  It proved to be short lived, however, as Grant tried to find a route around Harris to no avail. That opened the door for Bacon to skate back under Grant to retake the lead at the stripe by a wheel.


 

“As we were coming to Brady, I felt like we had a better racecar,” Grant explained. “I could really eat him up in three and four, but it was going to be really tough to get by him. Fortunately, with the way the lapped traffic worked out, I was able to sneak by him. Then I hit the bottom off three and four and he was able to get me back. I was able to make up a bunch of time around the top, then I got back around him, and I hadn’t entered up high since earlier in the race!”


 

Grant immediately fought back on the outside in turn one, working a path around Bacon and then Harris before, seemingly, setting off to a clear horizon as he entered turns three and four on lap 26. But not so fast, my friend.


 

“I got down in there and I got to chopping on the right rear tire with it being real low on air,” Grant recalled. “I just chopped my way and kind of half-spun, then came down the track in front of him. We banged wheels and he spun out. That wasn’t how I wanted that to go. I planned on circling the top and driving away and not having to feel bad about anything. I feel bad we ended Brady’s race there. We were having a heck of a battle, and I was looking forward to battling with him to the end. Brady’s a great racecar driver and it’s a lot of fun racing with him.”


 

From Bacon’s perspective, it was pure misfortune that befell him and cost him a shot an all-time record fourth career USAC National Sprint Car opening night victory.


 

“We led the whole race,” Bacon lamented. “Lapped traffic’s really tough here when it’s on the bottom like that. it probably backed my pace off a little bit and enabled him to catch me. Right when I was moving around to get by Harris, he got in there with us. We were mixing it up trying to get past that lapped car and I probably had the better position there in three and four. He kind of got caught in the marbles and spun out.  We hit him and he kept going and stalled us.”


 

It was no contest for Grant after the final restart as he hustled away to a 2.219 second margin of victory over runner-up C.J. Leary (Greenfield, Ind.) while Logan Seavey (Sutter, Calif.) rounded out the podium in third. Robert Ballou (Rocklin, Calif.) earned Irvin King Hard Charger honors with his 10th to fourth high side run as Briggs Danner (Allentown, Pa.) came home a strong fifth.


 

Leary turned in his best Ocala run since winning the final night in 2019. On this night, he raced his way to a runner-up result aboard his BGE Dougherty Motorsports/Altoz – Valvoline – Hornbeck Concrete/DRC/1-Way Chevy. Dating back to last year, it’s his third consecutive podium finish after a pair of thirds in 2023.


 

Likewise for Seavey who recorded his best Ocala outing since a third in 2020. But on this occasion, he achieved it with a team making its first ever USAC Sprint Car appearance. Seavey drove to third once again in his Abacus Racing/CG CPAs – Indy Custom Stone – Forecheck Marketing/DRC/Stanton Chevy.


 

Brandon Mattox (Terre Haute, Ind.) earned ProSource's Hard Work Award for the night. After qualifying 27th out of 30 drivers in the field, Mattox worked his way into the feature lineup.


 

In Honest Abe Roofing Qualifying, Kevin Thomas Jr. (Cullman, Ala.) rose to seventh place all-time on the USAC National Sprint Car Fast Qualifier list. With his 37th career fast time, KTJ moved past Bryan Clauson and into a tie with Larry Dickson on the list.


 


 

=====================


 


 

USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACE RESULTS: February 9, 2024 – Ocala Speedway – Ocala, Florida – Winter Dirt Games XV – 3/8-Mile Dirt Track


 

HONEST ABE ROOFING QUALIFYING: 1. Kevin Thomas Jr., 3R, Rock Steady-13.858; 2. Logan Seavey, 57, Abacus-13.892; 3. Justin Grant, 4, TOPP-13.985; 4. C.J. Leary, 15x, BGE Dougherty-14.055; 5. Brady Bacon, 69, Dynamics-14.107; 6. Jake Swanson, 2B, 2B Racing-14.207; 7. Robert Ballou, 12, Ballou-14.214; 8. Sterling Cling, 34, SCR-14.223; 9. Chase Stockon, 5s, KO-14.263; 10. Briggs Danner, 39, Hogue-14.284; 11. Daison Pursley, 21AZ, Team AZ-14.289; 12. Mitchel Moles, 19AZ, Reinbold/Underwood-14.310; 13. Alex Bright, 27, Heffner-14.395; 14. Kyle Cummins, 3p, Petty-14.418; 15. Zach Daum, 5d, Daum-14.458; 16. Joey Amantea, 88J, JPA-14.469; 17. Timmy Buckwalter, 20, Hummer-14.492; 18. Carson Garrett, 15, BGE Dougherty-14.533; 19. Matt Westfall, 33m, Marshall-14.538; 20. Jadon Rogers, 17GP, Dutcher-14.553; 21. Tom Harris, 84, Harris-14.554; 22. Trey Osborne, 5, Baldwin/Fox-14.683; 23. Mark Smith, 43m, Witherspoon-14.771; 24. Tye Mihocko, 5T, Wilson-14.825; 25. Hunter Maddox, 24m, Maddox-14.937; 26. Shane Butler, 18, Butler-14.975; 27. Brandon Mattox, 28, Mattox-14.990; 28. John Mollick, 4J, Clever-15.184; 29. Chase Howard, 13, Howard-15.359; 30. Will Hull, 7s, Allen-15.905.


 

SIMPSON RACE PRODUCTS FIRST HEAT: (8 laps, top-5 transfer to the feature) 1. Chase Stockon, 2. Kevin Thomas Jr., 3. Timmy Buckwalter, 4. Brady Bacon, 5. Tom Harris, 6. Alex Bright, 7. Chase Howard, 8. Hunter Maddox. 1:57.32


 

ROD END SUPPLY SECOND HEAT: (8 laps, top-5 transfer to the feature) 1. Briggs Danner, 2. Carson Garrett, 3. Kyle Cummins, 4. Logan Seavey, 5. Jake Swanson, 6. Trey Osborne, 7. Shane Butler, 8. Will Hull. 1:57.81


 

T.J. FORGED THIRD HEAT: (8 laps, top-5 transfer to the feature) 1. Justin Grant, 2. Matt Westfall, 3. Daison Pursley, 4. Robert Ballou, 5. Mark Smith, 6. Brandon Mattox, 7. Zach Daum. 1:57.82


 

FOURTH HEAT: (8 laps, top-5 transfer to the feature) 1. Jadon Rogers, 2. Joey Amantea, 3. C.J. Leary, 4. Tye Mihocko, 5. Mitchel Moles, 6. Sterling Cling, 7. John Mollick. 1:58.07


 

ELLIOTT’S CUSTOM TRAILERS & CARTS SEMI: (12 laps, top-4 transfer to the feature) 1. Alex Bright, 2. Zach Daum, 3. Brandon Mattox, 4. Sterling Cling, 5. Shane Butler, 6. Chase Howard, 7. Hunter Maddox, 8. John Mollick, 9. Trey Osborne. NT


 

FEATURE: (30 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Justin Grant (4), 2. C.J. Leary (3), 3. Logan Seavey (5), 4. Robert Ballou (10), 5. Briggs Danner (8), 6. Jake Swanson (1), 7. Kevin Thomas Jr. (6), 8. Chase Stockon (7), 9. Kyle Cummins (15), 10. Jadon Rogers (9), 11. Daison Pursley (12), 12. Mitchel Moles (13), 13. Joey Amantea (17), 14. Carson Garrett (19), 15. Alex Bright (14), 16. Brady Bacon (2), 17. Tom Harris (21), 18. Matt Westfall (20), 19. Tye Mihocko (23), 20. Zach Daum (16), 21. Brandon Mattox (24), 22. Timmy Buckwalter (18), 23. Mark Smith (22), 24. Sterling Cling (11). NT


 

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-25 Brady Bacon, Laps 26-30 Justin Grant.


 

**Will Hull flipped during the second heat. Sterling Cling flipped on lap one of the feature.


 

USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS: 1-Justin Grant-82, 2-C.J. Leary-76, 3-Logan Seavey-74, 4-Robert Ballou-66, 5-Briggs Danner-66, 6-Kevin Thomas Jr.-65, 7-Jake Swanson-60, 8-Chase Stockon-57, 9-Kyle Cummins-52, 10-Jadon Rogers-51.


 

OVERALL PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Robert Ballou-6, 2-Kyle Cummins-6, 3-Carson Garrett-5, 4-Joey Amantea-4, 5-Tom Harris-4, 6-Tye Mihocko-4, 7-Justin Grant-3, 8-Briggs Danner-3, 9-Brandon Mattox-3, 10-Logan Seavey-2.


 

HUGHES RACING / INDIANA MAFIA / FLAMINGO SANDY WINTER DIRT GAMES XV SPRINT CAR PASSING MASTER POINTS: 1-Justin Grant-8, 2-Robert Ballou-7, 3-Briggs Danner-6, 4-Kyle Cummins-6, 5-Joey Amantea-5, 6-Carson Garrett-5, 7-Joey Amantea-5, 8-C.J. Leary-4, 9-Logan Seavey-4, 10-Kevin Thomas Jr.-4.


 

NEXT USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RACES: February 10, 2024 – Ocala Speedway – Ocala, Florida – Winter Dirt Games XV – 3/8-Mile Dirt Track


 


 

CONTINGENCY AWARD WINNERS:


 

Dirt Draft Hot Laps Fastest Driver: C.J. Leary (14.054)


 

Honest Abe Roofing Fast Qualifier: Kevin Thomas Jr. (13.858)


 

Simpson Race Products First Heat Winner: Chase Stockon


 

Rod End Supply Second Heat Winner: Briggs Danner


 

T.J. Forged Third Heat Winner: Justin Grant


 

Car IQ Fourth Heat Winner: Jadon Rogers


 

Elliott’s Custom Trailers & Carts Semi Winner: Alex Brig


 

ProSource Hard Work Award: Brandon Mattox


 

Irvin King Hard Charger: Robert Ballou (10th to 4th)

 

 

 


Got the Gig! Hulbert Named Full-Time USAC National Announcer for 2024.

Rich Forman

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media


 

Speedway, Indiana (February 19, 2024)………Bryan Hulbert has been named the full-time lead announcer for USAC national racing in 2024.


 

Hulbert’s role will encompass full coverage of each and every event on the Silver Crown, AMSOIL Sprint Car and NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship schedule on the track’s public address system as well as on FloRacing’s live stream of every race throughout the 2024 USAC national season.


 

Originally hailing from New Mexico, but now residing in Oklahoma, Hulbert announced the first six races of the USAC season during the recent Winter Dirt Games XV series in February in Florida, having the opportunity to announce for an organization he has long held an affinity for since his youngest days as a race fan.


 

“It's very humbling to get the chance to represent USAC, its drivers and sponsors,” Hulbert said. “USAC is a series I've followed since I was a kid and have always held in high regard. I'm looking forward to the season and the challenges that come with it. Winter Dirt Games gave me a chance to work with the entire team and get a feel for how the series runs on a night-to-night basis, start making connections with the teams and establishing a routine.”


 

Hulbert has handled announcing duties at racetracks for 18 seasons. He started as a trackside reporter in 2006 before taking on the role of lead announcer in 2007 at dirt tracks such as Southern New Mexico Speedway and Texas’ El Paso Speedway Park.


 

A jack of all trades in motorsports, Hulbert has worked extensively in the departments of marketing, public relations, graphic design, ad design, commercial production, voiceovers, hanging banners, production work, you name it.


 

Hulbert has also been a fixture on the microphone at the Chili Bowl Nationals for more than a decade, a role he will retain during the winter months following the conclusion of the USAC season.


 

“The fun part about my job is that I still get to be a fan and contribute to the sport I love,” Hulbert stated. “Chili Bowl and the Tulsa Shootout are the same way, and fortunately, working for USAC will allow me to keep doing what I've been doing in Tulsa with the added benefit of being able to follow teams and drivers I normally only get to see one week a year.  It’s definitely going to make studying for the test a lot easier!”


 

Hulbert’s next gig with USAC will arrive when the National Sprint Car season resumes on Friday, April 5, for the running of the Jim Hurtubise Classic at Indiana’s Terre Haute Action Track.

 


USAC’s 10-Race Bubby Jones Master of Goin’ Faster Series Begins Feb. 13 at Volusia

Dave Dellinger

The 2024 USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship season will contain a 10-race “series within a series” held in memory of one of the series’ all-time greats.

The third edition of the Bubby Jones Racing Master of Goin’ Faster presented by Spire Sports + Entertainment series will encompass 10 events on the USAC National Sprint Car schedule this season, all of which will take place at some of the most legendary tracks on the schedule, including half-miles and some of Ol Bub’s favorite places.


 

The driver accumulating the most total points throughout the 2024 Bubby Jones Racing Master of Goin’ Faster series will be rewarded with a $10,000 prize. Furthermore, the championship winning crew chief will collect a $2,500 bonus. Jones was a master on two sides of the sport throughout his career – behind the wheel as a driver and behind the wrench as a crew chief.


 

C.J. Leary (Greenfield, Ind.), the 2023 series champion, enters 2024 as the defending “Bubby Jones” titlist, which begins on February 13 at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. during Winter Dirt Games XV. Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.) captured the inaugural championship in 2022.


 

After Volusia, May brings the Bubby Jones series to Rossburg, Ohio’s Eldora Speedway for the second night of #LetsRaceTwo on May 4 while Indiana’s Terre Haute Action Track welcomes the series for the 54th annual Tony Hulman Classic on May 21.


 

Three more legendary dirt half-miles are on the scene for the Bubby Jones series in the month of June, beginning with June 1 at Iowa’s Knoxville Raceway for the Corn Belt Clash. Two Eastern Storm dates in Pennsylvania follow as part of the series in June at Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania’s Williams Grove Speedway on June 14 and Port Royal Speedway on June 15.


 

July is highlighted by Kokomo Speedway on July 27, which takes place during the 37th annual edition of Indiana Sprint Week.


 

September’s $20,000-to-win Haubstadt Hustler takes the Master of Goin’ Faster series to Indiana’s Tri-State Speedway on the 14th. Eldora Speedway gets a second Bubby Jones series date for the $15,000-to-win 4-Crown Nationals on September 21. The championship decider for the mini-series concludes at Indiana’s Lawrenceburg Speedway during the $20,000-to-win Fall Nationals on October 12.


 

The Bubby Jones series champion driver will also receive a custom trophy provided by Potter Metal Art and a year-end acknowledgement at USAC’s Night of Champions in December.


 

Norman “Bubby“ Jones was a 27-time winner in USAC National competition during his National Sprint Car Hall of Fame career. Among his 27 wins are seven each at Eldora and Terre Haute, two tracks featured prominently on the schedule.


 

Nicknamed Ol’ Bub, the racing barber who originally hailed from Danville, Illinois, established himself as an “outlaw” racer, winning from coast-to-coast until notching high-profile victories with USAC, including the CBS-televised Du Quoin Silver Crown in 1976, as well as the Turkey Night Grand Prix at Ascot Park in 1976 and the Hut 100 at Terre Haute in 1977.


 

Bubby reigned victorious at the Western World Championships in 1976 and, one year later, Jones made his one and only start in the Indianapolis 500 in 1977, starting 33rd and finishing 21st for car owner, Bobby Hillin.


 

Jones made his biggest impact with USAC on the National Sprint Car trail during the late 1970s, winning 22 total feature events. 1979 proved to be his breakout year with the series, winning on 11 occasions in one of the prolific seasons in the history of the division at places like Terre Haute, New Bremen, Eldora and the Indiana State Fairgrounds for car owner Don Siebert, and during one stretch, won four in a row before finishing as the championship runner-up.


 

At the dawn of the 1980s, Bubby moved west to begin the next chapter of his racing career. Competing with the California Racing Association, Jones piloted the Kazarian’s Gas Chem Products entry. In their first year together, Jones and Kazarian earned nine victories, including his first of four at the season-ending Don Peabody Classic.


 

By the time he hung up his helmet for good in 1991, Bubby had claimed 80 CRA feature wins (2nd overall), including a record 18 triumphs in 1983 and was a multi-time winner of the Firecracker 50, the Pacific Coast Nationals and the Don Peabody Classic. Bubby remained active in racing as a crew chief and team manager. He continued to innovate in chassis designs and the development of Surelock shifter. In 1996, Bubby played a part in the construction of Perris Auto Speedway.


 

Spire Sports + Entertainment will serve as the presenting sponsor of the series. SS+E has been involved in numerous race promotion and marketing efforts for tracks and events on the USAC schedule in recent years.


 

Founded in 2010, Spire Sports + Entertainment (SS+E) has blossomed into a multi-tiered entity. Since then, SS+E has become a subsidiary of parent organization Spire Holdings, which includes a a diverse sports portfolio, including Spire Motorsports, SS+E, ECHL hockey teams the Rapid City (S.D.) Rush and the Greenville (S.C.) Swamp Rabbits and short track promotions company Track Enterprises.


 


 

2024 BUBBY JONES MASTER OF GOING FASTER SCHEDULE:


 

Feb 13: Volusia Speedway Park | Barberville, FL


 

May 4: Eldora Speedway | Rossburg, OH


 

May 21: Terre Haute Action Track | Terre Haute, IN


 

Jun 1: Knoxville Raceway | Knoxville, IA


 

Jun 14: Williams Grove Speedway | Mechanicsburg, PA


 

Jun 15: Port Royal Speedway | Port Royal, PA


 

Jul 27: Kokomo Speedway | Kokomo, IN


 

Sep 14: Tri-State Speedway | Haubstadt, IN


 

Sep 21: Eldora Speedway | Rossburg, OH


 

Oct 12: Lawrenceburg Speedway | Lawrenceburg, IN

 


Up to Speed: USAC Sprint Season Launches in Florida with Winter Dirt Games Feb. 9-17

Dave Olson

The time off has been used to catch up, recharge the batteries and reload for 2024, and the time can’t possibly come soon enough.


 

It seems fitting that a season which brings us the largest field of full-time USAC National Sprint Car contenders ever (15) also brings us to the largest Winter Dirt Games schedule ever.


 

Seven nights, seven events and two different racetracks across the state of Florida present the grand opening to a grand season – February 9-10 at Ocala Speedway; February 12-13 at Barberville’s Volusia Speedway Park and February 15-16-17 at Ocala Speedway.


 

The winter hibernation is over. It’s time go racing.


 


 

HOW THE DOMINOES FELL


 

The new season is chockfull of new driver and team combinations with no less than five full-time USAC National Sprint Car teams going with a different plan in 2024.


 

Kevin Thomas Jr. (Cullman, Ala.), a 39-time series feature winner has joined Rock Steady Racing, a seat which has been occupied by Kyle Cummins for much of the past decade. Cummins (Princeton, Ind.), an 18-time USAC Sprint Car winner himself, has switched over to the brand-new Petty Performance Racing team.


 

In fact, Cummins is one of two drivers on the USAC scene this year who is going into a new sprint car situation with a new team. Logan Seavey (Sutter, Calif.) captured both the USAC National Midget and Silver Crown titles for Abacus Racing in 2023. Now, the team has added a sprint car to its stable with Seavey and Abacus gunning for the USAC Triple Crown.


 

Seavey’s former ride, the 2B Racing No. 2B, has gone to Jake Swanson (Anaheim, Calif.) who broke out last year with five wins under USAC sanction with Team AZ Racing. Meanwhile, Team AZ will now field 2023 series Rookie of the Year Daison Pursley (Locust Grove, Okla.) as its driver after the pairing went two-for-two in its first two races together in October of 2023 at Arizona’s Cocopah Speedway.


 


 

RETURNING TO THEIR ROOTS


 

Those with a bit of a more relaxed offseason by returning to their mainstay rides this season include two-time and defending USAC National Sprint Car champion Justin Grant (Ione, Calif.), who is back for year seven with TOPP Motorsports.


 

The winningest combo in USAC National Sprint Car history with 45 victories is back. Four-time series titlist Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.) takes the reins of the legendary No. 69 once again. Fresh off his first USAC win in 17 years, Matt Westfall (Pleasant Hill, Ohio) has a special year coming up with his team as it will mark Ray Marshall Motorsports’ final year in the sport.


 

C.J. Leary (Greenfield, Ind.), the 2019 USAC National Sprint Car champ, is back in familiar territory for his second year at BGE-Dougherty Motorsports. His teammate, Carson Garrett (Littleton, Colo.), again is in the team car to Leary after capturing USAC National Most Improved Driver honors a year ago.


 

As an independent driver/team owner, no one has won more features in USAC National Sprint Car competition than Robert Ballou (Rocklin, Calif.). This year, he’s once again back in his familiar No. 12 which has graced USAC National Sprint Car victory lane on 32 occasions since 2014 in addition to a series championship in 2015.


 

Mitchel Moles (Raisin City, Calif.) has been in USAC Sprint Car victory lane in each of the past two seasons with Reinbold-Underwood Motorsports, who’ve teamed up for year three on the series’ trail. Jadon Rogers (Worthington, Ind.) got hot late last season after joining Michael Dutcher Motorsports, winning three times on the local level. In 2024, these two have paired up for their first full-season USAC run together.


 


 

NEW TO THE USAC NATIONAL SCENE


 

Another tandem of drivers will be new to full-time USAC National Sprint Car duties in 2024 with the likes of Joey Amantea and Trey Osborne taking on the challenge.


 

Nineteen-year-old Amantea (Mount Pocono, Pa.) will drive his family-owned JPA Racing machine and brings with him a pedigree of USAC East Coast 360 Sprint Car winning experience, racking up a pair of wins. The Lehigh University Mechanical Engineering major owns 13 career USAC National Sprint Car starts, which included some fine showings in 2023, going 18th to 7th during Indiana Sprint Week at Lawrenceburg.


