USAC Racing News and Notes October 14
37TH “BELLEVILLE NATIONALS” ANCHORS
2014 KANSAS USAC “SPEED WEEK”
The success of last year’s “Belleville Midget Nationals” at the storied Belleville High Banks in Kansas has heightened anticipation for the 2014 return of the three-night USAC racing festival at the North Central Kansas Free Fair.
The 37th edition of the “Belleville Midget Nationals” extravaganza will again open with a complete Thursday night, July 31 Honda USAC National Midget program, including qualifying, heats and feature event, and also will include preliminary practice for the USAC Silver Crown machines. Friday’s August 1 program is devoted to the big Silver Crown cars and their qualifications and main event, while the “Belleville Midget Nationals” finale is slated for Saturday, August 2.
In addition, the return of the “Chad McDaniel Memorial” USAC Honda National Midget event at Solomon Valley Raceway in Beloit, Kans. is targeted for that week leading up to the Belleville festivities. Last year’s inaugural USAC race at Beloit was captured by Christopher Bell of Norman, Okla., who also led a podium sweep of last year’s “Belleville Midget Nationals” for the potent Midget team of Keith Kunz Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian. Bell appears on his way to a possible first USAC Honda National Midget Series title this year.
Last year’s Belleville Silver Crown race met with rave reviews and exciting action as Tracy Hines powered to victory on the half-mile dirt oval. It extended the series’ history of half-mile competition which has included events at numerous venues across the country.
“We are indeed excited about returning to Belleville in 2014,” says USAC’s James Spink. “The fans answered with a resounding approval rating after the 2013 event and we look forward to an even better program this coming year.”
Stay tuned to www.usacracing.com and www.highbanks.org for more information regarding this signature event on the 2014 calendar.
The 2014 USAC Silver Crown Championship and Honda National Midget Series calendars are currently being finalized and will be released soon.
DIRT MIDGETS RESUME AT PEORIA IN NOVEMBER;
HAGEN TAKES COLUMBUS & NATIONAL PAVEMENT TITLE
Darren Hagen wrapped up one USAC National Midget championship Saturday night and another will be finalized in November races in the West. The Honda USAC National Midget Dirt title hinges on the outcome of races November 14-16 at Peoria, Ariz. and November 28 at Perris, Calif.
Hagen, of Riverside, Calif., locked up his fourth consecutive Honda USAC National Midget Pavement crown with his wire-to-wire 40-lap feature victory in Saturday night’s “Battle in the Buckeye State” at Columbus (Ohio) Motor Speedway.
Hagen started next to pole-starter Tracy Hines as the two entered the race in a tie for the championship. Hines eventually finished second as Hagen paced all 40 laps in his Liberty Village/McGladrey & Pullen Beast/Esslinger Ford. Caleb Armstrong was third, ahead of Dalton Armstrong and Taylor Ferns at the checkered flag.
Hagen’s four pavement titles give him a total of six USAC crowns when added to the 2012 National and National Dirt championships.
The final margin of victory for Hagen was three points over Hines, with Bobby Santos third in the final standings after finishing sixth at Columbus.
FINAL 2013 HONDA USAC NATIONAL PAVEMENT MIDGET STANDINGS: 1-Darren Hagen-477, 2-Tracy Hines-474, 3-Bobby Santos-438, 4-Kyle O’Gara-398, 5-Kyle Hamilton-373, 6-Dalton Armstrong-361, 7-Caleb Armstrong-329, 8-Christopher Bell-317, 9-Taylor Ferns-237, 10-Tanner Swanson-220.
PERRIS “SPECIAL EVENT” OCT. 31 FOR WEST COAST SPRINTS;
VANDERWEERD TAKES “COTTON CLASSIC; FARIA GRABS TITLE
USAC’s West Coast Sprint Car championship concluded Saturday night at Hanford, Calif. but series participants will convene October 31 at Perris (Calif.) Auto Speedway for a special “non-points” event on the opening night of the 2013 “Budweiser Oval Nationals.”
Danny Faria Jr. of Tipton, Calif. emerged as the 2013 USAC West Coast Sprint Car Champion after finishing eighth in last Saturday night’s “Cotton Classic” at Kings Speedway. He finished the series with a 27-point cushion over series runner-up Richard Vander Weerd, who won Saturday’s race.
