3.31.14 USAC Racing News and Notes
5 SEEK REPEAT TERRE HAUTE GLORY IN SUNDAY’S “SUMAR CLASSIC” SILVER CROWN OPENER
Three Indiana drivers and one each from Illinois and Arizona will try to rekindle past victory at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track when the “Sumar Classic” USAC Silver Crown Championship opener unfolds Sunday at the half-mile dirt oval.
The five drivers have a combined 15 victories at the storied oval, dating from 1993-2013!
Dave Darland of Lincoln, Ind. and Tracy Hines of New Castle, Ind., who are battling for numerous all-time USAC records, each have four wins at Terre Haute. Darland won the 1993 Tony Hulman Classic Sprint race, the 1999 and 2003 Hut Hundred Midget races and the 2008 Sumar Classic. Hines won the 1999 and 2003 Jan Opperman Sprint races plus the 2001 Tony Hulman Classic and Hut Hundreds.
Jerry Coons Jr. of Tucson, Ariz. won a 1999 Sprint race, plus the 2010 and 2013 Tony Hulman Classics. Chris Windom of Canton, Ill. took the 2011 Tony Hulman Classic and Jim Hurtubise Sprints. Defending Silver Crown Champion Bobby East of Brownsburg, Ind. was the 2004 Hut Hundred winner and the 2012 Sumar Classic champ.
Darland just surpassed the 1,000 mark in total USAC National starts, while Hines is rapidly closing on that milestone. Darland has 90 total USAC National feature wins to his credit, while Hines is at 88.
Sunday’s 100-lap “twilight” race should get the green at around 7 pm, following practice at 4 pm and qualifying.
A field of 24 cars is slated for the 100-lap race and drivers will be aiming at Josh Wise’s 1-lap track qualifying record of 89.379 mph. Gary Bettenhausen established the 100-lap Terre Haute Silver Crown record of 50 minutes, 37.20 seconds in 1980.
Drivers A.J. Fike, Aaron Pierce and Kody Swanson also have previous USAC Silver Crown victories to their credit, while Sunday’s field will include more than a dozen drivers seeking their initial series start.
DAVE DARLAND, TRACY HINES CHASE HISTORY AT LAWRENCEBURG
Dave Darland and Tracy Hines, second and fourth respectively in the AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car standings, continue their pursuit of all-time USAC records this Saturday when the series makes its 2014 Midwest debut at the Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway.
Darland has 47 victories and Hines 45 as they continue to challenge all-time series leader Tom Bigelow’s record of 52. Hines also continues his pursuit of 1,000 USAC National feature starts, currently at 993, while Darland became the first to reach the 1,000 plateau in February.
Defending series champion Bryan Clauson has a four-point lead over Darland after winning the most recent series race, at Ocala, Fla. in February. Chase Stockon is three points behind Darland in third and just one point ahead of Hines in fourth.
Darland also leads the all-time list of USAC winners at Lawrenceburg with six, compared to Jon Stanbrough’s five. Stanbrough is currently eighth in the 2014 standings.
Clauson is also the most recent USAC winner at Lawrenceburg. Kevin Thomas Jr. won twice at the “Burg” in 2103.
2014 AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Standings: 1-Bryan Clauson-125; 2-Dave Darland-121; 3-Chase Stockon-118; 4-Tracy Hines-117; 5-Justin Grant-114; 6-Brady Bacon-111; 7-Shane Cottle-106; 8-Jon Stanbrough-87; 9-Chris Windom-84; 10-Robert Ballou-74.
CLASSIC SPRINTS DEBUT THIS WEEKEND AT CALISTOGA
USAC’s Western Classic Sprint Cars open their 2014 season this weekend at Calistoga (Calif.) Speedway. Races are scheduled Saturday and Sunday at the half-mile dirt northern California oval.
Bud Kaeding and Kyle Larson captured victories in last year’s Calistoga Sprint races, which offered both CRA and Classic points. This weekend’s races will be the first at Calistoga strictly for Classic points.
Ryan Bernal of Hollister, Calif, winner of one of two 2012 Calistoga races, is the defending Western Classic champion. He opened last year’s series with back-to-back wins, then added a fourth later in the campaign at Calistoga.
WEST COAST SPRINTS RETURN TO HANFORD APRIL 25; RUTHERFORD GRABS KINGS 30-LAPPER
Finnish driver Markus Niemela will lead the USAC West Coast sprint Cars back to Kings Speedway in Hanford, Calif., where Saturday night he finished fourth in a 30-lap race. Niemela’s point lead stands at 12 over Jace Vander Weerd, Saturday’s feature winner.
Vander Weerd, of Visalia, Calif., led the final nine laps in his Vander Weerd Construction/Stone Gate Development Maxim/Lawrence. He passed Michael Pickens on lap 22 and led the rest of the way to beat fast qualifier Nic Faas, Matt Mitchell, Markus Niemela and Pickens. Vander Weerd led the first 11 laps before Pickens led the next 10.
The win was Vander Weerd’s first at Hanford and his third in series history.
2014 USAC West Coast Sprint Car Standings: 1-Markus Niemela-227, 2-Jace Vander Weerd-215, 3-Troy Rutherford-212, 4-Nic Faas-193, 5-Matt Mitchell-190, 6-Danny Faria Jr.-185, 7-Richard Vander Weerd-168, 8-Landon Hurst-157, 9-Dennis Howell-148, 10-Austin Liggett-130.