 

Trey Osborne (Columbus, Ohio) has made a splash in the sport right from the get-go, which earned him National Non-Wing Sprint Car Rookie of the Year honors in 2023 from the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame. For the 2024 USAC season, he’ll pilot the Baldwin-Fox Racing ride for the majority of the season and fill in the remainder of the shows with own car. At the local level in Indiana last year, Osborne won thrice at Paragon Speedway and Gas City I-69 Speedway.


 


 

NEW LOOK FEBRUARY, NEW LOOK FORMAT


 

The only other occasion in which USAC’s Winter Dirt Games crossed over to include two different racetracks was 2015 when Ocala and East Bay Raceway Park took part in a five-race series, which until this point, marked the largest slate of events in the series’ history.


 

For 2024, the Winter Dirt Games schedule has expanded to seven dates (five at Ocala and two at Volusia), surpassing the five events that took place nine years ago. Furthermore, as a changeup compared to last year’s Winter Dirt Games, the Volusia events will now be full-blown points-paying races that will go toward the championship standings.


 

The first night of racing in Ocala on Friday, Feb. 9, will pay $6,000-to-win while Saturday night’s, Feb. 10, weekend capper will pay $7,500-to-win. Down the road at Volusia, Monday’s Feb. 12 event will be 25 laps in length and pay $6,000 while the Tuesday, Feb. 13, affair will pay $10,000 to the winner. Rounding it up at Ocala, the first two evenings of racing on Feb. 15-16 will pay $6,000-to-win with Saturday night’s 35-lap finale paying $10,000-to-win.


 

Additionally, new procedure rules will make their debut this week. Among them are the fact that all standard format events will consist of 24 feature starters unless otherwise noted, and if four (4) heat races are held, the top-five (5) finishers will transfer to the feature.  If three (3) heat races are held, the top-six (6) finishers will transfer to the feature.


 

If 48 or more cars are in competition, five (5) heat races will be held with the top-four (4) finishers transferring to the feature. 


 

At Ocala’s 3/8-mile D-shaped dirt track, if 28-47 cars are in competition on tracks under a half-mile in length, four (4) heat races will be held with the top-five (5) finishers transferring to the feature. If 27 cars or less, three (3) heat races will be held with the top-six (6) finishers transferring to the feature.


 

At Volusia’s 1/2-mile dirt oval, if 31-47 cars are in competition on tracks a half-mile in length, four (4) heat races will be held with the top-five (5) finishers transferring to the feature. If 30 cars or less, three (3) heat races will be held with the top-six (6) transferring to the feature.


 

Furthermore, Semi-Feature, C-Main and D-Main events will now be lined up by heat race finish. The only exception is the front row of the semi, which will be reserved for the fastest two non-transfers.


 


 

2023 FLORIDA REWIND


 

In what was USAC’s Volusia debut, Jake Swanson started the new year with the hot touch in 2023, scoring a a wire-to-wire 25-lap victory. The next night out at Volusia, Daison Pursley led early, lost the lead to Emerson Axsom, then gained it back late with six laps to go to score an emotional victory in just his sixth career drive in a sprint car.


 

Moving over to Ocala, Brady Bacon scored a monumental win, surpassing Jack Hewitt on the USAC Sprint Car career win list with his 47th victory, tied for fourth all-time. Hewitt then put an exclamation point on the evening by greeting Bacon and congratulating him in victory lane. Bacon has now upped his total to 53 wins, second all-time and nine behind Dave Darland for the number one spot.


 

On the final night at Ocala, Kyle Cummins and Rock Steady Racing came back from two blown engines suffered earlier in the week and capped the weekend with a $10,000 prize after being delivered a third engine just in the nick of time just when they thought they were done. From there, the team installed the engine in a hotel parking lot, and Cummins raced by Bacon with four to go to score his first Florida triumph.


 


 

A RICH USAC HISTORY IN FLORIDA


 

Thirty-seven (37) previous Winter Dirt Games events have been held since its 2010 debut.  Damion Gardner, who won five of the first six Winter Dirt Games features ever contested between 2010-12, remains the all-time win leader of the series with five. But that very well could change this year.


 

Both Brady Bacon and Justin Grant sit one win behind Gardner with four victories apiece. Among the other expected entrants in the field, Robert Ballou possesses three Winter Dirt Games scores while Kevin Thomas Jr. owns two and both C.J. Leary and Chase Stockon (Fort Branch, Ind.) have each notched one in the win column.


 

As an aside, Bacon could also set another record this year. He’s currently amid a five-way tie for the most season opening victories in USAC National Sprint Car history. All drivers currently with three opening night series wins include Bacon, Gardner, Don Branson, Larry Dickson and Rich Vogler.


 

When it comes to Florida and USAC racing history, it’s definitely worth noting this little nugget. USAC and the Sunshine State have a history that dates back to the decade of the 1950s. In fact, the first three USAC Sprint Car races ever held took place in Florida in February of 1956. Bob Sweikert won the first such event at Southland Speedway in West Palm Beach, followed by Chuck Weyant at Jacksonville Speedway and Pat O’Connor at Medley Speedway in Miami.


 


 

THE DETAILS:


 

FEB. 8-10 OCALA

Practice begins the Winter Dirt Games festivities on Thursday, Feb. 8 from 7-10pm Eastern at Ocala Speedway. Grandstand admission is free while pit admission is $20.


 

For the first night of racing on Feb. 9 at Ocala, grandstand admission for ages 13 & up is $30 while kids age 12 & under are free. Pit passes are $40 apiece for ages 6 & up. Pit passes for ages 5 & under are free.


 

On Saturday, Feb. 10, at Ocala, grandstand admission for ages 13 & up is $35 while kids age 12 & under are free. Pit passes are $45 apiece for ages 6 & up. Pit passes for ages 5 & under are free.


 

On both nights Feb. 9-10 at Ocala, pits open at 2pm Eastern, front gates open at 5pm and cars hit the track at 6pm. Outlaw 4’s will serve as the support class.


 


 

FEB. 12-13 VOLUSIA


 

On both nights, the pits open at 1pm Eastern with grandstands opening at 4pm, the drivers meeting at 4:30pm, engine heat at 5pm and hot laps at 5:30 followed by qualifying and racing. General admission tickets are $35. Reserved tickets are $40. Premium reserved tickets are $45. Child reserved tickets are $18. Pit passes are $45. Advance tickets available at https://dirtcarnationals.com/tickets/


 


 

FEB. 14-17 OCALA


 

Practice begins the return to Winter Dirt Games festivities on Wednesday, Feb. 14 from 7-10pm Eastern at Ocala Speedway. Grandstand admission is free while pit admission is $20.


 

For race night on Feb. 15 at Ocala, grandstand admission for ages 13 & up is $30 while kids age 12 & under are free. Pit passes are $40 apiece for ages 6 & up. Pit passes for ages 5 & under are free.


 

On Friday-Saturday, Feb. 16-17, at Ocala, grandstand admission for ages 13 & up is $35 while kids age 12 & under are free. Pit passes are $45 apiece for ages 6 & up. Pit passes for ages 5 & under are free.


 

On all three nights Feb. 15-16-17 at Ocala, pits open at 2pm Eastern, front gates open at 5pm and cars hit the track at 6pm. Outlaw 4’s will serve as the support class. Micro Sprints 270-250-450 will be the support class.


 


 

COVERAGE


 

All seven USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship events from Florida will be streamed live and on-demand at https://flosports.link/usac.


 


 

==================


 


 

ALL-TIME USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR WINS AT OCALA:


 

5-Brady Bacon


 

4-Bryan Clauson & Justin Grant


 

3-Damion Gardner


 

2-Emerson Axsom, Robert Ballou, Tyler Courtney & Tracy Hines


 

1-Kyle Cummins, Dave Darland, Darren Hagen, C.J. Leary, Thomas Meseraull, Hunter Schuerenberg, Chase Stockon, Kevin Thomas Jr. & Chris Windom


 


 

==================


 


 

ALL-TIME USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR WINNERS AT OCALA:


 

2011: Damion Gardner (2/17), Bryan Clauson (2/18) & Damion Gardner (2/19)


 

2012: Damion Gardner (2/9) & Darren Hagen (2/11)


 

2013: Bryan Clauson (2/21), Tracy Hines (2/22) & Tracy Hines (2/23)


 

2014: Brady Bacon (2/20) & Bryan Clauson (2/22)


 

2015: Robert Ballou (2/19), Brady Bacon (2/20) & Dave Darland (2/21)


 

2016: Bryan Clauson (2/18), Robert Ballou (2/19) & Thomas Meseraull (2/20)


 

2017: Justin Grant (2/24) & Hunter Schuerenberg (2/25)


 

2018: Chase Stockon (2/15), Tyler Courtney (2/16) & Tyler Courtney (2/17)


 

2019: Chris Windom (2/14), Justin Grant (2/15) & C.J. Leary (2/16)


 

2020: Brady Bacon (2/14) & Brady Bacon (2/15)


 

2021: Kevin Thomas Jr. (2/11) & Justin Grant (2/12)


 

2022: Emerson Axsom (2/17), Justin Grant (2/18) & Emerson Axsom (2/19)


 

2023: Brady Bacon (2/16) & Kyle Cummins (2/18)


 


 

==================


 


 

USAC SPRINT CAR WINS AT VOLUSIA SPEEDWAY PARK:


 

1-Daison Pursley (SE) & Jake Swanson (SE)


 


 

==================


 


 

USAC SPRINT CAR WINNERS AT VOLUSIA SPEEDWAY PARK:


 

2/13/2023: Jake Swanson (2/13) (Non-Points Special Event)


 

2/14/2023: Daison Pursley (2/14) (Non-Points Special Event)


 


 

==================


 


 

WINTER DIRT GAMES USAC SPRINT WINS:


 

5-Damion Gardner


 

4-Brady Bacon, Bryan Clauson & Justin Grant


 

3-Robert Ballou


 

2-Emerson Axsom, Tyler Courtney, Tracy Hines & Kevin Thomas, Jr.


 

1-Dave Darland, Darren Hagen, C.J. Leary, Thomas Meseraull, Hunter Schuerenberg, Chase Stockon & Chris Windom


 


 

==================


 


 

FLORIDA USAC NATIONAL SPRINT POINTS WINS:


 

5-Brady Bacon & Damion Gardner


 

4-Bryan Clauson & Justin Grant


 

3-Robert Ballou


 

2-Emerson Axsom, Tyler Courtney, Larry Dickson, Tracy Hines & Kevin Thomas Jr.


 

1-Kyle Cummins, Dave Darland, Darren Hagen, C.J. Leary, Thomas Meseraull, Pat O’Connor, Hunter Schuerenberg, Chase Stockon, Bob Sweikert, Rich Vogler, Chuck Weyant & Chris Windom


 


 

FLORIDA USAC SPRINT NON-POINTS SPECIAL EVENT WINS:


 

1-Daison Pursley, Dave Steele & Jake Swanson


 


 

==================


 


 

USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR TRACK RECORDS AT OCALA SPEEDWAY:


 

1 Lap - 2/15/2019 - Carson Short - 13.398 - 100.761 mph


 

6 Laps - 2/19/2022 - Kyle Cummins - 1:32.62 - 87.454 mph


 

8 Laps - 2/14/2019 - Robert Ballou - 1:50.920 - 97.368 mph


 

12 Laps - 2/23/2013 - Robert Ballou - 2:52.770 - 93.766 mph


 

30 Laps - 2/11/2021 - Kevin Thomas Jr. - 7:45.762 - 86.954 mph


 


 

==================


 


 

USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR TRACK RECORDS AT VOLUSIA SPEEDWAY PARK:


 

1 Lap - 2/14/2023 - Thomas Meseraull - 16.362 - 110.011 mph


 

8 Laps - 2/14/2023 - Jake Swanson - 2:17.38 - 104.819 mph


 

10 Laps - 2/14/2023 - Kevin Thomas Jr. - 2:57.95 - 101.152 mph


 

12 Laps - 2/13/2023 - Daison Pursley - 3:34.33 - 100.779 mph


 

30 Laps - 2/14/2023 - Daison Pursley - 9:00.65 - 99.880 mph

 


 

USAC Season Kick Off Party March 1; Sign Up Now!

Meet USAC’s racing stars on Friday night, March 1, at the USAC Season Kick Off Party presented by Marc Dailey Racing with support from First Gear Engineering & Technology.

The doors open at 6pm Eastern with the program beginning at 7pm at USAC headquarters, located at 4910 W 16th St. in Speedway, Indiana.


 

The event is free to attend, and also includes free pizza and refreshments courtesy of 2009 USAC National Midget driving champion Brad Kuhn of Fish Window Cleaning. While attendance is free, donations to RaceAid are appreciated.


 

Drivers expected to be on hand for a night of fun include USAC national champions Justin Grant, Kody Swanson, Brady Bacon, Logan Seavey and C.J. Leary, plus superstars Kevin Thomas Jr., Kaylee Bryson, Taylor Ferns, Daison Pursley and many more.


 

For those planning to attend the 2024 USAC Kick Off Party, sign-up for the event has already begun at www.raceaid.fund. Just scroll down to the “USAC Season Off Party” banner and click “Register.” From there, click the bubble next to “Register for a RACEAID Event,” fill out the accompanying information, and you’re set.


 

Reserving your “ticket” ahead of the event helps us all. An accurate estimate of the crowd is needed in order to reserve the correct quantity of food and beverage for the night’s festivities.


 

Since 1959, the United States Auto Club Benevolent Foundation (now USAC RaceAid) has provided financial aid to the families of auto racing participants with ties to USAC who have been injured and/or need assistance.


 

USAC RACEAID also provides support to surviving family members with immediate and ongoing expenses. Over the years, the foundation has provided millions of dollars to help members and their families in times of need. The needs, whether small or large, never cease.

 


Realizing a Dream: Jones & Joyner Go Full-Time USAC Midget Racing in ‘24

Dylan Miller

For Kyle Jones and Corey Joyner, it’s always been a dream to compete full-time with the United States Auto Club.

Together, they will achieve that dream in 2024 with Jones teaming up to drive Joyner Motorsports’ Spike/Stanton SR-11x on the complete 30-race USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship slate.


 

The 30-year-old Jones (Kennedale, Texas), a veteran of 21 career USAC Midget starts dating back to 2015, has been a fixture in dirt open wheel circles throughout the past decade. He’s raced extensively in winged sprint cars, winning with IMCA, ASCS and POWRi. In 2017, he captured USAC’s Gulf Coast SpeeD2 Midget title, and in 2023, he became the highest finishing Texan ever at the Chili Bowl Nationals with a sixth-place result on the final night.


 

But for as long as Jones can remember, the goal was to go USAC racing. Over the past few years, Jones has gone all-in and bet on himself to make it happen. All he ever wanted in return was a chance.


 

“I actually quit my job and went full-time racing about two-three years ago,” Jones explained. “I was 28-29 at the time, and I said, if I’m going to do it, the time is now. The older I get, the less opportunities I’m going to have and the less I’m going to be able to do it. So, I decided I was going to chase it. I’ve run midgets, sprint cars and a bunch of random stuff, but the goal has always been to go full-time with USAC. That’s always been my number one goal, and I’ve always wanted to chase it.”


 

Jones has driven a variety of machines in his racing career, and just last year, made his USAC National Sprint Car debut in his home state of Texas at Devil’s Bowl Speedway where he won his heat race and finished 10th in his debut. Everywhere he turns a wheel, he turns heads, which has led him to opportunity after opportunity where he’s continued to shine.


 

“I’ve bet on myself, and said, ‘I think I can go do this,’” Jones stated. “Every time I look down, I’m like, ‘ah man, I don’t know what I’m going to do next week,’ then I get a phone call, and all of a sudden, I’m going to go race some random car in a random place and it works out. We end up doing well and that sets up something else for the next time. It’s all meant to be, and it’s all rolled into this. It’s pretty surreal, for sure.”


 

Joyner, at age 23, very may well be among the youngest USAC National Midget team owners ever. In recent years, aside from operating a precious metals business, he’s been a semi-regular competitor as a driver with the USAC National Midgets when the series competes in the Great Plains states near his Concordia, Kan. home where he grew up some 60-70 yards from Chad McDaniel’s body shop. Growing up, Joyner looked up to McDaniel and fellow racer Garett Hood, both Kansas natives who were stalwarts in the midget racing game.


 

Tragically, McDaniel lost his life in an accident during a USAC Midget event at Iowa’s Knoxville Raceway in 2009. Joyner, at just nine years old at the time, is around the same age as McDaniel’s son. But despite the accident, the desire to compete never left Joyner’s soul. Joyner made a couple handfuls of USAC Midget appearances between 2021-23, driving for his own team as well as Mounce-Stout Motorsports. But now, Joyner has stepped away from driving duties to focus on building his team from the ground-up.


 

“My lifelong goal has been to own a midget and race a midget,” Joyner revealed. “Now my heart is still here, and I know my best way of being around racing for a long time is to turn wrenches. I’ve had my fun, but I think if I can stick it out as a business, this is where I want to be for quite a while.”


 

Joyner’s tutelage in the sport has come from a variety of sources. Among the most invaluable advice and assistance he’s received has come from one of the top teams in the USAC ranks, RMS Racing’s Dave Estep.


 

“Dave is kind of like a dad to me,” Joyner explained. “Without his help, I don’t think I’d be where I’m at right now with the knowledge of how to operate a race team. He took me to Indiana and put my car on the dyno and dialed it in for me. He’s really given me 10 years’ worth of knowledge within the last year and a half. With the knowledge I’ve gained and the experience that Kyle brings, I wouldn’t put my money somewhere if I didn’t believe he was at least a top-10 or top-five national points driver.”


 

Like Jones, for Joyner, his dream has come to fruition. Not only has he long held a desire to compete at this level, it’s something he plans on being just the start of something even bigger and better in the years to come with USAC.


 

“What it boils down to is the prestigious history of USAC,” Joyner said. “We grew up watching USAC as kids, and I told my dad when I was younger, someday, I’m going to own a midget. Just the atmosphere of being around USAC, it’s an atmosphere of its own and it’s a ton of fun.”


 

Joyner has long noticed the racing exploits of Jones and noted how he seemed to make every car he drives work. When the time came to search for a driver of his own No. 27x, Jones was at the top of that list. What started out as just a friendship in the pits at the racetrack soon turned into a full-time ride.


 

“We had raced against each other here and there over the past few years,” Jones recalled. “It just started out as a good friendship at first, then it was like, ‘hey, let’s go racing.  Let’s go do this.’ To me, it all happened for a reason. It was one of those things that just started rolling. Now here we are. I’ve been grinding on midget racing scene here and there for the last 10 years. As a kid growing up and knowing about USAC, that’s always been my main goal. I knew that if I could ever run USAC full-time, I feel like I would’ve made it. Now, I’m absolutely stoked to go out and chase it.”


 

The 2024 USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship season begins on April 26-27 with the Kokomo Grand Prix at Indiana’s Kokomo Speedway.


Meet the 15 USAC Sprint Car Full-Timers for 2024!

josh james

It’s time to go racing in 2024 with the largest contingent of USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship full-time competitors in the 69-year history of the series.

 

 

The field of 15 full-time drivers and teams is stacked, packed and ready to hit the road for this coming year’s 54-race slate which begins with seven February dates in Florida at Ocala Speedway on February 9-10, Volusia Speedway Park on February 12-13 and another visit to Ocala Speedway on Feb. 15-16-17.


 

Here’s the full list of the 15 USAC National Sprint Car full-timers for 2024!


 


 

===============


 


 

C.J. LEARY | BGE-DOUGHERTY MOTORSPORTS #15x


 

It’s back to the 15x for C.J. Leary for the 2024 USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship season.


 

In 2023, the Greenfield, Indiana racer notched his first full season under the BGE-Dougherty Motorsports banner, giving the team its best ever USAC points finish and continued to cement the team as one of the pre-eminent favorites entering 2024.


 

Leary has finished inside the top-10 of USAC National Sprint Car points in 10 consecutive years, and for the last five seasons, he’s come home fifth or better in the standings each year.


 

He’s currently on a string of eight straight years with a feature victory, including three in 2023 at Bloomington, Eldora and Kokomo, and also wrapped up the Bubby Jones Master of Goin’ Faster title Presented by Spire Sports + Entertainment.


 

The 2019 USAC National Sprint Car champ is hungry to build upon the foundation of success that was laid a year ago and aims to continue his stride into the new year of 2024.


 


 

KEVIN THOMAS JR. | ROCK STEADY RACING #3R


 

It’s the most excited he’s been for the start of a race season in a long time. Those are ear-catching words for a driver like Kevin Thomas Jr., who stands as one of the most successful USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship drivers of his era.


 

The Cullman, Alabama wheelman has teamed up with Rock Steady Racing as they plan an assault on the USAC National Sprint Car season in 2024.


 

Thomas, the owner of 39 series wins, ranks 11th all-time in that regard while Rock Steady, led by car owner Hank Byram, has raked in 25 victories, most notably over the past decade with driver Kyle Cummins who has moved on to Petty Performance Racing team for 2024.


 

Thomas already got a bit of a head start with his new team last September at Gas City, and despite early mechanical obstacles, KTJ recovered to win his heat and ran as high as fourth in the feature before slotting into seventh at the finish line.


 

With both KTJ and Rock Steady hankering for a first USAC title run and something to prove, this new combo is poised to make some noise in the new year.


