4.7.14 USAC Racing News and Notes
“HALL OF FAME CLASSIC” MAY 17 IN INDIANAPOLIS;
SWANSON LEADS ALL BUT 2 LAPS TO WIN “SUMAR CLASSIC”
The May 17 USAC “Hall of Fame Classic” at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, Ind. is round two of the 2014 USAC Silver Crown Series and will feature the 12 new inductions into USAC’s Hall of Fame.
Kody Swanson of Kingsburg, Calif. will take a three-point lead over Tracy Hines into the May 17 race as a result of his victory in Sunday’s “Sumar Classic” 100-lap race at the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track.
Swanson started second in the race next to pole-starter Hines and proceeded to lead the first 35 laps in his Radio Hospital Maxim/Hampshire. He relinquished the lead to Chris Windom on a restart for lap 36 and Hines led lap 37 before Swanson returned to the front to lead the final 63 laps for the victory.
Hines took second at the checkered flag ahead of Jerry Coons Jr., Bobby East and Zach Daum.
Rounding out the “top-10″ were Shane Cockrum, Dave Darland, A.J. Fike, John Hunt and Joe Liguori.
The victory was Swanson’s fourth in Silver Crown competition, meaning that the search for the series’ 100th different race winner will continue on May 17 at Indianapolis.
2014 USAC Silver Crown Standings:1-Kody Swanson-63, 2-Tracy Hines-60, 3-Jerry Coons Jr.-54, 4-Bobby East-51, 5-Zach Daum-48, 6-Shane Cockrum-45, 7-Dave Darland-42, 8-A.J. Fike-39, 9-John Hunt-36, 10-Joe Liguori-33.
“KOKOMO MIDGET GRAND PRIX” FRIDAY-SATURDAY
This weekend’s “Kokomo Midget Grand Prix” at the Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway debuts a new motorsports tradition at the quarter-mile dirt oval and opens the 2014 USAC National Midget Dirt campaign. The event is co-sanctioned by Powri.
Defending series champion Christopher Bell, who captured last year’s “Indiana Midget Week” title in a thrilling Kokomo finale, will open defense of his championship and will face a top-flight field of drivers in the two-night spectacular.
Bell, of Norman, Okla., scored prestigious Midget wins last year in the Belleville Midget Nationals, Gold Crown Midget Nationals and Indiana Midget Week on his way to the crown.
Other top drivers expected to compete at Kokomo include 2014 Powri Midget Champion Zach Daum, plus former USAC Kokomo Midget winners Bryan Clauson, winner of the this year’s “Chili Bowl Nationals” in Tulsa, Okla., Tracy Hines, Dave Darland, Michael Pickens and Brady Bacon.
Racing opens at Kokomo Friday, with complete racing programs slated Friday and Saturday nights.
Rico Abreu, winner of last year’s “4-Crown Nationals” at Rossburg, Ohio, is the track record holder for USAC Midgets at 13.009 seconds.
SPRINTS EYE ELDORA’S “BRANSON/LARSON” APRIL 19;
GRANT TAKES LAWRENCEBURG SPRINT
The “Don Branson/Jud Larson Classic” is next up for the AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series, slated April 19 at the Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.
Dave Darland, the 2013 series runner-up, holds a one-point lead over Justin Grant in the latest standings after Grant and Darland finished 1-2 in Saturday night’s midwestern opener at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway.
Grant, of Ione, Calif., who scored his initial USAC victory two years ago at Lawrenceburg, got past Jon Stanbrough on a 28th-lap restart and paced the final three laps in his Mark Hery Racing S & H Nerf Bars DRC/Claxton Chevy. Darland, who led the first nine laps of the race, took second ahead of Jerry Coons Jr., Brady Bacon and Stanbrough, who led 18 laps of the feature.
Stanbrough, who appeared headed for victory until the final restart, would have tied Darland as the winningest USAC Sprint drivers at Lawrenceburg had he won the race.
Tracy Hines, who failed to finish at Lawrenceburg, enters the April 19 Eldora race as the defending “Branson/Larson” winner, since he won in 2012 and last year’s race was rained out.
2014 AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Standings: 1-Dave Darland-183, 2-Justin Grant-182, 3-Chase Stockon-171, 4-Bryan Clauson-169, 5-Brady Bacon-167, 6-Jon Stanbrough-146, 7-Tracy Hines-138, 8-Chris Windom-118, 9-Robert Ballou-113, 10-Hunter Schuerenberg-108.
“SO-CAL SPRINT CAR SPECTACULAR” SATURDAY AT PERRIS
Defending AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Champ Damion Gardner has a 20-point lead over Nic Faas in the 2014 standings and would like nothing better than to increase his lead over Mike Spencer in the all-time list of USAC/CRA race winners at Perris (Calif.) Auto Speedway in this Saturday night’s “So-Cal Sprint Car Spectacular” at the half-mile dirt oval.
Gardner has 27 career PAS victories, compared to 25 for Spencer, and won the March 15 Perris opener.