Vander Weerd, of Visalia, Calif., outlasted a late-race battle with fast qualifier Markus Niemela and Kyle Hirst to take the 30-lap “Cotton Classic” series finale, while Niemela took second ahead of Hirst, Bud Kaeding and Matt Mitchell. Vander Weerd led the final two laps of the race in his Vander Weerd Construction/Battery Worx Maxim/Shark after Niemela and Hirst had traded the lead for the previous 27 laps.
FINAL 2013 USAC WEST COAST SPRINT CAR STANDINGS: 1-Danny Faria Jr.-930, 2-Richard Vander Weerd-903, 3-Bud Kaeding-862, 4-Markus Niemela-677, 5-Rusty Carlile-665, 6-Ryan Bernal-661, 7-Jace Vander Weerd-609, 8-Austin Liggett-545, 9-Landon Hurst-492, 10-Kevin Barnes-440.
SOUTHWEST SPRINT FINALE AT ARIZONA SPEEDWAY SATURDAY;
ROSSI WIRE-TO-WIRE IN CASA GRANDE SPRINT
This Saturday night’s race at Arizona Speedway in Queen Creek, Ariz. concludes the 2013 USAC Southwest Sprint Car campaign, although several non-points races remain on the calendar in the coming weeks.
Following Saturday’s race, the series conducts special events Oct. 31 at Perris, Calif. and November 14-16 at Peoria, Ariz. The Perris race, part of this year’s “Budweiser Oval Nationals,” is also a “non-points” West Coast event, while the Peoria races also carry West Coast “special event” status.
R.J. Johnson and Charles Davis Jr. will decide the 2013 title chase at Queen Creek, Davis trailing Johnson by 55 points with 68 points available Saturday.
Matt Rossi of Peoria, Ariz. led all 30 laps to score an upset in last Saturday night’s race at Central Arizona Raceway in Casa Grande. Johnson took second ahead of Mike Martin, Davis and Josh Pelkey.
Rossi, the first driver ever to win a Sprint race at Arizona Speedway, is expected to be among favorites Saturday.
2013 USAC SOUTHWEST SPRINT CAR STANDINGS: 1-R.J. Johnson-1,098, 2-Charles Davis Jr.-1,043, 3-Mike Martin-928, 4-Shon Deskins-838, 5-Ronnie Clark-786, 6-Josh Pelkey-723, 7-Andy Reinbold-709, 8-Chris Bonneau-625, 9-Brian Hosford-602, 10-Bruce St. James-579.
LEYDIG TOPS AT CMS; TITLES TO CLOUSE & LAMB
Cooper Clouse and Chris Lamb finalized 2013 USAC HPD Ignite Midget championships Saturday night as the Midwest Pavement and Eastern series concluded at Columbus (Ohio) Motor Speedway.
Clouse, of Ohio City, Ohio, finished sixth to beat Wil Raber by 59 points in the final Midwest Pavement tally, while Lamb, of Colfax, N.C., was 12th at Columbus, finishing with a comfortable 240-point edge over Eastern series runner-up Raber.
Blaine Leydig of Carlisle, Pa. led all but one lap of Saturday’s 30-lap Columbus feature in his Leydig Racing Beast. Scott Hunter, Raber, Austin Nemire and Gage Walker rounded out the “top-five.”
HPD Ignite Midget activity now centers on the October 25-26 and November 16 Western races at the Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway Bullring.
FINAL 2013 MIDWEST HPD PAVEMENT IGNITE MIDGET POINTS: 1-Cooper Clouse-589, 2-Wil Raber-530, 3-Austin Nemire-476, 4-Natasha Cox-347, 5-Gage Walker-313, 6-Calvin Carroll-281, 7-Jack Cross-266, 8-Nikki Carroll-263, 9-Chris Lamb-251, 10-Ricky Bowers-175.
FINAL 2013 EASTERN HPD IGNITE MIDGET POINTS: 1-Chris Lamb-1,393, 2-Wil Raber-1,153, 3-Tyler Corriher-1,130, 4-Blaine Leydig-1,007, 5-Calvin Carroll-931, 6-Ryan Krachun-881, 7-Nikki Carroll-837, 8-Justin Whittall-684, 9-Billy Gaule-681, 10-Matt Lundstrom-442.