 


 

JAKE SWANSON | 2B RACING #2B


 

Jake Swanson hit his stride in 2023 as he piloted the Team AZ Racing ride to a career-high four points-paying wins and a career best fifth place finish in the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship standings.


 

But that was then, and this is now. After five seasons with Team Arizona, Swanson has a new address for 2024 after being tabbed as the new driver of Scott Benic’s 2B Racing DRC/Claxton, which was occupied a year ago by Logan Seavey.


 

It’s one chapter closing and another opening with 2B Racing, which ranks 12th all-time in series wins with 33 and captured the 2005 USAC National Sprint Car title with Levi Jones at the wheel.


 

Swanson, who owns and operates a thriving racing shock business, during the week, got a couple beneficial runs with 2B in local Indiana competition, providing them a bit of a head start entering 2024.


 

Last year, Swanson hit the ground running by winning in his first sprint car start of the year. This time around, he aims to do the same on a team with a storied championship past with an eye on a championship future.


 


 

KYLE CUMMINS | PETTY PERFORMANCE RACING #3P


 

For more than a decade, Kyle Cummins and Rock Steady Racing were constant counterparts, racking up numerous wins in the Midwest while also cementing themselves among the premier pairings in the sport.


 

But David Bowie once told us about ch-ch-ch-changes! And that’s exactly what’s in store for the Princeton, Indiana driver during the 2024 USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship campaign.


 

The brand-new Petty Performance Racing team was created by Arizona’s Jerry Petty who has transitioned from team sponsor and event sponsor into a team owner who will now field Cummins in pursuit of a USAC title in the coming year.


 

This formation comes on the heels of Cummins equaling his career best with four USAC National Sprint Car feature victories and a sixth-place finish in series points for 2023.


 

At press time, Cummins’ USAC National Sprint Car win total stands at 18, all of which have come with Rock Steady. For Cummins, it’s a new opportunity. It’s a new challenge. And among the plethora of musical chairs this offseason, this is among the most intriguing ones to watch, pairing a veteran driver with a brand-new team and the racing world to conquer.


 


 

JUSTIN GRANT | TOPP MOTORSPORTS #4


 

Tres. Drei. Trois. Pardon my French. But no matter how you say it – 3 is a magic number for Justin Grant in 2024.


 

Grant has won the past two series driving titles, and this year, he’ll push toward positioning himself among the top hierarchy of history which so few have reached by winning 3 USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championships in a row.


 

Parnelli Jones scored three consecutive from 1960 to 62. Steve Butler notched three-straight between 1986 and 88. Robbie Stanley was crowned each year between 1991 and 93 and Levi Jones was the most recent to do the deed in 2009, 10 and 11.


 

Last year, Grant became the 10th driver to amass 400 career starts, and with 45 victories, another similar performance in 2024 will place him among the top-three all time in that category.


 

Grant enters year seven with TOPP Motorsports, who also will be eying three-in-a-row as an entrant champ, something only Damon Fortune, Tony Stewart Racing and Curb-Agajanian have done.


 

Grant and TOPP are on the mountaintop. They were the hunted a year ago. They’ll be the hunted in 2024. But as they’ll tell you, “Catch us if you can!”


 


 

MATT WESTFALL | RAY MARSHALL MOTORSPORTS #33m


 

A true renaissance man of motorsports, Matt Westfall has truly just about done it all in his racing career, and he’s done it with proficiency!


 

Over the years, his driving accomplishments have come in the form of championships in midgets and sprint cars and even modifieds and late models!


 

But his 2023 triumph at Arkansas’ Texarkana 67 Speedway might have one-upped them all with it being his first USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car National Championship feature victory in more than 17 seasons!


 

Westfall’s 2022 performance saw him post career highs in all categories of USAC Sprint Car competition. In 2023, he equaled or exceeded his previous year’s exploits across the board.


 

The Buckeye racer is back on the USAC Sprint Car scene full-time again in 2024 with Ray Marshall Motorsports’ yellow number 33m as they pine to build upon what they’ve laid the groundwork for throughout these past several years.


 

Even at the age of 47, Westfall is proving himself to the racing world time and time again. And as time has proven, you have to admit he’s getting better. Getting better all the time.


 


 

BRADY BACON | DYNAMICS, INC. #69


 

Brady Bacon is on the brink of something special during the 2024 USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship season.


 

The Broken Arrow, Oklahoma native is back on the drive for five once more after finishing as the runner-up to Justin Grant in each of the past two seasons in 2022 and 2023 after Bacon himself captured two-in-a-row in 2020 and 2021.


 

No era of USAC Sprint Car racing has offered such a tug-of-war at the top of the championship fight since the era of the Larry and Gary Show between 1968 and 1971 when Dickson and Bettenhausen swapped a pair of titles across a four-year span.


 

In 2024, Bacon stands one title away from equaling Levi Jones as the driver with the most USAC National Sprint Car crowns. Furthermore, Bacon possesses the second most USAC National Sprint Car feature victories with 53 and is now within an arm’s reach of Dave Darland’s all-time record of 62.


 

Furthermore, Bacon stands alone by winning USAC Sprint Car features in more states than any other driver with 14. But more than anything else, Bacon wants one more ring for the thumb. And the only state he prefers to compete in is a championship state of mind in 2024.


 


 

JADON ROGERS | MICHAEL DUTCHER MOTORSPORTS #17GP


 

The combination of a winning driver and a victorious crew chief slash team owner have thus far made a fantastic match in their short time together.


 

Both Jadon Rogers and Michael Dutcher Motorsports possess that same energy and pedigree that has them riding high into 2024 as full-time USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship contenders.


 

The duo teamed up for the latter half of 2023 for nine USAC starts, accumulating four top-fives and six top-tens in that stretch, including an impressive 23rd to 5th run on the opening night of Sprint Car Smackdown at Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway, plus a pair of fourths at Kokomo and Devil’s Bowl.


 

Over the past three years, no driver has won more sprint car races in the state of Indiana than Rogers, three of which came just last year in Dutcher’s patented number 17GP.


 

The 2020 USAC National Sprint Car Rookie of the Year and the 2012 USAC Chief Mechanic of the Year have been on the verge of teaming up to chase the USAC trail in recent. Now, they feel on the verge of something even bigger and better in 2024.


 


 

MITCHEL MOLES | REINBOLD-UNDERWOOD MOTORSPORTS #19AZ


 

Perhaps no driver elicits the same electricity that Mitchel Moles exhibits each time he hits the track in USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship competition.


 

That was proven by the fact that he prevailed in arguably the most exhilarating event of the 2023 USAC Sprint season when he outlasted multiple attacks on the final lap to win the debut at Illinois’ Macon Speedway.


 

But after what was admittedly an up and down 2023 season, the Raisin City, California native is preparing to rise up another level in 2024. He’s back in the saddle of the 19AZ full-time on the USAC tour, a team which sees Moles, owner and crew chief Andy Reinbold, plus co-owner Todd Underwood as the remaining constants from the year before.


 

The cast features several fresh faces turning the wrenches, including new car chief Dylan Cook, who won a USAC Sprint title with Justin Grant in 2022, plus the additions of Jacob Johnston and James Turnbull to the crew.


 

In what will be his third year on the USAC tour coming up, the former professional bass fisherman is angling to make year three one for the highlight reel!


 


 

DAISON PURSLEY | TEAM AZ RACING #21AZ


 

After a new beginning one year ago, it’s another fresh start for Daison Pursley in 2024!


 

Straight out of a season in which he was named USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship Rookie of the Year for KO Motorsports, the Locust Grove, Oklahoma driver now finds himself as the full-time wheelman for Team AZ Racing’s number 21AZ.


 

For the past five years, Team AZ has fielded Jake Swanson as its driver, but after he recently departed to 2B Racing, Pursley was tabbed for the new role.


 

Pursley and Team AZ’s relationship dates back to October of 2023 when both parties went USAC CRA racing during the Western World Championships at Cocopah, and quickly turned it from a one-weekend deal to a full-time ride after a spectacular two-night sweep of the event.


 

A good first impression goes a long way, and this combo has good vibes in spades rolling into the 2024 campaign. After all, they’re one of the few pairings in the sport who can lay claim to being undefeated.


 

It’s full steam into the new year, and now the focus is set on keeping the ball of momentum rolling starting in Florida and beyond!


 

 

LOGAN SEAVEY | ABACUS RACING #57


 

For Logan Seavey and Abacus Racing, winning two out of three USAC national championships together in 2023 ain’t bad. But it could even be better.


 

In response, the two entities have added a sprint car team to their arsenal for the upcoming 2024 campaign to achieve what only Tony Stewart and J.J. Yeley have done before – winning the coveted USAC Triple Crown in a single year.


 

Seavey comes off a season in which he won twice in USAC National Sprint Car competition for 2B Racing while garnering championship accolades in both the Midget and Silver Crown divisions for Abacus.


 

The team is new to the sprint car racing world this year, but don’t let that deceive you. Abacus Racing’s first full season of midget and Silver Crown racing resulted in a championship. Call it exceeding expectations but it was certainly no beginner’s luck.


 

Kirk Simpson will serve as the team’s crew chief on the DRC chassis powered by both 1-Way Technologies and Stanton powerplants.


 

Expectations are high for this group in its initial foray into sprint car racing, but there’s no one they’d rather have in their seat than Logan Seavey in the quest to grab the final prong of the USAC triple crown.


 


 

ROBERT BALLOU | BALLOU MOTORSPORTS #12


 

It’s back to the grind in 2024 for the winningest driver slash car owner in USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship history.


 

For the past decade, he’s been a perennial front runner on the circuit, which includes a 2015 series championship and 32 victories as an independent aboard his instantly recognizable number 12.


 

However, last year wasn’t as kind in the win column for the Rocklin, California racer who enters his 19th season with the series.  That said, he finished a solid seventh in the standings with crew chief Derrick Bye as his right-hand man while finishing as the runner-up three times and garnering a couple fast qualifying times to boot.


 

The Mad Man has cemented his legacy as one of the premier USAC Sprint Car drivers of his era, and of any era, He’s 27 starts away from becoming the third driver with 500 career starts, plus his 37 feature triumphs are just three away from reaching 10th all-time.


 

Perhaps no driver has been able to make as many triumphant bounce backs as Robert Ballou, and in 2024, he aims to bounce back in a big way. Into the win column, into the championship fight and into the record books.

 


 

CARSON GARRETT | BGE-DOUGHERTY MOTORSPORTS #15


 

His journey from his Rocky Mountain Midget roots to becoming USAC’s 2023 National Most Improved Driver came quite quickly in some respects. But in other ways, it’s clear to say Carson Garrett has come a long way both geographically and behind the wheel of a racecar.


 

Although he’s been at this game for a few years now, last season was truly Carson Garrett’s first go-around on the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship trail. That’s when the switch was flipped for the 22-year-old Littleton, Colorado racer as he recorded career bests in every single statistical category, notching three top-fives and came within a whisker of winning his first series feature at Illinois’ Macon Speedway.


 

Garrett returns in 2024 with the same exact deal, chasing the full USAC National Sprint Car season in the BGE Dougherty No. 15 as a teammate to C.J. Leary.


 

Although he admitted that the USAC Most Improved Driver award completely took him by surprise, there’s no question that he’s not going to sneak up on the competition in the coming year. It’s expected. For Carson Garrett has now officially arrived on the USAC National Sprint Car scene.


 


 

JOEY AMANTEA | JPA RACING #88J


 

Joey Amantea has made his mark in recent years on the USAC East Coast Sprint Car tour, but in 2024, he’s taking the show on the road full-time with the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship.


 

The 19-year-old known as “The Big Show” will be a busy man in the new year, dividing his full-time racing duties with his full-time role as a college student majoring in Mechanical Engineering at Lehigh University.


 

Working his way up the ranks through quarter midgets, 600cc micros and as a multi-time USAC 360 sprint car winner, Amantea recently plugged in a 410 Newman’s racing engine into his family-owned Triple X.


 

Amantea branched out from his home in the Pocono mountains of Pennsylvania to dabble on the USAC national trail in 2023 and turned in a pair of top-10s at Kokomo and Lawrenceburg. The whole experience heightened the team’s desires to strive for even more in the new year.


 

New tracks, major competition and hitting the road. It’s all part of the continuous progression of the teenage Pennsylvanian. And if there’s any guarantees in life, bet the house on Joey Amantea putting on a big show in 2024.


 

 

TREY OSBORNE | BALDWIN-FOX RACING #5 & TREY OSBORNE #6


 

One year ago, he was named Non-Wing Sprint Car Rookie of the Year by the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame, but now Trey Osborne aspires to continue his rapid ascent as a Rookie with the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship in 2024.


 

In a combined effort, the 21-year-old Ohioan will pilot Baldwin-Fox Racing’s DRC/Claxton number five in the majority of USAC events and fill in the remainder of the dates aboard his own Triple X number six powered by a Mopar.


 

As a hired gun, Osborne now finds himself on an even bigger scale with more eyes and more expectations on him than ever before. But the Don and Mel Kenyon disciple embraces the challenge as he prepares to take on the busiest and most hectic racing season of his young career.


 

Osborne, who stands a towering 6 foot 8, talked the talk and walked the walked in 2023, meeting his goal of winning three local Indiana races. In the coming year, he’s established a new aspiration of achieving his first three USAC victories.


 

And as history has already proven, it’s no tall tale to believe Trey Osborne will be a man of his word in 2024.

 


USAC Triple Crown Alert! Seavey Goes All in with Abacus & Rice for 2024

Lee Greenawalt

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media


 

Speedway, Indiana (January 31, 2024)………Logan Seavey will tackle the full 2024 USAC national schedule with full-time duties in Silver Crown, AMSOIL National Sprint Car and NOS Energy Drink National Midget competition in an attempt to become the third driver to capture a USAC Triple Crown championship season.


 

Seavey earned two of the three USAC national titles in 2023 in the Silver Crown and National Midget divisions, doubling his reward to $100,000 for scoring both championships. Earning the USAC Triple Crown by winning all three division championships in 2024 will net a driver a total reward of $400,000.


 

Only two individuals have ever achieved a USAC Triple Crown season by winning driving titles in all three USAC national series: Tony Stewart in 1995 and J.J. Yeley in 2003.


 

But here’s the catch for Seavey in 2024. The Sutter, Calif. driver will compete in all three series for Abacus Racing, who will attempt to defend their midget title as well as their Silver Crown championship in conjunction with Rice Motorsports. New to the equation for Abacus in 2024 is the addition of a full-time USAC Sprint Car team.


 

By comparison, Stewart drove for multiple teams during his USAC Triple Crown campaign (Glen Niebel and Steve Lewis) as did Yeley (Bob East/Tony Stewart and Steve Lewis). Seavey’s nemesis, fellow 2024 USAC Triple Crown competitor Justin Grant, will also pursue the feat with three different organizations (Hemelgarn Racing, TOPP Motorsports and RMS Racing).


 

Seavey will take on the 99-race USAC national schedule with the same familiar pieces who surrounded his efforts in 2023. Ronnie Gardner, the 2023 USAC Chief Mechanic of the Year, will turn the wrenches on the Silver Crown car while Kirk Simpson will be the crew chief for the sprint car team and Johnny Cofer will serve in the same role on the midget.


 

“Only a couple of guys have won all three in one year, and not many even get the opportunity to try it, so to get the chance to try for all three series titles in one year is pretty cool,” Seavey stated. “I never thought I would get to race out here and now we’re out here full-time, 100-some races a year.  And it definitely doesn’t happen often to basically do it with one team. We’re living the dream.”


 

Abacus burst onto the scene last year in their first full USAC National Midget season with Seavey, winning eight features en route to the championship. Abacus debuted with the Silver Crown series in 2023, joining Rice’s team as a co-entrant and broke through by winning three times on their path to the title. With the brand-new USAC Sprint car effort, Abacus hopes for the same initial success, hitting the ground running beginning with the season opener on February 9 at Florida’s Ocala Speedway.


 

“It’s going to be tough with a brand-new team, new cars and engines and all this stuff, and other variables that come into it,” Seavey admitted. “I don’t even know if it’s the toughest one, per se, but the sprint car schedule is just so long, anything can happen throughout the season. It kind of allows you to make some mistakes, maybe, and catch up from them. But when you’re racing against guys like Brady Bacon, Justin Grant, Robert Ballou, Kevin Thomas Jr., Kyle Cummins and more, those guys are pretty good every single night, so you don’t really have a lot of room to miss.”


 

From the beginning, Abacus Racing team principal Brent Cox’s plans always included acquiring a sprint car for Seavey to run, and in 2024, that’s come to fruition.


 

“When I met with Logan in December of 2022 to get him to drive the midget, the deal was to run the midget and help to kind of put our team on the map, then go sprint car racing in 2024,” Cox explained. “We certainly exceeded expectations in the midget, so we felt inclined to give it a shot and see what we can do with that while also going sprint car racing, which has always been a dream of mine and here we are.”


 

Cox’s inherent drive to succeed with Abacus Racing’s USAC Sprint Car program is exactly the same as it is for the Midget and Silver Crown teams. The common denominator behind the wheel of those machines is Seavey, and Cox wouldn’t have it any other way.


 

“Our expectations are high, but we also know how competitive the USAC Sprint Car series is,” Cox acknowledged. “The midget was a bit of an outlier, and we won the Silver Crown series by seven points. We’re confident we’ll do well in the sprint car, but we also know it’s a brand-new thing for us and Logan. We don’t feel like we could have a better driver to do it with than Logan.”


 

On the USAC Silver Crown program, Rice and Abacus formally came together in name at the beginning of the 2023 season. But they officially melded together following a July accident, due to a broken wheel, at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway, which required wholesale repairs on the entire machine. Working together furiously, the team got the car back together in time to finish fifth in the ensuing round at Ohio’s Toledo Speedway, which made all the difference in keeping their championship hopes alive.


 

“Brent and I met at the Chili Bowl the year before, so everything kind of happened really fast,” 2021 and 2023 USAC Silver Crown entrant champion Rice remembered. “We really didn’t know each other all that well until Winchester. When we crashed there, it was a massive effort by a lot of people, and if we wouldn’t have had the Abacus guys to help and to take it up to their shop so they could work on it while Ronnie was at work, we would’ve never been ready. That’s when the team really came together as more of a ‘team’ rather than individual teams. This year, I think we’re going to be more prepared and more organized. We know each other now and we have more of a gameplan earlier in the year, so hopefully, we can implement that on the racetrack.”


 

For Rice, who hired Seavey prior to the 2020 Silver Crown season, it’s the feeling of having the perfect puzzle pieces of driver, crew and team all jelling together just perfectly at the exact right time.


 

“Logan’s a huge part of how quickly the race team grew as fast as it did,” Rice praised. “Without him being able to bring a fifth-place car home fifth instead of crashing it, that allowed us to go to the next race and learn even more. If he had crashed a couple cars, we would’ve been in a lot of trouble. By Logan taking care of the equipment early on in our development, it was very crucial to where we are now.”


 

For Seavey, the plan is set and the goal is clear. After winning two out of three USAC national titles a year ago, the hunger and desire to grab a third has him thrilled, especially to be able to do it with the same group of people he had so much success with in 2023.


 

“Overall, it gives me comfort and confidence knowing that every time I go to the track this year, I’m working with the same people,” Seavey explained. “With the momentum we have, I don’t want to say ‘we expect’ because it’s going to be tough.  But I don’t think you can ever not be disappointed to not win a championship. Obviously, that’s the goal.  If you’re not a little bit disappointed when you get beat, you’re not doing the right thing. It’s a competitive sport, and if you’re not looking for more when you’re getting beat, you’re not going to catch up. Our goal is to win all three, and if we don’t, we’re going to be a little disappointed. We’re going to give it our best effort, and to win all three in one year would be crazy.”


 

The Rice Motorsports/Abacus Racing USAC Silver Crown ride will consist of a DRC chassis on dirt and a Beast chassis on pavement with a Felker Racing Engine under the hood while carrying sponsorship from STIDA and Legacy 40.


 

Abacus Racing’s sprint car will be a DRC chassis with both 1-Way Technologies and Stanton power while the team’s midget will have a Stanton SR-11x engine between the frame rails of a Spike chassis. Primary sponsors on the sprint car and midget will be CG CPAs, Indy Custom Stone, Forecheck Marketing and Dozerz Nutz & Boltz.

 

 

Ballou & The Lein Machine Gear Up for 2024 USAC Silver Crown Dirt Season

Josh James

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media


 

Speedway, Indiana (January 27, 2024)………Robert Ballou is going USAC Silver Crown racing with the Wisconsin-based team owned by Hans Lein for the full seven race dirt track slate in 2024.


 

Ballou (Rocklin, Calif.), one of the most prolific drivers in USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship history and a driver/entrant champion of the series in 2015, has made just 16 previous Silver Crown starts in his career between 2010-21 with a best finish of second at Ohio’s Eldora Speedway in 2012.


 

In 2013, Ballou led 80 of 100 laps at the Du Quoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds before running out of fuel while leading. Winning USAC Silver Crown races remains a category that Ballou aspires to conquer, and he feels this opportunity provides him with that shot after three years away from the series.


 

“If I couldn’t get into a car that was capable or build my own, then I wasn’t ever going to do it again,” Ballou said of Silver Crown racing. “I truly believe that this car is more than capable. With Greg Nelson being the crew chief, his resume speaks for itself. Hans (Lein) has had unbelievable racecars for about 40 years now. I think we should jell pretty well.”