SOUTHWEST SPRINTS RESUME APRIL 12 AT ARIZONA SPEEDWAY; PELKEY WINS AT PEORIA AND ASSUMES POINT LEAD
Arizona Speedway in Queen Creek hosts the next event in the 2014 USAC Southwest Sprint series. It’s the first of six races this year at the one-third-mile dirt oval.
Defending series champion R.J. Johnson (3) and runner-up Charles Davis Jr. (2) each scored multiples wins at Queen Creek last year, while Mike Martin also tasted victory there.
Josh Pelkey of Peoria, Ariz. is the early leader in the USAC Southwest Sprint Car standings after winning Saturday night’s 30-lap season opener at Canyon Speedway Park. He passed Mike Bonneau on lap three and never looked back, beating Johnson, Shon Deskins, Tom Ogle and Andy Reinbold to the checkered flag in his ABC Body Shop/NAPA Auto Parts DRC/Advanced.
2014 USAC Southwest Sprint Car Standings: 1-Josh Pelkey-71, 2-Shon Deskins-68, 3-R.J. Johnson-62, 4-Tom Ogle-57, 5-Andy Reinbold-54, 6-Tye Mihocko-49, 7-Mike Martin-48, 8-Michael Curtis-47, 8-Lonnie Oliver-46, 10-Nick Aiuto-37.
WESTERN MIDGETS EYE BAKERFIELD DIRT MAY 3; DARRIN SNIDER GRABS “SMOKEY HANOIAN CLASSIC”
The Honda USAC Western Midgets switch to the dirt May 3 for the next event at Bakersfield (Calif.) Speedway.
Darrin Snider of Lakeport, Calif. won Sunday’s “Smokey Hanoian Classic” Honda USAC Western and BCRA Midget race at the paved Madera Speedway. Driving the S & K Automotive/Reynolds Truck & Crane Beast/Ford, Snider led all 30 laps to beat fast qualifier Chad Nichols, Michael Snider, Nick Chivello and Alex Schutte.
The victory puts Snider atop the standings, three points ahead of Nichols after the opening event.
The next pavement race for the Honda Western Midgets is June 7 at Madera.
2014 HONDA USAC Western Midget Pavement Standings: 1-Darrin Snider-73, 2-Chad Nichols-70, 3-Nick Chivello-58, 4-Alex Schutte-53, 5-Jarid Blondel-50, 6-Jake Swanson-43, 7-Scott Pierovich-39,
WESTERN HPD PAVEMENT MIDGETS AT LVMS SATURDAY; MADERA HPD FEATURE TO JAKE SWANSON
Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway’s Bullring hosts this Saturday’s USAC HPD Western Midget race. It’s the first of 10 scheduled races at the 3/8-mile paved oval.
Shawn Buckley leads the 2014 standings after finishing fourth in Sunday’s race at Madera, Calif. He is 46 points ahead of Bryant Dawson, winner of five races at LVMS during 2013.
Jake Swanson of Anaheim, Calif. led all 30 laps to win Sunday’s “Smokey Hanoian Classic” USAC HPD Western Midget race at Madera (Calif.) Speedway. Dillon Noble, the fastest qualifier, finished second ahead of Cody Jessop, Buckley and Tom Patterson.
Sunday’s race was USAC’s 150th at Madera Speedway.
2014 HPD USAC Western Pavement Midget Standings: 1-Shawn Buckley-178, 2-Bryant Dawson-132, 3-Toni Breidinger-115, 4-Jake Swanson-73, 5-Dillon Noble-70, 6-Cody Jessop-62, 7-Tom Patterson-58, 8-Ron Hazelton-54, 9-Wally Pankratz-54, 10-Antonia Boscacci-53.
USAC Silver Crown Pool Kicks off Sunday
(March 31, 2014) – Interested in earning the title of “USAC Silver Crown Fan of the Year”? Want a chance to win prizes from each USAC Silver Crown race?
Your chance for all that starts this Sunday with Round One of the Inaugural USAC Silver Crown Pool. And, entry to this Pool is FREE, so no reason not to take your shot at the big win.
Conducted in similar style to the popular Chili Bowl Pool among others, the USAC Silver Crown Pool will include six driver groups for each of the eleven events on the series schedule with Pool winners crowned for each event and ultimately a season-long Pool champion that will be crowned “USAC Silver Crown Fan of the Year” and earn a pair of tickets to USAC’s Night of Champions awards banquet.
Selection sheets along with rules and points breakdown for this Sunday’s Sumar Classic at the Terre Haute action track are attached in both Excel and PDF formats. Simply make one selection from each of the six groups, fill in the tiebreaker and get your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org by 4:00 p.m. EDT (3:00 p.m. CDT) on Sunday, April 6.
The winner of Sunday’s USAC Silver Crown Pool Round One will win a Hoosier Racing Tire jacket and toboggan.
Inaugural USAC Silver Crown Pool Schedule:
Round One – April 6 (Terre Haute Action Track)
Round Two – May 17 (Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis)
Round Three – May 22 (Indiana State Fairgrounds)
Round Four – June 14 (Gateway Motorsports Park)
Round Five – June 29 (Memphis International Raceway)
Round Six – July 24 (Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis)
Round Seven – August 1 (Belleville High Banks)
Round Eight – August 16 (Illinois State Fairgrounds)
Round Nine – August 31 (DuQuoin State Fairgrounds)
Round Ten – September 20 (Eldora Speedway)
Round Eleven – October 11 (New York State Fairgrounds)