Spencer currently rests fourth in the standings, 39 behind Gardner as he aims for a record-setting sixth series championship.
Faas is the most recent USAC winner of the three, having won this past Saturday night’s USAC Western Classic Sprint race at Calistoga, Calif.
Other former Perris USAC/CRA winners who may compete Saturday include Cory Kruseman (17), Faas (8), Rip Williams (7), Matt Mitchell (4) and R.J. Johnson (1).
2014 AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car Standings: 1-Damion Gardner-142. 2-Nic Faas-122, 3-R.J. Johnson-108, 4-Mike Spencer-103, 5-Matt Mitchell-99, 6-Gary Taylor-92, 7-Jake Swanson-91, 8-Josh Pelkey-79, 9-Cody Williams-75, 10-Brody Roa-61.
HANFORD APRIL 25 NEXT FOR WESTERN CLASSIC SPRINTS;
FAAS, BERNAL SPLIT CALISTOGA “CLASSIC” SPOTLIGHT
Kings Speedway in Hanford, Calif. hosts the next round in the 2014 USAC Western Classic Sprint Car Series, slated April 25 at the 3/8-mile dirt track. The series continues the next night, April 26, at the one-third mile dirt Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif.
Geoff Ensign emerged from last weekend’s races with a five-point lead in the most recent series standings. Ensign finished second in Saturday’s feature at Calistoga (Calif.) Speedway, then backed it up with another second the following night at the same track.
AMSOIL USAC/CRA Sprint Car regular Nic Faas of Huntington Beach, Calif. grabbed Saturday’s 20-lapper at Calistoga. He took the lead at the start and led all 20 laps in the Keith Ford Berry Pack/King Racing Products Spike/Nogrady to beat Ensign, Ryan Bernal, Richard Vander Weerd and Marty Hawkins. Driver Bradley Terrell was transported to a local hospital after suffering a broken leg during a heat race crash.
Defending USAC Western Classic Sprint Champion Ryan Bernal of Hollister, Calif. won Sunday’s 20-lap feature at Calistoga, wheeling the Mike Phulps Core Power/DMI Race Products ART/S & S. He passed Trevor Schmid on lap three and led the rest of the way to beat Ensign, Richard Vander Weerd, Landon Hurst and Jace Vander Weerd.
2014 USAC Western Classic Sprint Car Standings: 1-Geoff Ensign-130, 2-Ryan Bernal-125, 3-Richard Vander Weerd-115, 4-Nic Faas-113, 5-Trevor Schmid-102, 6-Matt Mitchell-92, 7-Marty Hawkins-92, 8-Landon Hurst-89, 9-Jace Vander Weerd-84, 10-Terry Schank Jr.-84.
SOUTHWEST SPRINTS AT ARIZONA SPEEDWAY SATURDAY
Josh Pelkey leads the USAC Southwest Sprint Cars to Arizona Speedway Saturday night as the series resumes its 2014 campaign. Pelkey recorded his first USAC feature win last month at Peoria, Ariz. and has a three-point lead in the standings over Shon Deskins.
Winners of last year’s first year of USAC racing at Arizona Speedway in Queen Creek included R.J. Johnson (3), Charles Davis Jr. (2) and Mike Martin.
Johnson is the defending Southwest Sprint Car king and is tied with Bryan Clauson for the most USAC victories in the state at 12 each. Davis is right behind at 11.
Saturday’s race is one of six USAC races scheduled this year at the one-third mile dirt oval.
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, 9-Lonnie Oliver-46, 10-Nick Aiuto-37.
HPD MIDGETS AT LAS VEGAS, KOKOMO & ACE;
BRECKENRIDGE GETS VICTORY #1 AT LVMS
USAC’s Eastern, Midwestern and Western HPD Midgets all are in action this coming weekend.
The Eastern Series gets under way at Ace Speedway in Altamont, N.C. with back-to-back races on Friday and Saturday nights. Kokomo (Ind.) Speedway, as part of its “Kokomo Midget Grand Prix,” hosts the Midwestern HPD Midgets Friday and Saturday, also opening that series for the season. The Western series resumes at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway’s Bullring, site of last Saturday’s history-making race.
The history was made by female driver Christine Breckenridge of Irvine, Calif., who became the 26th female driver to win a USAC feature race by taking Saturday’s 30-lap Western HPD Midget feature at Las Vegas. She passed fast qualifier Michael Fanelli on lap 11 and led the rest of the way to beat Jeff Kelley, Fanelli, Shawn Buckley and Marina Turner. She’s the first female USAC feature winner in nearly a year.
2014 HPD USAC Western Pavement Midget Standings: 1-Shawn Buckley-239, 2-Bryan Dawson-132, 3-Toni Breidinger-115, 4-Ashley Hazelton-106, 5-Joel Rayborne-92, 6-Jake Swanson-73, 7-Christine Breckenridge-73, 8-Dillon Noble-70, 9-Jeff Kelley-69, 10-Michael Fanelli-67.