 

Lein’s black and yellow No. 97 has twice won in USAC Silver Crown competition, both with Tyler Courtney behind the wheel. Together, they scored victories during the 2017 4-Crown Nationals at Eldora and in the 2019 Hoosier Hundred at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. In 2023, Mitchel Moles drove the car throughout the season, winning the pole for the round at Port Royal (Pa.) Speedway.


 

For the past decade, Ballou has been an independent on the USAC National Sprint Car tour, and in fact, is the winningest driver/owner in series history. Accustomed to working and overseeing his own team and equipment, this will be a bit of a change for Ballou with the car being based in Wisconsin, around a 600-mile round trip distance from his Tipton, Ind. residence.


 

“It’s hard,” Ballou acknowledged. “They asked Ricky Thornton Jr. that question a couple weeks ago when he drove the Reinbold-Underwood Motorsports midget at the Chili Bowl. He’s pretty hands on. He mounted his seat and asked them if they needed any help, and they said, ‘no, we got it.’ So, he got in his car and went home. He wasn’t sure what to do. It’s a similar situation here. This car is based in Wisconsin, so it’s not like I can go help out even if I wanted to. But Greg doesn’t really need any help. He’s unbelievable. He builds a really nice racecar and Hans gives him all the funding to make the thing fast. Then, from there, it’s left up to the driver to do his job.”


 

The dirt side of the 2024 USAC Silver Crown schedule consists of dates at Kansas’ Belleville High Banks on May 17-18; Pennsylvania’s Port Royal Speedway on June 15; Indiana’s Terre Haute Action Track on July 4; Kansas’ Salt City Speedway on July 19-20; the Illinois State Fairgrounds on August 17; Illinois’ Du Quoin State Fairgrounds on August 31 and Ohio’s Eldora Speedway on September 20-21.


 

All those dirt tracks range in size from a half-mile to a full mile, which are right in Ballou’s wheelhouse. His 16 career USAC Sprint Car wins on half-miles rank seventh all-time.  Despite the larger characteristics of a Silver Crown car in comparison to a USAC Sprint Car, it’s a trait on the “big tracks” he cites from the early years of his career running a winged sprint car that taught him to keep the car straight and keep the momentum up at venues like California’s Calistoga Speedway. It’s an applicable skill that he feels translates to running a Silver Crown at the larger places he’ll face in 2024.


 

“I can only assume it’s just because I used to keep the car so straight,” Ballou stated. “I learned how to drive off the right front in a wing sprint car. It’s comforting to roll in straight and lean on the right front. As far as speed, you really don’t notice it, if you will.”


 

Ballou is amped at the prospect of crossing a USAC Silver Crown win off the list in 2024. He’s won 37 times in USAC National Sprint Car competition, which ranks 12th all-time. With how he feels USAC Silver Crown racing has morphed over the years into a full-out, elongated sprint car race over 50-100 miles, that fits right with the Mad Man’s style.


 

“It’s a totally different type of racing nowadays; it’s gone more toward sprint car racing,” Ballou said of today’s Silver Crown racing style. “You used to run around for 80 laps, then get after it. It’s a sprint dang near the whole time, so a lot plays into it.”

 


 

Westfall & Andreotti Join New 4 Kings Racing USAC Midget Team In ‘24

4 Kings Racing will field two full-time entries on the 2024 USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship trail for drivers Matt Westfall and Jake Andreotti.

Founded by a passionate group of racing enthusiasts and industry veterans Rex Turner, Fred Edwards, Matt Westfall and Steve Bordner, 4 Kings Racing, a new team to the USAC National Midget ranks, aims to establish itself as a powerhouse in various racing disciplines, showcasing a blend of skill, innovation, and sportsmanship.


 

Westfall (Pleasant Hill, Ohio) will pilot the team’s No. 54 entry with primary sponsorship from Metalloid. Andreotti (Castro Valley, Calif.) will wheel the team’s No. 14 with primary sponsor from AccroSeal. Both entries will be DRC Chassis powered by Stanton engines and will also carry sponsorship from Lucky 7 Technologies.


 

“We are thrilled to introduce 4 Kings Racing to the motorsports community,” team spokesperson Turner stated. “Our lineup of talented drivers, combined with our dedication to innovation, positions us for success in the upcoming season.  We believe in fostering a culture of teamwork, resilience and continuous improvement, and we look forward to making our mark on the track.”


 

The collaboration with Westfall brings together two forces in the motorsports world, promising an exciting and competitive campaign.  Westfall will be racing the full USAC National Midget schedule for the first time in his career, but possesses an extensive lineage in midgets, capturing a NAMARS Midget crown back in 1998 and has been a regular campaigner in USAC ever since.


 

Westfall began his racing career in karts at the age of five and has driven and won auto racing championships in a wide variety of machinery, including midgets, sprint cars, modifieds and late models. In 2023, Westfall captured a USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship feature victory at Arkansas’ Texarkana 67 Speedway. In 2024, he takes on the prospect of multiple roles as both a driver and team owner.


 

“I’ve embraced the challenge of not just driving a race car but steering the destiny of a team,” Westfall remarked. “Owning the track and the team is a dynamic dance between speed and strategy. Together, we are crafting a legacy that isn’t measured in victories, but in the resilience to push boundaries, break records and redefine what’s possible in the world of racing.  Buckle up, because this journey is about more than just crossing the finish line, it’s about setting a new standard of excellence.”


 

Andreotti, meanwhile, is a seasoned driver with an outstanding track record.  His Rookie campaign with the USAC National Midgets in 2023 resulted in a best career feature result of second on the Belleville (Kan.) Short Track and finished second in Rookie points. In 2022, he captured Don Basile Rookie of the Race honors at the Turkey Night Grand Prix in Ventura, Calif. with a fourth-place finish.


 

Additionally, in 2023, Andreotti picked up a pair of USAC Western States Midget main event wins and turned in a triumphant performance with the USAC West Coast Sprint Cars. In recent years, he’s won in Australia and scored several marquee victories in micro sprints, including the Clay Cup, the Mark Hagopian Memorial, the High Banks Hustle (prelim) and the Showdown in Beantown as well as track championships at Delta Speedway and Lemoore Raceway.


 

“I am thrilled to be a part of 4 Kings Racing,” Andreotti exclaimed.  “This inaugural team comes with a reputation of excellence, and I believe together, we can achieve great success on the track.  It’s an exciting opportunity, and I am grateful for the chance to contribute my skills and experience to the team.”


 

Team co-owner Fred Edwards also shared his excitement about the formation of USAC’s newest team.


 

“Having Matt and Jake on board is a significant boost for our team,” Edwards commented. “Their proven track record and versatility makes them ideal fits for the challenges that lie ahead.  We are looking forward to a season filled with competitiveness and success.”


 

Follow 4 Kings Racing on social media for latest updates and behind-the-scenes content: 4.KingsRacing on Instagram, @4KingsRacing on Twitter, 4KingsRacing on Facebook and 4KingsRacing on YouTube.


 

The 2024 USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship season begins on April 26-27 with the Kokomo Grand Prix at Indiana’s Kokomo Speedway.

 


 

 

KTJ & MOUNCE-STOUT TEAM UP FOR FULL USAC MIDGET RUN IN ‘24

David Nearpass

Three years after his most recent pursuit of a full USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship schedule, Kevin Thomas Jr. is back on the trail in 2024.

This coming season, the Cullman, Ala. racer will contest the full tour for Collinsville, Oklahoma-based Mounce-Stout Motorsports, whom KTJ made nine starts with in part-time duty throughout the 2023 campaign. The ride will carry No. 9 and feature primary sponsorship from Inferno Armor and Rockwell Security.


 

In 153 career USAC National Midget starts, Thomas has accrued six feature victories and was named series Rookie of the Year in 2014. Back in 2015, Thomas led the points for a time before ultimately finishing a career-best third in the final standings. One item he’s looking to add to his illustrious resume is a USAC National Midget driving title, and he believes he’s in the right spot to get that done.


 

“I would like to win a midget championship,” Thomas stated. “I came close before but just didn’t get it done. It’s the same thing on the sprint car side. I feel like putting yourself in the best position with a team that has the same goals as you and having the same understanding of what we need to do to get that done, that goes a long way.”


 

Thomas’ last run at a USAC National Midget title came in 2021 with Petry Motorsports. Since that point, he’s partook in part-time USAC duty with a few different teams. His most prominent address of 2023 in midget racing was with Mounce-Stout and grabbed a best result of 4th at Bloomington Speedway during USAC Indiana Midget Week.


 

“I was just a fill-in guy here and there, but their stuff was always extremely fast,” Thomas said. “I also like the people who are involved with it too. In this day and age, that goes a long way with me as far as the way things are run and the kind of people you are. If you’re going to spend the entire year with somebody, you just want it to all flow and for everybody to have the same goals and have an understanding of what we plan on doing. They check all those boxes. If you can do it with the right people at the right time, I feel like it will be worth your while.”


 

For team co-owner Jay Mounce, he’s gotten to watch him race from afar over the years, but a year ago, he got a first-hand experience working alongside the veteran driving presence that Thomas brings to the team.


 

“He has a lot of knowledge and he’s been around the sport long enough to understand what he needs to be successful, which is a little different than what our program has kind of been based around – more of a developmental type of deal,” Mounce explained. “He’s one of those guys who can be a national champion given the right opportunity.”


 

The Mounce-Stout team owns one career USAC National Midget feature victory with Jacob Denney at the wheel in 2022. What started in the years leading up to that triumph and continued afterward is the continuous upward trajectory of the team whose shop sits 25 miles north of Tulsa, Oklahoma’s SageNet Center, home of the Chili Bowl Nationals. The difference with KTJ in the seat is having a driver who’s been in the business for quite some time, and thus, can get acclimated quickly and help the symbiosis between driver and team even that much stronger.


 

“Last year, we were able to see if he had any ideas or thoughts on not only making our program better as a whole but also to just to see where we’re at,” Mounce said. “With younger kids, it’s harder to tell. Everybody’s competitive now and you don’t really know if you’re in that top-five percent of guys who need to be doing this for a living, essentially. He has enough experience, and he came in and hit the ground running. We could plug him in and just see if we were really as fast as we thought we were.”


 

Thomas has noticed the rise of Mounce-Stout as well, and it’s a large piece of the puzzle as to why he connected with them to begin with in 2023 and why they plan on continue that growth in the coming year.


 

“The work ethic is there, and the passion is there,” Thomas said of Mounce-Stout Motorsports. “I feel like that’s one of the only reasons I want to do it. I see the want-to and I see the potential of it as well. I have a good feeling about these guys, and I have a good feeling about the opportunity that’s ahead. If we do things right, and we all do our jobs at a high level, nothing says we can’t go win a championship and go win races. I feel like if we put good racecars on the track and we stay on top of our duties as crew members and racecar drivers, then it comes down to whether I do my job or not. I feel like I can, so we’ll just go from there and we’ll see.”


 

The 2024 USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship season begins on April 26-27 with the Kokomo Grand Prix at Indiana’s Kokomo Speedway.

 


The Next Step: Wigal Takes on USAC Midget Rookie Season in 2024

Jack Reitz

…Zach Wigal, fresh off a USAC Midwest Thunder SpeeD2 Midget championship a year ago, will take the next step in his young racing career by competing full-time as a Rookie of the Year candidate on the 2024 USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship tour for CB Industries.

The 16-year-old Wigal, who hails from Belpre, Ohio, located just a stone’s throw away from the West Virginia border, is a current junior at Parkersburg High School. For 2024, he’ll take on a dream opportunity to compete for the team owned by Chad Boat which captured the 2020 series title and owns 33 career series victories, 13th all-time.


 

Wigal will pilot the No. 89 CB Industries Spike/Speedway Toyota with primary sponsorship from Dave Knost Auto Outlet. Now, his dream of a full-time USAC National Midget ride has arrived.


 

“It’s super awesome,” Wigal exclaimed. “I’ve been dreaming about this moment since I was a little kid. A huge thank you to Chad for this great opportunity and trusting me in his equipment. It’s the best equipment in the world and I feel like I have the talent to pump out decent results.”


 

Wigal earned the USAC Midwest Thunder series title in 2023 by the narrowest margin in series history, three points and one single position while also gaining six feature victories in his family-owned ride. It’s also not Wigal’s first venture with CB Industries. Over the past two seasons, Wigal has competed in the team’s micro sprint quite frequently at North Carolina’s Millbridge Speedway, so he has the familiarity of the crew going into year three with the team.


 

Wigal hot lapped Boat’s midget and intended to compete in the car during 2023. However, that moment was delayed by Mother Nature. Receiving his first real chance to race a midget during USAC’s Driven2SaveLives BC39 at The Dirt Track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Chase McDermand’s team, Wigal turned heads as he ran third in his prelim feature before a lap seven incident knocked him out of the race. Despite the tumultuous ending, Wigal more than exceeded his initial goal.


 

“The goal was just to make the prelim A-Main,” Wigal revealed. “We surpassed that pretty well, which gave me a lot of confidence and let me know that I could run with the best.”


 

A third-generation racer, Wigal is following in the footsteps of his father, Lee Wigal, who was a regular on the UMP Modified circuit throughout the 1990s, and his grandfather, who competed in the open wheel dirt track ranks in the Ohio/West Virginia/Pennsylvania area.


 

Wigal began his career behind the wheel early on in a Mini Wedge, which is basically a kart with a roll cage. From the age of eight until 13, Wigal cut his teeth in the quarter midget ranks, winning a pair of regional titles in the process. By 2022, at the age of 14, he entered the USAC Midwest Thunder ranks, finishing second in his first start and winning in his second appearance at Ohio’s Moler Raceway Park.


 

This year will present many of the same challenges but multiplied tenfold as Wigal takes on several venues for the first time.


 

“(The biggest challenge) will be just getting to see all the new different tracks I’ve never been to,” Wigal estimated. “A lot drivers in the series have ran 20-some races on those tracks and I’ve never been to or seen many of them. It’s going to be a challenge to learn the new tracks, but I’m really looking forward to it.”


 

The 2024 USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship season begins on April 26-27 with the Kokomo Grand Prix at Indiana’s Kokomo Speedway.

 


 

USAC Silver Crown Debuts at Kansas’ Salt City Speedway July 19-20, 2024

Jack Reitz

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media


 

Hutchinson, Kansas (January 15, 2024)………The USAC Silver Crown National Championship has added a new date at a venue with a rich racing history to the 2024 series schedule.


 

For the first time ever, Salt City Speedway in Hutchinson, Kan. will host the USAC champ cars on its famed dirt half-mile for two consecutive nights on Friday-Saturday, July 19-20. An open USAC Silver Crown practice will take place on Friday, July 19, with a full program consisting of practice, qualifying and a 100-lap feature set for Saturday, July 20.


 

Located at the Kansas State Fairgrounds, Salt City Speedway (named so for its salt mining industry) first contested auto racing events in 1910, making it one of the most historic tracks in the country. Phil Nightingale has experienced his share of memories at the place, dating back to being a fan, then a driver and now as the track’s new general manager, and he can already feel the buzz.


 

“I’m more than excited about this; I’m over the moon,” Nightingale exclaimed. “This is a dream come true to put together a big race like this, especially with it being my first year as the promoter of the track. Being able to bring the champ cars to Hutchinson is huge. Every person I’ve talked to about USAC coming has been so excited to see these cars race.”


 

The reveal of this particular event on the schedule this year is significant in a myriad of manners. According to a report from The Hutchinson News, “The Kansas State Fair Board voted Tuesday (January 9, 2024) to rescind its November 2022 vote to demolish Hutchinson Raceway Park at the fairgrounds and accepted a one-year proposal for future use.”


 

When Nightingale got wind of the move to dismantle more than a century worth of racing history in Hutchinson, he stepped into action. It was personal to him. He was raised 25 miles from the track, and it’s a venue where both he and his son, Jake Nightingale, raced. In fact, Jake won in his first start at the track in a modified in 2015. The process of continuing racing at the joint came rather quickly.


 

Nightingale met with the fair board in September of 2023, then met with the board again in October and November. Just last week, his proposal received approval via a 13-0 vote to resume racing activities at the venerable central Kansas track.


 

“The track has a lot of history and it’s close to my old stomping grounds,” Nightingale explained. “When I heard that the fair board had voted to demolish the track, that’s when my adrenaline got running. It was time for me to step in and do something to try to help and promote the racetrack to keep it alive.”


 

Furthermore, USAC Silver Crown Competition Director Tommie Estes won an NCRA Sprint Car feature at the track in 1989 and will be instrumental in the track preparation for the mid-July event.


 

Six previous USAC Silver Crown events have been held in the state of Kansas dating back to 2006. Two occurred on the pavement of Kansas Speedway in Kansas City while each of the last four having taken place on the dirt at the Belleville High Banks. In fact, USAC Silver Crown racing will make multiple appearances in Kansas in 2024 with another weekend scheduled for Belleville on May 17-18.


 

Never has there been a repeat USAC Silver Crown winner in Kansas with six different drivers making it to victory lane, including Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Okla.) and seven-time series champion Kody Swanson (Kingsburg, Calif.) who’ll try to become the first multi-time Kansas Silver Crown winner at Salt City. Reigning series champ Logan Seavey (Sutter, Calif.) will attempt to win his first in Kansas at Salt City in 2024.


 

Times and additional details for the July 19-20, 2024, Salt City Speedway event will be announced at a later date. But for now, the fact that USAC Silver Crown racing is debuting in Hutchinson, to Nightingale, it’s a perfect match for racing history.


 

“I’ve always been a gearhead, I’ve always loved motors and I’ve always loved hearing loud noises and all that kind of stuff,” Nightingale stated. “We’re just so excited to bring those racers here. Number one for me is to just hear those cars screaming around that racetrack. That’s going to be the most fun.”

 


USAC Announces Rule Updates for 2024 National Season

Speedway, Indiana (January 4, 2024)………USAC has announced a number of rule updates and enforcements to be implemented beginning with the 2024 season for USAC’s Silver Crown National Championship, AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship and NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship divisions.


 

Rule updates were discussed and voted upon by USAC competitors during the annual competition meetings held on December 5, 2023, at USAC headquarters in Speedway, Ind.


 


 

====================


 


 

2024 USAC SILVER CROWN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RULE UPDATES


 


 

203: CAR CONSTRUCTION & BODY


 

(F) The front part of the body, known as the nose assembly, shall not be wider than the parallel lines of the body and may not exceed the width of the frame. The nose piece and/or the front bumper shall not exceed 23-inches from the leading edge of the front axle. See Section 206C regarding the front bumper.


 

(O) Wind screens will be allowed. Measurements will be taken from the bottom of the lower frame rail to the top of the wind screen, which should be no greater than 38-inches. The sail panel may extend rearward to the triangular bar at the back of roll cage. Sail panels may not extend forward past a cross plane established by the back seat. Side visors are not permitted.


 

(U) Airfoils, wings, spoilers or other aerodynamic appendages will not be permitted. A one-inch (1”) turnout will be allowed along the bottom of the body panels from the front of the nose piece to the rear of the rear axle. The Chief Steward or the Technical Director may have any panel or part removed which is not within the spirit or intent of this rule.


 


 

206: BUMPERS/NERF BARS


 

(C) The front bumper must not extend more than 23-inches from the leading edge of the front axle.


 


 

209: WHEELS


 

(K) Wheel covers will be allowed on both pavement and dirt track cars.


 


 

216: ENGINE SIZE LIMITS


 

(2) Cylinder heads may be manufactured from aluminum alloy providing that the original factory configuration is maintained. All aftermarket cylinder heads are subject to the approval of the USAC Technical Director.


 

APPROVED CYLINDER HEADS:

-Chevrolet: Any OEM or aftermarket cylinder heads with intake & exhaust valves in-line.

-SB-2

-RSO

-MOPAR:MOPAR R5/P7

-Ford: Ford C3 and D3 Toyota: Phase 9


 


 

218: IGNITIONS & ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT


 

(I) Only one ignition switch is allowed in the cockpit. A second ignition switch can be utilized but must be in the engine compartment.


 


 

====================


 


 

2024 USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

RULE UPDATES


 


 

302: DIMENSIONS & WEIGHT


 

(E) All cars must weigh a minimum of 1,350 pounds, including the driver. Rule was formerly 1,375 pounds.


 


 

304: ROLL CAGE & CHASSIS


 

(D) Safety bars or outlaw bars will be mandatory. Sizing will be 1.375” x .083.” One solid bar, no slip joints allowed.


 


 

315: IGNITIONS & ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT


 

(I) Only one ignition switch is allowed in the cockpit. A second ignition switch can be utilized but must be in the engine compartment.


 


 

1312: EVENT PROCEDURE


 

(F) All standard format events will consist of 24 feature starters unless otherwise noted. If four (4) heat races are held, the top-five (5) finishers will transfer to the feature. If three (3) heat races are held, the top-six (6) finishers will transfer to the feature.


 

(G) If 48 or more cars are in competition, five (5) heat races will be held with the top-four (4) finishers transferring to the feature.


 

(H) Semi-Feature, C-Main & D-Main events will be lined up by heat race finish. The front row of the semi will be reserved for the fastest two non-transfers.


 


 

====================


 


 

2024 USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK MIDGET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

RULE UPDATES


 


 

403: CAR CONSTRUCTION & BODY


 

(L) Right side cockpit body panels may be a maximum of thirty-six inches (36”) high as measured from the bottom of the frame rail. Opening must be 150 square inches and not distract driver’s vision as determined by chief steward. The right-side panel cannot extend out any further than four (4”) inches. This includes turnouts from the frame uprights (cage post).


 


 

416: IGNITION & ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT


 

(J) Only one ignition switch is allowed in the cockpit. A second ignition switch can be utilized but must be in the engine compartment.


 


 

1412: EVENT PROCEDURE


 

(F) All standard format events will consist of 24 feature starters unless otherwise noted. If four (4) heat races are held, the top-five (5) finishers will transfer to the feature. If three (3) heat races are held, the top-six (6) finishers will transfer to the feature.


 

(G) If 48 or more cars are in competition, five (5) heat races will be held with the top-four (4) finishers transferring to the feature.


 

(H) Semi-Feature, C-Main & D-Main events will be lined up by heat race finish. The front row of the semi will be reserved for the fastest two non-transfers.

 


 

Burke Joins Legacy Autosport with RWR for 2024 USAC Silver Crown Season

Paul Arch

Pittsboro, Indiana (December 29, 2023)………Legacy Autosport announced that Trey Burke will drive the No. 60 RFL Facility Solutions, TeamWWF, Texas Micro Optics, Metalloid, Legacy Autosport Chassis (pavement) and DRC (dirt) full-time on the 2024 USAC Silver Crown National Championship trail.


 

Burke is a fourth-generation race car driver from Texas who transplanted to Indianapolis, Ind. at age 17.  He grew up on the dirt tracks and has been strapping in behind the wheel since the ripe age of nine.  Trey has been successful on dirt and asphalt with configurations of ovals, road and street courses.  He has raced in the ladder series of both INDYCAR and NASCAR.


 

“'I know this is a great opportunity for me,” Burke said. “I am humbled by the fact that Mike and Butch Meyer, along with Robbie Wilson, asked me to be part of this team.  I know this was a ride that a lot of drivers were after, and I am grateful for being chosen.”


 

Burke, a Rookie with the USAC Silver Crown series in 2023, finished 10th in the overall points standings, second best among all first-year drivers in the series. For 2024, he joins an outfit that became first time USAC Silver Crown winners this past season with Davey Hamilton Jr. providing the team’s first series victory at WWT Raceway in Madison, Ill.


 

“I want to thank Legacy and Robbie for believing in me,” Burke stated. “At the end of the day, as a driver, that's all you can ask for.  When a group of people believe in you, it changes your perspective and gives you that extra confidence you want.  I am looking forward to representing Rick Mattson at RFL Facility Solutions, TeamWWF and Fred Edwards at Metalloid in the Silver Crown series.”


 

The owner of Legacy Autosport, Louis Michael Meyer, is the great grandson of Louis Meyer, the first three-time winner of the Indianapolis 500 and the first to celebrate a 500 win with a swig of milk in victory lane. Nearly a full century later, the Meyer name remains at the forefront of the sport and looks forward to adding more history in the coming year with Burke.


 

“All of us on the team are excited to get to the track and get working with Trey,” Meyer remarked. “He has shown he has the speed and the patience to compete at the top of this series, and I feel that with the right preparation, he can be there at the end for the win. Trey comes from a family with a rich racing history, starting with his great grandfather building some of the first Indy roadsters and has racing experience through every generation after.  Trey is a fourth-generation racer like me, and I am looking forward to helping him succeed and add to his own family legacy.”


 

Burke joins a Legacy Autosport team, which will feature Davey Hamilton Jr. in a full-time ride for the team as well as Nathan Byrd competing in all the pavement rounds during the 2024 campaign.


 

“We are doing something that has not been done, running a team of three Silver Crown cars,” Meyer revealed. “This is something that could not have happened without the support of Robert Wilson Racing.  Robbie is a true racer and huge supporter of Legacy Autosport.  He was our first customer and now partner and friend.  With already getting a win at Gateway in our first season with the new chassis, I am excited to have Davey, Nathan and now Trey continue to showcase what the new pavement car can do and compete for the championship.”


 

You can get more info and keep up with the Silver Crown Se1ies at USAC.com and catch all the Silver Crown races on the FloRacing streaming app and follow @legacyaotosport on Facebook and Instagram or visit LegacyAutosport.com for more info.

 


 

Turning Point: Garrett Named USAC’s Most Improved Driver for 2023

Steve Baker

Carson Garrett’s journey from his Rocky Mountain Midget roots to becoming USAC’s AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship Most Improved Driver came quite quickly in some respects. But in other ways, it’s clear to say that he’s come a long way both geographically and behind the wheel of a racecar.

 

 

In his first two seasons competing on a part-time basis with the USAC National Sprint Cars in 2021-22, Carson Garrett had appeared in 23 events and qualified for the feature in only 11 of them, with nary a top-10 finish among his results.


 

The switch was seemingly flipped for the Littleton, Colo. racer in 2023 as he became the first driver from his home state to ever be named as USAC National Most Improved Driver. The 22-year-old recorded career bests in every single statistical category, notching three top-fives and came within a whisker – just 93 hundredths of a second – of winning his first series feature at Macon Speedway in Illinois, and he even added a couple Midwest Sprint Car Series scores at Haubstadt, Indiana’s Tri-State Speedway to boot.


 

The improvements on track were readily apparent for Garrett, but so too were the intricate details of setting the car up and providing valuable info that guided his performance. That was a skill that Garrett possessed none of just a couple seasons ago.


 

“Honestly, it’s been a little bit of a journey going from starting out as a hobby to finally understanding it and wanting to work on my own stuff,” Garrett explained. “This year, I feel like I was a lot more involved in my feedback toward the crew guys than I was in the previous year. The first year, I had nothing. I was just there.”


 

Garrett’s first career top-10 with the USAC Sprint Cars turned some heads, not only for where he achieved it (Ohio’s Eldora Speedway) but also for where he came from. His advancement from 20th to 6th during May’s #LetsRaceTwo proved to be among the biggest charges of the season. To illustrate the point, Garrett noted that the setup they utilized was virtually the same as the one he’d used in previous years, further indicating his vast improvement in the seat. But for Garrett, the progression truly took on a new level just a bit before that.


 

“I feel like it started last year,” Garrett acknowledged. “We got good enough at Haubstadt and we felt good. I told the guys I want to be this good everywhere else. At the start of this year, it just got rolling and when we ran at Eldora, that was a crazy race. I was passing car after car and then I thought, hey wait, these are the top few guys up here. I was like, ‘holy cow!’ I was surprised myself.”


 

The roll continued throughout the summer months and led to him being in contention regularly during one of the biggest weeks on the USAC National Sprint Car calendar.


 

“Indiana Sprint Week was killer for us,” Garrett recalled. “We were having pretty good luck, and I think it was three nights in a row, I started on the pole of the feature. It just seemed like we had the momentum going and we were all having fun doing it. KTJ, C.J. and Jake Swanson have all been a big help, and when Jake goes to Haubstadt, he’s like, ‘what are you doing here because I want to get better here.”


 

Another prideful point for Garrett was the fact that he didn’t use up his equipment, which kept him on track and intact not only from race-to-race but throughout the entire year.


 

“Between my primary and secondary car, I didn’t tear them up this year,” Garrett pointed out. “I never got upside down, but one of our cars had to get fixed when I was running second during the Indiana Sprint Week race at Lawrenceburg when my tire blew, and I hit the wall. It bent the frame a little bit, but other than that, I felt like we had pretty good luck throughout the year.”


 

Two major components have aided the team in their rise up the rankings. In 2022, crew chief Doug Dougherty was tabbed to turn the wrenches after assisting Garrett when he raced for KO Motorsports in 2021. Also in 2022, a second car was added to the BGE Dougherty Motorsports stable for Kevin Thomas Jr., which began as only a couple race deal. Ultimately, KTJ gave the team its first three USAC victories. In 2023, C.J. Leary, the 2019 series titlist, was hired for the second seat.


 

All those pieces, facets and additions have allowed Garrett to build relationships, and as a result, he now feels more comfortable asking the right questions to help improve his performance and blossom into a more well-rounded and versatile racer.


 

“A couple times this year, I told C.J. what we’re doing, and said, ‘man, if I did that to my car, I’d go out there and be upside down. I won’t do that,’” Garrett said with a laugh. “It’s just preference. I like my car a lot tighter than C.J. does, but with the aspect of him doing our LST Shocks, it’s been huge for me to learn and understand the adjustments and what to try. C.J. is an awesome person to go to and he’ll help anyone out. He won’t fib anything. He’s going to be straightforward and honest with everybody.”


 

In 2022, Garrett branched out to a new deal alongside his father, Broc Garrett, who owned the equipment. Prior to that, Carson was flying back and forth from Colorado to Indiana with his bag and helmet in hand before making the permanent move to Indiana prior to the 2022 season. Now, as a full-time transplant, Garrett has gotten more time behind the wheel, more time with his crew and more time invested in the sport as he’s taken his efforts up another level.


 

“I think it’s just seat time and becoming closer with my crew guys and trusting what they’re doing on the car as far as just giving them the right feedback on what I need and what our car needs,” Garrett said. “Doug has been a great help for us since he came along and guided us and helped us by saying you guys should try this or that, and from that point on, he’s been setting the car up. Now I feel like I’m at the point where I can tell them what I need. I’ll tell them my suggestions of what I think they should do. Then we can kind of meet in the middle. Sometimes he says something that I may not think that the car needs. We’re both honest with each other and that just makes me more comfortable with how my car is going to react to the different adjustments we make.”


 

Garrett returns in 2024 with the same exact deal, chasing the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship with the BGE Dougherty No. 15. Although he admitted that the Most Improved Driver completely took him by surprise, there’s no question that he’s not going to sneak up on the competition in the coming year. It’s expected. Carson Garrett has now arrived on the USAC National Sprint Car scene.


 


 

=================


 


 

USAC NATIONAL MOST IMPROVED DRIVER AWARD WINNERS:


 

1966: Bill Mehner (Midget)


 

1967: Gary Bettenhausen (Midget)


 

1968: None


 

1969: None


 

1970: Larry Rice (Midget)


 

1971: Bill Renshaw (Midget)


 

1972: Pancho Carter (Midget)


 

1973: Bobby Olivero (Midget)


 

1974: Steve Lotshaw (Midget)


 

1975: Mark Alderson (Midget)


 

1976: Tom Bigelow (Indy Car) & Steve Lotshaw (Midget)


 

1977: Tom Sneva (Indy Car) & Chris Cumberworth (Midget)


 

1978: Danny Ongais (Indy Car) & Jeff Heywood (Midget)


 

1979: Tom Bigelow (Indy Car) & Stan Fox (Midget)


 

1980: Jerry Karl (Indy Car) & Warren Mockler (Midget)


 

1981: George Snider (Indy Car) & Warren Mockler (Midget)


 

1982: Mark Alderson (Silver Crown) & Steve Knepper (Midget)


 

1983: Steve Chassey (Silver Crown) & Kenneth Nichols (Midget)


 

1984: Manny Rockhold (Silver Crown) & Joe Corrigan (Midget)


 

1985: Duke Cook (Silver Crown) & John Andretti (Midget)


 

1986: Warren Mockler (Silver Crown) & Paul Clark (Midget)


 

1987: Kenny Jacobs (Silver Crown) & Dan Boorse (Midget)


 

1988: Andy Hillenburg (Silver Crown) & Michael Lang (Midget)


 

1989: Ron Dunstan (Silver Crown) & Russ Gamester (Midget)


 

1990: Gary Hieber (Silver Crown) & Roy Caruthers (Midget)


 

1991: Russ Gamester (Silver Crown) & Tyce Carlson (Midget)


 

1992: Tony Elliott (Silver Crown) & Dan Drinan (Midget)


 

1993: Mike Bliss (Silver Crown), Bill Rose (Sprint) & Andy Michner (Midget)


 

1994: Randy Tolsma (Silver Crown), Kevin Thomas (Sprint) & Steve Barth (Midget)


 

1995: Dave Darland (Silver Crown), Jason McCord (Sprint) & Brian Gerster (Midget)


 

1996: Kevin Thomas (Silver Crown), Brian Hayden (Sprint) & Tracy Hines (Midget)


 

1997: Brian Tyler (Silver Crown), Derek Davidson (Sprint) & Jay Drake (Midget)


 

1998: J.J. Yeley (Silver Crown), Kevin Doty (Sprint) & Travis Welpott (Midget)


 

1999: Brad Noffsinger (Silver Crown), Robbie Rice (Sprint) & Clay Klepper (Midget)


 

2000: John Heydenreich (Silver Crown), Brandon Petty (Sprint) & Michael Lewis (Midget)


 

2001: Jerry Coons Jr. (Silver Crown), Levi Jones (Sprint) & Steve Paden (Midget)


 

2002: Rich Tobias Jr. (Silver Crown), Kevin Briscoe (Sprint) & Danny Ebberts (Midget)


 

2003: Tyler Walker (Silver Crown), Marc Jessup (Sprint) & Tom Hessert (Midget)


 

2004: Bud Kaeding (Silver Crown), Dickie Gaines (Sprint) & Davey Ray (Midget)


 

2005: Wayne Reutimann Jr. (Silver Crown), Mat Neely (Sprint) & Brad Kuhn (Midget)


 

2006: Aaron Pierce (Silver Crown), Daron Clayton (Sprint) & Brad Loyet (Midget)


 

2007: Mat Neely (Silver Crown), Jesse Hockett (Sprint) & Kevin Swindell (Midget)


 

2008: Cole Whitt


 

2009: Shane Hmiel


 

2010: Kody Swanson & Tanner Swanson


 

2011: Zach Daum & Casey Riggs


 

2012: Chase Stockon


 

2013: Kevin Thomas Jr.


 

2014: Shane Cockrum


 

2015: Tanner Thorson


 

2016: Chad Boespflug


 

2017: Tyler Courtney


 

2018: Isaac Chapple


 

2019: Tanner Carrick


 

2020: Brandon Mattox


 

2021: Jake Swanson


 

2022: Kaylee Bryson


 

2023: Carson Garrett


 


Cottle Dials Five-Three on the Dirt for 2024 USAC Silver Crown Season

Dave Dellinger

Shane Cottle has teamed with Five Three Motorsports to tackle the dirt portion of the USAC Silver Crown National Championship schedule during the 2024 season.


 

Cottle (Kansas, Ill.) is one of the sport’s most enduring drivers, having accumulated 75 starts and a pair of victories throughout a Silver Crown career which began in 2006. After a season in which he bounced around between three different rides, Cottle will finally have a full-time home with the series in 2024.


 

FTM and Cottle came to an agreement to compete in last year’s 4-Crown Nationals at Rossburg, Ohio’s Eldora Speedway. But those plans were scratched due to an engine issue on the dyno prior to race day that prevented the pairing’s debut.


 

“I love the Silver Crown cars, so it’s nice to have something secure where we’re going to be doing it all year instead of jumping around like we did last year,” Cottle explained. “So, I’m really looking forward to it.”


 

Likewise, the Joliet, Illinois based Five Three Motorsports team fielded three drivers during the 2023 season, including Kevin Thomas Jr., Steve Buckwalter and A.J. Fike. Their plan over the past couple of years has been to have one driver on the half-miles and one for the miles. But for FTM, Cottle is the complete package for their operation.


 

“Everyone was easy to work with but bouncing back and forth between drivers made it hard to jell as a team from race-to-race,” FTM’s Matt Schuck revealed. “We kept in touch with Shane over the last couple of months and worked out a deal right after PRI.  We are very excited to have Shane in our car for the upcoming season. We have seen him run some great races over the year, and he always seems to be right in the thick of things by the end and competing for wins.”


 

FTM has two new Kistler engines prepared for Cottle’s campaign which begins on the dirt on May 17-18 at the Belleville (Kan.) High Banks where they expect to be in contention and hungry for the team’s first ever victory after making their series debut in 2014.


 

“That’s our goal,” Schuck stated. “We want to be up front race-in and race-out.  We feel Shane is the right man for the job and we hope we can make this pairing one that our competitors know will be hard to beat.”


 

Cottle loves the USAC Silver Crown series and reminded us that there’s nothing quite like it in his book. The long-distance races, the big fuel loads, the aggressiveness balanced with nuanced finesse, it’s all a thrill for one of the sport’s most popular competitors.


 

“I don’t really know what it is, but it’s so much fun,” Cottle exclaimed. “It’s the prestige of them with the miles and the bigger cars; they’re fun to race on the half miles too. They’re a little trickier than a sprint car because they’re so big and they don’t slow down as fast, but they’re just a lot of fun to race.”


 

Entering 2024, the appetite for victory is stronger than it’s ever been for the 52-year-old Cottle. There’s one in particular he’d like to make up for after seeing the lead and the race win slip through his fingers on a late-race restart in August of 2023 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. Since that point, he’s had that moment, and redemption, on his mind.


 

“After last year, the appetite is really big,” Cottle noted. “I let that one go, and I hate it for the whole Dyson Racing crew and (crew chief) Sean Michael. I still have sleepless nights over it and I wake up thinking about it. I definitely want to go get another one for sure. I’m looking forward to getting to know these guys, and hopefully, put them in victory lane.”


Hall Tabbed as USAC Western States Midget Series Director Starting in 2024

A.J. Johnson

Scott Hall, a prominent promoter, racer and series organizer on the west coast open wheel dirt track racing scene, has been named the series director of the USAC Western States Midget series.

Hall, of Roseville, California, officially took his post on the final of November 2023, and has informed us that he has formulated a 16-race schedule for the 2024 season throughout the Golden State.


 

Hall contends to have a working relationship with the Bay Cities Racing Association to help strengthen and bolster midget racing on the west coast in the now and in the future. Hall’s background in the sport includes a variety of roles and in the formation of multiple sprint car series.


 

“I’ve raced with a lot of these guys who are now running BCRA at the management level,” Hall said. “I’ve done a lot of promoting in the past with the Sprint Car Challenge Tour and I’ve helped develop that, and also redeveloped the Hunt Wingless Series out here. And I’m still on the board for each one of those series.”


 

Hall also has a deep connection in racing with his daughter, Taylor Hall, who has raced two seasons in outlaw karts and one season in micros sprints in recent years and is now making the move to midget racing. Hall has witnessed several up-and-coming racers in his day and finds passion in helping them develop into becoming the next stars of the sport.


 

“I’m all about developing the next generation,” Hall stated. “I have my finger on the pulse of the next generation of racers. Racing with my daughter has had us in the trenches (of the sport).”


 

Hall’s racing lineage runs deep. His grandfather, Jimmy Sills Sr., was a winner on the BCRA Midget circuit in the early to mid-1950s. Jimmy Sills Jr. became a household name as a three-time USAC Silver Crown champion in 1990-94-96 and raced coast-to-coast with USAC, the World of Outlaws, NARC and more, just to name a few.


 

Recalling his upbringing, Hall can vividly remember watching the Saturday Night Thunder telecasts on ESPN during the early 1990s featuring the USAC Western States Midget at Ventura (Calif.) Raceway. The excitement and deep appreciation of the sport was firmly ingrained at the point.


 

“USAC Western States Midget racing is big to us and our family,” Hall acknowledged. “As a family, we used to sit around the TV and watch Jimmy run Saturday Night Thunder in a midget at Ventura. I see an opportunity with the number of midgets that are in this country right now and to try to bring that back.”


 

Hall aims to facilitate that type of thrill again for competitors and fans alike starting in 2024. It’s a feeling he can recall from the recent past that instilled a passion for the sport inside him, and he wants to pass on the passion to the current and future generations on the west coast.


 

“(Former USAC Western States Midget Series Director) Tommy (Hunt) and those guys had it down south and they were getting 60 midgets,” Hall recalled. “I’ve seen it in its prime, so I know what it’s capable of and it’s near and dear to me. I ran sprint cars out here, but I was a little big to run a midget. I’ve always loved non-wing racing and all my wins as a driver have come in non-wing cars. I have a passion for it and all those memories are with me so it’s a big deal to me.”


 

With his day job in the construction business (roofing and solar), Hall devotes the rest of his time to motorsports, and aims to bring together the two worlds in the form of marketing partners, the life bread of the sport.


 

“Sales and marketing through racing is a great combination,” Hall explained. “What I think it will take for the midget series to get back up is to work some marketing angles. There’s a lot of passion out here on the west coast for midget racing, and we need to tap into that and do what we’ve done with the Sprint Car Challenge Tour. We grew 360 c.i. racing from almost a demise when Civil War was at its end to consistently getting car counts of 30-40.”


 

All in all, all the work put in comes down to a true passion of the sport, something which Hall possesses in droves, in keeping the sports and the series thriving for years to come and its deep roots in the state of California.


 

“It’s very important to myself and everybody in my family,” Hall said. “Midget racing started with my grandpa when he got back from World War II and was running indoor tracks in the bay area. The true history of midget racing in California goes back pretty far. To see that history die would be horrible, but as we bring it back, I want to share some of those old memories of how deep midget racing runs in California.”

 


Golden Ronnie: Gardner Earns USAC Chief Mechanic of the Year for 2023

Jack Reitz

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media


 

Speedway, Indiana (December 13, 2023)………”I won a lot of midget races on the west coast, but this right here is the greatest accomplishment I’ve ever had.”


 

For as successful as Ronnie Gardner was behind the wheel, that statement says a lot about the Norco, Calif. native who was recently the recipient of the Johnny Capels “Golden Greek Award” as USAC’s Chief Mechanic of the Year for 2023 along with a $10,000 reward.


 

Gardner, who won five consecutive USAC Western States Midget driving championships between 2013-17, turned in the steering wheel for a wrench and has kept on winning. Between his efforts with driver Logan Seavey, Abacus Racing and Rice Motorsports in 2023, Gardner amassed a pair of championships in USAC National Midget and USAC Silver Crown competition as a crewman.


 

“It’s been an incredible year; thank you to USAC for considering me,” Gardner stated. “I did not expect this at all.”


 

Ronnie Gardner’s family lineage in racing is quite extensive both behind the wheel and behind the wrenches. Gardner’s grandfather is five-time Indianapolis 500 starter and two-time Little 500 winner Ronnie Duman.


 

Furthermore, Ronnie’s uncles include Rick Duman, a 2005 recipient of Clint Brawner Mechanical Excellence Award at the Indianapolis 500, as well as Jack Gardner, a successful CRA and SCRA sprint car team owner who captured a USAC National Sprint Car feature win with driver Bill Rose at Paragon (Ind.) Speedway in 1997.


 

“I’ve got to thank my family, my dad and both my uncles for teaching me how to work on racecars when I was young before I even drove them,” Ronnie stated. “I never actually thought I’d get the chance to drive them. I was able to drive them later on in life in my 20s and it was a dream of mine.”


 

Gardner’s five straight USAC Western States Midget driving titles are unprecedented and his 23 career series wins rank behind only Sleepy Tripp, Robby Flock and Billy Boat.


 

USAC championships came in droves for Gardner again this past season, after multiple seasons of close calls on the Silver Crown side with Rice Motorsports. In both 2021-22, the team’s driver, Logan Seavey, took second in the final tally behind Kody Swanson in the driver standings. Nonetheless, the team still garnered enough points to earn the entrant title in 2021, but it still didn’t feel complete until wrapping up both the driver and entrant crowns in the 2023 season finale at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park by a scant seven-point margin.


 

“I screwed it up a couple years with Rice and we actually didn’t get it done,” Gardner recalled. “We got it done with the entrant title, but we never got Logan what he deserved. I am so happy to get Logan Seavey his championship with the Silver Crown series this year.”


 


 

Gardner thinks back to their earliest days of Silver Crown racing in 2020 when the outfit began as Prestige Worldwide, an homage to the hit movie, Step Brothers. At the time, the whole concept was new, and the expectations were measured, at best.


 

“We didn’t have any expectations,” Gardner remembered. “We just put a racecar on the track and hoped for the best for the first couple of races. Then it evolved into wanting to win races and win championships. I’m very, very proud of what we’ve accomplished.”


 

Entering into the fray in 2023 was Brent Cox of Abacus Racing, the midget team owner who joined in on the Silver Crown side and provided an extra boost to the team.


 

“Without Brent, that Silver Crown car probably stays in the garage all year long,” Gardner admitted. “That was huge for me, for Logan and for my future.”


 

With Cox’s involvement, Gardner also became part of the Abacus USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship effort with Seavey at the wheel and proceeded to win eight more times en route to the most dominant series title run in nearly two decades.


 

“You don’t win championships without a really great racecar and a beyond great driver,” Gardner noted. “And Logan was beyond great this year in everything that he drove.”


 

Gardner, who is married to longtime west coast car owner Ted Finkenbinder’s goddaughter, Amber, gives credit to his wife for making the thought of even doing this possible. In fact, it’s the unconditional support one receives amid the ups and downs of the sport while going up and down the road that truly makes much of this achievement most rewarding.


 

“To have a driver and a team lean on you to put the best product on the track night in and night out, and for us to win a championship that all of them deserve, is huge,” Gardner said. “I’m so proud, and as (fellow Abacus Racing & Rice Motorsports crewman) Kirk Simpson always says, ‘it takes an Army!’”


 


 

=================


 


 

USAC JOHNNY CAPELS "GOLDEN GREEK" USAC NATIONAL CHIEF MECHANIC OF THE YEAR:


 

1998: Jack French


 

1999: Kelly Drake


 

2000: Keith Kunz


 

2001: Bobby Barth


 

2002: George Snider


 

2003: Galen Fox


 

2004: Matt Draskovic


 

2005: Scott Benic


 

2006: Pete Willoughby


 

2007: George Snider


 

2008: Hoffman Auto Racing


 

2009: Scott Benic


 

2010: Tim Clauson


 

2011: Brad Mariscotti & John Sayne


 

2012: Michael Dutcher


 

2013: Steve Phillips


 

2014: Bob Hampshire


 

2015: Keith Kunz & Derrick Bye


 

2016: Rob Hoffman & Dan Launderville


 

2017: Derek Claxton


 

2018: Tyler Ransbottom


 

2019: Davey Jones


 

2020: Matt Hummel


 

2021: Jarrett Martin


 

2022: Jarrett Martin


 

2023: Ronnie Gardner

 


 

 

 

SEAVEY & GRANT SHARE SPOTLIGHT AT 2023 USAC NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS

(Dave Olson

The 2023 USAC National Champions: Logan Seavey (Left) & Justin Grant (Right).

 

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media


 

Indianapolis, Indiana (December 8, 2023).........USAC national driving champions Logan Seavey and Justin Grant shared the spotlight along with other 2023 USAC champions and special award recipients at Friday night’s 68th USAC Night of Champions celebration at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in downtown Indianapolis, Ind.


 

===================


 

USAC NATIONAL CHAMPIONS


 

A total of 75 USAC national events were held from sea to shining sea during the 2023 campaign, from February’s events in the gator country of Barberville, Florida all the way to November’s night on the beach in Ventura, California.


 

We were witnesses to milestones, photo finishes, historic streaks, hard charges, a double-up champion, a repeat titlist and a return to the throne.


 

With the curtain closed on the 68th year of USAC racing, we salute all the individuals and teams who thrived through the yearlong grind on the trail and also those who earned the right to stand on the stage Friday night as one of the very best at their discipline.


 


 

USAC SILVER CROWN 1ST PLACE DRIVER: Logan Seavey – Sutter, California


 

USAC SILVER CROWN 1ST PLACE ENTRANT: Rice Motorsports-Abacus Racing – Brownsburg, Indiana


 

Logan Seavey and Rice Motorsports fell just a few points short of a USAC Silver Crown championship in each of the past two seasons, but in 2023, they weren’t denied. Three dirt wins met the expectations of the team’s desires at Port Royal, Springfield and Eldora. However, the pavement side of the equation saw a huge stride for the team with four top-five results.


 

However, a July accident at Winchester nearly derailed their championship hopes and aspirations. With all hands on deck between Rice Motorsports and new team co-entrant Abacus Racing, and the sands of the hourglass running short, the team rebuilt their car just in time to finish 5th at Toledo, marking the moment when the two factions truly became one team.


 

When all was said and done, Seavey, Rice and Abacus prevailed with a scant seven-point edge in earning the title, and coupled with his midget championship, Seavey became the first driver since Levi Jones in 2011 to double up with multiple USAC national titles in a season, which earned him a $50,000 bonus, doubling his point fund payout to $100,000 for the year.

 


 

USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK NATIONAL MIDGET 1ST PLACE DRIVER: Logan Seavey – Sutter, California


 

USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK NATIONAL MIDGET 1ST PLACE ENTRANT: Abacus Racing – Noblesville, Indiana


 

Logan Seavey and Abacus Racing’s 280-point final championship margin at the conclusion of the 2023 USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship season was the largest in nearly two decades since Bobby East’s title in 2004, and it came after they found themselves mired sixth in the standings, 110 points out of the lead in June.


 

Their run of 22 consecutive top-10 finishes to end the season sealed the deal and tied Jason Leffler’s series record set in 1997, the very same year Seavey was born. Seavey won at Macon Speedway mere hours after winning the USAC Silver Crown race at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, becoming just the third driver to win multiple USAC national events at two different racetracks in a single day, a feat previously only accomplished by Billy Vukovich in 1967 and J.J. Yeley in 2004.


 

Seavey also performed a complete USAC sweep of the 4-Crown Nationals at Eldora and led the midget series in feature laps led with 214 as well as 21 top-fives and 24 top-tens in 27 starts. He’s now a two-time USAC National Midget champion and his team is a first-time series titlist.

 


 

USAC AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT CAR 1ST PLACE DRIVER: Justin Grant, Ione, California


 

RICHARD HOFFMAN USAC AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT CAR 1ST PLACE ENTRANT: TOPP Motorsports, Rochester, Indiana


 

Justin Grant and TOPP Motorsports endured a nearly two-month struggle in the late spring/early summer months which overlapped with a change in team personnel and a period of confidence-shaking woes that found the team as far down as sixth in the standings entering mid-summer.


 

What followed was one of the most dominant stretches in series history for himself, sidekick Jeff Walker and TOPP Motorsports’ Kevin Birchmeier, accounting for a career-high 11 series victories in 2023, including eight in his final 17 starts, and 13 straight top-tens to close out the year.


 

Grant became the 13th different point leader in a record setting year in terms of point lead changes and was also victorious at Gas City in the closest USAC finish of the season while earning the most lucrative weekend of his career when he cashed $44,500 in a single night by completing a Sprint Car Smackdown sweep at Indiana’s Kokomo Speedway. To boot, he finished off the year with $20,000 more in his pocket as the winner of the Fall Nationals at Lawrenceburg.


 

Both Grant and TOPP are now two-time USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car champions, and for the second year in a row, the first team to do so since Brady Bacon and Dynamics, Inc. in 2020-21. The efforts were worth another $50,000 for their title run.

 


 

USAC SILVER CROWN 2ND PLACE DRIVER: Kody Swanson – Kingsburg, California


 

USAC SILVER CROWN 2ND PLACE ENTRANT: Doran-Binks Racing – Lebanon, Ohio


 

Kody Swanson became the first driver to reach 40 career USAC Silver Crown wins during a summer stretch in which he collected three consecutive victories at Madison, Winchester and Toledo, making it the fourth occasion in which he won three-in-a-row with the series. No other driver has more than one such streak! He shared the series lead with nine top-fives in 11 series starts and topped all drivers with 433 laps led and six fast qualifying times. For an incredible 10 straight years now, he’s finished either first or second in the standings. Finishing as the runners-up for the USAC Silver Crown series in 2023 were Kingsburg, California’s Swanson and Lebanon, Ohio’s Doran-Binks Racing.

 


 

USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK NATIONAL MIDGET 2ND PLACE DRIVER: Justin Grant, Ione, California


 

USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK NATIONAL MIDGET 2ND PLACE ENTRANT: RMS Racing, Western Springs, Illinois


 

They’ve made a habit of it throughout their time together, and once again, for the third season in a row, Justin Grant and the RMS Racing team finished inside the top-three of the standings, and this year, both driver and entrant wound up as the runners-up. Grant led 94 laps while accumulating 12 top-fives in 27 starts and was simply spectacular in a masterful drive at The Dirt Track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. There, the Ione, Calif. driver and Western Springs, Illinois based team went undefeated throughout the weekend to capture the $20,039 dollar prize at the Driven2SaveLives BC39.


 


 

USAC AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT CAR 2ND PLACE DRIVER: Brady Bacon, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma


 

USAC AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT CAR 2ND PLACE ENTRANT: Dynamics Inc., Milford, Ohio


 

For the fourth consecutive year, Brady Bacon and his Dynamics, Inc. team finished top-two in the standings on the strength of seven victories, equaling his career high. Bacon’s $20,000 dollar Haubstadt Hustler victory at Tri-State gave him 53 career USAC National Sprint Car feature wins, pushing the Broken Arrow, Okla. product to second all-time in that category. He also added a second Indiana Sprint Week crown and a pair of victories in Illinois & Texas which set a record for the most different states won in by a USAC National Sprint Car driver at 14. At Wilmot, this combo became the winningest driver/entrant pairing in series history with 41 scores and now they’re your 2023 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car runners-up.

 


 

USAC SILVER CROWN 3RD PLACE DRIVER: Justin Grant – Ione, California


 

USAC SILVER CROWN 3RD PLACE ENTRANT: Hemelgarn Racing – LaSalle, Michigan


 

For the eighth straight season, Justin Grant and Hemelgarn Racing found themselves inside the top-five of the USAC Silver Crown standings at season’s end, finishing third both the driver and entrant standings for 2023. On Labor Day weekend this year, they broke an 18-race string without a victory when he scored the 69th running of the Ted Horn 100 at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds dirt mile. After a somewhat sluggish start which saw them fall to ninth in points, the Ione, Calif. driver and LaSalle, Mich. team rebounded with authority, recording six top-sixes to cap the season.

 


 

USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK NATIONAL MIDGET 3RD PLACE DRIVER: Bryant Wiedeman – Colby, Kansas


 

USAC NOS ENERGY DRINK NATIONAL MIDGET 3RD PLACE ENTRANT: CB Industries – Mooresville, North Carolina


 

Bryant Wiedeman became a first-time USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship feature winner in 2023, utilizing a low-side pass on the white flag lap to seal a victory in his home state of Kansas at the Mitchell County Fairgrounds. The Colby, Kan. racer ascended to a fourth-place finish in the standings a year ago, just 13 points out of third. However, this year, he took the next step up the ladder by leading 32 laps and grabbing nine top-five results in 26 starts while also bringing his CB Industries team back to the podium at year’s end with Wiedeman and Mooresville, North Carolina’s CBI taking third in the driver and entrant standings, respectively.

 


 

USAC AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT CAR 3RD PLACE DRIVER: Emerson Axsom – Franklin, Indiana


 

USAC AMSOIL NATIONAL SPRINT CAR 3RD PLACE ENTRANT: Clauson Marshall Newman Racing – Fishers, Indiana


 

One year after corralling Rookie of the Year honors, Emerson Axsom came back with a sensational sophomore season in which he won on back-to-back nights at Pennsylvania’s Big Diamond Speedway and Williams Grove Speedway en route to the Eastern Storm title before adding another win at Indiana’s Bloomington Speedway. In all, he garnered a series-high 29 top-tens in 36 starts while bringing his Clauson Marshall Newman Racing team to its best points finish in four years. In 2023, Axsom (Franklin, Ind.) and Clauson Marshall Newman (Fishers, Ind.) tallied a third-place finish in the USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car driver and entrant standings.


 


 

===================


 


 

USAC INDIVIDUAL & SPECIAL AWARDS


 

ROGER McCLUSKEY AWARD: Dave Darland – Lincoln, Indiana


 

Who would have thought that a straggly kid from Lincoln, Indiana would have come this far? Dave Darland is the absolute epitome of the word “excellence” in every sense of the word. He’s one of seven members of the Triple Crown club, winning championships across all three of USAC’s divisions – Silver Crown, National Midgets and National Sprint Cars where he is the winningest driver in series history.


 

Darland’s total of 115 USAC feature victories (nationally and regionally) ranks fifth all-time and his 1,334 USAC National feature starts between 1986 and 2023 also ranks number one. He also scored at least one USAC national feature victory in a remarkable 24 consecutive seasons between 1993 and 2016.


 

He’s raced everywhere and won nearly everything in his long and storied career. He’s won on pavement and dirt, won from coast-to-coast, and titles upon titles, and was one of the most popular drivers to ever compete on the USAC trail. Along the way, he affectionately earned the nickname, “The People’s Champ,” which certainly about sums it up.


 

The accolades go on and on and we could be here for eternity reciting them, but this man has solidified his position as one of the all-time greats in all motorsports, and that’s a status he will retain for eternity.


 

It brings me great pleasure to introduce to you this year’s recipient of the Roger McCluskey Award – the incomparable Dave Darland!

 


 

MIKE CURB USAC NATIONAL DRIVERS CHAMPION: Justin Grant, Ione, California


 

A second USAC National Sprint Car championship in as many years isn’t the only impressive accolade Justin Grant repeated in 2023. For the third consecutive season, and fourth time overall, Grant (Ione, Calif.) was rewarded as the Mike Curb USAC National Driver Champion. He amassed the most total points across the three USAC national divisions throughout the duration of the 2023 campaign and is now just the third driver to win the honor in three consecutive seasons, joining J.J. Yeley and Bryan Clauson in that department. He’s also now one of only two drivers to capture this reward four times in his career along with Tracy Hines. For his performance, Grant collected an extra $10,000.


 


 

JOHNNY CAPELS “GOLDEN GREEK” USAC CHIEF MECHANIC OF THE YEAR: Ronnie Gardner – Rice Motorsports & Abacus Racing


 

It’s a rare feat to win multiple championships in a single year in any aspect of the sport, but Ronnie Gardner was able to achieve that as a crewman in 2023. A five-time USAC Western States Midget titlist as a driver in his own right, he turned in the steering wheel for a wrench and has kept on winning. This year, between his efforts with driver Logan Seavey, Abacus Racing and Rice Motorsports, he amassed a pair of championships in USAC National Midget and USAC Silver Crown competition. The Johnny Capels “Golden Greek” award is reserved for those special individuals who are in the trenches and this year’s recipient is certainly among those as he earned a $10,000 reward for his efforts.


 


 

BUBBY JONES MASTER OF GOIN' FASTER CHAMPIONSHIP: C.J. Leary – Greenfield, Indiana


 

C.J. Leary has won a USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship, an Indiana Sprint Week title and an Eastern Storm crown in his career. In 2023, the Greenfield, Ind. driver added another highlight to his impressive reel by capturing the second annual Bubby Jones Master of Goin’ Faster Championship Presented By Spire Sports + Entertainment. Leary earned $10,000 for his efforts in the 10-race miniseries and an extra $2,500 for his BGE Dougherty Motorsports team. For Leary, it’s another feather in his cap as he also received a custom trophy provided by Potter Metal Art.


 


 

PROSOURCE PASSING MASTER: Daison Pursley – Locust Grove, Oklahoma


 

Daison Pursley’s conquests in USAC’s National Sprint Car Midget divisions saw him pass a total of 199 cars in 62 feature starts throughout the 2023 season. Those efforts paid off for the Locust Grove, Okla. driver as he earned the title of ProSource Passing Master. Pursley earned a $2,500 prize and becomes the third different winner of the season-long award which rewards the USAC nationally licensed driver who advanced the most positions during feature events throughout the entirety of USAC’s 2023 national season between Silver Crown, Sprint Cars and Midgets.


 


 

MAX PAPIS INNOVATIONS SILVER CROWN ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Kaylee Bryson – Muskogee, Oklahoma


 

Throughout the 2023 season, Kaylee Bryson ascended to heights never before reached in USAC’s 68-year history. She became the first woman to finish inside the top-five of the standings in a USAC national series and is now the first woman to earn USAC National Rookie of the Year honors of any kind, earning the honor with the Silver Crown series this past season. One year ago, the Muskogee, Oklahoma native became the first woman to earn USAC National Most Improved Driver honors and she’s also the first Okie to win this award.


 


 

MAX PAPIS INNOVATIONS BOB STROUD NATIONAL MIDGET ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Gavin Miller – Allentown, Pennsylvania


 

Just a few years ago, Gavin Miller stood on the stage at USAC’s Night of Champions as a decorated quarter midget racer. Now the six-time USAC .25 Midget champ is making a name on the USAC National Midget scale by becoming the first Pennsylvanian to win a series feature since Steve Buckwalter 13 years ago. Miller’s win at Bloomington and an eighth place finish in the standings propelled the Allentown, Pa. racer to becoming just the third Keystone State native to receive recognition as the Max Papis Innovations Bob Stroud USAC National Midget Rookie of the Year after John Andretti in 1983 and Andrew Layser in 2019.


 


 

MAX PAPIS INNOVATIONS USAC NATIONAL SPRINT CAR ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Daison Pursley – Locust Grove, Oklahoma


 

There are comeback stories and then there is the comeback story of Daison Pursley. In 2021, the Locust Grove, Okla. native suffered a spinal injury that kept him inside hospitals and rehab centers for several months. His perseverance and desire ultimately led him back to the driver’s seat. Right out of the box in 2023, he got the racing world’s attention with a $10,000 score at Florida’s Volusia Speedway Park, a night he said he’ll always remember. Defying the odds is part of Pursley’s game, and in 2023, he became the first Oklahoman to win the Max Papis Innovations USAC National Sprint Car Rookie of the Year award since Gary Cameron in 1992.

 


 

NATIONAL MOST IMPROVED DRIVER: Carson Garrett – Littleton, Colorado


 

Hailing from Littleton, Colorado, Carson Garrett becomes the first ever Rocky Mountain State driver to ever be named a USAC National Most Improved Driver. Garrett recorded career bests in every single statistical category throughout the 2023 USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship season. In his third year with the series, he notched three top-fives and came within a whisker – just 93 hundredths of a second – of winning his first series feature at Macon Speedway in Illinois. He also made one of the biggest charges of the year when he advanced from 20th to 6th at Ohio’s Eldora Speedway.

 


 

RACE ORGANIZER OF THE YEAR: Steve O’Neal – Port Royal Speedway


 

For several years now, Steve O’Neal has been the face of Pennsylvania’s Port Royal Speedway, overseeing a transformation of the facility that fits its moniker to a T as The Speed Palace. He’s long been an advocate for USAC racing in the Keystone State, and since 2012, has been an ardent supporter of USAC Sprint Car racing’s annual running of Eastern Storm. In 2022, he was instrumental in doubling USAC’s participation at Port Royal, adding a Silver Crown event to the night, thus creating one of the most highly anticipated events of the year. In 2023, O’Neal was celebrated as USAC’s Race Organizer of the Year.


 


 

USAC SPECIAL APPRECIATION (INDIVIDUAL): Dave & Kim Rudisell – Lawrenceburg Speedway


 

This year, we bid farewell to one of the most supportive and prevalent USAC promoters in the club’s history. USAC celebrated Dave and Kim Rudisell with an honorable send-off as recipients of USAC’s Special Appreciation award. For the past 17 years, they have operated Indiana’s Lawrenceburg Speedway. Between 2007 and 2023, they organized more than 40 USAC National Sprint Car events, eighth most all-time. The last of those 40 served as this past year’s season finale and was the richest race of any kind ever held in the 74-year history of the track. They also promoted 16 USAC National Midget events at The Burg, and in all, they promoted 56 USAC national events which ranks 14th all-time in USAC history.


 


 

USAC SPECIAL APPRECIATION (INDIVIDUAL): Chet Christner – FloRacing


 

Since 2017, Chet Christner has announced several hundreds of USAC national events on the public address system and to a worldwide audience on FloRacing at racetracks from coast-to-coast. With noted catchphrases such as “Drop the Hamma,” “Like a Rat on a Cheeto” and “Going Faster than Breath Mints at a Singles Bar,” etc., Christner’s colorful descriptions, humor and entertaining play-by-play calls captivated legions of race fans. Additionally, he produced a plethora of content and was a substantial help behind the scenes in the technological department in regard to the race day set-up for race broadcasts. Christner has opted to step away from announcing USAC events at the end of the 2023 season, but nonetheless, he will always remain a treasured member of the USAC family.


 


 

CAR IQ FAB FOUR CHAMPION: Jade Avedisian – Clovis, California


 

It was an absolutely fabulous season for Jade Avedisian as she captured the inaugural Car IQ Fab Four championship in 2023. The first of its kind competition determine the top women drivers within all USAC circle track racing based on an equal ratio of average finish in USAC’s Silver Crown, AMSOIL National Sprint Car and NOS Energy Drink National Midget series in addition to an online fan vote. During the season ending Turkey Night Grand Prix at Ventura Raceway, Clovis, California’s Avedisian was rewarded with a $10,000 prize courtesy of Car IQ.


 


 

DICK JORDAN AWARD: Nikki Klepper – USAC Licensing & RaceAid


 

Nikki Klepper is, without a doubt, the backbone of so many behind the scenes aspects that go hand in hand with the success of USAC racing. Without her tireless contributions, the USAC Night of Champions wouldn’t even be a possibility. Not only does she make this event happen, she routinely makes it special. Nikki has worked in the front office of USAC for several years in charge of licensing, and recently, has taken on the role as head of USAC’s Benevolent Foundation, now called USAC RaceAid, and has taken it to new heights.


 

Under her guidance, care and leadership within USAC, Klepper was chosen as the honoree of this year’s Dick Jordan Award of Excellence, honoring an individual who has displayed tireless dedication and commitment to the betterment of USAC. One who has had a profound positive impact within the USAC family and has earned the ultimate respect of their peers within the sport. One who has created a lasting legacy that will persist for generations to follow. One who has set a standard by upholding the values and work ethic as Dick Jordan did throughout his 50-year career with USAC.


 


 

ENGLER MACHINE & TOOL FAST PASS: Dave Berkheimer – Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania


 

A new contingency award was introduced for the 2023 USAC Silver Crown season with the intention of rewarding a driver and team who are the backbone of the sport. Dave Berkheimer exemplifies that fact, having been a fixture on the series trail for the past eight seasons since 2016. This year, the first car in the running order a lap down was issued an Engler Machine & Tool Fast Pass. The Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvanian grabbed five of those throughout the year, which earned him a $4,000 prize – $2,000 each to driver and owner – and he is both of those.


 


 

DIRT DRAFT MOST POPULAR DRIVER AWARDS: Kaylee Bryson, Logan Seavey & Thomas Meseraull


 

Also new for 2023 was the introduction of the Dirt Draft Most Popular Driver award. The winner of these awards were chosen based on who was selected most often by Dirt Draft contest participants in each USAC national division throughout the year. Drivers who were picked most often will earn a bit of bonus money tonight. Those winners are Kaylee Bryson for the Silver Crown series, Logan Seavey for the Sprint Cars and Thomas Meseraull in the Midgets.


 

 

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REGIONAL SPRINT & MIDGET SERIES


 

USAC’s Regional Sprint Car and Midget series hit dirt tracks from the east to the west throughout 2023, producing five USAC champions. It’s a group that includes a pair of first time USAC titlists and a bevy of others who returned to the forefront as USAC champions once more.


 


 

AMSOIL USAC CRA SPRINT DRIVER CHAMPION: Brody Roa – Garden Grove, California


 

AMSOIL USAC CRA SPRINT ENTRANT CHAMPION: Tom & Christy Dunkel/BR Performance – Menifee, California


 

After more than 12 years of touring with the AMSOIL USAC CRA Sprint Cars and finishing as the runner-up three times, Brody Roa (Garden Grove, Calif.) finally reached the pinnacle in 2023 as he scored his first career series driving title. This season also presented him with a new ride owned by Tom and Christy Dunkel/BR Performance of Menifee, Calif., which paid dividends with eight victories and an entrant championship. It’s Roa’s fourth overall USAC title following previous crowns with the Focus Midgets, West Coast Sprints and Southwest Sprints, but it’s his first driving title with USAC CRA.


 


 

WESTERN STATES MIDGET CHAMPION: Brody Fuson – Bakersfield, California


 

Teenage sensation Brody Fuson (Bakersfield, Calif.) finished second in the point standings the last two years, but in 2023, he took the next step to become a champion in his Rusty Carlile-owned machine. He earned the most feature wins in a season with the series since Ronnie Gardner in 2016, tallying five victories and 10 top-fives in 11 starts while adding six fast times. In the process, at 18 years of age, he became the youngest ever USAC Western States Midget driving champion.


 


 

RAPID TIRE SERVICE EAST COAST SPRINT CHAMPION: Briggs Danner, Allentown, Pennsylvania


 

It was a season in which Briggs Danner embarked on a journey with a new team, but in the end, the result was precisely the same in 2023 as it was in 2022. Joining the Hogue Racing Enterprises outfit, Danner used a string of consistency to reach the top of the chart in becoming a USAC Rapid Tire East Coast Sprint Cars Presented By Capitol Custom Trailers champion. The Allentown, Pennsylvania driver’s two wins and a series-high 12 top-fives in 14 starts highlighted the campaign, and it seemed fitting that three years after winning in his first ever sprint car start, he clinched his second straight title at the very same venue – New Jersey’s Bridgeport Motorsports Park.


 


 

WHOLESALE BATTERIES MIDWEST WINGLESS RACING ASSOCIATION SPRINT CHAMPION: Wyatt Burks, Topeka, Kansas


 

The most successful driver in the history of USAC Midwest Wingless Sprint Car racing did it again in 2023 with the USAC Wholesale Batteries Midwest Wingless Racing Association Sprint Cars. Wyatt Burks (Topeka, Kan.) backed up previous championships in 2020 and 2022 with a second consecutive crown, and third overall, this season in downright dominant fashion, winning the title by a record 375-point margin on the strength of six series victories, 17 consecutive top-tens and eight-straight top-fives to close it out for the third time in the four-year history of the series.


 


 

WEST COAST SPRINT CHAMPION: Ryan Timmons – Pleasant Hill, California


 

Ryan Timmons has been a stalwart of the USAC West Coast Sprint Car scene dating back to the 2015 season, but this year marked a major breakthrough in becoming the 2023 USAC West Coast Sprint Car champion. The 28-year-old racer from Pleasant Hill, California, took third in the series standings for 2018, then followed up with a pair of runner-up finishes in both 2019 and 2021. But as 2023 ultimately proved, this year was his year. He struck first and never relented as he led the standings from start to finish with a pair of wins over the course of the year at California’s Bakersfield Speedway. 


 


 

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USAC DEVELOPMENTAL SERIES


 

Three developmental Midget series, plus the Midwest Mini Sprint Association, took part in a total of 60 events spanning 10 different states in 2023 from coast to coast and produced four first-time USAC champions with the theme of these series this year being record-breaking points battles, all of which came down to the wire.


 


 

MIDWEST MINI SPRINT ASSOCIATION CHAMPION: Mike Larrison – Avon, Indiana


 

Mike Larrison has competed in nearly every kind of open wheel racing machine in his career. The Avon, Ind. wheelman has driven Silver Crown cars, midgets and sprint cars with and without a wing and on dirt and pavement. He’s driven in the Indy Lights series and has even finished inside the top-10 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. A couple years back, he switched his focus to the Midwest Mini Sprint Association, becoming the series’ Rookie of the Year in 2022. The following year, he took the next step and became the top dog in becoming the 2023 Midwest Mini Sprint Association champion.


 


 

EASTERN FOCUS MIDGET CHAMPION: Logan Sulyi – Raleigh, North Carolina


 

Logan Sulyi prevailed in the closest USAC Eastern Midget Association points battle ever in 2023, winning the championship by just four points and one on-track position. Sulyi (Raleigh, N.C) earned the title in style, winning the final two events of the year in his home state of North Carolina. He began his career in quarter midgets and karts before moving on to midgets in 2022 where he finished third in points, setting the stage for a title run. In 2023, he landed inside the top-four in all but one of his 10 starts, winning three times in all, and now he’s your USAC Eastern Midget Association champ.


 


 

ROCKY MOUNTAIN RADICAL FOCUS MIDGET CHAMPION: Devin Westover – Saratoga Springs, Utah


 

Devin Westover’s USAC Rocky Mountain Radical Midget championship in 2023 was truly special in so many ways. After 17-year-old Chaz Groat passed away in a 2021 highway accident, Chuck and Julie Groat made the decision to race on in their son’s memory. Westoer (Saratoga Springs, Utah) was handpicked by the family to drive Chaz’s Lucky #13 midget moving forward and he paid them off with a title run by four markers in what was the closest title race in series’ history. He won four times on his path to the title and became Utah’s first USAC champion since Jim Waters 12 years ago in 2011.


 


 

MIDWEST THUNDER SPEED2 MIDGET CHAMPION: Zach Wigal – Belpre, Ohio


 

Points weren’t top of mind for Zach Wigal at the beginning of the 2023 USAC Midwest Thunder SpeeD2 Midget season. After trailing late in the year, the Belpre, Ohio teenager made up substantial ground to take over the point lead with one race remaining. Needing to finish within two spots of fellow Buckeye Bryce Massingill in the Gas City finale to clinch, he did just that, finishing exactly within two positions. In the end, Wigal wound up going the distance to win the series title by the narrowest margin in series history, three points and one single position.


 


 

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INTERNATIONAL SNOWMOBILE RACING CHAMPION: Mike Rempel – Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


 

Hard work, dedication and true sportsmanship are the name of the game for this individual. This year, he placed first in Factory Mod 2 and placed second in points for Pro Stock 800, which is considered as one of the discipline’s premier classes. Overall, he accumulated a total of 509 points, 16 points better than any other rider. Furthermore, both he and his father, Gil, are among the most reliable sportsmen in the series, and they have been known to spend hours picking rocks out of the clay at Hay Days to help provide a better racing surface for all competitors. Tonight, we present to you the 2023 International Snowmobile Racer of the Year, from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, this is Mike Rempel!


 


 

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NASCAR YOUTH SERIES .25 MIDGET CHAMPIONS


 

.25 MIDGET PAVEMENT & DIRT CHAMPIONS


 

LIGHT WORLD FORMULA PAVEMENT, SENIOR HONDA DIRT, LIGHT 160 DIRT,

SENIOR ANIMAL DIRT & LIGHT WORLD FORMULA DIRT CHAMPION: Lincoln Smith

 


 

.25 MIDGET PAVEMENT CHAMPIONS


 

MOD WORLD FORMULA PAVEMENT CHAMPION: Tyler Lupton


 

JUNIOR 160 PAVEMENT CHAMPION: Roo Reaves


 

JUNIOR HONDA PAVEMENT CHAMPION: Easton Gardner


 

SENIOR HONDA PAVEMENT CHAMPION: Colton Kelly


 

LIGHT 160 PAVEMENT & SENIOR ANIMAL PAVEMENT CHAMPION: Case James


 

HEAVY HONDA PAVEMENT, UNRESTRICTED ANIMAL PAVEMENT, HEAVY WORLD FORMULA PAVEMENT &


 

HEAVY 160 PAVEMENT CHAMPION: R.J. Deighton


 


 

.25 MIDGET DIRT CHAMPIONS


 

JUNIOR HONDA DIRT CHAMPION: Ryker Sumner


 

HEAVY WORLD FORMULA DIRT CHAMPION: Reice Widger


 

MOD WORLD FORUMULA DIRT CHAMPION: Kaden Wenger


 

JUNIOR 160 DIRT CHAMPION: Avelina Gosselin


 

HEAVY 160 DIRT CHAMPION: Augustine Punke


 

HEAVY HONDA DIRT & UNRESTRICTED ANIMAL DIRT CHAMPION: Avery McMellen


 

JUNIOR ANIMAL PAVEMENT & JUNIOR ANIMAL DIRT CHAMPION: Jax Wittmer


 


 

===================


 


 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


 

Chris Jockish and Jockish Flowers provided the floral decorations for the USAC Night of Champions. Bob Baker, president of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum, provided a Hall of Fame membership to each of USAC’s 2023 champion drivers. Dave Olson served as the photographer for the evening’s event and Drake York handled all on-stage interviews.


 

Among the awards each national driver and entrant champion received are championship rings as well as canvas artwork designed by Rich Forman and a free one-year subscription to FloRacing, the official media provider for USAC. Each USAC driving champion also received a jacket courtesy of Hoosier Racing Tire, the official tire of the United States Auto Club.

 


A Unique Road: Bryson to Tackle USAC Silver Crown & Trans Am Racing in 2024

 

Speedway, Indiana (December 8, 2023)………Kaylee Bryson will be stepping up her game in two widely different disciplines throughout the 2024 season.


 

Bryson (Muskogee, Okla.) will compete for two national championships in the coming year as she continues to pilot the AP Driver Development / Logical Systems / SamPierceChevy.com No. 26 USAC Silver Crown machine for Sam Pierce Racing as the reigning series Rookie of the Year.


 

Bryson has also been named by LSI Racing as the primary driver for the Logical Systems / AP Driver Development / SamPierceChevy.com fleet of Chevrolet Corvettes in the Trans Am series SGT class.


 

“I am just so happy to be able to drive my two favorite types of race cars for the entire season and race for two championships,” Bryson stated. “Of the 10 different types of cars that I raced in 2023, the Champ Car and Trans Am racing were definitely my favorites.  A full season in Trans Am will allow me to develop the road racing skillset I will need to move up [to IndyCar or NASCAR],” Bryson said.


 

Throughout the 2023 season, Kaylee Bryson ascended to heights never before reached in USAC’s 68-year history. She became the first woman to finish inside the top-five of the standings in a USAC national series and is now the first woman to earn USAC National Rookie of the Year honors of any kind, achieving the feat with the Silver Crown series this past season. One year ago, in 2022, she became the first woman to earn USAC National Most Improved Driver honors and she’s also the first Okie to win this award.


 

“I have a lot of confidence in chasing the Silver Crown championship as I have realized how important qualifying is without heat races in this series, and I have now raced on almost every track at least once and ran really well on the pavement.”


 

Bryson posted six top-ten USAC Silver Crown finishes in 2023, five of them on the pavement, and finished fifth out of 75 drivers in USAC Silver Crown driver points.


 

“It’s so amazing to be able to run for two championships at once and have 26 races that don’t conflict. I have to thank Larry Bailey (LSI owner) and Sam and Aaron Pierce for this really cool opportunity.  I can’t wait to start testing in January after the Chili Bowl.”


 

Bryson and LSI Racing will spend considerable time testing during January and February in Florida in preparation for the Trans Am opener at Sebring International Raceway in late February. She raced in the 2023 Sebring event, running in second place in class before retiring with a mechanical issue.


 

For further information please visit SamPierceRacing.com, www.USACracing.com and www.GoTransAm.com.


 

Big Show: Amantea Goes Full-Time USAC National Sprint Car Racing in 2024

Dave Dellinger

Joey Amantea (Mount Pocono, Pa.) has made his mark in recent years on the USAC East Coast Sprint Car tour, but in 2024, he’s taking the show on the road full-time with the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship.

 

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media

S

peedway, Indiana (December 7, 2023)………Joey Amantea has made his mark in recent years on the USAC East Coast Sprint Car tour, but in 2024, he’s taking the show on the road full-time with the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship.


 

The 19-year-old Mount Pocono, Pa. native and Mechanical Engineering major at Lehigh University will take on the 54-race tour in 2024 aboard his family-owned JPA Racing No. 88J featuring a Triple X Chassis and power from Newman’s Racing Engines.


 

In recent years, Amantea has tackled a part-time USAC East Coast Sprint schedule with the 360 c.i. engine under the hood, notching a pair of victories on the half-mile dirt ovals of Pennsylvania’s Selinsgrove Speedway and Delaware International Speedway.


 

However, in 2023, Amantea installed a 410 c.i. powerplant and branched out extensively with the USAC National Sprint Cars, making nine series starts, including a pair of impressive top-10 results in a pair of marquee events. During the Indiana Sprint Week round at Lawrenceburg Speedway, Amantea made a spirited charge from the 18th starting position to finish seventh.


 

In his first attempt at Kokomo Speedway’s Sprint Car Smackdown, Amantea ran a solid ninth. Each time out, Amantea could sense his own improvement by leaps and bounds after competing and thriving against this discipline’s top talent on their home turf, so to speak. It was an up close and personal challenge he went face-to-face with and performed admirably.


 

“With the USAC national guys, you’re on edge, even under caution it seems like,” he said with a laugh. “A tremendous amount of knowledge was gained by running against them. They showed me how much harder I needed to drive from what I’m used to and how much harder I still can go as a driver. That’s been huge for myself and my whole team because, honestly, it’s made all of us better due to the face we’ve got to have our car on point every single time we hit the track.”


 

The whole experience led himself, his father, Joe Amantea, and crew chief Brian Zyck to make the next step and take Joey on the USAC national tour full-time in the coming year.


 

“Indiana Sprint Week was really the start of us thinking out loud that, hey, we can do this,” Amantea recalled. “Around that time, the talks began, and then we went out to Smackdown and made the show our first time doing it. It was then that my dad said, ‘yeah, let’s go do it.’”


 

Amantea’s red and black machine is adorned with the name of the family businesses – JPA Masonry and Amantea Real Estate. While Amantea pursues his college degree, he’s determined to some day make a living constructing racecars.


 

It was an interesting beginning to Amantea’s racing career as neither of his parents had any real tangible connection to the sport initially. Soon, a quarter midget found its way into the Amantea family garage and young Joey began competing extensively in the small cars between the ages of 5-12 against the likes of two-time USAC East Coast Sprint Car champion Briggs Danner.


 

It was in those early years that Amantea earned the nickname of “The Big Show” from a track public address announcer who witnessed Joey in a quite memorable last to first hard charging effort. On the opening lap, an incident turned Amantea around to a stop, forcing him to restart at the tail of the field where he proceeded to pass every car in his path, including the final one on the last turn of the last lap to earn a remarkable win. And to this day, the moniker has stuck.


 

Soon, Amantea found himself on the rugged and talent-laden Pennsylvania 600cc Micro Sprint circuit, capturing a Rookie title at Pennsylvania’s Hamlin Speedway. By 2020, at the age of 15, Amantea was behind the wheel of a sprint car, making his debut USAC East Coast feature start at the speedy half-mile of Port Royal (Pa.) Speedway.


 

New tracks, major competition and hitting the road while trying to balance a rigorous college workload with a full-time pursuit of the USAC National Sprint Car schedule. It’s all

part of the continuous progression of the teenage Pennsylvanian.


 

“I’m looking to see how far I can take my abilities as a driver from the beginning to the end,” Amantea said. “I have a few personal goals I’m setting for myself this season. I want to win, and I think we can get that along with a top-10 finish in points and multiple podiums. But mainly, I want to grow as a driver from start to finish, then be able to look back at the end of the season and see how much more I’ve improved. That’s something I’m looking forward to and that excites me.”


 

Joey Amantea and the JPA Racing team will begin their 2024 USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship seasonal quest with Winter Dirt Games XV at Ocala, Florida’s Bubba Raceway Park on February 9-10-15-16-17, plus two nights at Barberville, Florida’s Volusia Speedway Park on February 12-13.

 


Trey Double: Osborne Chasing Two USAC Rookie of the Year Titles in 2024

Josh James

rey Osborne (Columbus, Ohio) plans full season runs with both the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship and the USAC Silver Crown National Championship in 2024.

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media


 

Speedway, Indiana (December 7, 2023)………Few drivers have won, let alone pursued multiple USAC National Rookie of the Year awards in a single season.


 

However, Trey Osborne is up for the challenge in 2024 as he plans full season runs with both the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship and the USAC Silver Crown National Championship.


 

The 20-year-old Columbus, Ohio racer will pilot the familiar Baldwin-Fox Racing orange No. 5 in numerous events on the USAC National Sprint Car tour throughout the coming season. In the races that the Baldwin-Fox car will not compete in, Osborne plans to fill in those dates on the trail behind the wheel of his own No. 6.


 

Furthermore, Osborne, who stands a towering 6’8” and regularly sports a visor reading “Tall” on his racecars, has been tabbed as the full-time driver of the BCR Group No. 81 for the complete USAC Silver Crown season on both dirt and pavement.


 

With a combined USAC slate consisting of 68 events at press time (54 Sprint and 14 Silver Crown), Osborne is ready to take on the busiest and the most hectic racing season of his career, more than doubling his usual yearly schedule.


 

“It’s going to be pretty huge,” Osborne acknowledges. “The most races I’ve ever ran in a season was like 35.  To go from that to essentially running two whole USAC schedules is going to be pretty challenging, but I’m ready to go.”


 

Winning multiple USAC national Rookie of the Year awards in a single season isn’t unprecedented but remains relatively rare. In fact, it has occurred on just six occasions throughout the initial 68 years of competition, first by Kenny Jacobs (1986) and additionally by Darren Hagen (2005), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (2007), Chad Boat (2008), Kyle Larson (2011) and Logan Seavey (2018).


 

Recently, Osborne made the move from his most recent residence in Indianapolis, Indiana to West Lafayette in the northern part of the Hoosier State where he now makes his living quarters in the basement of Ken and Margo Baldwin’s home while landing a day job at team co-owner Bob Fox’s construction company where he works, builds and maintains the business’ fleet of equipment.


 

It’s essentially the same as what Osborne was doing before, just in a new locale and with a race-friendly boss who allows him time off for his racing endeavors when those moments arise. The only change in Osborne’s eyes is that, as a newly-hired gun in the racing game, he now finds himself on an even bigger scale with more eyes and more expectations on him than ever before.


 

So far, Osborne has talked the talk and walked the walk. When he stated his preseason goal of winning three local Indiana sprint car races in 2023, he achieved it even though, at first, he thought he was a bit crazy in saying that, but he made it happen with a pair of victories at Paragon Speedway and another score at Gas City I-69 Speedway.


 

Similarly, in 2024, he’s set what he feels are attainable goals. As he enters the biggest racing venture of his young career, he’s set his own personal bar to what he believes is achievable in 2024.


 

“I want to consistently be able to contend,” Osborne stated. “I want to win at least three USAC races, whether that’s just Sprint Car or Silver Crown combined, I don’t care. I want to be competitive the whole season and get better at the larger tracks because I’ve never run these big racetracks. I’ve always competed on smaller tracks, but as long as I keep progressing and keep getting support from the people I have, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be able to do that.”


 

In his lone run with Baldwin-Fox during the October 2023 unsanctioned Kokomo Klash, Osborne threw his familiar Triple X setup on the team’s DRC, and admittedly, it didn’t do well by his standards. Since then, Osborne has been working on measuring the differences between the two cars while working in-step with DRC’s Joe Devin, telling him how we wants the car to feel and to get a baseline setup heading into the series season openers in February in Florida.


 

Osborne noted that his own Triple X/Mopar and Baldwin-Fox’s DRC/Claxton require differing driving styles, and this year will present him the challenge of adapting back and forth between the two pieces of machinery.


 

Similar things can be said for Osborne’s Silver Crown exploits in the coming season as he learns the heavier and longer champ cars on both dirt and pavement in a pair of separate, purpose-built pieces for each surface courtesy of team owner Malcolm Lovelace and crew.


 

The all-Ohio team is based out of Springfield, roughly 45 minutes from Osborne’s original stomping grounds of Columbus. Late in 2023, the pairing made two starts, one on the dirt at Ohio’s Eldora Speedway and in the finale on the pavement of Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park where Osborne earned hard charger honors by advancing from 19th to 12th, serving notice that even when the chips are down, they can still succeed, laying the groundwork of confidence to achieve even better things lying ahead.


 

Osborne mentioned that the biggest thing Lovelace wants from him is to watch what the track is doing and try to continuously learn the driving side and just leave the car side of the equation up to Lovelace and his crew. Osborne did just that in his most recent Silver Crown outing.


 

“After a practice session (at IRP), I’d go, well, I was doing this wrong and I know it, but I kind of have to stop to reset and realize it,” Osborne recalled. “By the time I got to do that, I really just needed more time to be better for the race. Throughout the midsection of the race, my spotter told me I was running top-three lap times for a couple laps. I fell off toward the end, and realized I just need to remember to pay attention to where I’m lifting and where I’m braking on the pavement because I haven’t had to do that nearly as much on dirt just because everything changes so fast.”


 

Osborne will launch his 2024 USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship season with Winter Dirt Games XV at Ocala, Florida’s Bubba Raceway Park on February 9-10-15-16-17, plus two nights at Barberville, Florida’s Volusia Speedway Park on February 12-13.

 


 

Rock Steady with KTJ: Thomas Jr. Takes the Wheel of the 3R for 2024 USAC Sprint Season

Kevin Thomas Jr. (Cullman, Ala.) has teamed up with Rock Steady Racing for the 2024 USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship season.

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media


 

Speedway, Indiana (December 7, 2023)………”This is the most excited I’ve been for the start of a race season in a very long time.”


 

Those are ear-catching words for a driver like Kevin Thomas Jr., who stands not only as one of the most successful USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship drivers of his era, but of any era.


 

Now, the Cullman, Ala. driver has teamed up with the similarly esteemed Rock Steady Racing outfit as they plan an assault on the USAC National Sprint Car season in 2024.


 

Thomas, the owner of 39 career USAC National Sprint Car feature victories, ranks 11th all-time in that regard while Rock Steady, led by car owner Hank Byram, has raked in 25 series wins throughout the team’s span, most notably over the past decade with driver Kyle Cummins.


 

Cummins recently departed the Rock Steady team at the conclusion of the 2023 season, and for many of those years that Cummins and Rock Steady were a force, Thomas Jr. was among their primary nemesis.


 

“We’ve been competitors for a long, long time,” Thomas noted. “There’s always been a competitive edge that we’ve had against each other. Now we get to put them together and that makes me pretty happy.”


 

Funny enough, Thomas already got a bit of a head start with his new team last September at Gas City (Ind.) I-69 Speedway when he was asked to fill in as a last-minute replacement for Cummins whose wife was due to give birth to their newborn son. In fact, it was Cummins who suggested KTJ would be the man for the job that night.


 

Despite early obstacles such as a sparkplug issue in hot laps followed up by a lost cylinder in qualifying, Thomas recovered to win his heat race and ran as high as fourth in the feature before slotting into seventh at the finish line. Whether it wound up as an unplanned tryout for the team or not, both sides were pleased with their performance on short notice.


 

“It was one of those things where it was understood what our goals were and the way we wanted to do things,” Thomas explained. “There wasn’t a whole lot of back and forth and the decision (to drive for them) was quite easy for me just because of the speed that the car has in general. I was a free agent at that time, and I just ran the car a month prior, and things just started to fall into place.”


 

Byram found KTJ compatible to work with and cites that the number one thing right now is that his driver is extremely fired up, which is always good sign in his eyes, which in turn has him feeling likewise. Yet, like the formation of any new relationship, racing or otherwise, there’s always a bit of anxiousness that comes along with it. For Byram and his team, KTJ solidified to them that the proper pieces were in place in their equipment and in the seat.


 

“You always have apprehension whether he’s going to like the car like Kyle (Cummins) did or is he going to think it’s terrible,” Byram pondered. “He was just tickled to death with how the car performed, how it handled and how it drove. Any time you put a driver of his caliber in your car, and they get out and they’re happy, it just makes you feel that, as an owner and as a team, we’ve done our jobs. You can always think you have a good car but sometimes it takes more than one opinion. Now we’ve got more than one opinion.”


 

Crew Chief Tim Spindler echoed those sentiments and even ran down the checklist of the team’s hit list on the circuit each year and feels that they’ll have no issue hitting the ground running starting in February of 2024.


 

“For our team, chasing Indiana Sprint Week, Smackdown at Kokomo and the Haubstadt Hustler, those are the events we circle on the calendar, and KTJ has had a lot of success at all those events,” Spindler stated of Thomas, who owns two Indiana Sprint Week titles, a single Smackdown final night score and a record four Haubstadt Hustler triumphs himself. “He’s always been the guy we had to beat at those type of races, so when we had the opportunity to get hooked up with him, we went for it, and I believe he’ll fit our program very nicely.”


 

The Rock Steady group, with a crew consisting of Byram, former racers Tim Spindler and Brian Karraker, plus longtime Indiana Pacers equipment manager Josh “Country” Conder, jelled with KTJ in their first go-around at Gas City. For these past 15 years or so, the two have faced off many a time as direct competitors, yet still maintained a mutual respect.


 

“That’s one of the things I was very curious about,” Thomas relayed regarding the inner workings of the team’s showings with Cummins. “How does this whole deal operate over here? The majority of the time, you’re looking at their tail tank on the track. But whenever you get to hop into one of those cars, a couple things run through your head. First, you want to make sure you do well, but you also wonder, is the quarterback that good or is the team that good?  I think both are good, but with the way the car handles and goes around the racetrack and the communication I had with Tim Spindler, it was easy, and it flowed. I didn’t have to pry for information, and they didn’t either.”


 

Thomas sang the praises of this new venture and opportunity, offering the fact that he’s been at this sport from all angles over the years as a hired gun and as a driver who doubled as the leadership of his operation at times. Thus far, he likes what he’s seen up close, first hand.


 

“I got to tell them what I felt, and I got to go get a hot dog while Tim made sure the thing went fast,” Thomas quipped of his partnership with the team at Gas City this year. “That makes the job super easy for a racecar driver. I’ve owned cars and I’ve set my own cars up. I’ve worked with crew chiefs, and I’ve worked without crew chiefs. I’ve kind of been all over the board and it’s nice being able to put your trust into people who have the same goals as you. I feel like I’m a bit more intense than most people, especially verbally, but other than that, they give me a calming effect because I just get to worry about driving the racecar.”


 

Thomas Jr. will wheel the Mach-1/Stanton Chevy, sponsored by Tim Mason ReMax, Inferno Armor, Competition Suspension, Inc., Eddie Gilstrap Ford and Lucas Oil Center starting with the 2024 USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship season opening Winter Dirt Games at Ocala, Florida’s Bubba Raceway Park on February 9-10-15-16-17, plus two nights at Barberville, Florida’s Volusia Speedway Park on February 12-13.

 

 

Big Slate, Big Thrills! 55 Dates for USAC National Sprints in 2024.

indy Racing Images

 

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media


 

Speedway, Indiana (December 6, 2023)………The addition of more high-paying events, an increased Florida slate, a number of debuts and return visits, plus a plethora of multi-race weekends are among the facets of the 2024 USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship schedule.


 

A total of 55 dates are on the board for the upcoming season between the months of February and October of 2024, making it among the busiest calendars in the series’ 69-year history dating back to 1956.


 


 

MONEY SHOWS


 

Several events in 2024 will showcase a winner’s payout of at least $10,000 or more on the series schedule. However, Sprint Car Smackdown XIII will be the most lucrative of them all in the new year, featuring a $30,000 top prize for the finale of the annual three-race weekend on August 22-23-24.


 

Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Indiana will host the annual Haubstadt Hustler, paying $20,000-to-win on September 14 while an expanded two-night Fall Nationals will pay out $20,000 to the victor on the second night at Indiana’s Lawrenceburg Speedway on the weekend of October 11-12.


 

Rossburg, Ohio’s Eldora Speedway has kicked the top prize up another notch from $10,000 to win in 2023 to $15,000-to-win in 2024 for all three of USAC’s national divisions: Sprint Cars, NOS Energy Drink National Midgets and Silver Crown.


 


 

EVEN MORE GOOD PAYDAYS


 

Shows paying $10,000-to-win are all over the map, starting with Florida’s expanded seven-race Winter Dirt Games schedule in February. Five dates have been announced at Ocala, Florida’s Bubba Raceway Park for February 9-10-15-16-17, with the final night of the bunch paying $10 Grand.


 

Barberville, Florida’s Volusia Speedway Park is in the same boat, hosting a pair of events for the USAC National Sprint Cars on February 12-13, the last night offering another $10,000 reward.


 

For the first time since 1998, USAC National Sprint Cars will make their return to Sumner, Illinois’ Red Hill Raceway for the $10,000-to-win Salute to Levi Jones, where the seven-time USAC national champion made his first career series start more than a quarter century ago.


 

#LetsRaceTwo brings the series into town for back-to-back nights of $10,000-to-win dates at Ohio’s Eldora Speedway on May 3-4. Another $10,000 check will be awaiting the winner of the longest annually running USAC Sprint Car event of all – the 54th running of the Tony Hulman Classic at Indiana’s Terre Haute Action Track on May 21.


 

May brings two nights of USAC Sprint Car racing to Circle City Raceway in Indianapolis, Ind. during the Week of Indy on May 22-23, the latter of which will again pay $10,000. What proved to be one of the most fascinating shows of last season returns to Macon (Ill.) Speedway for Top Gun Weekend on June 28-29 with a $10,000 prize awaiting the victor of night two.


 

An early July staple of the schedule has long been the Bill Gardner Sprintacular at Putnamville, Indiana’s Lincoln Park Speedway which once again provides two nights of USAC Sprint Car activity on July 5-6, and boasts another $10,000 jackpot to the winner on the back half of the weekend.


 

One year after debuting at Arkansas’ Texarkana 67 Speedway for the Wingless Short Track Nationals, the event is back in 2024 for a two-night tilt on September 6-7 with a $10,000 pot on the docket for the winner during the second leg of the weekend in The Natural State.


 

Oklahoma’s Red Dirt Raceway once again is scheduled to serve as host of the USAC National Sprint Car season finales in 2024 on October 25-26, with yet another $10,000 award that drivers will be vying for on the second of two nights.


 


 

EASTERN STORM A BREWIN’


 

Eastern Storm, a fixture on the USAC Sprint Car schedule since 2007, celebrates its 17th year of competition in 2024 with six dates in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, starting at Grandview Speedway on June 11, Bridgeport Motorsports Park on June 12, Big Diamond Speedway on June 13, Williams Grove Speedway on June 14, Port Royal Speedway on June 15 and Action Track USA to cap off the busy weekend on June 16.


 


 

A RESHUFFLED INDIANA SPRINT WEEK


 

The 37th annual edition of USAC Indiana Sprint Week takes on a bit of a new look across eight events in late July and early August. A rearranged schedule sees Lincoln Park Speedway hosting the opener of the series for the first time since 2001 on July 25. From there, the schedule travels to Gas City I-69 Speedway on July 26, Kokomo Speedway on July 27, Lawrenceburg Speedway on July 28, Circle City Raceway on July 31, the Terre Haute Action Track on August 1, Bloomington Speedway on August 2 and Tri-State Speedway on August 3.


 


 

STAPLES OF THE SCHEDULE & A NEW ONE


 

Additional familiar stops on the tour brings the series to Terre Haute on April 5 for the 23rd edition of the Jim Hurtubise Classic. Annual springtime visits take the series back to Lawrenceburg on April 13, Bloomington on May 10 and Tri-State on May 11.


 

The series hits the road en route to Iowa’s Knoxville Raceway on May 31 and June 1 for the Corn Belt Clash at the Sprint Car Capital of the World. The GPS says head north to Wisconsin for a pair of dates on June 22 at Wilmot Raceway and June 23 at Sun Prairie’s Angell Park Speedway.


 

A new venue for USAC takes precedence on September 5 when the series debuts at RPM Speedway in Crandall, Texas. Late season activity brings action to Circle City on September 13 and to Gas City on September 19 for the next installment of the James Dean Classic, featuring a doubleheader with the USAC National Midgets.


 


 

=====================

 


 

2024 USAC AMSOIL SPRINT CAR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE


 

Feb 9: Bubba Raceway Park | Ocala, FL | Winter Dirt Games | $6,000


 

Feb 10: Bubba Raceway Park | Ocala, FL | Winter Dirt Games | $7,500


 

Feb 12: Volusia Speedway Park | Barberville, FL | Winter Dirt Games | $6,000


 

Feb 13: Volusia Speedway Park | Barberville, FL | Winter Dirt Games | $10,000


 

Feb 15: Bubba Raceway Park | Ocala, FL | Winter Dirt Games | $6,000


 

Feb 16: Bubba Raceway Park | Ocala, FL | Winter Dirt Games | $6,000


 

Feb 17: Bubba Raceway Park | Ocala, FL | Winter Dirt Games | $10,000


 

Apr 5: Terre Haute Action Track | Terre Haute, IN | Jim Hurtubise Classic | $6,000


 

Apr 6: Red Hill Raceway Sumner, IL | Salute to Levi Jones | $10,000


 

Apr 12: TBA


 

Apr 13: Lawrenceburg Speedway | Lawrenceburg, IN | $6,000


 

May 3: Eldora Speedway | Rossburg, OH | #LetsRaceTwo | $10,000


 

May 4: Eldora Speedway | Rossburg, OH | #LetsRaceTwo | $10,000


 

May 10: Bloomington Speedway | Bloomington, IN | Larry Rice Classic | $5,000


 

May 11: Tri-State Speedway | Haubstadt, IN | Spring Showdown | $5,000


 

May 21: Terre Haute Action Track | Terre Haute, IN | Tony Hulman Classic | $10,000


 

May 22: Circle City Raceway | Indianapolis, IN | Circle City Salute | $5,000


 

May 23: Circle City Raceway | Indianapolis, IN | Circle City Salute | $10,000


 

May 31: Knoxville Raceway | Knoxville, IA | Corn Belt Clash | TBA


 

Jun 1: Knoxville Raceway | Knoxville, IA | Corn Belt Clash | TBA


 

June 11: Grandview Speedway | Terre Haute, IN | Eastern Storm | $6,000


 

June 12: Bridgeport Motorsports Park | Swedesboro, NJ | Eastern Storm | $6,000


 

Jun 13: Big Diamond Speedway | Pottsville, PA | Eastern Storm | $6,000


 

Jun 14: Williams Grove Speedway | Mechanicsburg, PA | Eastern Storm | $6,000


 

Jun 15: Port Royal Speedway | Port Royal, PA | Eastern Storm | $6,000


 

Jun 16: Action Track USA | Kutztown, PA | Eastern Storm | $6,000


 

Jun 22: Wilmot Raceway | Wilmot, WI | $6,000


 

Jun 23: Angell Park Speedway | Sun Prairie, WI | $6,000


 

Jun 28: Macon Speedway | Macon, IL | Top Gun Weekend | $6,000


 

Jun 29: Macon Speedway | Macon, IL | Top Gun Weekend | $10,000


 

Jul 5: Lincoln Park Speedway | Putnamville, IN | Bill Gardner Sprintacular | $5,000


 

Jul 6: Lincoln Park Speedway | Putnamville, IN | Bill Gardner Sprintacular | $10,000


 

Jul 17: TBA


 

Jul 25: Lincoln Park Speedway | Putnamville, IN | Indiana Sprint Week | $8,000


 

Jul 26: Gas City I-69 Speedway | Gas City, IN | Indiana Sprint Week | $8,000


 

Jul 27: Kokomo Speedway | Kokomo, IN | Indiana Sprint Week | $8,000


 

Jul 28: Lawrenceburg Speedway | Lawrenceburg, IN | Indiana Sprint Week | $8,000


 

Jul 31: Circle City Raceway | Indianapolis, IN | Indiana Sprint Week | $8,000


 

Aug 1: Terre Haute Action Track | Terre Haute, IN | Indiana Sprint Week / Don Smith Classic | $8,000


 

Aug 2: Bloomington Speedway | Bloomington, IN | Indiana Sprint Week / Sheldon Kinser Memorial | $8,000


 

Aug 3: Tri-State Speedway | Haubstadt, IN | Indiana Sprint Week | $8,000


 

Aug 22: Kokomo Speedway | Kokomo, IN | Sprint Car Smackdown | $6,000


 

Aug 23: Kokomo Speedway | Kokomo, IN | Sprint Car Smackdown | $6,000


 

Aug 24: Kokomo Speedway | Kokomo, IN | Sprint Car Smackdown | $30,000


 

Sep 5: (E) RPM Speedway | Crandall, TX | $6,000


 

Sep 6: (E) Texarkana 67 Speedway | Texarkana, AR | Wingless Short Track Nationals | $6,000


 

Sep 7: (E) Texarkana 67 Speedway | Texarkana, AR | Wingless Short Track Nationals | $10,000


 

Sep 13: Circle City Raceway | Indianapolis, IN | $5,000


 

Sep 14: Tri-State Speedway | Haubstadt, IN | Haubstadt Hustler | $20,000


 

Sep 19: Gas City I-69 Speedway | Gas City, IN | James Dean Classic | $5,000


 

Sep 21: Eldora Speedway | Rossburg, OH | 4-Crown Nationals | $15,000


 

Oct 11: Lawrenceburg Speedway | Lawrenceburg, IN | Fall Nationals | $6,000


 

Oct 12: Lawrenceburg Speedway | Lawrenceburg, IN | Fall Nationals | $20,000


 

Oct 25: (E) Red Dirt Raceway | Meeker, OK | $6,000


 

Oct 26: (E) Red Dirt Raceway | Meeker, OK | $10,000


 

(E) represents an event co-sanctioned by ASCS Elite Non-Wing

By: Richie Murray – USAC Media


 

Dirty 30, Clean Slate: USAC National Midget Dates Revealed for 2024 Season

Josh James

 


 

Speedway, Indiana (December 6, 2023)………The USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National Championship enters the 2024 season loaded for bear with 30 events on the calendar from April through November at dirt tracks spanning California, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.


 


 

SEASON OPENERS IN KOKOMO


 

Opening the year are two consecutive nights of the Kokomo Grand Prix at Indiana’s Kokomo Speedway, the lone track on the 2024 schedule that was also on the calendar during USAC’s inaugural year of 1956.


 


 

HITTING DOUBLES & TRIPLES


 

Five more events will be held in tandem alongside additional USAC series to make for tantalizing doubles and even tripleheaders throughout the year.


 

The Belleville (Kan.) Short Track will roll out the welcome mat for two-straight nights of midget racing on May 17-18. That same weekend, the USAC Silver Crown National Championship will make a two-night escapade to the adjoining Belleville High Banks half-mile which surrounds the inner